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Self-Sustainability

Updated on April 17, 2016
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The last couple of years, living has become more and more difficult. Forget luxuries, what about just being able to put a roof over your families head's or the ability to feed your loved ones? With the rise of two parent income homes due to the necessity of our current economic situation, why is it so difficult for a family to keep their proverbial head above water?

Was it always this difficult for families to survive? I know my father grew up in a very poor family. There were seven children, and both of his parents suffered from alcoholism. At one point in their childhood, his two middle brothers had only one pair of pants between them. One brother went to the a.m. kindergarten class and the other attended the p.m. class. If the a.m. brother soiled his jeans, the p.m. brother could not attend school that day.

My father has told me stories of teachers taking pity on him, and buying him school clothes and shoes. My mother grew up in an alcoholic single parent home with one brother and the occasional step father or boyfriend. She has told me stories of picking fruit as a primarily and sole source of daily nutrition. So maybe, it is possible that we do not have it as hard as the last generation.

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I always contended as a child, that I would have more someday, and my children would not go without. They would not have to pick fruit to survive, or share a pair of pants. I think that I am doing a better job, but is it enough?

Childhood imagination, filled with magic of the anticipation of the future life that one will have, is sometimes dampened with the overwhelming realization that managing a household is a much more difficult feat then one could have ever dreamed. I remember thinking, and voicing to the parental figures, just wait till I am a grown-up. There were so many ways that I was going to improve upon my foundation. I cannot help but thinking now, can someone just throw me a bone?

I spent ten years as a single parent, because my first husband decided that having a family was a bigger responsibility then he wanted to have. So the kids and I were always in survival mode. The economy has affected many people negatively. Many families across the US are struggling and living in the same condition, I had become accustomed to. It has come time to do life differently, “If we continue to do what we have always done, we are going to get what we always got” (unknown).

Start a Home Based Business

  • What are you passionate about?
  • How can you turn your passion into profit?

A home based business means low or no overhead, tax benefits, making your own schedule, and additional income. Do you know anyone who has a home based business that you could talk to about the benefit's, and could help provide you with ideas and resources? It's time to do things different, take a risk, and maybe change your life.

Ways to save money:

The “experts” will tell you to eat at home as often you can, but what if you are already doing that? Growing and canning your own food can make eating at home even more viable.

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Become a Gardner

First, plant a garden being resourceful.

You can collect discarded bed frames to create the garden boarders.

Recycle food containers that you would typically throw away.

Poke holes in your containers, and add potting soil.

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Composting

Research composting. Composting can be completed by saving scrap’s of food, or by using worms. Compost produces healthier crops by adding nutrients to the plants while depositing moisture in the soil. Other added benefits of composting are reduction in landfill waste, decreased costs spent on chemical fertilizers, and is another way to cut-back on chemical digestion.

Water, Networking, The Barter System

Water your plants: You can collect your own rain water, and use a screen to cover your chosen, clean and chemical free containers.

Network: find other people who are growing their own food in your area for tips and pointers. Join a gardening club.

The Barter system: if you have an excess of a particular seed, trade it with someone for something you need.

Food Canning

Some Personal Control Regained

The most devastating part of the uncertainty of the economy is the lack of personal control each American family feels. Growing and canning food gives some of the control back, and provides opportunities to connect with our ancestral farming roots.

Food Canning

The benefits of food canning not only include savings, but also promotes a healthier life style. When you can your own food, you will have the control of knowing what you are eating. No chemicals or additives.

· Do not use dated canning recipes, 2000 or newer

· Do not double up your canning recipes

· Do not substitute the called for ingredient

· Use canning salt when salt is required for the recipe

· Do not use fruit that is too ripe

· Label and date your jars, and use within the dated year

Some Additional Ways to Save Money

1. Lose the Land line. Cell phone carriers like Straight-Talk can reduce your phone bill to $30.00 a month for limited minutes, and $45.00 for unlimited with data.

2. Use your library, check out books, and video's. Use their internet and printers when needed. The standard charge for printing or copies range from .10 cents to .15 cents.

3. Sell your junk, "one man's junk is another man's treasure!"

4. Be thrifty, by second hand. You can get a lot of great merchandise in thrift stores, even named brands

5. Shop after the season is over you can save 75% on merchandise

6. Capitalize on your creativity, make presents instead of buying from a store.

7. Instead of buying new reading material, games, or movies- swap them with your friends.

8. Barter when possible. If you have something someone else needs, trade tehm for something you need.

9. Provide a service to someone instead of buying a gift. People like to get something, and you get to spend extra time with them, or they with you.

10. Invest in a deep freezer, and stock up on meat when it is on sale, and or learn to hunt.

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    • k2jade31 profile image
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      Kimberly Shelden 5 years ago from Idaho

      DearBandit, thank you for reading, the vote, and the kind comments. I think life seems harder because when your a child, you see life through a child's eye's. You do not know how difficult it is to pay bills, and be responsible for other life's. I think as a mother or father you worry so much about being able to give and provide. All we can do is keep trying to be and do, and have. Take care,

      Kimberly

    • DearBandit profile image

      DearBandit 5 years ago

      I was thinking the same thing not too long ago. I did not grow up in a rich family, but I did not ever feel poor when I was growing up. I think that now and days it is a lot different because I did not want an I phone, lab top, or anything high fashion or high tec... Well maybe my own phone in my room, anyways that stuff was not around when I was a kid. We did have a garden growing up, and I am the youngest of 7, so a lot of hand me downs. I think the pressure is different now for kids. Or maybe it is the same, just in a different perspective. I do not have any children, but I do know people how have kids, and they tell me the demands of what their kids want, and how if they do not have the latest “thing” then they get picked on in school. I thought that was what American kids went thou.

      Then I was watching a T.V show, and to be honest I was really shocked at how many people cannot afford to feed their family, due to job loss, or cut backs, ex cetera, and how a lot of children are growing up with not enough nutrition due to lack of food. And this was happening in America.

      Some people may say, well stop having children, or do not have children at all. But life happens, and sometimes things can happen in life that it can make you feel like you have hit a brick wall, but you just have to keep trying your best and do everything that you can, and I think that your hub will be great for a lot of people to read, even if they do not have children, so I will be e-mailing your story around.

      You gave a lot of info on how to save money; and how to use a lot of good resources. You posted a lot of great ideas. Voted up!!

      P.s you are a strong & great mother to be doing this for your children keep it up!

    • k2jade31 profile image
      Author

      Kimberly Shelden 5 years ago from Idaho

      Ahhh thank you, that was a super nice thing to say, and you have no idea how much I needed to hear that today!!! Thank you reading, and making my day~

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      You have good writing ability, I have no doubt you will be a winner in life! Keep up the great Hubs.

    • k2jade31 profile image
      Author

      Kimberly Shelden 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you so much for your thoughts

    • dialogue profile image

      dialogue 5 years ago

      The above hub has good information to know and learn. I like this hub.

    • k2jade31 profile image
      Author

      Kimberly Shelden 5 years ago from Idaho

      Thank you for reading and commenting~

    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 5 years ago

      Interesting and useful hub.