This list usually includes things I can do or learn to do that will help me in my journey to live a frugal and self reliant life (preferably without using electricity). Last year I had two major self reliant goals:
- Make my own vinegar (You can see how I did that here.)
- Make my own cooking oil (Santa gave me a Piteba oil press for Christmas. I am working on setting it up now. I will post about how to make your own cooking oil soon!)
- Grow my own popping corn. We love popcorn at our house and we purchase a lot of microwave popcorn. This is not sustainable without grocery stores and electricity. I want to grow and dry my own so I can pop it over a fire. Popping corn also makes great cornmeal when you grind it. I am not an expert on growing corn so we will see how it goes this summer. Completing this goal will mean there can be two additional items I can cross off the list of what I must purchase at the store.
- Make my own vegetable rennet. I use vegetable rennet now to make cheese but the rennet is in the form of processed tablets that I purchase. This isn't self sustaining either. I want to try to gather my own and make cheese from it. I know it is possible but I have no idea how to do it! This will require some research!
- Make soap from wood ashes. I have been making my own soap for 20 years. We don't purchase any from the store. However, all my soap is made with commercial lye purchased over the Internet. I am a novice soap maker when it comes to using wood ashes. This winter I am saving all the ashes from the fireplace to make soap next spring.
- A hand crank blender.(There are lots of times I would like to use my blender but I don't because it is electric. Usually I place the ingredients in a jar and shake it or beat it with a whisk or hand crank egg beaters. I would like a hand crank blender so I can have the convenience of a blender anytime I want to use it.)
- A carpet sweeper. (Currently I use a broom and/or pick up the carpet and take it outside to shake and beat it. I try to keep the vacuum cleaner use to once a month. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't. I believe a carpet sweeper will greatly improve this situation.)
- To fix up my treadle sewing machine. (I need a new belt, some new needles and the machine needs some general conditioning and cleaning. Yes, I can piece quilts by hand but that takes a very long time. Sometimes I enjoy doing it, and sometimes I want to complete the quilt at a faster pace. The treadle machine will greatly help here. In addition, I have some new outfits I would like to make this year and I really don't want to use the electric sewing machine. Once I fix up the treadle machine, I can save the electric sewing machine for when I need fancy stitching or have a need to replace a zipper.)