1. Plant a garden:
This is the basic building block for anyone looking to walk a simpler path in life in the modern world. This is especially so with rising fuel costs and resulting food costs put an extra burden on the families financial situation. Some families have limited space and land to grow food, but there are many options available to grow in a small footprint. A Vegetable Tower Garden works well on decks and patios, and can grow a lot of produce in a very small space. One great benefit of growing your own food is that it is often healthier than store bought produce.
2. Learn how to can your own food:
This goes hand in hand with planting a garden. Most gardens will produce way too much food at one time for any family to consume it all before it goes to waste. Having the skills to be able to preserve what you produce is imperative for a families long term self sufficiency. If your garden is too small at the moment to produce enough food to put away in the pantry there are other options available. Search out and visit farmers markets, talk to the farmers about buying in bulk which can save you some money.
3. Get a dehydrator:
Dehydrating Food and Canning go hand in hand. The options you have with a dehydrator are only limited by your imagination. You can make jerky, fruit roll ups, dehydrate eggs, etc. Most locations in the country have local orchards that are a great place to buy organic fruits cheaply and dehydrated apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon last a long time on the pantry shelf and are delicious.
4. Plant soft fruits:
Along with strawberries also plant raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc.. They do not take up a lot of space and will produce fresh and tasty fruits year after year.
5. Plant a few fruit trees:
There are a variety of modern day dwarf variety fruit trees that are available on the market today that don't take up much space. With some pruning and training will be bountiful in several years without taking up much room at all.
6. Learn to save seeds:
Buy heirloom open-pollinated seeds and learn to save the seeds from this years produce to be able to plant next year.
Composting involves mixing yard and household organic waste in a pile or bin and providing conditions that encourage decomposition. Fruit and vegetable scraps and waste, along with raked leaves, newspaper, cardboard, weeds, grass clippings etc can go directly into the compost pile.
8. Cook from scratch:
The average American has lost touch with what food actually is. Many people think that food just comes out of a box or package that we heat up the microwave. How sad. Especially when you realize that processed food has lost much of the nutritional value by the time it's processed, packaged, purchased and microwaved. Cooking fresh whole food not only tastes better, but it's healthier for you too. Pick up several basic cookbooks and experiment with turning your backyard bounty into healthy, nutritious and tasty meals for your family.
9. Set up a clothes line:
One of the largest electrical drains on a homes monthly electric bill is the electric dryer. Use a clothes line in the warmer months and save money on electricity.
10. Cut your own hair:
The only cost would be decent pair of clippers, then you're able to save up to 20 dollars a month for those hair trims.
11. Try and live debt free as much as possible:
Debt is slavery. We as citizens spend way to much of our hard earned dollars on interest. Get rid of the credit cards and save big money each year on interest.
12. Look into Alternative Energy Sources:
There are many options here. Most people think of alternative energy as installing solar panels or a wind turbine, but something as simple as installing a wood stove can have a huge impact on your heating bill and also dependency on foreign oil. And. there's nothing quite like the heat from a wood stove in my opinion.
Of course, there are other avenues to explore when considering sustainable living. But hopefully this list will get you started. Enjoy the journey!