It’s been a couple of months since my last post! A few things are happening in my life right now, one of them is that I moved, and you can read more here. With everything going on so far this year and with the changes in my own life I’ve been thinking of how to be self-sufficient in an apartment.
Some of you might know me from back in my “homesteading” days–and I majorly miss having chickens running around the yard and getting fresh eggs every day! But I realize I can’t keep a chicken in my apartment (sad), so I asked my friend Melanie from A Small Life what “homesteading” type things I could do in my apartment and it inspired this post!
How to be self-sufficient in an apartment
I actually have a really big balcony that gets full sun until about two in the afternoon. But, it’s mid-July so starting anything from seed right away feels futile for me, someone who has only grown wildflowers and sunflowers. So I’ve made myself a list of things I can start doing to be more self-reliant!
Just FYI: Some of the following links are affiliate links which means if you purchase an item after clicking that link then I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. ♥
Save money! Even if you don’t have a lot of extra cash you can be saving money. I do this with an app called “Digit” that I’ve been using for six months or so now. You connect it to your bank account, it learns your spending habits, and it withdraws tiny increments of money, like a silent, money-saving ninja. So even though I don’t have a massive income, I’m still saving money towards things that I consider “non-essential”. You can also put a cap on how much money is taken out and how much money you want to always have in your bank account.
If you want to use my affiliate link we will both get $5 when you sign up! (it’s a paid app, $2.99 a month and I look at this as my money assistant).
Let’s talk about food:
Learn to cook one thing a week. I grew up cooking, so it’s not super new to me, BUT I’m committed to trying one new recipe each Sunday while the boys are with their dad.
Learn to bake! (like Melanie said!) Bread seems like a scary thing to try and make but it’s SO easy! Check out this book if you prefer a cookbook!
Learn traditional methods of making food–so don’t just bake: learn to make a sourdough starter! Don’t just cook: learn to ferment! I am REALLY excited to get this book on fermenting this week.
Meal plan. This can help you save money each week, especially if you look for meals you can make from your pantry.
Save your kitchen scraps for veggie both or bone broth. Save the ends of your veggies and put them in a container in the freezer until you have enough to make a veggie stock or bone broth!
Let’s talk about plants:
Learn about native edibles and healing plants in your area. This is probably my FAVORITE thing to do. I love being able to identify plants in an area and be like, “I could eat that, and that, and that, and that.” I just spent an hour this morning reading “Midwest Foraging“. Next on my list is “Midwest Medicinal Plants” by the same author!
Learn to forage and use the native edibles and healing plants in your area. Once you’re comfortable and confidently identify plants in your area, try them out! A couple of years ago I sauteed daylilies for a family dinner and made everyone try them. You can learn more about how to do that from this website!
While you’re at it, learn how to identify toxic and poisonous plants too. Then learn some home remedies for them (please see this remedy we use for poison ivy)
Learn to keep a few house plants alive–herbs are a great place to start! Find them at a local nursery rather than a big box retailer…I find that my big box plants aren’t as healthy.
Learn what garden zone you’re in and what plants grow well where you are.
Shop locally or join a CSA. a CSA is “community-supported agriculture”. There are a lot of different ways this is done, and when the boys are a little older I think I’ll be joining one! You can find a local CSA at this website.
For more tips on how to be self-sufficient in an apartment check out this post: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/self-sufficient-living-tips-264000