Learning Basic Skills

by Merissa on October 19, 2011

in Practical Food Storage

Post image for Learning Basic Skills

Alright, if we are assuming the prices of everything will rise and we are learning to barter and more...doesn't it make sense to learn some other basic skills?

These are things that we pay for now, but if we lived back in the 1800's or early 1900's we wouldn't even consider paying for luxuries like these! I'm just going to list a few here that I suggest you learn. Feel free to shout out more ideas of basic skills that you think are important in the comments.

Baking. I'm surprised at how many people don't know simple bread baking skills! I think it's because I grew up in a bubble, my mom also made bread, my grandma always made bread. Even though I knew you could get bread from the store I thought it tasted pretty nasty. Bread baking is a skill learned best by being shown by someone that knows what they are doing. After you get the hang of it it's really not that hard! But I can guarentee you that your first loaf won't be perfect! I remember years of 4-H judges telling me what was wrong with my bread...now my hubby can't wait for me to pull it out of the oven so he can munch on it like candy. Being able to bake is a very good basic skill to learn.

Sewing. I'm even more surprised at the growing number of people that have no idea how to sew. I didn't go to public school in highschool so you tell me, do they even teach it in Home Ec anymore? I am not the best seamstress ever but I'm glad I have the skill. I use it to sew up rips and tears in otherwise perfect clothing. I have a sewing machine but you don't need one. Just get thread, needles, and some felt or other thicker fabric and start practicing. Look up some videos on YouTube if you need some visuals or buy a basic sewing book. You will catch on fast!

Haircutting. I've said before that we don't spend any money on hair cuts. I taught myself how to cut my husbands hair a few years ago and this year I taught myself how to cut my own hair. Now I cut hair for my siblings and other family members as well. You don't have to learn anything fancy, even if you can just learn how to trim ends and how to use a hair trimmer(for guys) you will be set to go! This is another one where having a visual really helps. Check out videos on You Tube that show basic hair cuts. And trust me, no matter how long you wait or how many videos you watch you will still be SO nervous to do your first hair cut. But you CAN do it! I was shaking so hard the first time I cut my hair I thought I was going to cut it clean off but it turned out great and I wouldn't do it any other way!

What are some basic skills you think everyone should learn?

Learn more about Practical Food Storage and Preparing for Price Increases. And make sure you check out how to save and live better in all areas of your life on the Making the Most page!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mel Free October 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I was going to say the 3 that you listed! I think learning to sew teaches you so much more than just sewing..fabrics, what to wear with what..go sit down at a pattern book & you will see what I mean. Cooking, of course..it is so much better to eat homemade foods, seriously. Gardening..you can grow your own food. Canning. Basically, I feel just learning to be a little bit experimental & to try new things..you never know what you might like, or like to learn! :)

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2 Mel Free October 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

I was going to say the 3 that you listed! I think learning to sew teaches you so much more than just sewing..fabrics, what to wear with what..go sit down at a pattern book & you will see what I mean. Cooking, of course..it is so much better to eat homemade foods, seriously. Gardening..you can grow your own food. Canning. Basically, I feel just learning to be a little bit experimental & to try new things..you never know what you might like, or like to learn! :)

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3 Lana October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Cooking from scratch! Seem that every time I go on the internet looking for a recipe it includes ingredients like seasoning packets and that nasty cream soup from a can. What happened to being able to cook a meal from basic ingredients that you have in your pantry and spice cabinet? This is a real pet peave of mine right now! I think couponing has made this much worse as all those convenience mixes have been so cheap for so long. We have forgotten what real food tastes like!

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4 Merissa October 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hands down YES! I forget about this sometimes because we only eat from scratch and we have for a long time. My hubby reminds me though when he comes home sick from going out to eat with co-workers. His stomach can’t handle the processed foods any more!

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5 Lana October 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Cooking from scratch! Seem that every time I go on the internet looking for a recipe it includes ingredients like seasoning packets and that nasty cream soup from a can. What happened to being able to cook a meal from basic ingredients that you have in your pantry and spice cabinet? This is a real pet peave of mine right now! I think couponing has made this much worse as all those convenience mixes have been so cheap for so long. We have forgotten what real food tastes like!

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6 Merissa October 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Hands down YES! I forget about this sometimes because we only eat from scratch and we have for a long time. My hubby reminds me though when he comes home sick from going out to eat with co-workers. His stomach can’t handle the processed foods any more!

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7 Little House on the Prairie Living October 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Great thoughts! I know I didn’t have much in this article compared to all the basic skills I think everyone should know but baking provides food for your family, sewing is all you mentioned above, and cutting hair, well trust me that one makes you feel like you can do anything!

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8 Little House on the Prairie Living October 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Great thoughts! I know I didn’t have much in this article compared to all the basic skills I think everyone should know but baking provides food for your family, sewing is all you mentioned above, and cutting hair, well trust me that one makes you feel like you can do anything!

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9 Mel Free October 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

Agreed, Merissa..once I cut my husband’s hair in layers (& did a much better job than the hairdresser’s, by the way), I feel like I can try almost anything! :)

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10 Mel Free October 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

Agreed, Merissa..once I cut my husband’s hair in layers (& did a much better job than the hairdresser’s, by the way), I feel like I can try almost anything! :)

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11 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

I would think another one would be learning to garden, can, and learning about herbs. Medicinal herbs are so good for you.

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12 Merissa October 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes! More very good ideas!

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13 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 10:27 am

I would think another one would be learning to garden, can, and learning about herbs. Medicinal herbs are so good for you.

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14 Merissa October 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

Yes! More very good ideas!

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15 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

How about making your own cleaning products and mixes.

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16 Lisa October 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

How about making your own cleaning products and mixes.

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17 Missy Steiger October 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Knitting or crocheting are both good skills to have and can also provide you with a little extra income or give you items or a skill to barter with!

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18 Missy Steiger October 20, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Knitting or crocheting are both good skills to have and can also provide you with a little extra income or give you items or a skill to barter with!

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19 Leigh October 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

So, I used to be one of “those” people that did not really make anythin from scratch.. My idea of baking was slice and bake cookies. Everyone stop laughing. lol When I met my husband and dated and then we became serious he started teaching me how to make things from scratch. Before his mother passed away, she made sure that her kids knew how to cook. He says the best dish I ever made for him was a baked fish dish, which is hilarious because I wore gloves and could not taste it since I am deathly allergic to fish. I now can cook and bake pretty much anything that comes up and have created a few recipes as well. This is such an invaluable resource to be able to cook. We also have saved so much money.. I also learn so much from your site, so thank you very much!

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20 Leigh October 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

So, I used to be one of “those” people that did not really make anythin from scratch.. My idea of baking was slice and bake cookies. Everyone stop laughing. lol When I met my husband and dated and then we became serious he started teaching me how to make things from scratch. Before his mother passed away, she made sure that her kids knew how to cook. He says the best dish I ever made for him was a baked fish dish, which is hilarious because I wore gloves and could not taste it since I am deathly allergic to fish. I now can cook and bake pretty much anything that comes up and have created a few recipes as well. This is such an invaluable resource to be able to cook. We also have saved so much money.. I also learn so much from your site, so thank you very much!

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21 Charity October 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Do you know of any videos out there for crocheting? I want to learn and don’t know where to start! Thanks!!

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22 Merissa October 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Search on YouTube for some basic or starter crochet stitches. It takes a little bit to get the hang of it but once you get it your fingers don’t let you forget!

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23 Charity October 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Do you know of any videos out there for crocheting? I want to learn and don’t know where to start! Thanks!!

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24 Merissa October 24, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Search on YouTube for some basic or starter crochet stitches. It takes a little bit to get the hang of it but once you get it your fingers don’t let you forget!

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25 Charity October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Also, I completely stopped buying processed breads from the store. I make everything homemade breadwise and I make most of my food from scratch too (occassionally I have to cheat with karate and art classes falling on the same night) however 90% of my food is homemade. I can’t stand processed food. It tastes horrible. I want to start getting more into crocheting and knitting, but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any direction out there!

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26 Charity October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Also, I completely stopped buying processed breads from the store. I make everything homemade breadwise and I make most of my food from scratch too (occassionally I have to cheat with karate and art classes falling on the same night) however 90% of my food is homemade. I can’t stand processed food. It tastes horrible. I want to start getting more into crocheting and knitting, but have no idea where to start. Thanks for any direction out there!

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27 Tonya March 19, 2013 at 9:04 pm

Quilting, this used to be a time honored fun girls day out activity. Lots of socializing involved and you started learning as soon as you could maneuver a needle. Raising your own animals & butchering them. Nobody wants to know that their food had a face. They’d rather close their eyes and just imagine that the food magically appears on that styrofoam plate. They don’t want to know that it had to die or how it managed to live as long as it did. Making firewood and heating your home solely from wood heat. You don’t know how much work it takes, or how much satisfaction you get out of doing these basic skills, until you try them. We’ve all traded in basic skills (formerly essential…maybe soon to be essential again if the power grid goes or economy really fails…)for learning one or two skills well. Won’t do us much good to work our lives away in an office while our children grow up without us. These skills bring families together in a way that our society has forgotten.

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28 Rose March 23, 2013 at 9:21 am

oh my goodness, public school taught me nothing of self-sufficiency. we did have home ec but they don’t go into detail about most of it, and they don’t demand that children pay close attention – just get thru the class, do what you are told so you can move on to bigger and better. it’s sad. I am determined to learn sewing (this year) and gardening, as part of my families move to simpler living.

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29 Patty April 20, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I learned to quilt about 10 years ago and when I started, I was determined to never purchase another blanket again. I purchase 100% cotton button up shirts from thrift stores, save all the buttons, rip out all the seams and cut 2″ squares out. When I have enough, I stitch up a quilt top for next to nothing. I’m recycling the shirts, while bringing beauty to our home. Quilt shops now charge about $9 – $12 per yard for their fabrics, which is something I refuse to do now. If anyone is interested in quilting, the best book out there is called “Quilts Quilts Quilts”. You won’t be sorry you invested in it!

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30 Victoria January 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Who is the author?

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