What Can We Learn from The Amish?
It is well known that the Amish community has a knack for self-sufficiency, both temporally and spiritually. They raise and grow their own food and teach their children to live off the land and be self-sufficient. Since they don’t watch television or use any type of electric devices, they get to decide what goes into their children's’ minds.
The Amish save money by not paying phone bills, buying gas, hiring carpenters, or even needing groceries in most cases. Cutting these bills and changing the way you do things—if you’re able—can save you money and teach your kids to be more self-sufficient in life.
What can we learn from the Amish and how do we use those lessons in our daily lives? The Amish lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but some great ideas can be taken from it. We’ve listed a few for you here:
- Sewing – Taking up sewing can not only potentially save your favorite dress or pants from being discarded, but you can learn to make your own clothing. Making children’s clothing, blankets, towels, etc. is easy and could save you quite a bit when you consider how much you spend on these items daily.
- Farming –Raising your own animals is a great way to cut expenses and eat wholesome foods that do not contain harmful chemicals.
If you have the space, raising a pig, cow, and some chickens would completely take care of your family for a year or more. If you add the cost of the animal, food, butchering, processing, and wrapping you still end up saving money over the course of a year than if you purchased store-bought food for that length of time.
If you do not have space for an animal, you can still contact a butcher and see if they have any half animals that you can purchase already wrapped. This also serves the community in that you are keeping your money close to home instead of spending it at a place that is not benefiting your local economy.
- Build Your Own – This is a no brainer. If you knew how to build a shop, house, chicken coop, or shed, you would probably do it and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars hiring someone else.
With YouTube, you can basically do anything. People have built homes by watching YouTube videos. Finding out how to do things on your own is the best way to become more self-sufficient.
Getting a community together to do home projects is a great way of spending time with those you care about, while maintaining social distancing and getting something done that is much needed.
Community – The Amish believe firmly in taking care of their neighbors. They live in tight-knit communities that come together when something needs to be done around a family’s home. The most important aspect of any community is the involvement in the improvement of the people within it. Get involved in helping the people that reside in the place you live.
- Volunteer to cook at your local food shelter. Even if you do not have time to physically be there serving the dish, you can throw something together, take it over, and allow workers to give it to those in need.
- Start something in your community. If you see a need, fulfill it in your community. Are community members going through winter without food or wood? Get people together to deliver that to them. With some help and a little ingenuity, you could start something wonderful that benefits your neighbors.
- Get a food drive together. Even just your friends putting items into a box and taking it to the food bank helps tremendously. While you are there, ask what the greatest need is and try to help them out with it.
- See someone struggling? Help them! We tend to not get involved when we see someone having a hard time, but it is time we start truly helping one another out and that means getting involved.
If you see someone struggling to figure out how to pay a bill, sit down with them and help them come up with a budget. Is someone having a hard time paying for gas at the pump? Give them $5 to put into their car. You won’t believe how just getting involved and helping people out really makes their day.
Another idea is to donate to your local laundromat. Donate $20 a week to give to someone that cannot afford to wash all their clothes or dry them. That small gesture could mean a child’s clothing is clean and smelling nice when they go outside to play.
- Plant a Garden – We have said this before, but the absolute best way of keeping money and effort in your community while taking care of yourself is to grow your own food.
Plant everything your family likes to eat, learn to can, or freeze dry items, and you will feed your family continuously and will not have to worry about the prices at the supermarket.
Have plenty left over? Make sure that goes back into your community too: give to your family, neighbors, and even the food bank (most take your donations of fresh fruits and vegetables).
If you put enough effort into a garden, you could open a “take what you need” location where people that need food can come get it from you directly.
Make Do – This can be stretched over every area of your life. To save as much money as you can, you need to make do with what you already have. Rather than looking for something better to replace them, mend your clothes, fix furniture, and leave out the expensive ingredient. You’ll be surprised how much you can save by simply taking care of what you already have and appreciating it.
Being self-sufficient means you do not have to rely on other people for your survival and you can take care of yourself and your family without any outside assistance. This is the way of the Amish, and the way we should go back to living.
We would absolutely love to hear your ideas on becoming self sufficient. Please comment here with any ideas you have!