Alternative Energy

17+ Ways To Become Self Sufficient Before ‘The Crunch’



Become Self Sufficient feature

One thing you don’t want to be during the coming “crunch” is dependent on the system.

The more you can take care of yourself, the better off you’ll be physically, financially, emotionally and even spiritually.

Here are 17 ways (in no particular order) that you can become more self-sufficient right now:

  1. Get a small solar system that can be used to run a laptop or recharge batteries
  2. Drill a water well and install a hand pump or solar-powered DC pump
  3. Set up a rainwater collection system or barrel
  4. Stash some cash: stock away some green dollar bills and lots of U.S. nickels ( Quarters from 1964 and older still contain 90% silver, so they are a safe bet!)
  5. Own and learn how to use a handgun, rifle and shotgun
  6. Store plenty of ammunition (this one may be pretty hard to do right now…)
  7. Own and know how to use a water filter
  8. Start a garden this spring and acquire more food production skills
  9. Save garden seeds so you can plant the next generation of food. ( Only Non GMO seeds will yield multiple crops)
  10. Acquire a wood-burning stove for heat and cooking
  11. Possess a large quantity of stored food; enough for at least 90 days
  12. Get to know your local farmers and ranchers
  13. Store up valuable barter items that are relatively cheap today: Alcohol, coffee, ammo, matches, etc.
  14. Safely store extra vehicle fuel (gasoline, diesel) at your home or ranch. Be sure to use fuel stabilizers to extend their life.
  15. Learn emergency first aid skills and own first aid supplies. (This could save a life or possibly save a trip to the emergency room)
  16. Start growing your own medicinal plants. Aloe vera, oregano, garlic, cayenne pepper and other medicinal herbs that can replace a surprisingly large number of prescription drugs.
  17. Own emergency hand-cranked radios so you can tune in to news and announcements

These were excerpted from an article I found on the survival spot.

Click here to read the original article.

What skills or tips would you add to this list?

Read more with these related articles from our site:

Self Sufficiency Skills Every Prepper Should Learn

Your Road Map To Self Sufficiency

15 Canning Tips for Preppers | Self-sufficiency

Continue Reading


  1. Mike

    July 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    Few things I would also add is about 100 feet of para cord, some good knives and axe or hatchet. Also learn to use/make snares and traps.

  2. Charlotte York

    July 26, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    I have two commets. one, It would be nice if you would put a print button on here because I’m having a problem printing the pages and I would really like to print them also you said to put some cash away dollars and coins how much money should we have on hand?

    • Buzzdawg

      July 26, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      Place your arrow over the the page right click that will open up a window go down to print and click.

    • Leonard mccoy

      October 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Copy and paste on your Microsoft Office or high lite and save to your computer and print from there

  3. gena

    July 26, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    one idea – buy some silver while it is really cheap right now. If the currency loses value, the silver will increase in dollar value. Silver, being a precious metal is not made by mere printing and has a constant value, which while it fluctuates in value has intrinsic value, unlike paper money. Right now silver is selling at a little over $19 an ounce, and if the paper currency devaluates, as it is certain to do, silver will go up.
    Get and learn how to take care of a few chickens, in your back yard if allowed in your community. You can have a ready egg source and they are not too expensive to care for. Eggs are not only good for you, they would make great barter items.
    If you can stand the idea of killing bunny rabbits, you might want a few of those, if you can’t stand the thought of eating Peter Rabbit, you might be able to trade him for something you can or will eat. Go for one buck to start with and two or three females. You know the saying, they multiply like rabbits. You can easily keep a few inside, easier than you can chickens. Oh, and chicken shit makes good fertilizer for your home garden. Lots of nitrogen.
    Oh and if or when you buy silver, don’t let the sales person try to con you into paying a whole lot more for collectable coins, if you are buying them for the silver value, and not for collecting, an ounce of silver will be an ounce of silver regardless of whether it is a proof coin, an uncirculated coin, or a plain bullion coin. I do not have anywhere near enough to buy gold, but if you do, go by the same principles, don’t pay a lot of good money for collectables, that should not be what you are buying them for.

    • TimothyJ

      August 4, 2013 at 7:25 AM

      Agreed about silver. Right now the spot price is low but premiums are sky-high because do demand. Plain bullion is cheaper than popular coins like silver eagles; and 10-oz bars have a smaller premium than 1-oz (and 100-oz smaller yet, but they’re hard to barter with–think about 7 pounds of silver).

    • Lisa

      November 18, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      Go to eBay and type in ‘junk silver’. You get the pre-65 coins that have no numismatics value–you’re just paying for the silver.

  4. Corn Mash

    July 26, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    I like lists. I can check off things and see gaps easily. I have too many gaps on this list.

    regarding bartering items. I still disagree strongly with spending money on, and taking up valuable space to store, stuff I will never use and may never have to opportunity to trade. Besides the stuff I use, is the same stuff 99.9% of the population also uses and would be willing to barter for.

    18. obtain non-powered version of all your tools and some appliances. For instance, get hand saws, hand drills, hand operated washing “machine”, clothes line and pins, coffee maker that works on a stove, etc. Then you always have a back up for when power is off and you run out of batteries.

    19. In addition to gardening, try small animals. Both good for bartering.

    20. bicycle and bike trailer, so you don’t have to hoof it all over. Or a horse.

    • ChristyK

      July 28, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      Don’t forget a hand crank can opener or 3. You can’t open all of that stored canned food without it if the power goes out.

      • Deez

        January 22, 2014 at 3:05 AM

        Actually you can if you can find some concrete or rough flat stones. Just rub the can until you wear the seal off. Careful or you’ll wear too much and won’t be able to flip it back and it will open and your food will be on the ground. Takes some skill but it does work.

    • john prepper

      December 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      I agree 100% with the bike and bike trailer. Water and other supplies are heavy. A bike/trailer combo would cover vastly greater distances than someone on foot.

  5. gena

    July 26, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    As far as money is concerned, Dave has mentioned before keep enough coins on hand to use for phone machines, vending machines – if any work, and small bills. I’ve seen some people say to try to keep at least $200 cash stashed away, mostly in change and small bills. You don’t want to need to buy an item that should be low cost and have only big bills to offer. You might end up being told the person who has what you REALLY need will say they cannot make change, and you have to either way over pay or do without.
    Oh, if it isn’t listed, learn how to can and pickle and dehydrate food now so you can store any extra food now, instead of paying a lot more to buy storable food for merchants. And if you have enough, that can be barter items later as well. There are a lot of inexpensive books on how to do all of those on in Kindle versions.
    I have also bought a beer making kit, books with recipes and techniques, a propane stove to make the beer quicker than you can on a stove or if you no longer have the use of a stove.
    Seeds you might want to try, although I’ve heard it is difficult to do correctly are tobacco plants, which books on how to cure the tobacco to make cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. I saw that the Infowars (?) store carries a variety of tobacco seeds in a seed vault.
    I was reading an article today about making and using a misting system to keep the temperature livable if you live in the deep south, like South Texas where I live, and the woman writing the article had said it could lower the temps or the way the temps effect you by about 20 degrees. I have seen systems sold that wrap around your neck and spray a fine mist in your face, supposed to cool you down, I think I would find that awfully aggravating, myself.

  6. gnomaster

    July 26, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Everyone seems to forget matches and toilet paper.

  7. mary

    July 26, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    I have to disagree with storing gasoline. It is dangerous and not shelf stable. The best prepper path is to have a diesel engine car and store diesel. I stored diesel in 55 gallon plastic drums for 9 years and used it with no problem. Must be careful to add algae inhibitors and diesel treatment, and at the end of your supply to avoid the water that builds up from condensation.

  8. Dan

    July 26, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    My family goes through our wallets and pockets every friday night and take out the $1s and $5s as well as excess change and it took no time at all to collect a $2K.

  9. Pat G

    July 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Here’s a question. I work with natural gas industry here in northern Pa. I live in a 29 foot fifth wheel camper in a trailer park. I can be hooked up and ready to leave within 45 min. I do all the obvious things, food, water, propane. With my weight capability I’m down to about 500 lbs extra I can carry. Any ideas or suggestions??

    • 'Above Average' Joe

      July 26, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Great Question Pat! If you don’t mind I’m going to get this posted up on facebook, that way we will get you some answers!

      I’ll post it up early next week and see what kind of answers we can get for you. I am really excited to see what the community says.


    • Ray Taylor

      July 26, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      Perhaps a storage locker some miles along your likely evacuation route, or at a relative/friend’s abode ? Good luck

  10. Nightingale

    July 26, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I love the 17 ways to be self-sufficient and bloggers added great ideas: para-cord, hand tools, livestock (if only 3 chickens for eggs), silver, clothesline and clothespins, and so on.

    I would add soap. It’s not just a convenience to get clean, but an important part of staying healthy and surviving. Soap for your body, soap for wounds, for your dishes and cutlery, for your home and bedding.
    As an RN, I can tell you that there is no better way to prevent the spread of disease than to wash your hands with SOAP and warm/hot water.
    It won’t take much time before this is an excellent item for bartering. Nice thing is … it stores well. Get lots of it.

  11. Ranger Gord

    July 26, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    It’s one thing to store firearms and ammo for firearms, another good thing is to have an alternative on hand like a good bow with arrows. Granted they take a bit more practice, but they are a lot quieter than a firearm, and the arrows are reusable and easy to make if they break.

  12. ron

    July 27, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    what does everyone think about the solar lights used to light walkways?
    might come in handy, they are not real brite but still give off enough
    light to be able to see.
    just wanted to see what all you folks think about these.

  13. Glenn Shumway

    July 27, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    Make your own TRUE colloidal silver, and I don’t mean via a 9V battery and two silver coins (a constant-VOLTAGE setup)! This ALWAYS generates NON-collidal-sized silver particles which can/will produce the so-called “Smurf-man” blue-skin effect (argyria). Not physically harmful, but must be tiresome to have to explain. We have been using the constant-CURRENT units from since 1997 with outstanding positive results and ZERO negative results. Keep a couple of gallons of steam-distilled water on hand (or get your own distiller), and you’re set for almost any disease outbreak. [We have no financial interest in this company.]

  14. whiskeyjack

    July 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    I recently bought a high power air rifle, relatively quiet to use even compared to a .22. At shorter ranges has the power to take down small animals.I find that the pointed pellets work better than the flat nosed ones. Largest animal I have taken is a racoon. Pellets are relatively easy to purchase and 1,000 rounds will fit into a small container. I use empty “Grizzly” tobacco cans which have a very tight lid and a plastic body. The cans also work well for storing many small items and are limited only by your imagination what you can put in them.

  15. Ben

    July 27, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I live in a state, where it’s easier to find an honest politician, then it is to get a gun permit. As for conceal carry? Better luck finding that same honest politician who moonlights as a unicorn herder.

    What to do?

    • Ron

      July 27, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      For home defense, you probably can legally own a pump shotgun. For small game a pellet rifle will work, or the above mentioned pump. For concealed carry pepper spray or other non lethal device, or learn hand to hand. Finding an honest pol…. fagetaboutit.

      • Ed

        August 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

        For serious defense, bear spray. That said, realize that this stuff will cause permanent damage it you use it on people, which must be weighed against the fact that pepper spray won’t stop some crazed individuals…

  16. cindy

    July 27, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    I’ve been PRINTING articles to create my own prepper manual…how would you look up all those wonderful articles on your Favorites if the grid’s down? Hmm? I do plan to purchase a good prepper cookbook and general skills manual (any suggestions?) but until then, I’m printing things that I especially don’t want to lose. also… the DIYNatural website has how-tos for making your own household cleaners, personal care and home remedies using natural ingredients. I’m also stocking up on those ingredients, along w/ the store-bought stuff.

  17. Dan Rubino

    July 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    18. Learn how to keep bees and start a hive. Honey is nutritious and medicinal and honey and beeswax make great barter items. Look for beekeeping associations near you and join to get started.

  18. Maxilyn

    July 29, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Learn to use a solar oven. There are directions for making them on the web. Learn also how to make candles and keep the supplies on hand. If you keep bees, the wax makes good candles. Keep tallow and beeswax candles in a tight container away from mice and insects.

  19. glb

    August 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    I would suggest some flint. Matches and lighters do not last forever.

  20. Wild Bill

    August 3, 2013 at 7:34 AM

    Self-service small general aviation airports can be a source of fuel in difficult times for certain applications. My wife is an airport manager here in the West. We always try to keep 5,000 to 10,000 gals on hand of Jet-A ( can be used as diesel fuel with some additives) and 100 LL (one hundred low lead aviation fuel (AVGAS) we store for our small airplanes.

    Jet-A is very dry fuel therefore before you put it into a diesel engine, you must add lubricity to the fuel. Info on what works is on the internet. We use a blend fifty-fifty of off road diesel and jet-A for our New Holland $95K tractor we use for mowing and works just fine. All our JetA has PRIST added at the terminal so it won’t freeze at high altitude and to keep bacterial growth to a minimum.

    100 LL works for old cars, and all kinds of tractors and motorbike/ motorcycles. During after hours people come onto the airport and buy the fuel for any thing that is used especially for high performance. It is amazing stuff. No additives, stores for years. I am told our soliders and airmen stationed in England during WW 2 used it for dry cleaning their wool uniforms. Soaked their woolens and pressed their uniform.( evaporates quickly without smell)

    Our maintenance guys use it in small mowers and weed trimmers etc. Over the winter all small motors are stored with 100LL in them. Forget that stuff at Home Depot/ Napa. Cost is at least 2 dollars more than MOGAS premium. Plugs up catalytic convertor quickly with lead. It is illegal to sell it for non-airplane use. We ask if they are going flying with it and they all know to say yes.
    Hope this helps.

  21. Kim

    August 4, 2013 at 3:22 AM

    What? “Only Non GMO seeds will yield multiple crops)”
    Who is writing this stuff??!!!

    GMOs are usually capable of reproduction, love them or hate them.

    It’s HYBRID seeds that can’t reproduce.

    Not only is that difference worth knowing, it’s befuddling to me how someone that doesn’t understand that could be writing an article about planning to garden in a low-resource situation….

  22. TimothyJ

    August 4, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    One small correction: it’s not just GMO plants that won’t reproduce; it’s most hybrid varieties also. Pure strains that will propagate are available online in sealed tins and Mylar envelopes.

  23. Steven in Dallas

    August 5, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    >> Only Non GMO seeds will yield multiple crops

    “GMO” and “hybrid” are two different things – I think you meant to say only non-hybrid will yield multiple crops.

    -> multiple crops = plants from seeds are as good as their “parents” were.
    -> non-hybrid = “heritage” or “heirloom”

  24. Richard Barnett

    August 6, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Know those large screen project TV’s that you see on the curb on trash day and dumped in vacant lots, or free on cragslist? Some have a lens in them called a “Frissel”? lens. Take it out mount it in a frame. On a cloudy day with just a little sun you can start a fire with it. On a sunny day you can melt a penny in about a minute. Melt concrete into glass, Melt holes through cans and cook a steak real quick. Check out you tube. Wear sunglass when looking at focus point, like looking at wielder lot of fun but be careful

    • 'Above Average' Joe

      August 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Hey Richard, You are correct! The lens is called a fresnel lense and they do heat up fast. I’ve seen them light up a 2×4 in less than a minute. Never seen it melt a penny though. that would be intense

  25. Mark

    January 6, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Not a good idea to barter ammo. It could come back to bite you and it tells every one what you have. Stick to non-lethal items.

  26. Steven Long

    January 16, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    I am preparing notebooks with “how to” directions to do just about anything necessary for survival, printed onto paper that is then laminated and hole punched to fit into 3 ring binders. Each notebook can be numbered by “Volume” with specific pages within each volume noted on the spine of the notebook to easily find. I am also preparing a quick reference guide to assist in locating articles in the notebooks, easily and fast. Subjects can income emergency medical procedures, what to do with various types of poisoning (bites, plants, bacterial, etc.), water purification techniques, gardening, making weapons and tools, and so much more. These notebooks can mean the difference between life and death, and being able to locate any specific articles fast can be essential.

  27. Deez

    January 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    My question would be what happens if/when the collapse/disaster lasts longer than your stores do? What then? Do you know how to repair or replace your equipment? What do you use for cordage when the last of your rope is used?
    If you don’t have a mechanic or you’re not one, learning some basics will help. Those basic primitive camping skills are useful but only if you have them. Where does flour come from? How to make vinegar for preservation. how to make butter from milk and do you know how to get butter from a cow? Cows aren’t cooperative with newbies or many of them aren’t. Obviously, I’m female but growing up, my dad required the girls to learn traditional male skills and the boys to learn traditional female skills. My parents lived through the Depression and knew at some point each of us would have to rely on ourselves so he made sure we knew what to do. Sadly, I was the one with no mechanical aptitude, even so, most any group needs a healer or someone who knows what to do when stuff happens. It’s why we need community instead of going it alone.

  28. David

    September 14, 2019 at 4:31 PM

    NEVER use Ammo to barter!! They could use it to come back and take what they want. Don’t mention guns or ammo to anyone, but be prepared.

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