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Novembers River
December 4th, 2007, 02:18 PM
What would you all consider first, or baby, steps towards acheiving a simple, more sufficient, life?

My husband and I are definitely in the beginning stages. I've been reading about self-sufficiency, homesteading and simple living for the past couple of years but we have only recently began implementing aspects of these lifestyles.

So here are a few of our ideas for first baby steps towards a better life!

1. Cook at home. We used to be (and still are some) terrible about wasting money eating out. If you can believe it we had 2 months last year where we spent ~950.00 on restaurants. Ouch.

2. Wear your clothes out! We've actually always been good about this. Neither of us are clothes-aholics and both tend to wear clothes until they are truly worn out (frayed, stained, etc).

3. Reuse worn out clothes. They make excellent cleaning rags and oil rags.

4. Make a budget and stick to it. Harder than it seems at times.

So what were/are your first steps?

Libris
December 4th, 2007, 09:25 PM
Definitely what you've listed. Working in a budget is key. I think living the mindset is the most important thing; being frugal, not wasting, repurposing things to fit a new use- these are really important self-reliance skills.

As the old saying goes- Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do or Do Without.

Also, I think reading is crucial. Learning crafts- gardening, knitting, crocheting, canning and other food storage methods, mending, small appliance repair etc... The more you can make, repair or grow yourself, the more self reliant you'll be able to be. Talking to people who are living the lifestyle you're working towards is of great help too. I think in many cases, learning a new skill from another person is much easier than learning from a book.

It's also important not to burn yourself out on self-reliance; not to jump in to deep and drown. Do what you can at your own pace and have fun.

Tanya
December 4th, 2007, 09:25 PM
on the clothing... I buy mine mostly used...and try to buy only natural fibers, when they wear out... they make better rags than synthetics.. also.. old fashioned laundry soaps work better on natural fibers than synthetics... finally... when you throw out a rag... a natural fiber rag can go in the compost heep.

I would also point out.. i have the most fu/interesting wardrobe of anyone I know.. silks from Thailand, linen suits, cotton batiks... etc..... all for the price of sniffing around yard sales and goodwill...and I cry no tears when a shirt or skirt bites the dust.... it fits pretty well with animals, kids and barbed wire fencing.

Tanya
December 4th, 2007, 09:27 PM
a baby step most folks seem to miss.

Pack your lunch

Libris
December 4th, 2007, 09:28 PM
a baby step most folks seem to miss.

Pack your lunch

Definitely! You can save yourself a bundle that way.

Novembers River
December 4th, 2007, 10:02 PM
It's also important not to burn yourself out on self-reliance; not to jump in to deep and drown. Do what you can at your own pace and have fun.

Absolutely. I consider myself in the baby steps and as much as I'd love to go whole hog into everything, I KNOW that I'll burn myself and then take a big step backwards. So slow and steady win the race here.


a baby step most folks seem to miss.

Pack your lunch

Yes! I need to do this badly. I used to live close enough to work that I came home for lunch every day and ate left overs or sandwiches. We moved a month ago, though, and I'm now too far to come home at lunchtime. I've been eating out for lunch since the move and I really need to change that.

Thanks for the ideas both of you!

Tanya
December 5th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Have a talk with your garbage can... what's in there?

What can you do better at?

for me the biggest pet peeve is plastic meat wrappings...must find a source of butcher paper here in australia.

the other is foam trays.... sometime markedt down fruit is on the things... and i'm torn between cheap food and stupid trays.... grrrrrrrrrr

I have found the foam trays make good art and craft materials for my daughter.. other ideas?

vulfsung
December 5th, 2007, 01:28 AM
Have a talk with your garbage can... what's in there?

What can you do better at?

for me the biggest pet peeve is plastic meat wrappings...must find a source of butcher paper here in australia.

the other is foam trays.... sometime markedt down fruit is on the things... and i'm torn between cheap food and stupid trays.... grrrrrrrrrr

I have found the foam trays make good art and craft materials for my daughter.. other ideas?

I reuse those foam trays for freezing perogies on, just stick the filled trays into washed out bread bags. The smaller ones usually hold a dozen, or so, and that way when the moochers come-and they always do when they get wind of perogies being made-I can dole out a couple dozen at a time, instead of the huge bags of 8 dozen I used to freeze them in. Any one who deosn't return cleaned trays finds the perogy supply has dried up...

With a good washing, I can reuse the same tray 7 or 8 times, before it gets put into the crafting pile.

Diotima
January 29th, 2008, 05:41 AM
My first steps and where they have evolved (so far):

1. cook more from scratch ------- grow our own food, can, preserve
2. use more natural cleaners (eg. vinegar, baking soda) at home --------- planning to learn how to make our own soap
3. don't buy trendy clothes, use up old clothes ----------- sew and knit my own clothes, dress plainly (Amish-y)
4. learn to separate your needs from your wants

I think it's an excellent idea to start small and proceed slowly. I don't think there is one right way to simplify- it's always better to do something than nothing, and all that works in my life, may not work in yours. Collect ideas. Learn. Dream. Have fun.

Crystal Raven
February 7th, 2008, 09:35 AM
I am hoping to start living more simply, we don't eat out often to begin with and am good with my hands for crafts etc, any suggestions about the food though as we are renters?

banondraig
February 8th, 2008, 10:29 AM
I am hoping to start living more simply, we don't eat out often to begin with and am good with my hands for crafts etc, any suggestions about the food though as we are renters?

Do you have a patio or balcony?

Crystal Raven
February 8th, 2008, 03:17 PM
i have a deck and a yard, but will be moving again soon *sigh*

banondraig
February 12th, 2008, 06:35 PM
i have a deck and a yard, but will be moving again soon *sigh*

That sux, but you can still grow a bunch of stuff in containers, just about anything except pumpkins and melons. Then you can take the containers with you. :)