by Texas Homesteader ~
So many are now practicing voluntary simplicity. They’re trying to do more things themselves. And many are trying to figure out how to provide things for themselves that they used to be able to buy. Sometimes such a drastic change can be overwhelming.
But take a deep breath. Today I’ll share with you the simplest self-sufficiency steps you can take now to begin providing for your own home and family.
These were the easiest steps for me when I first started on the path to Voluntary Simplicity. And if you’re just starting out I think they can help you too.
Save Money On Unavoidable Expenses
There are some things you just have to buy. But there are also easy ways to save money on those necessities. Sometimes it just takes thinking outside the box.
- Get What You Pay For – Are you getting all you paid for, or are you paying more for nothing? This article is eye-opening and can give you a different way of thinking about those expenses you’ve always just paid without thinking about.
- How To Make Ends Meet w/o Corporate Salary – Here is a 2-part article, and there are many tips on making ends meet even without a corporate salary. I’m sure there’s something for everyone in these two posts!
- When Financial Times Get Tough – Another timely article to help you figure things out when you find yourself without much income. Every little bit helps – check out these tips.
- Saving Money On Electricity – It’s more than just ‘turn off unused lights’. This article talks about easy ways to save money on your electric bill that you may not have thought of.
- Rainwater Catchment Systems– Check your local laws to make sure it’s allowed, but it seems that in most areas capturing rainwater is encouraged. Here on the Homestead we do 100% of our outside watering with FREE rainwater. I share the three simple rainwater catchment systems we use.
Stretch Your Groceries
Stop and think about easy ways to feed your family without wasting food. Some of these tips significantly reduce the amount of time spent cooking and cleaning too! (fist-bump!)
- Cook-Once, Eat Twice is my favorite ‘simplify in the kitchen‘ method of cooking. It’s where you cook LOTS of a single entree and freeze the leftovers for future meals. Examples could include filling your oven with LOTS of meatloaves, not just one. Or making many stuffed peppers, ravioli, etc. Then freezing the excess for a later meal. Heat-n-eat convenient.
- Planned Leftovers – Similar to Cook-Once, Eat-Twice but in this case you cook lots of a main ingredient with the plan to use it for a completely different dish on another night. Examples might be making meatloaf one night, then using a portion of that meatloaf for the meat ingredient in spaghetti or quesadillas.
Make What You Used To Buy
This self-sufficiency category can be very easy as well. Following are a few things I make for myself instead of buying. It not only saves money, but it reduces the need to go to the grocery store so often.
- Homemade Yogurt – This was my very first self-sufficiency move decades ago. I was floored to find out how easy it was to make yogurt on the stove-top with no special equipment. Now I typically make Instant Pot Yogurt since it’s even easier.
- Taco Seasoning – I make Tex-Mex meals often. So I make a jar of taco seasoning and keep it in my pantry for Carnitas Tacos, Pulled-Pork Enchiladas, Taco Soup and more.
- Homemade Bread – Many feel there’s just too much time and effort involved in making homemade bread. But there are LOTS of bread recipes that don’t even require kneading. Just mix, rise and bake. And if you have beer in your pantry, you can make Beer Bread without even needing to add yeast! Now that’s truly mix/pour/bake convenience. And it’s not all sandwich bread, try Mix-n-Pour Tortillas or Buttermilk Biscuits for example.
Make Your Own Cleaners
From bathroom cleaner to laundry detergent, there are lots of options out there. I share a few of my favorites here.
- Simple Household Cleaners – What do you use to clean? I used to think each different room and/or surface needed its own special formula cleaner. Now I keep our home clean using a much cheaper & less-toxic method.
- Homemade Laundry Detergent – I’ve used this detergent recipe exclusively for over 10 years now. Some say soap doesn’t clean as well as detergent or doesn’t rinse out of your clothes correctly. But I’ve certainly not experienced that, so I’m assuming they’re not sticking to the 1-2 Tablespoons per load thinking it can’t possibly be enough to clean a full load. But I’ve found it certainly is.
- Laundry Scent Booster – I love to line-dry our clothes, and I love the fresh scent of sunshine it leaves behind. But sometimes you just want a little extra sumpin’ on your cloth napkins & such. So I use this laundry-scent booster from time to time. Bonus? Only TWO ingredients!
- Easy Room Freshener – I have this cute lavender-scented room freshener in our guest bathroom. It was simple to put together and quick to refresh when the scent starts to wane.
- Homemade Carpet Cleaner – I needed something for pet stains on our carpet, but didn’t want to use harsh chemicals. This homemade carpet cleaner is all I use now.
Reduce Or Eliminate Disposables
Years ago I realized that I was buying some things specifically to throw them away. Anything from garbage bags to paper plates & napkins. I’d thought they offered me convenience. As it turns out, it’s not necessarily so.
- A Bidet Can Be An Eco-Win – We bought our bidet before the toilet-paper shortage. But now that toilet paper can be in short supply I’m doubly happy we bought when we did! It can eliminate the need for toilet paper altogether.
- Reducing Household Trash – We’ve been working diligently on reducing the amount of trash our household produces. The zero-waste topics I’ve shared so far have all helped. But check out this article for kitchen-specific tips.
- Paper Napkins In A Paperless Kitchen – Even if you DO need disposable paper napkins, there’s an easy way to get them… for FREE!
Zero-Waste Health & Beauty
Step by step I’m making our health & beauty routines more zero waste. It’s much easier than I thought it would be.
- Homemade Hairspray – Yep, this is the only hairspray I use. It’s a mixture of sugar, water infused with rosemary and a tiny bit of alcohol as a preservative.
- Light & Sheer Face Powder – This sheer face powder is totally adaptable to your skin tone. And it’s made entirely with standard items in your kitchen.
- Zero-Waste Deodorant – I’ve used this deodorant for years now. I’m very pleased with the results. Inexpensive, effective and with much less waste than those commercial deodorants.
- How To Use A Safety Razor – Like many of you, I was afraid I might be more likely to cut myself using a safety razor. I’m happy to say I’ve not found that to be the case and I’ve effortlessly used my vintage safety razor since around 2010.
Grow Your Own Food
This is one of the most enjoyable self-sufficiency tasks in my opinion. Plant a garden. You get healthy food for pennies on the dollar and stay out of the grocery stores too! It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing deal. Plant a few things your family likes to eat.
- 3-Sisters Garden – This is a symbiotic garden strategy that the Native Americans utilized. It only includes three veggies – corn, squash and beans. But each vegetable helps the other. And by helping each other, each vegetable receives benefits as well & grow strong together to produce a crop.
- Growing A Garden Can Be Life Changing – It’s really true – come see the 4 ways growing a vegetable garden can actually change your life. For the BETTER!
- Edible Landscape – Just because a plant offers food doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Incorporate edibles into your regular landscaping for double the benefit. The results can be stunning.
There are many, MANY more ways to flex your self sufficiency muscle. Here at Texas Homesteader I share easy recipes, gardening tips, eco-friendly living and self sufficiency moves and more.
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Other Financial Tips
- When Financial Times Turn Tough Unexpectedly
- Build Financial Security With Less Effort
- A Financial Hit On The Homestead
- Simplify Your Estate – Document These Numbers NOW!
- Thriving Financially Without A Corporate Paycheck
- Make Your Slow Cooker More Efficient
- Is Food Past The Expiration Date Safe To Eat?
- Make A Cute Gift Box With A Repurposed Greeting Card
- MYO Minty Mouthwash
- Repurposing Empty Coffee Canisters
- Keep That Broccoli Fresh
- Don’t Waste Onion Trimmings
- Cleaner Vegetable Chopping
- Using Frozen Water Bottles In The Kitchen
- Don’t Waste It – Free Vegetable Broth
- Make A Cute Dish Carrier From Old Jeans
- MYO Crispy Taco Shells CHEAP
- Paper Napkins In A Paperless Kitchen
- Use ALL Of Your Spray Cleaner
- Quick Coffee Stain Cleaning
…and many MORE!
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