Getting the balance of what self sufficient means to us – the balance

I’ve been thinking more and more about self sufficiency and how it applies to us, or rather how we apply us to it. There are some very strong views out there on it, but I’m just throwing some thoughts out there which aren’t getting down to the nitty gritty just yet so please bear with me.
I’ve had a little thought, which many people have had before however for us personally, it will help us on the road to being less reliant on supermarkets and more reliant on ourselves.  Thinking ahead to 2017, we’re not going to start having home grown items available on January 1st even though I’ve been planting through Autumn/Winter to make sure some things are available as early as possible.  I plan on tweaking my 2017 growing plan (as much as my experience and knowledge allows me) to ensure once we start producing food in 2017, we don’t stop.  I’m researching all of the time and learning so much through the experience of others via blogs too.  Making notes along the way to ensure I remember the following year what to do and what not to do.
With these thoughts running through my head, the other thing niggling at me is having to go to Tesco (or wherever) for household items.  I’d like to reduce the amount we go.  So I’ve started making a list of things we need such as toilet roll, soap, shampoo etc and the list was ever expanding.  Then I made a list of non-perishable (or very long life) foods that we have such as tinned tuna, cereal etc.  I appreciate people will say, you could make your own soap and shampoo and you could poo in the woods (ok I’m exaggerating) but we need to do what works for us on our self-sufficient journey.  We both work full time, meaning that I need clothes that I can wear in the office – that’s the kind of balance I’m talking about.  So whilst we’re mindful about those areas and we certainly only spend what we need to there, I’m going to focus on the food and wellbeing. 
I mentioned cereal amongst the other things, this is something I could make at home, yes.  Granola and muesli, so that’s one thing I am going to change.  I can’t make coco pops though.  The kids aren’t allowed them a lot, but they do enjoy them when they are.  So I will buy those in.  However the kids don’t eat enough eggs (for my liking , given how many chickens we have) so they can have those more.  We are getting pigs in March, so maybe by November 2017 ish, we’ll be self-sufficient in pork/ham/bacon/sausages etc. We’re not buying a cow though, so I will still buy beef as I enjoy beef.  We might get one in a year or two though, who knows.  We don’t have goats or dairy cows, so I will buy milk – that’s something we use a lot of.  I can freeze it if I buy it in bulk.  We have some chicken in the freezer of our own but it won’t last long.  We should have our home grown chickens ready early April 2017 so from then on, I shouldn’t need to buy more chicken.
This is a snippet of the thoughts I am having for 2017’s budget and lifestyle.  Can you imagine how full my head is right now J  I’m off to think more about how we can shop less and grow more. 

Happy 6 month Anniversary to us

A comment on one of my posts a week or two ago from Frugal in Essex said she hoped that our lives at the smallholding were everything we hoped they would be.  Combined with something my husband said the other day, and having lived in our house 6 months to the day, I thought it would be a good time to reflect.

It’s an easy post really.
I have never in my life been more fulfilled, content and happier than I am right now, living in our dream house, on our dream smallholding with my amazing family.  I can honestly say that every day something makes me smile, even if it’s for a split second….  Walking back towards the house from the field looking at how cosy and welcoming it looks or locking the geese away on a night, seeing the plants grow from the seeds I nervously planted, riding out with my daughter on our ‘own’ bridle ways, standing with my husband amongst the hens discussing the next venture, watching my son run around the garden chasing his football and stopping to chat with the geese, warming the children’s clothes on the Aga, looking at the hundred-year-old beams in the kitchen wondering who else looked at them or sat on the window seat in Spring watching the horses graze, I truly, truly appreciate every single one of these moments. 
Yes the kids bicker, yes I lose my temper (wish I didn’t), yes I feel rushed sometimes, yes there are days when I am totally unorganised and none of the ideas I hoped to achieve seem within reach, but even with any of those things, you couldn’t get a more content person that me right now. 

Right now, being forever.