Self Sufficiency Goals For 2014

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Self Sufficiency Goals for 2014

This year me and the hubby spend some of our Christmas break taking time to go over our plans and our goals for 2014. It may seem that our life is mostly planned out but to be honest we are more spontaneous do-er’s which can get us into trouble. Although it seems like none of our plans for 2013 worked out, we realized that they were just that….plans without definitive actions on how to make them happen.

One of our big goals in the next 5 years is to pay off our house (and all our other debt). For our age and our income, this is a rather far reaching goal but we are very determined and with set action plans we know we can make this happen. (Our goal has always been to be debt free by the time we are 30, so 5 years to go.) To help keep us accountable, I thought we would post our goals for the year here and update as we go along with the year. Please post your own goals for 2014 in the comments section so we can share in this accountability together!

Self Sufficiency Goals for 2014

Our Goals

1. To start a new garden in our new property and grow a large amount of produce. The idea will be to preserve as much as possible to have very little if any produce expenditures through the fall and winter.

2. To plant a small orchard. Pears and apples this year.

3. To get chickens and ducks. We will be raising them as 100% free range as possible with added food scraps. I plan also to learn how to make my own chicken feed for winter.

4. To clear the pasture and get ready for cows. We aren’t sure yet if we will be able to clear them to get cattle this year or if we will have to wait until the spring of 2015. The previous owners overgrazed the pasture land with sheep and ponies (both animals are very hard on pasture grass) and as a result we have quite a mess to clean up and try and re-grow.

5. To start a berry patch. I want to get this going as soon as possible since berries can take a few years to produce.

6. To connect a generator to our main system. This is an easier one for us since it’s mostly set up, we just need to get a generator large enough to handle the farm should the power go out. Our electric system is set up so the regular power can be off and a switch simply flipped to set to generator power.

7. Be conscious towards power usage in our home. Make a list of non-electric items to consider switching out in 2015. When we get to move in that is!

8. Pay off as much debt possible. For us, this will mean paying triple on our house each month (I realize that sounds crazy but our mortgage is very very low and since we are ag property we have almost no taxes), and paying as much on other debts as we can.

9. Move further away from consumerism. It’s so easy to get caught up in consumerism these days and to feel like we have to be “doing something” or going somewhere all the time. This year my goal is to only go to town if absolutely necessary and no more than twice a month. I believe this will cut down on un-necessary spending and help us focus even more on togetherness and family activities. Plus I think we will be busy with all of the above!

10. Leave social media behind. We mostly cut out personal Facebook last year but after we moved I started posting a little more since we were away from family and got a bit caught up in it. We decided that in 2014 we won’t be using it anymore (for the personal side of it, don’t worry, we will still be posting blog stuff there!) and will be going back to snail mail exchanges with family and friends. Why? Because in 10 years when Facebook no longer exists, neither will any photos or communication we had with loved ones there. I want my friends and family to have pictures and words to remember this time in our lives by and something to look back on someday when we are all old and joking about the “good old days”. I want to make memories and not profile pictures.

Self Sufficiency Goals for 2014

Basically many of the things we have this year are “getting ready”. We don’t want to overwhelm ourselves with too much all at once but at the same time I don’t want to wait until future years to get certain things going that will take longer to produce. Plus since much of these things we’ve done before, it will be easier for us to ease back into everything since it’s not new. I am very much looking forward to having a huge garden. We walked out the existing garden last week and found it to be 100 x 55 feet. Plenty of room for just about anything! I’ve already got almost all of my seeds figured out and have a great post headed your way on planting enough for canning very soon so keep watching or make sure to sign up for our newsletter to follow our progress.

2014 Self Sufficiency Goals Printable

One more thing…to help you decide on your self sufficiency goals for 2014 and to stay motivated, we made this fun little printable to write all your goals on. Mine in going to stay right in my kitchen where we can see it all the time, just like our bills worksheet.

Share your self sufficiency goals for 2014 in the comments section!


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  1. I LOVE your goals and look forward to updates! We are city dwellers, but seek a much simpler life – so while animals are “out” for us, we do as much as we can otherwise to develop self-sufficiency. And then thoroughly enjoy reading blogs (such as yours) where we can observe larger scale homesteading and animal raising!

    We are welcoming our first baby into the world this year, so my goals are much more vauge and less intensive this year than in the past, but I did make a list of things I would love to try this year!

    1. It is an eventual goal of ours but we won’t be able to get there this year. However we are going to be working towards reducing our electricity needs (See Goal #7) which will help us when we do take the solar plunge.

  2. Happy New Year! and thanks for sharing.
    Have you ever considered pigs for land clearing? We had two heritage breed pigs last winter, to clear my old, overgrown garden area. It was a great garden year for us except for squash bugs from the self seeded pumpkins. (we don’t use chemicals) This year we have 5 pigs, will harvest in time for Easter . They are relatively easy – even in our cold temps in NH. I love that nothing is wasted. Made soup this morning, and all the veggie peelings went into a pot with leftover pasta water, stale bread, etc. for a warm treat and supplement.

    1. Something to consider but Pigs are on my “no list”. I’m just not a fan 🙂 Plus we wouldn’t be able to butcher because I’m allergic to pork.

      1. One also does not want pigs and birds. Bird diseases can be communicable to pigs, then in turn to humans. If one wishes to have pigs, it is best to do so without fowl on the property and vice versa.

        1. Every farmstead around here has always had both. It’s more of an issue if you have confined animals near each other, but a flock and a few pigs are pretty safe together. Same with cows and chickens. I’ve read there is a concern about them being together too.

          We aren’t going to do pigs next year because it’s much more expensive than buying them from a local facility that raises them for heart valves and medical stuff. So, they are antibiotic and hormone free, about the same as ours would be.

          1. I did know about the cows and chickens not being raised together, they just have to stay out of the same pen. My family has always raised both and the chickens free range in a different area than the pasture.

          2. We raise Berkshire pigs, steers to butcher, goats and chickens. We have never had a problem with them all being on the same property. If you manage your animals and land in a humane and smart way there should never be a problem. But I am far from an expert on this – I only have our experience and that of my parents and both sets of grandparents. Our goals for 2014 are similar to ya’lls – get out of debt, larger garden and more self-sufficiency!

  3. hoping to put a new roof on the back of my barn…noticed it leaking with the last heavy rain that we had after the snow, maybe put in my automatic watering troughs in the stalls for the horses, definitely get rubber stall matting for the larger stall, that is number 1, and in the spring, paint the trim. my house on the other hand is a never ending project…has been for many years….but I do want a generator large enough to run this place so I don’t have to worry come bad weather. that will be done come tax time. my daughter and I are making jelly and preserves…we started a trial run before the holidays, but mostly freezer jelly. she’s springing for a canner…and I used to can when I was younger so we are going to try our hand at that this year. we will have a small garden, me and the younger kids…something that we can keep up with. I start one every year then let it get ahead of me , and then my goat helps herself and the rest is history. might get a few chickens, since I know that I can do that [we adopted a duckling 2 years ago which thinks he owns the farm] been trying some of your tips, and those crocheted dishcloths fit perfectly on to a Swiffer and if you dampen them with Murphy’s oil soap, or use furniture polish lightly on them, clean hardwood floors really well. they pick up dirt and animal hair that might not get picked up by the vac. very well.

  4. In hindsight, I wish I would have planted fruit trees, when I was younger & had the chance..also I wish I would have planted blueberries & strawberries & maybe others. I admire your goals. Too many people live in debt & get caught up in the “buying & getting better”. Good luck in the New Year! 🙂

  5. I like a lot of your home-made goals and ideas. I have home-schooled for years, and find that I am not interested in starting a farm. A small to medium (lasagna) garden is what I will be interested in creating in a few years, (Lord willing), when our youngest graduates. I like to be ready for emergencies. I will be working on that. I like to work on clutter, organization, simplicity, and having a minimal consumer footprint.

  6. We are training up the next generation in non-consumerism. Both our children handle money well. Ages 16 and 21. Our 16 year old has his own business fixing mowers, tractors, generators, etc. . He loves this and is very good at it. I am planning to introduce him to auto mechanics theory, young entrepreneurship skills and to a group to talk to about being a young entrepreneur. I am proud of his recycling, mechanical and entrepreneural skills. Our other son is taking college courses in a non-conventional way so as to keep his debt low. We talk about sharing things like cars, housing, etc. We live on a suburban lot in a very commercial area. I have also taught them strong anti-advertising skills and to think many times before buying.

  7. my goal is to have LESS – as my friend said less stress, less aggravation, less drama, etc. that is what I want.

  8. I was recently inspired by a tv show (of all things) to make our home and surrounding area more self sufficient by creating a “homestead” type of environment. I have always put out a large garden every year and bought beef and chicken from neighbors and family. My goal this year however, is to raise my own layers for eggs and eventual freezer chicken, a calf to raise for beef, and two pigs (one to be canned and cured, one to be our sort of garbage disposal (since I do not have one). We have let go of vacations 4 years ago and have instead chosen to do mission trips. My goal this year is to spend Christmas in the slums of India which also happens to be the birthplace of my 6 year old daughter who we recently brought home in July of 2013.

    Happiest of New Year!

    “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~Carl Bard

  9. A wise woman once told me… Only go to town 1x/wk or less and always be sure you have at least 3 errands to accomplish on that trip. Great advice that Ive been trying to stick with lately aside from the fact that I work in town. My goal is to increase my tomato crop for canning this summer and to erect fencing to bring my horse home. My stretch goal is to add chickens and eventually a milk cow. My fitness goal is to hike 300 miles this year andy financial goal is to stockpile using coupons.

      1. I live a little over a mile from town,and since Gas prices jumped,
        I go to town once a week, unless I have another appointment,then
        twice’ I always have 3 or more errands when I go. Some people I
        know,live several miles from town and go most everyday just to
        check their mail’ We have no mailman here,so have to get mail
        at the Post Office. In my book,the bills and junk mail can wait’

  10. The last two years my goals have been to become more organized and get more homesteading stuff done. We raise all our own meat, but my garden failed miserably. We lost two babies halfway through pregnancy, one in March 2012, and one in January 2013, so the last two summers kind of escaped me and I didn’t get anything done at all.

    I’m due in February and things are going well. My goals this summer are to have a successful garden, increase the new orchard a bit, plant a strawberry patch (AGAIN- darn chickens) and make it chicken proof. I also started bees this last spring, so I’m hoping they winter over and we get honey next year.

    I also want to get meal planning and stop going to the grocery store so much and mostly use Azure Standard for bulk items. We have a milk cow, and I want to get better at making cheese too. I have a long list! But, after two years in limbo I’m looking forward to having a new baby and striving towards some of my goals! I’m also hoping to do more homeschool stuff with my other kids for summer enrichment.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loses Anne, I know personally that’s the hardest thing a person can go through…losing a child. I’m glad things are going well for you this time. It sounds like you have some great goals for this year, good luck with everything!

    2. I am hoping all went well with your delivery. Your post touched my heart. My son and daughter-in-law lost three before they were blessed with their little boy. He is 2 now. She discovered she has a clotting disorder that can be treated simply so we hope they can have another before long. When I hear of others with multiple miscarriages I wonder if they have the same problem. It was a shame the Dr.s didn’t even look for that with her until after the third loss. I will pray that all goes well for you and that you will be blessed with all the little ones for which you hope 🙂

  11. My new years goals-
    Add new veggies into the family garden
    Become a farmer’s market connoisseur
    More canning less Krogering
    Give mother earth the love and respect she deserves

  12. I’m very impressed with your commitment to being debt-free by 30. It is such a contrary thought process to that of most 20 something’s. I applaud your efforts to live more simply, and look forward to following your blog posts. At 56, I am looking to simplify for different reasons, as I look forward to future retirement, and I welcome all suggestions for living healthily and more frugally. I wish all the best to your family in 2014!

  13. Sounds like good goals. Remember to specify the extra house payment money goes to the principal when making the payments. Look into herbal ley for your pasture. Fodder for winter animal feed and a greenhouse structure of some kind. These are all things I am working toward for our place. I wish y’all the best in 2014.

  14. Hello! Great goals list for 2014, it has inspired me to sit down and come up with my own… and to discuss it with my husband… we’ll have to wait to see how he handles that! I do have a question though about something you wrote above, “Because in 10 years when Facebook no longer exists, neither will any photos or communication we had with loved ones there.”, I’ve never heard this before… could you explain? Thank you!

    1. It’s just a personal opinion. Social media is always changing so we really have no idea what will be here in 10 years nor do we have any guarantee that any of our pictures or conversations will be saved. We would rather take our pictures and words offline and preserve them as we can for our family to enjoy at a later time. Of course by then there may be something better to use….it’s just hard to say 🙂

      1. I remember a picture of my daughter I lost on MySpace when I quit using them. Two years old, in this beautiful fluffy second hand green and white dress, with Batman kneeling in front of her to shake her hand and Robin standing next to her. I hadn’t really thought of it at the time. The picture was taken by a friend and she had sent it to me online. When I went back years later to get a copy of it on my own computer, it was nowhere to be found.

        Now, though, I will get prints of anything I don’t want to lose. Not going to make that mistake twice.

  15. Happy New Year! We are homeschooling for the first time this year, so I am going to be keeping pretty busy trying to figure out how to keep the interest of two 8-yr-old boys and a 4-yr-old boy. I had a small garden last year, but my husband has promised to help me double our garden space this year, which I am very excited about! Our yard is pretty small so I can’t plant any fruit trees…we will be spending a lot of time going to local orchards and farms picking fresh fruit like we did last year. I canned more than 300 jars this year so I can’t wait to can more this year (we also pick a lot of free fruit and do a lot of fishing while camping). This year we are finally getting a couple of chickens for eggs…I am so excited!!! I am finally going to have my tiny farm in the city. 🙂

  16. Try the site-A Garden For the House-Kevin does winter sowing which is starting your seeds in Jan. and Feb. OUTSIDE in milk jugs. It’s fabulous and if you like to start seeds it keeps the space needed and time to watch and control away because it’s all outdoors! Check it out-I live in zone 3 and am planting now!

    1. I don’t think we will be able to do that up here in Zone 4/5. It’s been in the single digits and below zero for about a month now and not changing anytime soon. 🙂 I am hoping to plant my seedlings in a greenhouse in March which is earlier than I’m normally used too!

  17. Wow great list to try and achieve ! We could have pages and pages of them. We moved to AR in 2011, too late in the year to do anything. 2012 we had our first garden. So our goals would be to continue to naturally fertilize and build up our soil in our garden and yard (we do live in town but on several acres). The home we purchased is very old and had been neglected for years.. so patches of grass/dirt and weeds. Definitely add some fruit trees, do a better job of keeping things weeded and do more canning/drying and freezing. Free range our chickens more ! work on more DIY projects to the inside of the house. Get more out of debt. We have our baby graduating in May so looking forward to NO more monthly tuition for school 🙂 Which can go toward debt and more veggie/fruit for the garden. I would LOVE for my dh to build me a clothes line 🙂 I miss the one we had…. Okay I’ll make myself stop now cause I can go on and on and on….

  18. Hi,

    I really enjoyed your blog post. I do have a question though. Why do you think Facebook will be gone in ten years? I don’t ask to offend, just wondering if you would elaborate further. Thank you!

    1. I kind of explained in a comment above but I just think that with the ever changing social media we just don’t know. I don’t think it’s a reliable place to have photos or conversations that I want to keep and remember. I’d just rather have a physical connection with family and friends rather than one over a computer. I just keep thinking that when we are old and our son is looking back, I want him to have physical memories of things, not virtual, even anything is still accessible. Of course we have digital backups of all our photos and things like that but I’m just talking about things specifically on social media.

  19. Hi Merissa,
    I wanted to comment on your goal point 6 “To connect a generator to our main system”. Why don’t you go totally off grid and put solar panels on your roof? Thus you wouldn’t need a generator. You know, generators are also not an option for sustainable living towards God’s Creation and fuel is going to be more and more expensive anyway. So, think about it. More and more people are going off grid.
    Greetings from Greece, Nicole

    1. We aren’t able to afford to put in an entire solar system at this time. Like I mentioned above, we are going to be working towards this goal in 5 years but it’s not financially possible for us for a while. Generators at least will allow us to be prepared should our power fail and in our area where very bad storms are common.

  20. I have only just discovered this blog. What an inspiring piece!

    I have decided that I have at last got my finances under control, I want to keep it that way – think before I buy, or ask myself if I need it or want it.

    I want to find ways of securing my veggie patch against the hungriest marauding birds in the whole world! Then I want to be serious about cultivating heritage seeds.

    I want to explore ways of using the herbs which have EXPLODED in their little patch (birds don’t seem to like them, except the parsley).

    I want to keep up the meditation I started 15 months ago.

    I also want to make rubbish-food so unwanted that it feels like a foreigner in my home. I want it to be permanently exiled, and never to darken the doors of my lovely home and my gorgeous family again.

    I want to continue reading this great blog.

    Thanks, Merissa.

    1. Those are some great goals Margaret! I will have to see if my mom can write some articles on what to do with herbs as she grows a large herb garden each year. Good luck with everything! And Welcome 🙂

  21. Your goals look do-able, I use to love to garden but I am now disabled and miss it so much.

    My wonderful hubby told me he was going to make me raised garden beds a bit higher than most but a garden!

    Your garden size sounds like a big producing area.Years ago my hubby and I had gotten ever bearing raspberries,they gave us berries in less than a year and we picked twice that year.

    Best wishes in this years goals.

    With out goals what have we got to get out of bed for???

  22. You might find the book “America’s Cheapest Family” interesting with your ‘going to town’ plans. I now go grocery shopping only once a month. Look forward to your posts on a large garden and lots of canning!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I actually almost never buy groceries in town, we get them once a month from Azure Standard so I pick them up right off the semi truck 🙂

  23. So you will only leave your house 2 times a month? Am I understanding you right? Do you live very far from a town? Could you expand on this please. It is a totally new concept to me.

    1. Well we will only go to town twice a month. I’m hoping we will make some friends soon and we will have some other places close by to go to. A trip to town is about 25 miles one way so it’s an hour long round trip for us just for driving time.

  24. We move to our new home this fall. Being in transition for two summers. Goal #1 has to be the garden and canning everything. #2 gather from nature what I can. We live were there are wild berries, walnuts, apples etc. I have been building a plan to stock my shelves. This has been a long, lean winter. Yay, for a new year and a chance to plant.

  25. I’ve never been a big goal writing person myself, as I could just keep up generally. Now with having a family, I’m thinking this goal-writing thing just might be the ticket.

    I know I’d like us to become more sustainable, purchase our elusive RV, and both learn and utilize more essential oils and herbs. I really want us to get to the point where we can purchase our meats and eggs from a farm (too bad we can’t really get much RAW milk around here though).

  26. I just found your blog today and I am thrilled. I like the homesteading concept, but my husband drags his feet (I like to think I’m slowly changing him). I live right by South Dakota so I’m always happy to find homestead blogs that are relative to my temps and conditions (such as the extreme colds were are experiencing). I look forward to reading about your adventures and do want to know more about Azure Standard. I just went to their website and the prices seem very reasonable. I plan on looking into this company more but I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind. How long have you been doing AS? what are the pros and cons if any cons? Do they deliver close to Sioux Falls or do I have to have a large order. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m looking at more and better ideas for eliminating shopping and eating healthier.

    1. Jennifer, I’ve been ordering with Azure Standard for over 6 years now, we really enjoy them! I would say the only con is that occasionally something you order isn’t available and you don’t find out until after you place your order (they credit you for the next order), you can always call and ask what’s in stock though. I do think they deliver close to Sioux Falls but you’d have to call them or look at the Delivery Schedule on their website to find out where exactly for sure. My truck driver only goes to Mitchell and then his route heads south so I know you’d be on a different route if you are any further east. As long as you get on with an existing drop site you only need to have a $50 order when you want to order (and believe me, it’s so easy to get $50 because they have so much stuff!). I know we will always order with them, they’ve been such a a great company to buy from and the prices are much better than anything I could pay here. Plus they have everything from fresh produce to chicken feed! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  27. Good goals. You are lucky to have your own land. We are renting at the moment but we started to grow some herbs and fruits in the containers. Our big goal is to settle in a village in nearby state. Until then I absorb as much information as possible.

  28. Hi Jenny here, from Melbourne, Australia. I love the idea of self sufficiency goals generally, rather than the boring new years resolutions around losing weight or getting fitter.

    My self sufficiency goals for 2014 will be to connect up the water tank in my garden to the toilet and start a vege garden.

    Good luck with your goals.

    1. I’m not really interested in having goats at this time since they don’t help the grass grow which is what we need. I know many will dissagree with me but I’m not a goat person, I like my cattle 🙂

  29. I’m planning to build some hoop frames over my raised beds to extend the season and protect plants from squirrels and my chickens. I’m also going to build an aquaponics system for the basement. If this goes well, a greenhouse for a larger system will be planned for the future.

  30. Thanks for sharing your goals in 2014. I plan to clean out the clutter in my home, plant a bigger garden for canning purposes and try to pay off as much debt as possible. No frequent town visits for me either! Happy New Year.

  31. Our goals are pretty much the same as yours. Although living in a city/rural area is going to make some of the goals a little hard. I am planting a garden this year of vegetables so that I can do some canning, planting fruit trees(a very small orchard), getting a few chickens(not sure about ducks yet), finding someone that sells grass fed cows so that we can buy, butcher, and freeze and looking for free range chickens to buy, butcher and freeze. I want to be debt free this year…I have been working on this for almost three years and with my husband getting cancer, the car engine blowing up and our house flooding not once, not twice but three times that en devour has been truly hard to accomplish. I want to learn how to “live off the grid” as they say.

    My goals are very simple : the most important one is “to stay positive” , the second one is to store and sort all my cupboards in order to keep what is really necessary and to sell or throw away what it isn’t and the last one is to have a better life by doing more things by myself and mainly produce fruits and vegetables in my small garden. I hope my english is not so bad !

  33. I love this list of goals! Mine at this stage of my life are different, but I can see these being future goals.

    I do know that my garden this year will include more green beans, less peas and broccoli (my fiance doesn’t like either and it just isn’t worth it), and more squash varieties. And of course peppers and tomatoes and lettuce. I’d like to try potatoes and carrots, and radishes again (we had the last batch inhaled by the groundhog living in the barn that has since moved on).

    I also plan on trying to eat more real food and making homemade versions of things (like Hamburger Helper, Velveeta (from your old post!), rice mixes, etc), and making more freezer/Crockpot recipes for the busy semester.

    I also hope to crochet far more than I have been and work on selling more things in my Etsy shop. I’ve tried to leave Facebook: lasted less than 24 hours. It is hard as that is where I communicate with loved ones the most.

    I’m also going to try to buy less. I have more than enough THINGS and don’t need more.

    I loved reading all the goals in the comments too!


  34. Melissa,
    We are working on downsizing, getting rid of ALOT of stuff this year. We soon will be in our rv and starting our house. I can’t help but think of you, when we are talking over our plans, and steps for the year. Burr it’s cold out, how are surviving in the rv with the temperature so low? Are you still in there? If so how are you staying warm?

    1. It’s actually quite warm in the rv although we are burning through quite a bit of propane on these colder days. I’m VERY excited to get into the house as soon as we can 🙂

  35. I applaud you and your husband for living simply and working towards being debt free by 30! I am in my 30s but we are hoping to have the remainder of our house paid off by the time I am 36. The last few years have been hard for us as a family in so many ways but I look forward to getting back to gardening, canning and preserving in 2014. Thank-you for sharing your updates!

  36. We are working on getting the greenhouse addition done. With town living comes much headache. I am striving towards being happy with where we are. I am hoping we can get a solar suitcase generator from Peppermint Energy. They are based in SD and so am I. Have to support local where one can. Plus I don’t have to worry about running out of fuel for my generator. I like that I can plug right into the “suitcase” and not worry about the grid.

  37. I always love your posts, I admire you and your family so much! A lot of these goals will be mine when my boyfriend and I get married – it’ll be a lot of work, but it will really show the (future) kids how to be independent when everything around them is trying to force opinions and consumerism on them.

  38. Hello! I like your goals. It inspired me to write mine down.
    1. Add to our baby orchard. Need to replace the plum tree we lost and add 2 Asian pears and 2 cherry trees. Our first trees we planted 5 years ago are really starting to produce and it is so exciting. We should have enough apples and plums for canning and drying this year.
    2. Get a large water tank for storage and use in garden. We get a lot of rain and have a large barn roof we could be collecting from.
    3. Put up a clothes line.
    4. Replenish our chickens when we can figure out what to do to critter-proof the run. Eventually would love to have a chicken tractor.
    5. Breed our mini Nubian goat so we can eventually get milk.
    6. Figure out how to grow better pasture so we don’t have to buy as much hay for the horses, sheep, alpacas, and goats.
    7. Better management of our garden. Last year the weeds got ahead of me and we were not good about watering consistently or picking and using produce in a timely mannner so a lot went to the animals (not a completely loss, but more than we intended).
    8. Have husband make a root cellar.
    9. Learn how to make homemade cleaning products, soaps, lotion, shampoo, candles, etc.
    10. Continue knitting and quilting. Want to make socks and gloves. I only do one or two baby quilts per year but I enjoy using up my fabric stash and it is fun to make them when you aren’t too tired.
    11. Look into solar power and possibly wind power.
    12. Learn how to use our grain mill and use it!

    Love your blog!

  39. Being debt free is what many used to do in this country. Cash only for many purchases–no $$$–don’t buy it. I am still working on being debt free and it looks like 2 more years. It takes a lot of sacrifice to do this but it sure is worth it!! It is not easy when our society screams BUY, BUY and BUY this product and your friends are always spending money on something, going out, going places. But once you see the “live like no one else now so later you can live like no one else” (Dave Ramsey) it does become easier.

    I cook a lot from scratch to save money. And before the next trip to the grocery store, I use as much as possible in my pantry, freezer before spending more money. Why have X amount of dollars spent on food sit around for months when you could have used that money for other things. Yes I do stock up at times. Especially in the winter months.

    Currently I am paying weekly on my car tires on line. I get a paper statement, but I can spare dollars each week to pay my bill. Another great way to pay down and off debt faster. They will be paid for next month.

  40. I love your list of goals – we do this too for all the little and sometimes no so little things that need to be handled around the house and property. I’m so glad someone else is doing the once a month shopping besides me! I’ve done that since we moved here 9 years ago since we also live 25 miles from the nearest “big” city! Once you get the hang of it, it will become routine. We did it all summer since my hubby is now semi-retired and works seasonal in the winter. Since his ss and pension came in once a month that’s when we shopped and did all the chasing. I make lots of lists and keep running lists of things that we run out of or are close to. It does make things less stressful and we always have things to make for dinners, etc. I applaud you for what you’re doing and wish you nothing but success! Looking forward to your updates!

    1. Isn’t it crazy how 25 miles seems so far from town? Previously it was 13 miles for us and now it’s 25 (and that’s not even the big town, that one is 90 miles) but it feels far!

  41. Awesome Goals! Some of my goals this year are:

    1. Eat a higher protein, lower fat and sugar diet…
    2. Get the windows on the front of our 85 year old house replaced.
    3. Start the process if actually setting aside a nest egg for emergencies
    4. Start my garden and Can can can!!!

  42. Good for you for making debt-free a goal! My husband & I were 29 & 35 (just to be clear, i was 29–lol!) when he sent our last payment on the house. Whew! What an awesome feeling. No debt. None. It took a lot(!) of work & discipline for four, sometimes long, years….lots of beans & rice or dates to the local bookstore…homemade cards for Valentine’s Days & anniversaries. But it was worth it. I would highly reccomend it to anyone….it’s funny, its been the ten years of being debt free that has afforded us to travel a little & buy needed furniture or go to nice restaurants for special occasions, but it was the trip to the Target snack bar to celebrate an anniversay that we look back on or routinly “remember” with such sweetness….

  43. We have 8 apple trees,2 pear trees and 2 peach trees, a lot of blackberries,rasberries, grapes,a small patch of strawberries, can’t wait till summer, hope they all do good.i put out a small garden every year,our house is pd off so my biggest expense in the winter is heat,we are putting in a woodburner next winter.I also sew, made a few quilts and throw pillows and curtains.hope all goes well for you.

  44. Merissa,
    I love your goals, and we share many of the same ones. This year will mark the third for my garden and every year I seem to learn something, not only about growing but about myself as well. I hope you are just as fortunate.
    Quick question; knowing you live outside of town and have a small child what do you for socializing on more of a daily or weekly base, especially since you only want to go into town every so often?
    Bets of luck with your goals. I think your blog is wonderful and I’m on here daily.

    1. We have aunts and uncles that will be visiting often and going to town does not include play dates since those technically won’t be “in town” for us 🙂