Here we show you 40 ways
to self reliant living and self
sufficiency whether you
live in the city or the suburbs. Urban homesteading and urban self
sufficiency is a lifestyle sought out by the baby boomers, and for good
reason! So many people think
that having a large piece of land allows them to be self sufficient. As
I have always said, it is not the size that counts, but what you do
with it! ;)
Self Reliant Living in the Garden
1) Grow your own
. This is the first step to self
sufficiency and self reliant living.
Over the last 30 years of marriage I have grown vegetables in my own
backyard, on my farm, on concrete in boxes as a raised garden when I
had no lawn, and I have even grown fruit trees and vegetables in
containers on an apartment balcony. Where there is a will, there is a
your own seeds
I save seeds from my open-pollinated vegetables from the previous
season and then replant them the following season. I also recycle any
vegetables that I may have to buy from the market. This is easily done
with spring onions as they usually come with the roots on. Cut them
down to about 3 inches, and pot them. They will soon grow into new
spring onions for you. Cut the tops when you need them.
Another way for self reliant living and to be self sufficient
is to save the seeds from
some of these vegetables. I often do this for the fancy red, orange and
yellow peppers and some nice tomatoes I may have bought.
3) Learn how to grow herbs
If you live in the city in an apartment you can grow herbs indoors as
well. These can be used not just for cooking purposes, but also for
herbal teas and homemade herbal remedies.
for your salads, ice creams, and
other dishes and save on food bills.
your own compost
Think of all those vegetable peelings and fruit skins that go straight
to the landfill when you could be turning it into black gold and
putting it around your pot plants, using it for repotting, or digging
it back into your vegetables.
a worm farm
to enrich your soil and have rich vermicompost freely and cheaply by
feeding the worms your kitchen scraps. You may even end up starting a
little home based business and earn some money working from home.
Fishermen are always looking for live worms, and others are looking for
worms to start their own worm farms.
7) Collect the rain water
with rain barrels
that can be connected
to your downpipes so that you
can collect rain water from your roof. Use this to water your garden
and enjoy some self reliant living by saving on your water bill and
reducing your need on water from the local council.
your own leaf
by storing leaves over the year in plastic
buy a chipper so that you can take all your hard prunings and turn them
into perfect garden mulch. Mulching your garden keeps the weeds down,
but also helps in water conservation.
9) Make your own liquid manure and liquid
. Smelly stuff. I mean really smelly stuff,
especially if you make it from weeds. But it works!
10) Make your own natural pesticides and
. Make safe organic pesticides to spray on your
garden. Safe for you and safe for the good insects and bugs that you
need to catch the bad bugs and insects.
to your home and sell the excess electricity back to the grid and make
a little bit of money out of it. This is self reliant living by living
off the grid.
. You can raise bantams if you have a
space, or you can have full sized chickens. You don't need too many for
a steady egg supply. If you get a good chicken breed for eggs a good laying hen will lay about 5 eggs
a week. So, if you have 2 chickens you will get 10 eggs a week, or
thereabouts, 4 chickens, 20 eggs and so on. Self reliant living at its
best with fresh organic eggs every day.
a bee hive
and raise honey bees. You can do this even if you are living in the
city. Check with your local council first, but placing hives on top of
apartment roofs are becoming popular and city bees are not uncommon.
Self Reliant Living in the Kitchen
your own jams,
jellies and marmalade
. It is not just on
farms where you end up with a glut of fruit. You will also notice that
when you go shopping certain fruits will be readily available and a lot
cheaper than usual. This is because these fruits are now in season and
there is a glut of them on the marketplace. This is the time to buy
these seasonal goods and turn it to your advantage by making homemade
15) Preserve your
It isn't just fruit that we can buy
like this throughout the year, we can also buy vegetables. But then
what do we do with them? Well we can look at various ways of food
preservation. We can freeze them, pickle them or do some home canning
I remember mum going off to the market and buying huge bags of peas in
pods and then sitting in the kitchen taking the peas out so that she
could par-boil and then freeze them. Of course, half the fun was eating
them at the same time, but boy did they taste great! Don't forget too
that sun drying fruit
is another way of
saving your market harvest and moving towards self reliant living.
. There is nothing nicer than the
fresh bread coming from the kitchen. It is easier than you think. It is
a long process, but can easily be done late at night before you go to
bed, or during the day, when you can come back and revisit it to knock
the air out of it and prove it again.
17) Make your own
. You can make wine out of just
anything. You can make wine out of dandelions, beetroot, parsnips,
berries, and fruit.
your own apple cider
. If you have an apple tree
in the backyard and your kids are sick of eating apples, apple butter
and apple pies, then think about making some apple cider for the adults.
19) Make your own beer.
Get yourself a beer kit, as this is the simplest way of making beer. As
you get better at it, then you can adjust the sugar to get the right
your own meals
and stay away from fast foods. This
is basic self reliant living. It
to make your own meals. Buy loose potatoes and make your own chips
rather than the frozen chips. Not only are they cheaper, but also
healthier in that there will be no preservatives in your own homemade
chips. Don't buy TV dinners, take some time in the kitchen to prepare
good, wholesome homemade meals.
21) Smoke your own meat
in your own backyard for self reliant living.
Learn how to make your own
jerky, biltong, sausages and smoked meat and fish through simple ways
homemade smokers and smokehouses
. For those of you
homesteading you will also be looking at home butchering
your livestock at
some time, even if it is just killing chickens.
and improve your health.
your own yogurt
Stay away from the commercial stuff. It has lots of preservatives and
additives that are just plain nasty. You can easily make your own,
including lovely, thick Greek style yogurt and fruit yogurt by adding
fruit of your choice.
24) Make your own cheese
Whether it is soft cheese - which is easier to make- or you want to
make hard cheese, this is a fun way to be more self sufficient even in
an apartment! Who said you had to have lots of land for self reliant
25) Make your own homemade ice cream
Quick, easy, delicious!
your own seeds
So easy to do and a great project for the kids.
27) Make your own dog food and pet food. Buying dog food and dog
biscuits are expensive if you buy them commercially. So much so that
many people are put off having pets because they don't know if they can
afford them. Be more self-reliant by making your own homemade dog food and pet food
Self Reliant Living in the Home
curtains and soft furnishings
. Curtains are one
easiest of things to make, it just needs straight sewing with a sewing
machine. As are making cushion covers, table cloths, and table mats.
29) Make your own rugs.
can be made using old material for a rag rug, or you can buy canvas and
wool and make hook rugs. Lots of fun and a good way to spend the winter.
your own wool
with local fleece for self reliant living. Spinning is very therapeutic
and I love it. There is
nothing more satisfying than spinning your own yarn and then learn how to knit
your own jerseys or jerseys for the kids and hubby.
31) Make your own
Patchwork is easy, and there
is no need
to admire those Amish quilts when you can just as easily make your own.
32) Sew your own clothes
So many have forgotten how to make their own clothes. Children's
clothing can be so expensive these days, and considering how quickly
they grow, this is a waste of money unless you learn to sew and make
cheap clothes for everyone.
Make a baby's shawl or a table cloth, a warm knee rug... The
possibilities are endless.
34) Make your own soap
. Making soap is more difficult, especially as
you are making soap with lye which is not only potentially dangerous,
but it can also end up being a total disaster. However, if you rebatch
commercial soap, you can then make soap without lye directly, and still
have a homemade soap product by adding your own personal touch with
fragrances and additional ingredients like oats etc.
garden furniture, bee hives
, porch swings
, chicken coops
yourself some money by engaging in simple DIY projects for self reliant
Self Reliant Living in your Personal Life
. Let's face it beauty
lotions and potions are expensive. But they needn't be if you use
simple ingredients found in your kitchen.
your own home!
There are kit homes now as well as other ways of home building that are
eco friendly and cheaper. What about building a straw bale home? Cheap,
effective, warm in winter, cool in summer and definitely eco-friendly.
38) Recycle for green living.
Think carefully when you shop. Do you need to buy those bananas in the
plastic wrapping or do you go for the ones that have no plastic and
will help reduce your carbon footprint. And what do you do with the
banana skins afterwards? Do you throw them in the bin or do you cut
them up and dig around your roses? Of course you could also add them to
your compost bin. And what about your vacuum cleaner dust? Do you throw
that into the bin or do you add that to your compost bin too? Because
if you don't you are losing out on valuable nutrients for your soil.
After your wood fire what happens to your wood ash? It should go into
your compost bin. Do you see a pattern here? Recycle where you can and
minimize your waste for the landfill.
39) Make your own toys
Kids love toys but they don't have to be expensive. How many times have
you seen the kids play with the box rather than what came in the box!
Build a tree house, make a kite
, make a doll's house
out of an old
solid suitcase. There are so many ways to entertain kids - and get them
out from behind those computer games and into the sun and fresh air!
homeschooling your children
is the final tip
for self reliant living. I did this with my own 3 children for
a while when we lived in Papua New Guinea, and
it really was an enjoyable experience.
I am not saying it was easy - it
wasn't, especially as they were all in different grades.
However, they definitely learned more in the 2 years that I
home-schooled them than they could have gleaned from the
educational system that was the alternative at the time. Just
make sure that when you home-school your children that you also give
them plenty of time to socialize with the neighbors' kids so that they
don't miss out on social interaction.
If you have any tips, advice or even a question regarding self reliant
living, please write to us here. All
you need to do is type and submit. We will do the