I was invited to write a guest post for Self Reliance Exchange and was pleased to give them Find Your Self-Sufficient Sweet Spot.
There’s a reason we don’t see more self-sufficiency: It’s not frugal. It almost always takes more time to make something than it takes to earn enough money to buy one—and that’s without even considering the time it takes to learn the skills (let alone the cost of tools and materials). On the other hand, frugality is a powerful enabler for self-sufficiency. So, how do you find the sweet spot?
My wife spins and weaves. I have a beautiful sweater that she hand knit from hand spun yarn. It’s wonderful—and it’s comforting to know that my household is not only self-sufficient in woolens, we produce a surplus that we can sell or trade. But the fact is you can buy a perfectly good sweater at Wal-Mart for less than the cost of the yarn to knit it.
There’s a lot of useful tips and trick for living a more self-sufficient life at the Self Reliance Exchange. Totally aside from my article there, it’s worth checking them out.
[Updated 2011-03-11: Self Reliance Exchange no longer seems to exist and its successor site no longer seems to be using my post. Rather than just let it disappear, I’ve republished it here.]