Saturday, January 21, 2017

Frugal Living & Self-Sufficiency Skills ~ Free Printable Checklist

"Take stock of the skills and knowledge you may need in a crisis. A working knowledge in areas such as gardening, food preparation, first aid, sewing, home repair, and auto maintenance will never be wasted. Acquiring those skills will help you confront adversity without panic..."
by Kathy Harrison

Welcome to day 6 in our ode this week to the Back to Basics Living Bundle with less than 36 hours left! Frugal living and self-sufficiency go hand-in-hand in my eyes because a frugal lifestyle is one where you do most of the things in life yourself (which makes you quite self-sufficient)! And the more I contemplate these topics, I see that they are also entwined with preparedness!  Remember the post we shared this week where Melissa Norris wrote that "being prepared is a mixture of skills, knowledge, self-sufficiency, and good old-fashioned work"? Well...

With that being said, I think the common factor in all three of these prudent principles (frugal living, self-sufficiency and preparedness) is a knowledge of skills and not necessarily just a stockpile of stuff! While provisions are excellent and still quite necessary, they can be destroyed in different catastrophic events. However, old-fashioned skills remain with you and are an invaluable tool. They are the gift that keeps on giving so to speak.

In the practical preparedness book that I am currently gleaning (Just in Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens), the author also states how skills are a blessing and shares a list of skills for independence. I would also consider them frugal living tools! I have included some of her ideas as well as some of my own in the following lists as something to aspire to. The printable version is shared at the bottom of the post should you like to add it to your preparedness binder.

Learn how to (and remember, if you can just learn HOW to do something, that is sometimes all that is necessary for a certain skill. It doesn't mean you are a slave to it for the rest of your life but the knowledge can be a blessing one day. It may be wise to document the procedures and place instructions that you will understand in your preparedness binder should a future need arise.):
  • purify water and store water properly
  • perform first aid and CPR
  • garden (both autumn and summer seasons if possible)
  • utilize cold storage techniques (root cellars and/or basement preservation knowledge)
  • heat with wood 
  • forage for wild food (learn to identify edible weeds and plants and make meals with them)
  • cook from scratch
  • cook meals outdoors (without propane)
  • dutch oven cooking (this is an art in itself and is useful over a campfire)
  • cook meals with solar energy (make or purchase solar cooker)
  • wash and dry clothes without electricity
  • can food (both water-bath canning and pressure canning)
  • dehydrate food and herbs
  • ferment foods (this is highly nutritious and a way to store food short-term without electricity)
  • make your own basic dairy products (cheese, yogurt, butter, etc.)
  • bake bread (sourdough would be even more nutritious and self-sustaining)
  • cook from your pantry
  • prepare a pantry (store food properly for long-term)
  • live alternatively without appliances/electricity (aka back up appliance plans)
  • grow, make, store and learn to use herbal medicines
  • make your own cleaning products
  • sew (eliminate paper products and make re-usable cloth counterparts, mend clothing, etc.)
  • grow fruit trees
  • make candles (preferably from beeswax or tallow -- something you harvest yourself)
  • make soap
  • save seeds
  • propagate plants
  • make your own bath and body products
  • fish
  • hunt (large and small game)
  • survive in the wilderness (set up shelter, a campfire, etc.)
  • get out of debt/live within your means

If you have land, you can add these to your list:
  • raise chickens for meat (and learn to butcher yourselves)
  • raise laying hens
  • raise and milk dairy cow/goats
  • raise sheep for meat or wool
  • raise beef (and learn to butcher yourself and render your own tallow, etc.) 
  • tan hides 
  • beekeeping (oh to harvest your own beeswax and honey!)
  • harvest wood and keep stockpile
Extra credit crafts to learn:
  • spinning
  • weaving
  • hooked rugs
  • braided rugs
  • quilting 
  • crochet
  • knitting
  • embroidery
  • woodworking
  • flower drying/pressed flowers
  • basketry
  • distill herb and flower waters

I also included a peak into our pantry in this post as I consider pantry building a special skill as well! A pantry is a huge culmination of the old fashioned skills we are discussing! A pantry is more than canned goods in our home. It is a fermentation laboratory. It is full of dehydrated produce and herbs (both culinary and medicinal). It is our home apothecary filled with our handcrafted tinctures, tonics, herbal oils and salves. There are handmade cleaning products and sundries. It is full of homemade mixes and seasonings and even aging cheese. There are many skills that one can develop which increases the inventory of the pantry for pennies! In essence, the pantry is your own private grocery store of provisions making it a large part of self-sufficiency.

I am not suggesting to learn all these skills or to learn them overnight (but perhaps a yearly goal for some of the important ones). I have included a printable checklist for you to place in your preparedness binder as a record. I think it would be satisfying to check off the skills that would be valuable to your lifestyle and circumstances as you learn them. I also think it would be fun to see what you already know how to do right now and check them off! Do you have any to add?

I think it is also important to mention that you needn't learn all these skills yourself! Show the family your checklist and see who would be interested in learning each skill themselves. Then, take a trip to the library or your Back to Basics Living Bundle and begin learning! For instance, in our home, I am in charge of food preservation (pickling, canning, fermenting, drying, kefir-making, kombucha making and so forth). My daughter is involved with the animal husbandry, sourdough and cheese-making. My husband plants the fields and vegetable garden. The butchering of meat is a family affair and we all pitch in. Your family can be one team unit of self-sufficiency/frugal living experts as well! In fact, the larger your family, the larger your expertise can be!

"Although you can't purchase skills in things like first aid as easily as you can purchase a box of bandages, you can purchase or borrow books and take classes. In fact, I would consider a reference library an invaluable preparedness tool."
by Kathy Harrison

With all this being said, the Back to Basics Living Bundle includes many valuable resources in these areas of frugal living, preparedness, self-sufficiency and pantry-building that I would like to share (before the super sale ends in 36 hours!):

These resources are packed with printable charts, checklists, menu-planners, preservation planners, guides, to-do lists, records and labels to fill up your homemaking and homesteading binders!

There are also plenty of how to can, dehydrate, pickle, ferment and even cook with your food storage resources.

I shared earlier in the week how "A Cabin Full of Food" (shared above) can teach you how to cook meals from your homestead pantry with basic farm foods you already have!

And there is another favorite resource -- "The Complete Guide to Using, Laundering, and Sewing Reusable Cloth" that shares some excellent tutorials to help you save money and be more sustainable! If you liked our un-paper towel tutorial, then you will love this Ebook!

There are also some frugal living resources! Grow Your Own Money Tree is an e-book with companion excel file that includes everything you need to know to strategize, grow, and track your income.

Six Dollar Family (shown below) -- "From Six Dollars to Six Figures is your toolbox of frugal living ideas, budget saving advice, financial crisis management and more to arm yourself with the info that you need to go from six dollars…to six figures! Six Dollar Family gives you the tips and tricks that you will need to take your family’s budget to the next level. Tried and true, these tips are what you’ve been waiting for to help kick your savings up a notch, knock your budget back into place and take hold of your money!"

You will find a few foraging resources (including a foraging cookbook) in the bundle as well as gardening resources! In fact, iyou live in USDA Zone 9b or higher, the month-by-month planting calendar is for you (shared below).

Grow More Food is an online  e-course "which provides wisdom from veteran growers—the wisdom you need to start or continue a successful growing journey. This course includes 12 sessions from expert farmers and gardeners. It’s over 17 hours of training! Plus, you'll get detailed training session outlines with time stamps to help you find parts of the videos that you'd like to review again in the future easily."

I wouldn't be me if I didn't mention that there is also a gardening therapy coloring book in the mix as well! How fun!

There are many homesteading books in general in the bundle which range from 8 Steps to Homestead Beginnings to raising chickens for various purposes.

There are also some resources in off-grid living that looks very interesting! 

And the list goes on to include some simplifying your life books and small space living inspiration...

There are lovely homemaking resources as well to help you get organized as well as a planner and so forth!

And finally, 

Your Simple Home Handbook By Elsie Callender

"Are you tired of too much stuff? Your Simple Home Handbook is for you! It will help you cut the clutter and actually use and enjoy what you own. It will equip you to craft a beautiful, inviting home without spending a penny. If you recognize that “more” doesn't always mean “better” and you’re willing to be a little counter-cultural for the sake of breathing space in their life, then you’ve picked the right book. Ready to declutter?"


Molly Green 1-yr Membership By

Molly Green is your go-to for all things HOME -- everything HOMEsteading, HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, and HOMEindustry. This 1 year membership includes:
- Over 60 digital back issues of Molly Green Magazines
- All Molly Green related eBooks including several cookbooks and $5 meal plans
- 14 Molly Green topical Bite-Sized™ Guides with a new one EVERY month
- Custom Homestead Planners for gardening, cleaning, meal prep and more
- Over 1,000 streaming videos on-demand
- And more perks, privileges and discounts being added exclusively for Members

Well, I think that sums up most of the skills we discussed today! For your free printable SKILLS checklist, click the image link below!

P.S. You will find the Back to Basics Living Bundle at 95% off the retail price for only 36 more hours. The total value of the bundle is over $800 but is sold special in this sale for $29.97.

What is a bundle you may wonder? It is basically a collection of related Ebooks, online magazines, e-courses (online classes), video downloads and helpful planners/printables. You pay a single fee for access to the entire lot and then you may download it to as many computers and other electronic devices as you wish in your household!

Special features of the bundle package include:
  • 69 Ebooks
  • 1 Year Subscription to Molly Green Magazine -- All things home! (retails for $29)
  • 5 E-courses & subscriptions (Including a Gardening, Soap-making & Sourdough course!)
  • Homeschool Planner
  • Homeschool Unit Studies
  • 3 month membership to School House Teachers Website (Featuring 300 courses for your entire family brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine including an educational video streaming library!) 
  • Pantry and Food Preservation Planner
  • Garden Therapy Coloring Book
  • Preparedness Guides
  • Proverbial Homemaker Planner
  • Your Simple Home Handbook
  • Menu Planners
  • And much more!
If you are interested, you can purchase a copy HERE and all purchases through our link will help to support this blog. Thank you kindly!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them). 

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