Pioneers DID work hard for everything. Life was not easy at all. Everything was a struggle.
BUT, we can live somewhat like a pioneer by learning new "old" skills and practicing them. We need to learn to be more self sufficient. There may come a time when you have no one else to help or turn to. You need to educate yourselves.
COOK FROM SCRATCH
Everyone needs to be able to take simple ingredients and make a filling and nourishing meal. You don't have to fix fancy or expensive foods. Basics and well rounded meals will keep you alive. I often hear people say "I don't know how to cook". If you can read and follow directions - you can cook. It isn't rocket science.
I know not everyone can have a garden - but you can grow something to help. A tomato or pepper plant in a pot, lettuce, spinach or herbs in window boxes will help. Watch for farm markets and pantries that have fresh food. You don't need a lot of equipment or skill to preserve some food for later. An oven can be used to dehydrate - as can fresh air! Start with something simple such as jelly or pickles or relish or tomatoes for canning. (If you have a big stockpot you can water bath). Freeze food. Read and learn new ways to preserve things for the future. It may save your life.
STOCK UP ON BASICS
Stay stocked up on basic ingredients that can be used in many ways. Flour - baking, gravy, bread, biscuits, etc. Sugar - drinks, baking, canning, etc. Salt - seasoning, preserving, even in some cleaning. You get it!
If you stay stocked up on basics (things you normally use), there will be no need to panic in any given emergency. Buy a little extra each week and put it back for another time. Can, freeze, or dehydrate for later use. Grow whatever you can - fresh is always best.
Learn how to start a fire. You never know when you can't use your stove - you need a way to cook. I have a gas grill that I can use - you may too. Learn to use any type of grill or cook over an open fire. Have a couple pans (cast iron) that can be used on a fire. You need to have an alternative way to prepare food. Do your research - there are many options.
LEARN TO USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Figure out ways to remake and reuse things you have on hand. New purchases may not be available and you can figure out a way to recycle. That just makes sense any way. Have 'how to' books on hand and learn what you can from others. If you have a computer you can learn from You Tube. I love finding new uses for things. Not only is it frugal and prudent, it is helping the environment.
Sewing - use old clothes and remake them into something new. Make quilts and covers. Hankies and TP. Different clothing items. Home furnishings. Mend.
Cooking - use all leftovers to make new and nourishing meals.
Yard - look at new ways to decorate the yard (with older things), reuse wooden skids for projects, use flower pots to grow some food, etc.
There is no limit to the things that can be recycled.
This is the biggest one for me. Have the wisdom to know that something bigger than you is in control of the universe.
Economies can fail, crops can fail, inflation can happen, illness can spread, deaths can happen, lives can change - and at some point you will experience at least one of these. That is a given. FAITH will get you through (trust me, I know).
It isn't about how much money you have, how much stuff you have or your comfort level - it is about leaning on something higher than yourself for strength and guidance.
Stop for just a moment and think about the hardships that the early pioneers went through. If was unbelievable that so many survived. We are here today as a testimony to their perseverance, and their abilities to keep pushing forward (even through the worst of times), and their industrious ways.
We can do this too.
Do research, read, learn from each other, do whatever you can to figure out how to survive through bad times.
LEARN TO LIVE LIKE A MODERN PIONEER
**If you have access to the Foxfire book series - get them and read them. So much knowledge that is getting lost today.