Self-Sufficient Living: What Does It Mean?

Do you truly know what self-sufficient living means? Self-sufficiency basically means having the ability to provide everything you and your family need to live and survive without the help of outside sources.

You rely on your abilities and skills to provide for your family. You become independent and thus self-sufficient. This post will not only explain more about self-sufficiency but will show some easy ways to practice self-sufficient living on your homestead.

self sufficient living family on farm


Self-Sufficient Living: What Does It Mean?

Reasons to Practice Self-Sufficient Living


1. Personal Satisfaction

The biggest reward for self-sufficiency is knowing that you grow your own food, learn new things, and live free from others. It gives one the highest form of personal satisfaction. It gives one a greater sense of self-worth.


2. Political Independence

Self-sufficient living means being independent. Most people who have a self-sufficient life refuse to depend on their government and government agencies. They refuse to trust the fact that in an emergency the government will provide assistance. Most self-sufficient homesteaders do not trust the government or their agencies at all.


3. The Need to be Prepared

This is usually the biggest and most important reason for taking the path towards self-sufficiency. Self-sufficient people have a strong desire to be prepared for potential catastrophes and upcoming emergencies. The ability to be self-sufficient means being ready for any emergency whether it be the weather, war, or other disasters.


4. Environmental Preservation

Self-sufficient people care very deeply about their environment. They reduce waste in their homes to a bare minimum. Organic practices are used. They reuse as many materials as possible. They use environmentally safe products. Self-sufficient people work towards the protection of endangered life such as bees and wildlife.

Many self-sufficient people live in tiny homes. See Why I Chose a Tiny House.


How to Practice Self-Sufficient Living


1. Grow Your Own Food


Self-sufficient living means growing your own food.

There are many ways to become self-sufficient. The first is growing your own food. There are no limits here.

Some options include:

  • Fruit and vegetable growing: Growing what you eat in a plot right in your own backyard.
  • Indoor gardening: Whether in a self-built greenhouse or a structure with grow lights and adequate ventilation.
  • Herb gardening: unlimited design options to grow all the herbs you use within a fairly small space.
  • Edible grains/ perennials: Provide a yearly harvest of good food.
  • Backyard orchard: Growing fruit trees that are feasible for your climate.



2. Raising Animals/ Beekeeping


Even if your property does not allow for cattle, there are many animals that can be kept in smaller spaces’


Options include:

3. Home Skills


There are so many skills to be learned that will help with your journey to self-sufficiency. Learning each new skill will enable you to become more independent.

These skills include:

4. First Aid and Prepping


building a fire


With our wacky weather and all the craziness in the world, everyone should know basic first aid skills and be prepared for disasters.

These skills may include:

5. Gardening Skills


A greenhouse

These skills can help provide you with bountiful harvests year after year.

These skills include:

A self-sufficient lifestyle is not easy to achieve. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and sometimes a lot of work. But the results are worth the effort you put in. The reward is the benefit of having a life independent of outside sources. You will be able to provide the things you need for your family. You will live a happier, healthier, and self-sufficient life.


Self sufficient living is being dependent on yourself to provide for your family.

For more information on self-sufficient living, check out these sites!

Do you practice some of the ways to become more self-sufficient on your homestead? What other ways can you share with us to practice self-sufficient living?


Do you know what self-sufficient living means? This post will explain it all with great resources too!


  1. Hi Annie, great post! From my point of view, the most important things for self sufficiency is being able to provide your own food, water and electricity! That is my ultimate goal!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Frank! If those are your ultimate goals you are definitely on the right track!

  2. I like this post. I think it is helpful to look at our goals and what it means to live this life we are pursuing. Sometimes it gets muddled up in being busy, but many of these goals you mentioned are our goals.

    It’s hard in this world to break away and make these simple things priority. But I think especially as times get harder, living in a self-sufficient way will be the way to survive.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Author

      Thanks for the kind words! Self-sufficiency means setting goals that are attainable and allow us to have a life of being independent. It builds confidence in ourselves as well. I think many of us share the same goals! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hello, this is one of my favorites for Encouraging Hearts and Home, this week! Stop by and say hello, and this post has been pinned!

  4. I didn’t tell you, but this article really spoke to me. I chose it for our feature on the Homestead Blog Hop last week, I just didn’t get to tell you til now.

    Once again, I really admire you for pursuing self-sufficiency. Not many people even worry about that these days. Sometimes I wonder why we want to live this way, but I really do believe there is value in not being dependent on the grid and all that it entails.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more about your journey.


    1. Author

      Thank you! I can’t live under the assumption that I and my family would have to rely on anyone but ourselves. It is great to have community support, but not dependence.

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