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Book Review: The CIG to Self-Sufficient Living

Updated on May 30, 2011

Are you ready to learn how to enjoy a more self-sufficient lifestyle? Whether you are looking for ways to implement living choices and practices that are more frugal than your current lifestyle or if you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint (or both!), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Self-Sufficient Living by Jerome D. Belanger is packed with useful information and ideas that you may want to implement.

About The CIG to Self-Sufficient Living

The CIG to Self-Sufficient Living was written with the needs of individuals and families that want to learn how they can begin to change their lifestyle to one that is more self-sufficient lifestyle than the way they currently live. Whether you are looking to become fully self-sufficient or if you want to start out by identifying a few small changes that you can make, you’ll likely find this book to be a valuable resource.

The book is divided into six different parts, plus a glossary that provides definitions of key terminology used throughout the book and that people who want to follow a self-sufficient lifestyle need to know and understand.

Understanding Self-Sufficiency

The first part of the book is called “A Rational Approach to Self-Sufficient Living” and provides information about what self-sufficiency really means paired with useful information that can help readers decide how to get started on their path to improved self-sufficiency.

Self Sufficiency and Food

The next several sections focus on various elements of a self-sufficient lifestyle. The second section addresses changes that can be made in the kitchen, providing information on scratch cooking, food conservation, appropriately stocking the pantry and suggestions for making items that people tend to feel have to be store-bought (like dairy products, pasta, and much more.

The third section of the book focuses on becoming a self-sufficient gardener and includes information on the fundamentals of growing vegetables, soil preparation, saving seeds, necessary tools and more. There’s even information about how to find foods that grow wild.

The fourth section focuses on meat, milk and eggs, providing information about raising dairy animals and backyard chickens as well as raising some types of small livestock as sources of meat.

Self Sufficiency and Housing

The fifth section focus on housing, providing information and ideas about self-sufficient shelter. It provides information on energy and water conservation as well as suggestions for home heating in a manner that is as self-sufficient as possible.

Planning for a Self Sufficient Future

The final section of the book focuses on making a plan for the future and encourages readers to reflect on the past that brought them to where they are today in terms of making plans for the future.

Learn About Self-Sufficient Living

If you’re ready to start educating yourself about what is involved in pursuing self-sufficiency as a lifestyle choice, this book is a must-read. While it’s up to you to decide what changes you are willing and able to make, reading this book can certainly help you consider the available alternatives.


Thanks to Alpha Publishing, a member of Penguin Group USA, for providing me with a review copy of this book.


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  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

    Years ago we were more self sufficient for economic reasons. We grew our own vegetables, preserved fruit, hunted for venison and got milk from our goats. It saved money and the benefit was that we ate healthy, organic food.

    Somehow our lifestyle evolved away from self-sufficiency. Now the time is right to move that way again. This sounds like a really good book to provide some inspiration.