Self Sufficiency

2021: The year you live for you

… and noone else.

You may have seen my last blog post: What Have We Learned From 2020. It was a rather moody post, where I slag of 2020 and a huge portion of the British population. Sorry about that. But, importantly I wrote that post to get you thinking.

Last night (4/01/21) Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced another full lockdown of the UK. Reports have already started coming in that people are once again panic buying and the supermarket shelves are starting to empty. I want you to think about your role in this awful world. What are you doing to secure your happiness and survival without the need for relying on large companies? We could all be more self reliant, even just a tiny bit. With self reliance comes self happiness, you wont need to moan so much about daily life because you will be making your own happiness instead of relying on other people or corporations to make you happy.

Why is Self Sufficiency so important today?

Lets look at the obvious first. We don’t want or need to be going out, spreading or catching the virus. We don’t need or want to be locked up in our homes, but we still need fresh air and exercise. By getting outside we can get our daily dose of air and fitness, while making small changes to our lives for the better- get growing and learning to live greener and simpler. Whether you only have a small patio or a large plot of land, you can make small changes that has huge benefits, in a relatively short amount of time.

Image source: http://www.digmyplot.co.uk/potato.html

Perhaps you want to spend this lockdown learning how to grow a few varieties of different fruit and vegetables, reducing what you need to buy from the shops by creating your own versions of these items, learning a new hobby or perhaps you’re interested in keeping a few chickens. Now that we are back at home, stuck with nowhere to go, this could be the perfect time for you to learn these life changing and money saving skills.

We would all love to save a few pennies and rely less on the supermarkets. By teaching ourselves the basics of self sufficiency you will soon notice the pennies build up and your confidence and happiness grow. Tackle your new mission little by little, find out what parts of self sufficiency you enjoy the most, what you’re good at (or suck at!) and take your time.

Where to start

You don’t need a lot of land to live a little bit self sufficiently. Just a small patch of land or even a few large plant pots can produce a surprisingly large amount of food, for almost next to nothing! Much of self sufficiency is done within the home, as it’s not all just about growing food all of the time.

Think about energy bills, cutting back on what you use. Heating costs over winter can rise dramatically. You can save money on heating without ripping out your central heating and doing without it, just think about making your home more energy efficient. Think about using draft excluders, making sure windows are sealed properly, covering cat flaps and extractor fans, rugs on cold floors, etc. Only use your washing machine when you have a full load, and make sure you’re using the correct setting for the most energy efficiency.

Get thinking

Now we know we are in the thick of another lockdown, you may have some ideas of how you would like to become more self reliant during these bleak times. Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down what small changes you would like to research and start with those. If you have an outdoor space that you would like to use for growing fruit or vegetables, measure your space and work out if you would like to grow in the ground, plant pots or in raised beds. And most importantly, what you would like to grow in those places.

There are lots of ways within the home of saving money, which I hope to write about over the coming weeks. So do keep your eyes peeled for some in depth guides, ideas and challenges.

Tomorrow, I’m going to be writing lists of jobs for the garden this January, in preparation for growing in our garden this year. While the country is once again at a standstill, we may as well make the most of this time we have at home. If we put the efforts and energy that we usually put into our jobs and instead put it into our own homes instead, it will be us that is benefitting from this time during lockdown. We shall reap the benefits, not the big boss, large businesses or the government. Plus, you’ll be keeping safe and so will your peers.

Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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