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What does self sufficiency mean to you?

Last post 07-17-2009 7:03 PM by karen kay. 41 replies.
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  • 08-13-2008 6:41 PM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,458

    What does self sufficiency mean to you?

     We throw around the term like we know what we're talking about... but being self sufficient means different things to different people. 

    What does self sufficiency mean to you?

     

    • Being independent of help from others, either governmental or family/friends (8.8%)
    • Doing as much for yourself as possible, like baking your own bread or changing the oil in your vehicle (19.3%)
    • Living off grid and separating yourself from mainstream society (1.8%)
    • Just the first two (35.1%)
    • All three (26.3%)
    • Something else (What?) (8.8%)
    • Total Votes: 57
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  • 08-13-2008 9:29 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-10-2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    Being self-sufficient as much as possible is important because it cuts the ties to being obligated to others for your needs. Practice it long enough and you become confident that you know how to take care of yourself and your family without needing a lifeline from anyone in emergencies. The hardcore survivalist is the ultimate in self-sufficiency, but this is an extreme most can only try to get close to.

    If you spend a lifetime learning and perfecting self-sufficient skills, then you can pass those skills on to others and keep the knowledge going. It's those who won't learn any skills like this that are a burden on society. Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

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  • 08-14-2008 9:48 AM In reply to

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    Dear All, As everyone on teh Forum knows, I am on governmental benefits due to disability.  However, I consider it my bolden responsibility to be as self-sufficient as possible.  This includes husbanding & being a good steward of the money that I have.  It also includes cooking from scratch, with or without recipes, and trying to think outside the box to solve problems that I'd otherwise have to throw money at.  It means going into enough stores to develop a very good idea of which store has the best prices for what (I keep my Price Book for groceries; I've learned that a certain hardware/kitchenware store has the best prices for housewares; I buy loss-leaders at Walgreens & Rite-Aid.)

    Yours in Him, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

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    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah



  • 08-14-2008 10:45 AM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-06-2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,458

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

     I had always thought of self sufficiency in "back to the land" terms until I saw how people were regarding it on this forum. Now I understand that it means different things to different people. Maybe the differences are in degrees more than anything else, depending on one's situation. 

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  • 08-14-2008 11:00 AM In reply to

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    To me it means to be able to take care of yourself, cook, clean, work if you can. The more you can do yourself or that you have knowledge of  at least the how too, the more you can save and  not wait for others to take care of you as much as possible.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • 08-14-2008 6:13 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-10-2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    Pat:
     I had always thought of self sufficiency in "back to the land" terms

    At a time when it was common for more people to live on the land, when there was land enough to live on, then self-sufficiency did mean life-support thru farming/agriculture/hunting, etc. When it switched to urban and suburban living as the norm, then it took on the new meaning. The new form isn't as independent, but has it's own dynamic. Recycling, using solar power, bicycling to work, spending little, and saving as much money as possible without carrying a load of debt, paying cash when possible, growing a vegetable garden if you can, keeping a pantry well stocked, wasting little and re-using as much as possible; that's all part of the new self-sufficiency. It's all there is for urbanites and suburbanites, without access to land to support them. Learning survival skills carries it to a higher level. With tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires common occurences, knowing these skills could be a difference of life or death. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Would some of those who suffered had done better had they had survival skills? Possibly.

    Edey

     

     

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

    Life is like a quilt - it is made beautiful from all the little pieces stitched together.

    Use a HandCranked tool, it doesn't need to be plugged in or charged up!

    Treadle sewing machines. Get a workout and save electricity all at the same time. Plus it can go anywhere, even outdoors!

    READ THE ARCHIVES! It'll do you good.
  • 08-15-2008 12:18 PM In reply to

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    Well-said Edey!

    I like the idea of living totally off-grid, providing all my own food (through gardening, having animals, hunting, etc.), learning ot live on less energy and providing the energy that I need, etc. Would I ever go that far? Probably not! Not only would my husband NOT go for it, it would take some money to get started. Plus, there are a few modern conveniences that I enjoy (the internet being the main one). Like Pat said, self-sufficiency means different things for different people. I love the idea of going all-out with it but doubt that will ever happen. But as I grow in my knowledge and as I get older, myself and my family will become more self-sufficient.

    But I am going things in baby steps. LOL. I want to learn to be self-sufficient as much as possible for several reasons:

    1) the joy and comfort of knowing that I can take care of myself and my family

    2) to set an example for my kids (the more recent generations not only lack self-sufficient knowledge but have a sense of entitlement and are, in general, pathetically dependent on everyone else)

    3) to make better use of the world, resources and financial blessings that God has given to me and my family

    4) to, slowly, separate myself from the world and wordly things that are not of God or are not a part of God's plan for us

    5) so that if/when a natural disaster happens, I and my family will be better prepared. We would survive, and thrive.

    God bless,

    Julie

     

  • 08-15-2008 1:06 PM In reply to

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    The other night Nightline did a story on the new breed of survivalists. Many were folks who lived and worked in cities who were attending survival training. It seems that there is a subtle movement in this country that is rarely talked about which is why this story is shown at 11:00pm. A lot of people are starting to think that there may come a time where resources are limited, and that government agencies and charity won't be enough to sustain the masses. They interviewed a guy in Alaska (stereotypical survivalist) who had an 8 month supply of stuff and wanted to add more. He started getting concerned at Y2K (1999-2000 computer glitch). Survivalists come in varying degrees now. Not everyone is at the extreme but many do recognize that living in cities or suburbs may not have many advantages if things go bad. I've even noticed survival books on display at BJ's. Fortunately, I married a man who hunts and we are prepared for possible inconveniences. My oldest son (26) is convinced and has been talking about this need to prepare for tough times. In a way it saddens me that a young man is so worried about the future, but he is prepared.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
  • 08-15-2008 2:58 PM In reply to

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    Pat:
    Maybe the differences are in degrees more than anything else, depending on one's situation.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this one, Pat.

  • 08-16-2008 9:14 AM In reply to

    • Mimi
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-04-2008
    • Posts 977

    Re: What does self sufficiency mean to you?

    I agree with it being in degrees as well.  Whenever I would see the category, I would think of gardening, "living off the grid," etc.  Then when I was trying to find a category for mobility aids, I decided that was the best one because they help me do things for myself when it would otherwise be extremely difficult or impossible. 

    My plan when I moved where I live now was to have a nice big garden and do all of the other things that I want to do.  (If I can ever afford the pricey wood cookstoves, I have plenty of wood around here after every storm!)  Plans changed when I got sick, but little by little, I still hope to move in that direction. 

    "...for the happy heart, life is a continual feast. Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil." Proverbs 15:15b-16 NLT

    The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.--Winston Churchill
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