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Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

Identifying Our Dependencies on Other Stuff

In this third and final post of the series “Identifying Our Dependencies”, I’m going to touch on the other parts of life that we are dependent on and how we plan to break free from them.

Animal Feed

Rabbit

We currently have one rabbit but we plan on getting more. Rabbits produce great manure for the compost and they are great pets for the kids. Additionally down the road we have started looking into raising rabbits for meat. With that said, rabbit food, just for our one rabbit can get pretty expensive! We currently buy it rabbit pellets to eat but we want to start giving the rabbit more organic food to eat. We plan to feed it a lot more vegetables that we produce ourselves as well other feed that is produced by us.

Chickens

The plan is to get chickens in the spring and the chicken coop build is currently underway. After doing just a little research we have found out that chicken feed, let alone organic chicken feed, can be quite pricey! We haven’t gotten around to doing a lot of research quite yet, but just like for the rabbits, we want to start creating our own chicken feed as well.

Schooling

As you may know, we have 3 young boys, ages 5, 3 and 1, and we have a new baby due in a few months, a GIRL! We chose to homeschool our children for multiple reasons, which we will go into more in another post. By homeschooling our children we are able to be less dependent on the system, on schedules, and whole lot more!

Home Repairs

When something breaks around the house, either the water heater, the boiler, the pool, etc., there is nothing worse than having to call someone to repair it for you! Having someone else do it for you will cost you twice as much! I’d imagine that everyone by now has heard of YouTube, instead of just having funny cat videos, it has videos on how to repair pretty much anything! In the past couple of years we have been pretty good at trying to fix things ourselves, but we want to get better and we are trying to depend on service technicians less and less.

Vehicles

Talk about money holes, vehicles are near the top of the list! We currently have 2 vehicles, a commuter car, and a van to transport the whole family around. I would love for us to be able to get down to 1 vehicle, but I’m not sure if that would happen, unless of course we were able to start a home business where we wouldn’t have to leave the house for work (more on that below). However, whether we have 1 vehicle, or 2 vehicles, one of the best ways that we can save money and become less dependent on the system, is to do the repairs ourselves. This is an area that is going to require a lot of learning and hard work, but it’s definitely possible.

Money

moneyAnd money, yeah that green stuff, the root of all evil. Unfortunately these days everyone needs money, it’s just the way it works. My wife and I both currently work, my wife part-time and myself full-time. Working takes away from so much family time that it should be considered a crime. We’ve been tossing around some ideas for the last couple of years of how we could both stop working and start some sort of home business, but we’re not quite there. Thinking about the possibility of us both working from home, including the whole family in the business, just seems like the perfect scenario. We will continue to purse what opportunities we have as we follow our homesteading dream and will be sure to update you as progress is made!

Well we hope this series was beneficial for you, I know it was for us. Listing out these main areas of life that we are currently dependent on certainly was an eye-opener. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to a lot of the things that we had listed out, and if you have any tips you could provide us, please leave them in the comments below!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Identifying Our Dependencies on Household Items

Identifying Our Dependencies on Household Items

In this second post of the series “Identifying Our Dependencies”, I am going to focus on some of the common household items that we use and how we plan to be less dependent on them.

Household Items

cleaning chemicalsWe were finally hit by the stick and started to realize all of the bad chemicals that are in most of the household items that we use on a daily basis. The area of household items seems like it would be an easy quick win for us, so let me break down some of the things that we are trying to do.

Not only are we concerned about all of the harmful chemicals in a lot of these products, but the cost of them are outrageous! In order to become homesteaders, we need to become more frugal and start producing more than consuming.

Body Soap

For as long as I can remember, I’ve used Irish Spring as my bar soap of choice. Once I started looking into making our own soap, I started to realize that it doesn’t seem to hard. Be on the look out for some posts on my adventures with cold process soap making in the near future.

Hand Soap

Same with hand soap, there is a lot of bad chemicals in here that we don’t want our family exposed to so we hope to start making our own hand soap. Currently we buy all of our soap at the store but we really want to get away from that.

Toothpaste

I’m not too sure about making our own toothpaste as I have never looked into it. We currently buy name brand toothpaste from the store and would also like to get away from that. We might look into some of the organic type of toothpaste out there before attempting to make our own.

Shampoo

As I get older, I’m starting to lose more and more hair. I’m not sure if this is from the shampoo or what, but I blame the shampoo. After doing a little research, making your own shampoo doesn’t seem too difficult, and is something we would like to start doing. The less things to buy from the store, the better ­čÖé

Laundry Detergent

Each and everyday, we are in closest contact with our clothes. I’m not exactly sure what chemicals are in store bought laundry detergent, but I’m sure it’s not good, especially since it’s rubbing against you all day long. We hope to start making our own powdered laundry soap, so that we know exactly what’s in there.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are a tough one, they come in handy in so many situations, but they cost so much! We plan to start to ease our dependence away from paper towels and try and use clothes/rags instead. In the situations where clothes/rags wouldn’t really work, such as with bacon grease, we plan to start using newspaper!

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is one of those things that just might not be able to be avoided. I mean yeah, you can use a leaf, but no, just no. Since getting away from buying toilet paper probably isn’t going to happen, we’re just going to stock up on it so that we don’t have to buy it as often. Buy in bulk and use coupons on it and you should be able to get a really good deal.

So there you have it, those are some of the common household items that we are trying to be less dependent on. If you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Identifying Our Dependencies on Food

Identifying Our Dependencies on Food

As we begin to travel down the road towards our homesteading dream we thought it would be a good idea to list out the dependencies we have on things. We are beginning to think of ways to be less dependent on things and to become more self-sufficient.

This is the first post in a series of posts where we will go through the main areas of our lives as we strive to simplify them.

Food

We currently make at least one trip a week to the grocery store, but we are in the process of trying to cut that back to twice a month. Below are the most common items that we buy, and ways that we are trying to be less dependent on the grocery store with them.

Milk

Milk CanIt would be nice to have a cow or a goat to provide our milk, but where we live that is not possible. For the time being, we’ll continue to buy milk from the store.

Eggs

Our family goes through a lot of eggs, almost 3 dozen a week. We are in the process of building a chicken coop and then we will be getting some chickens to produce our eggs!

Cheese

Until we are able to produce/get raw milk, we’ll continue to have to buy cheese from the store. We do want to start shopping at our local farmers market, so maybe we’ll be able to buy cheese there.

Bread

We hardly ever buy bread at store anymore, as we typically make 2 loafs every week or so. We do want to start making our buns though.

Chicken

cooked chickenWhere we live we are not allowed to butcher our chickens, so we are stuck with either buying them from the store, or the farmer’s market.

Meat

In the past we have bought a quarter of a cow from a local farm, and that was great. We need to look into doing that again until we can raise our own animals. I also want to take up hunting, as our family loves the taste of deer meat.

Fruit

We currently buy most of our fruit from the grocery store, but would like to start buying it at the farmers market where we can. We would also like to plant some fruit trees, but we’re not sure how long we are going to be at this location.

Vegetables

VeggiesFor the last couple of years we have had a small garden which has produced some of our veggies, but not all of them. This year we hope to double our yield from last year, especially with tomatoes. For the veggies that we are not able to grow, we hope to buy them from the farmer’s market and can them so we can have real veggies all year.

Nuts

Like the fruit trees, we’d love to plant some nut trees, but we’re hoping to move to a larger piece of land in a few years (maybe). We may plant some regardless, at least to benefit the people who come after us.

As you see, we have a lot of work to do! These are just some of the food items that we buy, but they are the big ones that we want to focus on first.

In the next post we are going to focus on some of the household items that we want to start making ourselves.

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria