Simple Steps to Self-Sufficiency
Forget a dated image of hippies living off of the land and rejecting modern society – self-sufficiency is now cooler than ever. Becoming less reliant on the shops is a fantastic way to save money, and can help to reduce your household outgoings at a time when prices are on the rise. It can be easier than you think to achieve self-sufficiency at home, and by following a few simple steps, you could soon begin to see a reduction in your bills.
A self-sufficient lifestyle is not only kinder to your wallet, but also kinder to the environment, so read on for a few ideas of how you could embrace this greener, more affordable way of life.
Grow Your Own
Growing their own produce is one of the first steps which most self-sufficiency converts take in their journey towards a greener lifestyle. A simple combination of seeds, soil and sunshine, plus a dash of patience and plenty of watering, could soon see you establishing your very own mini-farm in your garden. However tiny your outside space is, simply set aside a small plot of land, purchase a few seeds or young plants and start a green revolution in your garden.
You can even join the ‘grow your own’ movement without a garden, as herbs and many smaller vegetables are perfect for planting in pots on a patio or balcony, or alternatively you could join one of the growing number of community gardens which are springing up as quickly as seedlings. Once harvest time comes around, there will be no need to stock up on produce at the supermarket, as whatever the season, you will have your own supply of fresh, free produce.
Waste Not, Want Not
When embracing self-sufficiency, one of the most valuable things to learn is to see the things that are usually considered as waste, as useful, renewable products. Your new vegetable plot will need watering regularly to keep it growing nicely, but there is no need to turn on the tap or hook up your hosepipe to give your plants a drink. A water butt is the best way to turn rainy days to your advantage, and can be purchased cheaply from any garden centre or hardware store. This is the best way to enjoy a reliable supply of water throughout the year, without spending a penny.
Once you have harvested your crop of vegetables and enjoyed them as part of a delicious meal, you will be left with scraps and peelings to dispose of. A compost bin or compose heap is the ideal place to turn this waste into high-quality soil which can be used on your garden to keep your next crop of fruit and veg growing healthily.
Make Do and Mend
Cheap, mass-produced products make it easy to replace damaged clothing or appliances. Whether you have an electrical appliance which could be easily repaired with a little patience and know-how, or an outfit which no longer fits, by investing time, rather than money, you could easily fix a broken product or transform any object into something new. Not only will this save you money, but getting creative will also give you a great sense of satisfaction, particularly when you see something which you though was useless transformed into a beautiful or functional object.
Brew Your Own Beer
Socialising is an expensive business. As staying in becomes the new going out, why not bring the best bits of your local bar to your own home by setting up a simple micro-brewery? Brewing your own beer is sure to make your home a popular night spot for your friends, and means you will never again have to worry about the price of a pint. You could even use your favourite fruit from your garden and mix up a batch of fresh summer cider.
Self-sufficiency is easy when you know how, so what are you waiting for? Join the growing number of people who are saving money and going green at home by following these simple steps.
Hayley Francis wrote this Guest Blog on behalf of Saving Energy Online. If you are serious about self-sufficiency, why not try their solar panels? They are a great way to enjoy lower household bills whilst reducing your reliance on conventional energy.
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