Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Three simple ideas: Learn basic skills

Lately I've been sharing with you simple ideas for getting started with simple living.  As many of us have discovered, simple living isn't simple, certainly when you're getting started, there are lots of new skills to learn and its important to find a routine that works.  I've already shared simple ideas for growing your own food, and for saving money on groceries.  Then I wrote about ideas for cooking from scratch.  Now I'm thinking about some basic skills that you can learn that will help reduce what you need to buy.





Simple: learn to knit, crochet and sew
The best way to learn to knit or crochet is to find a willing tutor.  Failing that, youtube has some wonderful tutorials to get you started (here's my knitting and crochet posts).  Start with something simple so you don't feel like giving up when it doesn't work out.  Knitting and crochet are the cheapest options, as you will need a sewing machine to get started on sewing, but look for secondhand, lots of people have them and never use them.  Try not to stockpile lots of supplies of wool and material, or you still spend more that you save, but I know that's not easy!  And try to make things that you would have otherwise bought.




Simpler: make soap and other personal needs
Soap is easier than it sounds, and if you use tallow it can be relatively cheap.  Soap can be used instead of shampoo and body wash, and can also be used for washing dishes.  You can also make deodorant and simple salves.  Reusable menstrual products are a huge saving (here's the whole story for those who want to find out more).

Homemade soap (details here and here)
Homemade deodorant (recipe here)
Homemade skin salve (recipe here)





Simplest: preserve, dry or freeze some excess produce from garden or bought in bulk
I use my dehydrator all the time, its great for keeping the excess herbs (including chilli flakes and garlic granules), but I've also been air drying them recently now that the weather is less humid.  I also freeze lots of beans and cherry tomatoes from the garden, and other produce that I've can buy cheaply in bulk.  If you're lucky enough to have a pressure canner, that is also a great way to preserve any excess vegetables and fruit as well, although you can use a waterbath method for high acid produce.

What do you think? What are some other skill that help to get started with a simple life?

3 comments:

  1. I roast my cherry tomatoes before freezing them as that seems to keep more of their marvellous flavour intact. I am one of those people with a cupboard full of fabrics and craft supplies that needs to be used up. I hope to get the time for sewing over the Christmas break.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jessie from rabidlittlehippy is coming for sleepover next Friday so we can get up early to go to market. She is going to teach me preserving with my new electric vacola. I love having friends with skills to learn and she has so much to teach me. Hey im much older shouldnt i be teaching her?

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  3. My suggestions aren't from a list of possible tasks, rather getting the environment right for doing them in.

    1. Donate or sell what you haven't used in the past 12 months.
    2. Organise what's left into groups of usefulness
    3. Store relevant items together, so they're easily accessible.

    For example, in the kitchen, store cutting knives and cutting boards near each other, and near the bench they will be used the most. These can go in a cupboard under a bench, hang on the wall above the bench, or a combination of both. If they're on opposite sides of the kitchen, its going to take more effort to get prepared to do the "simple" things.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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