Thursday, June 23, 2022

We CAN All be More Self-Sufficient

 Yes, we can!  I know - I hear all the same excuses all the time.  I live in the city.  I live in an apartment.  I don't have a yard.  I can't garden.  Those things may all be true - but it doesn't mean that you can't be more self-sufficient.  You don't need to have a cow or a goat.  You don't have to have a farm.  You don't even have to can.  It can be a lot of little things that gives you some freedoms from relying on the system.


LEARN THINGS
Learn how to cook from scratch and using natural ingredients
Learn to sew (some) - at least enough to mend or hand sew
Lew to make your own mixes for things - instead of buying packaged
Learn to do general home maintenance
Learn how to look after your vehicle - check oil and fluids, air pressure, etc.

Plant something!!!!  You don't have to have a big garden.  Learn to plant things in pots - lettuce, a tomato or pepper plant, herbs, etc.

Preserve something!  You don't have to can if you have no desire.  You can dehydrate things or you can freeze items.  Put as many fresh items as possible back for later in the year.

STOCK
Stock those pantries and those freezers.  This is very important, especially today.  Prices continue to rise and shortages continue to happen.  Get what you can as cheaply as you can - and be stocked for the future or harder times.  You must take care of yourself and your family!!!!

Conserve as much as possible.  Use less water, less electricity, less power of all sorts.  It saves you money and it saves the environment.

RE-USE, RECYCLE
Re-use and recycle everything you possibly can.  Old worn clothes can become rags or use in quilts.
Decent clothes can be remade into new clothes
Old towels - cut into wash cloths or use as rags
AN old comforter can be used as the 'batting' for a handmade quilt.  It can also be used for warmth.  No matter how it looks - it may help keep you warm at some point!!!!!  (I never get rid of bedding)
Leftovers - make something new or use for lunches
Old pallets - use the wood for planters or other craft projects.
See where I am going?  You can find ways to re-use or recycle all kinds of things.  It keeps things out of the landfill and it saves a lot of money.



EMERGENCY FUND
Please try and have an emergency fund!!!!  Just because!   You never know.  I not only advise have an emergency fund at the bank - but I advise having CASH on hand at home.  You may need cash in an emergency situation.  ALWAYS keep some cash on hand.  Hide it in a place no one would look (don't forget where!) and just be prepared.

Learn to barter and to forage.  I know people who say they can't do that either because of where they live.  You CAN!  Maybe you can bake something for someone for something you need.  You can mow for someone for an oil change.  Share a lawnmower or yard equipment.
Know your 'weeds'.  Many are very edible.  Look for fruit or nut trees on empty lots.  You can even trash pick (shop).  Many people throw away perfectly good items - you may just need that item!

There are just so many things you can do to be self-efficient.  Each thing counts.  The more you can do for yourself, the better off you will be.

Here is an easy recipe to try - no need to have beer.  You can use soda pop or carbonated water.  It doesn't get much easier than that - and you have no need to make a special store run for bread.  Make it and enjoy it.

Let's get ourselves in a good spot.  The less we need to depend on others the better off we will be.  Someday it may be necessary!  Start preparing now and learning.
We got this!!!!

Have a great day!

40 comments:

  1. Self-rising flour or AP?

    I just do not understand people who keep just enough bedding for their bed. People getting rid of sheets is wasteful, even if they give it away.

    When I was about eight, my mother and I spread a piece of cloth on the floor and put her grandmother's quilt down, spread a pieced top on it and used some sort of yarn to tie it all together. Then, she self-bound it and we had a new quilt! I remember being in charge of tying all the little yarn pieced all over the quilt. I love doing that and did it on a smaller scale a few years ago.

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    1. P.P., the beer bread recipe I have calls for 3 cups of self-rising flour, or AP flour with baking soda. It also calls for some melted butter or margarine. I've substituted sparkling apple cider for a really sweet and delicious quick bread. --Elise

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    2. I have made many a 'quilt' like that. Mom did and I have as well - I can always find uses for old sheets or blankets making new 'quilts' or even for the pets.

      Yes, unless it specifies baking soda - always use self rising.
      This is a real basic recipe - you can add other stuff if you feel the need. Cheese, bacon, and I love the idea of the sparkling apple juice Elise mentioned!

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    3. Elise that is a neat idea on the sparking apple juice. So many ways to make a simple bread - plain or simple. We all need to know the basics of how to do these simple things ourselves. Thanks

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  2. I often wonder where the strong examples and teachers where when all the can't do it people were growing up. My family was full of strong women and men who knew how to get it done and not whine about it! Who will teach today's children? When my Mother was growing up they either planted a garden and put it away for the winter or they knew they would be hungry. That is a real teacher and motivator. When I was a kid we worked in the garden along side my Mother because we needed that food for the winter as well. Every bit was canned or frozen. Did we like sitting at the kitchen table peeling those burning hot tomatoes and peeling bushels of apples? No way but we learned and it was important that we helped to take care of the family.

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    1. Lana, think of those in their 30s and 40s right now. Most had both parents working fulltime. As kids, they were in after school programs and summer programs. There just wasn't much "family" time at all to learn what I call "life skills." And (from what I saw) the parents felt guilty about that, so bought their kids whatever they wanted. There's a whole generation that--for the very 1st time in their lives--is facing real struggle. This IS their 1st rodeo. How do we encourage them? There's no Tightwad Gazette today. --Elise

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    2. Lana - I understand and yes, it is sad to think that much will be lost and is getting lost in just a generation or two. THIS is why things should be taught in schools - how to survive in the real world. I worked in the garden and the kitchen as well. I and my siblings have all follow suit and have tried to teach the 40's - 50's year old members along the way. Many have taken up gardening, and are teaching their kids. I am sooooo proud to see that!
      WE have to do it I guess and then steer them in the direction of blogs and such that can help. THIS is the biggest reason I think of writing a book at some point. At least I could pass it to all the younger family and maybe somewhere down the road, some of them might get it!

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    3. Elise That is true - both parents worked a lot and kids were left to their own devices. I don't think that worked out too well!
      It is about making some sacrifices, and there is (I know a few) some people that chose to stay home over work. They chose a little lesser lifestyle to raise their kids. I am not saying wither way is right or wrong - but I see much more well mannered and appreciative kids with those that stayed home!
      Many people are going to learn the hard way for sure. We can only try to guide those that allow us to.

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    4. Cheryl, back in the 1990s, when my kids were small, I was a published magazine and book writer. Later, as they grew, it was more corporate and online food writing, but it allowed me to be home with them. Just this morning I thought there should be something for those (like most of my nieces and nephews) who never learned life skills in school or at home. You really ARE such a wonderful encourager... do consider writing your knowledge down, even if just for your own family. --Elise

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    5. Elise,. I homeschooled my five children and worked hard to teach them life skills but I still have whiners who think they cannot help themselves. It is in some part culturally driven.

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    6. Oh, I agree, Lana. I homeschooled our oldest for the first 3 years and both sons grew up with a mom who'd developed habits from her Depression-Era grandparents. My youngest soaked it up like a sponge. The oldest? Not so much. Of my (many) nieces and nephews, only one (so far) demonstrates solid, practical and pragmatic life skills. It's a little heartbreaking, and definitely comes from cultural attitudes; the idea that they ought to be taken care of and life should never be hard. What I see, though? My youngest son and one nephew have so much more confidence! They also have a much more positive attitude about life in general.
      --Elise

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    7. Elise that is so cool that you wrote for a living. I love hearing that. Isn't it amazing how some get it and some don't?
      I have never understood that. Children all raised the same - yet such differences. I love that some of you home schooled - that really is noble.
      Kids - who can figure out why they do what they do - even as adults!!!

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    8. I had that discussion with several cousins and my stance being these things are learned at home just like running a checking account, managing money ya know, HOME stuff. School is for reading, writing, math, science, history. They said they were too busy to teach their kids life skills and everything needs to be taught in schools. Sigh.......

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    9. I know the opinions on this is half a dozen one side - half a dozen the other.
      We had home economics and shops classes we had an economics class that taught some about finance and how the world works - we even had a period of time about elections and voting. We had mock elections and used voting machines. I got to vote the first year 18 years old did. We had 4-H that our parents allowed us to take and they all taught great things. There were many opportunities for us other than parents - yet , as busy as they were just trying to exist and scrape a living - they taught us too.
      Not sure of the answer.

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    10. At 14 I was tailoring my own clothes and getting blue ribbons at the county fair as well as cooking full meals and baking. Home Ec in high school? Learn to bake a cake and make an apron. Uh, no thanks. Finance I learned at home. My parents were busy but apparently not too busy to raise their 6 children. I know folks who "need" their parents to help raise 2 children......wonder why they had children. I didn't have any so I'm a bitch for taking my stance! So be it! Birth 'em, raise 'em but don't complain about your choices. I have no sympathy for ya.

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  3. Good morning, Cheryl (and everyone)!
    Years ago, when our youngest son was a baby, a dear friend gave me a coffee mug with a saying on it: "When life gives you scraps, make quilts." It's so true. She said she got it because of how I could always find a use for what many would just toss. I've been that way since childhood, making Barbie furniture from oatmeal and shoe boxes and Barbie clothes from scraps.

    I know a lot of people don't feel comfortable with the idea of bartering. Why not think of it as exchanged goods or services? That's really what it is. And a win-win. Say, for example, a child needs tutoring in a subject, and there's an older, retired school teacher in your apartment building. You could cook some meals in exchange for their help, or something like that.

    My sister started a habit in my family... a big jar of change. It can be a clean, empty coffee can. The idea is you save all your change for a year or two, including the change you see and pick up from the ground. When the container is full, sort and wrap the coins for deposit at the bank. You'll be surprised how fast those coins grow.
    --Elise
    P.S. There are a lot of quilters around here, and I hope to learn how to do it myself. :-)

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    1. Love that saying. I remember making Barbie clothes from mom's scraps of material. Also the furniture like you said. It was a good time.
      You are right, bartering is just an exchange of something needed or wanted. It seems to be very logical to me! I don't know why people would resist.
      I used to always save all my change - it sure does add up. Now I use it for cash often times. I save the bills if I need to spend $2 or $3 bucks - the change works just fine. I pay cash for most everything - so I always have money around. I still have a lot of change in a big can I should probably cash in - at least I will never be broke!!!!
      Simple quilts or spreads are easy - if you get into the actual 'quilting' part I am at a loss!

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  4. You are a great motivator Cheryl.

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    1. Thank you - I think we all need to help each other. It makes the ride so much more enjoyable!!!!

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  5. I was lucky that I was able to learn so much from my mom and gram. I lost a lot of that knowledge over the years, but there came a time when I wanted fresh strawberry jam, wanted to grab produce from the small farm stands along our route, and made it my mission to re-train myself in those ways. A secret dream was to be totally self-sufficient and build an off-grid log cabin. We bought the land, but life got in the way. Still, it's important to build skills "just in case." My daughter commented a week or so back about loving grilled foods, and wished she knew how. Like my late hubs, her hub is the grill master. But, I like grilled food and so I learned the basics and now prefer that method of cooking in the summer, over using the stove.
    Two sayings to live by:
    When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and sit back and watch everyone wonder how you did it.
    I refuse to sink.

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    1. Same - I think we learn a lot - lose a little and then realize it WAS important and learn again.
      I hope your daughter learns to grill as well. We just never know what skills we might need.
      I love those saying.
      Especially the first one - that is great. I may have to use that myself someday!!!
      Indeed - I refuse to sink! Amazing how true that becomes at some point in life.

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  6. I am hoping at some time to convince Hubby to make me a simple loom. I really want to learn weaving. My old bed sheets get turned into the backing for quilts, or in some cases pj bottoms for the men in my life. I have even got our sons handing me their rather sad bedding and clothing. Many a quilt I have made from old clothing.

    God bless.

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    1. I love that. I think that is so neat that you have found more than one way to recycle or upcycle the sheets!
      That would be so cool. I was watching someone on TV weave a couple weeks ago and it looks like a cool thing to learn and not too complicated. Here's hoping you can convince him!!!!!!

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    2. Interesting, about the quilts. I have a heirloom quilt where my great grandmother made the top from small squared from flour sacks (from what my grandmother said). In the late '60s or early '70s, heating fuel prices were climbing and we (my gram, mother, aunts, and I) added the filling, used a sheet for the backing, and then tied it. Gram added then binding. There were several quilt tops, and my gram made new ones from sewing scraps, so each of us girls could have an extra blanket for our bed that winter. I used mine as my bedspread when I went to college, and then tucked it away for safe keeping. Some of the small flour sack squares are so fragile and I don't want to damage it with further use.

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  7. Debby in Kansas USAJune 23, 2022 at 8:21 PM

    I have to agree with the idea that most of today's youth know very little of how to survive per se. Any kind of domesticity, diy, etc. that they learn seems to be by luck. Luck in that they have a family member who teaches them. My mom and dad (born 1940ish) seem to be the last generation to know how to do just about anything. Or did. My dad could fix anything in our house from roofing to electric. He also did all the car work until they got computerized. My mom knew all things of the house. Now, my brother and I were both eager to learn so we did. However, my other brother didn't have any interest and he has to call a plumber to replace a toilet tank flusher. I think my parents' generation was the last to learn from a need. I guess they're Boomers? The gens that followed seemed to be able to buy or hire everything with a credit card. The urgent need to learn basic skills was essentially gone. And in today's world, skills are more important than ever! Since some things are far too complicated to do ourselves like car repair, if we can learn to do everything else, we'll be okay.
    Sorry, I'm pontificating!!!

    I'm in the Autumn season of my life and I'm still hoping to learn more every day. I'm also always trying to think of new ways to save money and use what I have. Not just for fun, but for need.

    My name is Debby and I'm officially addicted to hoarding glass jars lol!!

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    1. Hi Debby - we are all here for some addiction. LOL!!! I think mine is just using less and saving more.
      I was born in the mid 50's and it was just a way of life in my area. We were wealthy at all (money wise) - some may have said poor. BUT we had a nice home, good food, clothes to wear and lots of love.
      I think we are at a point where the term - "survival of the fittest" may come about if SHTF.
      Think about how many late teens and early 20's men, back in the day went to war and saw and experienced God only knows. Many didn't come home. The same age people now, still live with Mommy and don't work and have no skills. Sad.
      Yep, I think only the strong will survive.

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  8. Yes, we all need to realize how little we really need and get ourselves in a good spot. Speaking of sheets, I have some from the early 70's that we use for drop cloths. Some of the towels are ancient.

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    1. Yes mam - we need to get in a good spot - that is an excellent statement,
      I have towels that are over 30 years old!

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    2. Debby in Kansas weJune 24, 2022 at 11:07 AM

      Old sheets are the best!! We have a couple of country churches nearish to us and linens are always on my radar.
      Firstly, Methodists rock the church rummage sale!! Second, they often get the items from homes where people have lived their entire life. I have bought the most soft and beautiful embroidered pillow cases and tablecloths. One of best finds was a 3 tiered metal tray that was only $10. I believe it was from the 40s. Enamel and chrome, on wheels. They came in white, red, turquoise,etc. Mine is yellow and in immaculate condition. I think it was a service piece, maybe for beverages.

      We got about 5 big sets of towels for wedding gifts and we're still using them!! One set is our guest towels! I have 2 active towels from before that. One is my dorm shower bath sheet from college and the other is a beach towel I bought when I went to the 1984 Olympics. The quality sure was good!

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    3. That speaks volumes about quality! The older stuff holds up so much better and it is still quite useful. My oldest towel we got as a gift before we got married and we married in 1986.
      They sure don't make things like they used to!

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  9. Love this post Cheryl. So many good ideas. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Oh, I like that bear bread recipe. I need to try that with soda water. Yes, there are so many things we can do for ourselves. Even if we can’t garden we can make deals with people who do grow their own. The Mennonite place near us sells whole boxes of produce for $7 per box. It’s a great price.

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    1. There are so many things we can do ourselves. WOW, that is a fantastic price. I would be all over that!

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  11. I have been doing many of these things since a child. Just second nature. Taught to me as a a way of life by my parents and grandparents and then my sweet mother in law. Question...are we passing it on? That is an invaluable gift. Even if it seems like it's on deaf ears. I know I am still having moments when something a grandparent did crosses my memory and I think...yeah, I could be doing that. That same thing seemed silly to me when I was younger. Those of us who are older owe it to the younger generation to keep on keeping on.
    Those comforters you mentioned, Cheryl, brought back memories. When we were first married and had two small children, the house was so cold in the winter. My dear mother in law had a seeing day with me. We pieced random scraps into coverlet tops, used old bed sheets for backing and paper thin worn out old blankets to make covers for all our beds. I was so grateful! How sweet was that! Now, that's really setting the example. She taught me so much and I dearly miss her. What a blessing she was to my family over and over!

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    1. YES, YES, YES! We have to keep preaching it even if it seems they aren't listening - because something may stick and it will help in the future. I hear that all the time - that boom, all at once the kids realize what was being taught.
      What a wonderful memory to hold on to. I sure think many of us had those covers growing up or made them.
      Our elders were such wonderful gifts in our lives.

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  12. Sewing day..my bad! But, in a way it was a seeing day as I saw what little could be turned into something very useful...and I saw her helpfulness and love for us in action.

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  13. It's attitude more than anything else. I'm trying hard to see all as a blessing. Today I stopped at the store to pick up a few things my daughter needed. Not many bargains except for the 1 pound sausage rolls for 99 cents each. I bought 5. They immediately went in the freezer when I got home. That's enough for my husband for almost a year as he has only has sausage once a week for breakfast. I will thaw one when I need it and cook up the whole thing and put the cooked patties back in the freezer. I also recently purchased several packages of bacon so effectively my husband's breakfast meat is covered for 2 years. This doesn't count the random leftover ham from Easter! Lol....

    It might be a small thing but everytime I cook up a sausage patty I'll be reminded the Lord sure looks after me. But I do believe he expects our participation and not just sitting around waiting for a free lunch.

    ~~margaret

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    1. Thank you!!!!! You are so right - we have to help ourselves as well. You were very wise to get the sausage - and having breakfast meat for 2 years is phenomenal! You know at least one meal a day is taken care of.
      It really is the small things - they add up to be so much more. We have to be aware and look after ourselves and others if we can - and listen to God.

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