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3 Things You Must Do To Increase Self-Sufficiency

These are my top three things you must do in order to increase self-sufficiency this coming year. Don’t put off being more resilient to whatever the year may bring. Start taking back control of your life by implementing these must-do tasks.

A pulled back shot of a large garden with a man standing in it.

The past two years have been hard on a lot of families. I think it really exposed to a lot of us where our weaknesses are when it comes to being a little bit more self-sufficient and a lot more resilient, including financially resilient.

It got me thinking about the things people can do to increase their self-sufficiency this coming year and here they are…

Pantry staple items sitting on a counter.

Stock Up Your Pantry

I don’t mean to go out and buy freeze-dried food or items that your family won’t eat. What I mean is to stock up on the food your family eats all the time.

Whether things get crazy in the coming year, as we’ve seen the past two years, or if food gets difficult to find because grocery store shelves are empty and supply chains continue to be backed up, having extra food on hand is a necessity.

Or maybe you or a loved one experience a health crisis and need to have food stocked up because you don’t have an income or have no time to go grocery shopping. These things happen and they don’t give warning. Having a well-stocked pantry means you won’t have the added stress of feeding your family during the already tough time.

Buy a Little Extra

You can do this by buying a few extra of those shelf-stable items every time you go to the grocery store. Here are the seven pantry staples I’m NEVER without, and I usually have at least a year’s supply on hand.

You should never be eating the food you just brought home from the grocery store (when it comes to shelf-stable items), but you should continually be replenishing those stores and building them up until you have a month or even a year’s worth of that item.

Does your family like pasta? Buy two extra packs of pasta and a couple of extra jars of sauce. Then next time you go to the grocery store, buy two more extra and start to add those to the back of the pantry, keeping the “oldest” food at the front so it gets eaten first.

This may mean getting creative for finding places to store food in your house, but trust me, it’s worth it.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly your food storage can increase by just doing a little bit extra each time.

A woman standing behind a counter full of produce waiting to be preserved.

Grow a Garden & Preserve

If you can grow something yourself, do it. If you can go to the Farmer’s Market and buy some food in bulk to preserve it yourself, fantastic.

You can grow a lot of food in a small space by growing in a vertical tower garden. Now is the time to start learning how to garden with these gardening basics including the 10 common gardening mistakes. Start planning your spring garden, purchasing the right seeds for your garden, and even starting some seeds indoors.

It’s really easy to say, “Yeah, I’m going to do that, that’s a great idea” but it’s another thing to start actually living this way as a practice.

So this can be your year to start taking food production and storage really seriously. Start looking into bulk purchasing foods. We love Azure Standard and they’re now delivering food to the entire U.S.

A stack of pie pumpkins in the corner of a kitchen.

Grow Calorie-Rich Crops

If you’re going to grow a garden, consider growing more calorie-dense foods like pumpkins, beans, squash, corn, and root vegetables. These foods will go a lot further in helping you survive if it gets hard to get to the grocery store.

Not only are they high in calories, but many of them store themselves in a cool area of the home without additional preservation needed. You can also learn to pressure can pumpkins the easy way.

Man and woman walking arm in arm by a river.

Take Care of Your Health

There’s no easy way to say this… if you’re overweight, take this year to lose the weight. If you have health problems, get them taken care of. If you have dental issues, don’t put them off any longer.

You need to be in the top shape of your life and putting off important medical things for later just isn’t going to service this year. We all saw over the past couple of years what happened when people needed elective procedures done and they couldn’t get them scheduled.

So don’t put it off. Start exercising, lose that weight, and get all caught up with your health.

Be sure to also prioritize and boost your immune system. This will just help us stay strong no matter what comes our way.

Eat fermented foods with every single meal (we love simple homemade sauerkraut, lacto-fermented carrots, and homemade kombucha)! It doesn’t have to be much, even just a spoonful will help.

Use elderberry syrup to help ward off an illness at the first signs. Drink homemade immune-boosting bone broth to improve gut health. And make homemade herbal remedies to help when illnesses do set in. They’re much healthier for the body and don’t do damage, mask symptoms, or cause side-effects like most over-the-counter medications.

Kids huddled in a circle bundled up outside.

BONUS: Create Community Around You

We can’t be strong by ourselves. We need our faith, we need our family, and we need a community around us.

It is so important to invest the time into these relationships to make sure you have the support system you need all the way around you. Not just in your home, but also in your community.

These are the things that I feel will make you a much more self-sufficient and more resilient person in the new year. Did I miss anything? What would you add? Head on over to the YouTube video and leave your comment there! We can’t wait to read what you’re doing to create self-sufficiency and resiliency this coming year.

A man and wife smiling.

Welcome to Homesteading Family!

Josh and Carolyn bring you practical knowledge on how to Grow, Cook, Preserve and Thrive on your homestead, whether you are in a city apartment or on 40 acres in the country. If you want to increase your self-sufficiency and health be sure to subscribe for helpful videos on gardening, preserving, herbal medicine, traditional cooking and more.

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