10 Ways we became more Self-Sufficient in our Apartment


What do you picture when you think of an apartment? Maybe you live in one, maybe you think about boxes lumped together in one big building. Whatever your definition is, you may be thinking that self-sufficiency and apartments just don't mix.


Sure, you can't have a milk cow, or chickens, but there are other ways you can live more(or totally) self-sufficient, even in an apartment!


We lived in a small apartment, with a balcony. Lucky for us, it had great light, so this gave us some room to work. Here's how we took the opportunity to get a head start on homesteading!


I learned how to can.

Never have I ever learned to can. When we moved into our apartment, I took the opportunity to learn to water bath and pressure can! Now, this is a skill that I have that I carry with me!


I made my own seasonings.

I did grow herbs on my balcony, but beforehand, I just bought them fresh from the store. I mostly wanted to learn what went into making dried herbs and seasonings, but I quickly found that they taste better and are cheaper!


We planted a balcony-garden.

Yes, you can garden, even on a balcony. Tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, etc. Fresh veggies for the win!


I learned how to bake bread completely from scratch.

Don't get me wrong, I love my bread machine. It takes almost all of the work out of baking bread, but I started out learning to bake from scratch. As in, mixing, kneading, rising, punching, baking and serving from scratch. I took the time to learn to make white, wheat and even pizza crust. Now we can have healthier bread baked just how we like it!


I learned how to make butter.

Baking bread and making butter and two skills that my husband had one-up on me. Obviously, I didn't have a cow, so I just bought cream from the store. The process is relatively the same and now I know how to make butter once we get a cow! I'll just have to learn to process the milk.


I started making our sauces from scratch.

We eat ranch dressing and spaghetti sauce like it's going out of style, so I learned to make it from scratch. It's actually super simple, even making the tomato sauce from scratch. It's worth it! I did try mayonnaise, but it's a little tougher to get right and takes a lot of oil to make.


I made my own cleaners!

J.R. Watkins makes a great natural cleaner, but I also learned to make my own. It's very simple to make your own cleaners. Vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide and essential oils are all it takes!


I learned to sew.

My husband is a pretty advanced seamster, but I knew basic sewing skills. I could put together a quilt, but that was about it. I started learning to sew clothes and I am honing my blanket-making skills!


I spent time building up a small stockpile.

I mainly started this because I found that it's cheaper to buy my groceries in bulk. Like, hundreds of dollars cheaper. This came in handy around the time that the Coronavirus pandemic began, as I had my cabinets stocked while a lot of shelves were empty.


I learned how to make cheese.

Making farmer's cheese is so easy and tasty! It also doesn't require an aging process, or even rennet. It's cheesy-easy. Ok, I'll stop. Here's a great tutorial for making farmer's cheese!


Are you interested in homesteading but only have a small space? Check out my article on starting a suburban homestead!



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