Keys to Self-Sufficency: living on less

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One of the hard steps in the road to self- sufficiency, is learning to live with less. At least for a while. Less luxuries, less fluff, less stuff. As you move towards being more self-sufficient, things you own need more purpose and use. 


Many times, people downsize their home, or move to an acreage. This creates the opportunity to sell excess furniture, clothes, appliances. Selling excess give you the advantage of a little more cash to invest in your new property (animals, garden, orchard, etc.). 


This also applies to monthly budget and consumable purchases. Learning to stretch products or make something better and cheaper than you can buy is a good skill to learn. A freezer is well worth the investment as it allows you to buy food in bulk and store it. Learning to can, allows you to preserve your food all year, greatly reducing the winter grocery budget. 


Shopping around is also a good tip for stretching your dollar. Small town local is not always more expensive than the big city or Walmart. Watch for sales and buy then. I can usually get vegetables at the local grocery store (town of <500 people) for close to the same price as Walmart, once I factor in the fuel I would burn getting there (45 miles away). 


It is well worth it to shop around for all your products: food and home products. Walmart is not always the cheapest. There are many online markets now that have better or as good of prices and ship to you. 


Auctions and secondhand stores are also excellent places to find great deals. Items don’t have new. You can find gently used items with a lot of life left for a fraction of the prices. Cast Iron skillets are something I would prefer to buy second hand. They are already well seasoned. Just last year I bought two 8 inch that were in excellent condition for $5 each at a local auction. 


Farm equipment and supplies (posts, fence, wood) in general is something that can be found at farm auctions and stored until needed if the price is right. The biggest thing is learning the price new and the value to determine if a purchase is a good deal or not. 


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