Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

Learn how to start homesteading from scratch with these tips and ease your way into the off the grid, self-reliance lifestyle!

In this article:

Preserve Food with Canning JarsMaster Some Basic SkillsLearn to ConserveStock UpExpand Your First Aid KitStart GardeningHomesteading for Beginners: Your First Step to Survival


Preserve Food with Canning Jars

Preserve Food with Canning Jars | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

A sustainable, self-reliant lifestyle is all about cutting out the waste in your life. Instead of perishable foods going bad, preserving them with some simple canning techniques will cut down on the waste and help you stock up your food supply. Through jarring, canning, preserving, pickling, and other techniques, you can preserve almost anything you could ever want to stay edible and delicious without refrigeration.

Canning food is a great idea for building up your emergency food supply, but it’s also a valuable skill to know in case you’re in the position of needing to go off the grid. This is only one of the many skills you will find helpful as a homesteader, but let’s start with the basics.

Master Some Basic Skills

Master Some Basic Skills | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

With all of the modern conveniences we enjoy, you don’t really need to know how to do many things to get by. If you can’t sew, you go to the mall. You order takeout when you think cooking isn’t your thing. You head straight to the doctor for ailments that could be treated at home with OTCs.

These all work well for the time being, but self-sufficiency is all about being able to provide yourself with everything you might possibly need. This means learning some basic skills to help get you through your day no matter what happens.

Mastering some basic homemaking skills will get you on the right track. Sewing, cooking, and home remedies are a great place to start. Some basic survival skills and gardening know-how are great to know as well. Another key skill to master is the purification of water. Knowledge is power, so you’ll have it easier to maintain self-sufficiency.

Learn to Conserve

Learn to Conserve | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

Using less of everything is a big way to help achieve self-sustainability. Even if you don’t necessarily NEED to cut back now, one day you might. Learning the best ways of doing this is huge for emergency preparedness and a self-reliant lifestyle. Start trying to make do with a little less at a time. Making smaller, easier changes will make you more likely to succeed in the long run.

For example, instead of throwing your food scraps away, use them to regrow food from scraps. Try to make an effort to use a little less water or electricity. Once you learn how to live with just a little bit less and a mind for conservation, your lifestyle will be much more sustainable in the event you need to go off the grid.

Stock Up Stock Up | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self ReliantWater-Food Storage: In Case of Emergency Photo by Food Storage Moms

Think of all of the things you need to make it through a day in your life and how quickly you’d run out of those items if you couldn’t buy them from a store any longer. Whether it’s food, bedding, clothing, tools, or other supplies, having a stock of your essentials is a great start to achieving a more self-sustained lifestyle.

The most pressing of those essentials are food and water. We’ve already covered learning to purify your own water, but keeping a stock of clean water is a still good idea. Figuring out how to create an emergency food supply is a little bit trickier, but follow these tips and you should be well on your way to self-sufficiency and emergency preparedness.

Expand Your First Aid Kit

Expand Your First Aid Kit | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

You probably already have some form of first aid kit around, but are you really ready to deal with all sorts of medical problems, emergencies, and ailments? Building up your emergency preparedness first aid kit is key to the homesteading lifestyle. This first aid kit list will help you ensure you have everything you could possibly need in case you can’t make it to the doctor.

Stocking up with first aid supplies and learning some home remedies will help keep you healthy and homesteading.

Start Gardening

Start Gardening | Homesteading and Sustainability: How To Become Self Reliant

Even if you don’t have much room, even starting a smaller indoor garden can start helping you learn this essential skill for self-sufficiency. For example, this simple indoor vertical herb garden can help you begin learning about creating your own produce. Starting small and slowly expanding will help you learn about gardening without it becoming too overwhelming.

Starting your homestead and learning how to be self-sufficient can seem like impossibly hard goals to achieve. Becoming self-sufficient in food production is such a daunting task that many hesitate to try because they don’t know where to begin. Even starting to grow a few small things is a step in the right direction. With some steady progress, you can be growing your own food in no time! For more tips, check out our Off The Grid Gardening Tips.


Eventually, you’re going to raise livestock as you go full on homesteading. Watch this video from An American Homestead to know how to choose livestock for your homestead:

Learning how to live your life in a sustainable way and being ready to go off the grid at any moment is the ultimate emergency preparedness strategy. We hope we made this undertaking a little bit easier to start with these first steps on the path to self-reliance. So to start your new, sustainable lifestyle, all you need to do is learn to preserve using canning jars, master some basic skills, learn to conserve, stock up, expand your first aid kit, and start learning about gardening.

How are you doing so far with these homesteading survival skills and practices? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!

Up Next: Survival Life’s Comprehensive Checklist For A 72 Hour Survival Kit

For more awesome SHTF survival items, you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!


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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 20, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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