Can it be done? Do we really think we could spend the rest of our life never walking into a big box store?
That is our dream…right there out in the open we want to live WITHOUT Walmart!
As I was making mint tea from our herb garden, scrambling eggs from our hens, and frying potatoes from the garden, I was so proud knowing that our breakfast didn’t come from a store, but right from our own backyard. At the same time I was reviewing our grocery list and dreading the monthly trip into town. I was tired of spending so much of our hard-earned money and needed to push our homestead to be even more self-sufficient.
But what more could we do and where should we start?
As with everything else, it started with pen and paper. We wrote down everything we already are doing. Then we made a list of the things we typically buy, and then made a list of things we can learn how to do.
Here are our lists….
What we already do:
- We raise our own hens for eggs
- We raise meat chickens
- We raise feeder pigs for pork
- We raise a bull calf for beef
- We raise meat rabbits
- We have three bee hives to supply us with fresh raw honey throughout the year
- We plant 1/2 acre garden to provide us with fresh vegetables
- We can over 200+ jars of produce each year – lots of spaghetti sauce
- We pick gallons of blackberries each year to make wine and pie filling
- We burn wood to keep us warm in the winter
- We raise alpacas for yarn for spinning
- We make our own bread
- We cook everything from scratch
- We make our own cleaning supplies
- We buy raw milk from a local dairy and make butter, yogurt and ice cream
- We save heirloom seeds
- We make our own hand lotion, face cream, and lip balm
- We grow all our garden plants from seed
- We mend all of our own clothes
- We compost kitchen scraps and animal manure
- We hunt wild game ( not me …hubby)
- We smoke our own meat
- We planted fruit trees
- We make dog treats
What we normally buy:
- Baking Supplies; flour, sugar, yeast, oil, shortening
- Pasta, beans & rice
- Health & Beauty Supplies; toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, hand soap, toilet paper
- Clothes & shoes
- Baby chicks in the spring
- Pet food
- Grain for the farm animals
- Light bulbs, batteries, candles
Once we wrote down a list of the things we generally buy, we were able to compile a list of the things we could work on to shorten our buy list. Thanks to the Internet we were able to find great tutorials on some of the items on our work list.
What we need to work on:
- How to render lard
- Grow and press sunflowers for oil
- How to make soap using wood ashes and animal fat
- How to make shampoo
- How to make toothpaste
- How to weave cloth
- How to make candles
- How to grind wheat for baking
- How to make yeast
- Learn to make pasta
- Learn how to hatch eggs
- Find and use alternative energy sources – solar panels
- Learn to dye wool
- Learn how to graft fruit trees
- Grow grain for the farm animals
We do admit that there are still things we will need to buy, but our goal is to provide for ourselves as much as humanly possible. Will we ever be able to make the steel toe boots my husband needs for work, or a zipper needed to repair a jacket? No, but we can take control of our lives and have the satisfaction in knowing we have made the choice to live without relying on big box stores as much as we can!
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