Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Top Five Ways to Be Self-Sufficient and Save Money

Today Kirsten Cavaliere is writing a guest post for Homesteading On The Internet. It is the first time I have had a guest post on my blog. She has some good ideas for living in these tough times. Seems like it keeps getting worse every time I read the news. ~ katlupe

As food, oil, gas, and other resources rise in cost, more and more Americans are taking an interest in learning to become self-sufficient and save much needed money. There are a lot of simple, clever, and creative ways to rely less on others to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

1. Grow Your Own Food

You don’t have to have a large plot of land, a big yard, or experience gardening to grow your own food to feed your family. There is wealth of free information on planting techniques for a small garden in your back yard, or even container garden inside.

Try asking lots of questions to workers in greenhouses or nurseries when you shop for supplies. There are also a variety of forums where thousands of homesteaders are ready to field your questions about maintaining a small garden. Keep trying, and you’ll have fresh, organic produce for you and your family to enjoy! When you harvest, eat all you can, then freeze or can the rest to eat during the winter months.

2. Sew Your Own Clothing

This is a great way to take up a fun, new hobby, save money, and be more self-sufficient all at the same time. Sewing even an article of clothing from scratch can be challenging, especially for beginners. But, even beginners can easily learn to mend or patch clothing to make it last longer, hem up you own clothes, attach new buttons, make curtains to cover windows, oven mitts, pillows, or other fashion accessories.

Sewing is not just a way to save money, but could also be a way to bring in some extra part time income. If you sell some of your sewing handiwork or services you could find some extra breathing room in your finances.

3. Become ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms. Fix It’

Fixing your home or your car can be a huge expense that can take a bundle out of your budget. Why depend on someone else to fix everything for you? Most people have tools just laying around the house that are only rarely used in a pinch. You don’t have to be an expert mechanic or handyman; you just have to be willing to learn the skills to fix whatever is needed.

There are many small tasks that anyone can do to maintain their vehicle and home. There are repair manuals for every type of car available, and there are books about rudimentary home repair at most libraries for free.

4. Learn to Cook From Scratch

Cooking from scratch is not just cheaper and more self-sufficient, but if you use the right materials it is also healthier and free of any harmful preservatives or chemicals. There is joy to be had in producing something delicious and healthy that you and your family can consume and feel good about.

5. Fight For Your Debt Freedom

As the saying goes, “the borrower is slave to the lender,” and until you become debt free you will not truly be self-sufficient. Those who strive to live frugally can use the money they save and channel it towards paying off their debt.

Try calling your creditors and asking for lower interest rates. If you’ve paid on time they are likely to lower them or offer a faster repayment plan so you can get debt free sooner. If you have multiple, high interest debts, then research a debt consolidation or credit counseling service and see if they can help you.
Written by Kirsten Cavaliere of  DebtConsolidation.com.
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