EXTREME Lifestyle Experiment…Can I Do It?

Greetings all and thanks for stopping by! Today I’ve got a big one for you…

We just returned from our trip to the States, and it was so much fun! But now its down to business and I would like to discuss with you something I’ve been thinking about doing. I’d really like your input as to whether or not you think I have just completely lost my mind.

I’ve been rolling over in my mind how to explain this, but there really isn’t a good way to do it that I can find. So, here it is: I’ve decided to set a challenge for myself – starting today (this morning actually, and day one sucked) that I will do a complete 180 ย degree turnaround and live off the land – or at least locally. In all honesty, even though I’ve put some stuff to grow (fingers crossed) I really only have red currants and rhubarb growing and I’m smart enough to know that there’s no way I can last 2 days with that. I’m also kicking off a year (or thereabouts) of a shopping ban. No clothes, accessories shopping for me! I’ll explain all in the following paragraph. Please hang with me because there’s a lot of info – as this is a YUGE challenge I’ve set for myself. I have no idea how long I’ll actually make it, but we’ll see!

This whole post is surely a bit disjointed, but I do want to get all the facts out there so you can call me on it later. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My motivation is this: I’ve been trying to get our accounting together and I realized that we are spending 100’s of Euros more a month than we should be, at the market. I’ve been thinking alot about how spoiled we (as several generations) are. I’ve been paying more attention at the market and it has started to stun me how easily accessible everything is due to globalization. I mean, I think its only in the past 20 years or so that its become commonplace to find summer fruits in mid winter or autumn root vegetables in the spring. This is not natural. Anyway, things got me thinking about how our grandparents lived. Although they were able to import/export items, it was nowhere near the level we have today. They had to eat according to natural harvesting seasons and also with wars, economic depression and the ration card. Despite all of this, many of them managed to survive and become what is actually one of our healthiest, toughest and most stable generations of the 20th century. And then I look at myself. I have been learning 1-2 ways of planting or preserving every year. But in the grande scheme of things, I’ll be 70 before I can actually live off what I’ve learned. I can’t bake – not for anything. I can cook, but it’s not in the realm of deliciousness – so I’m usually the only one who will eat it. And I need to learn. I have a habit of purchasing ready-made or easy to prepare food. ย But the more I look at it, the more I want to prioritize my spending. As I would prefer to be able to pay off my debt (Or at least pay it down somewhat). Creating a life which is more on the self-reliant sphere has catapulted my decision. That and the fact that I really need to learn how to do this. It’s sink or swim time. And I hope I don’t sink!

So here’s what I’m doing: I am living off what I can grow as much as possible and what I can source from local farms and local small business (live fish farm -? I think it exists?, greenhouses and a small shop which sources dried herbs from the area). I am allowing myself gifts. As in, I will not turn down birthday cake if someone gets it for me. (My husband hates this clause because he thinks I’ll be begging people to buy me food ‘gifts’…he may be correct, but lets hope not!) I know that I will need lots of help from friends and neighbors to help me learn and direct me to local farms where I can purchase food items (which will fun to explain, as they don’t even know this blog exists).

I am allowing myself some purchases at the market, as I cannot cook without some things. The items I am allowing myself are as follows:

  • varying wheat flours
  • oil
  • sugar
  • cheese (& maaayyyybbe milk if I need it for casserole, but I think I can do without)
  • eggs
  • yeast
  • dried beans/peas
  • mustard powder (I’m trying to perfect a mustard recipe for gifts)
  • coffee
  • tea
  • vinegar

If I cannot make the items I need with these ingredients, I don’t get it. I have to learn to make my own bread, pastry, pasta and sauces. I don’t feel like I’m cheating with these ingredients, because they are necessary and even the cowboys had access to these items. Besides, I can’t preserve without some of it. So there. *sticks out tongue and wags fingers in ears.

Part 2 of this challenge is that I am embarking on a shopping ban. 1 year if I can do it. I have enough. Ironically, I looked in my wardrobe today and have built up my wardrobe to exactly 30 items. I find it so weird that some people consider 30 items for a season, a minimalist challenge. How? My wardrobe looks so….full!

I don’t know why my mind is so set on this, as it seems like a mission to disaster for this spoiled city girl. But I am determined to make it work. I can tell you quite honestly that I am already seriously missing fruit and mineral water. ย I know that I will have troubles, challenges and frustrating days. I will be logging everything so that you can share in this journey with me as much as possible. I plan to do a vlog series about it as well, but no promises because I have no idea how weird I’m going to get.

So that’s my deal. Any thoughts on the matter?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. With enough wiggle room, I believe you can do it. It’s going to be a challenge at first but with trial and error you’ll get to your goal. I, also, decided that I was not going to spend on “stuff/material bs” anymore. I’m becoming a minimalist. Ha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thatโ€™s awesome! I look forward to hearing how your journey goes ๐Ÿ™‚
      As for mine, I think you may be correct. Not so much room but there are farms nearby.
      Xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I understand your perspective with wanting to spend less, be self-sufficient, and to commit to something “yuge.” ๐Ÿ™‚
    If you can, think about setting a future date for doing this -like in one month. Yes, cut back on mineral water and pre-made meals. No, don’t go full pilgrim yet (you’ll do that in a month, remember?). Challenge yourself to make dinner each night using less-expensive ingredients. Buy all the makings of a cake and bake it (well, bread would be more useful).
    As a final note: the people who lived through less-abundant/nutritionally diverse times and are hardy… are the ones who didn’t die from malnutrition, childhood diseases, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks so much for your input, Chelsea! You are most likely correct. Easing into it would probably be the best for success. However, this is a life experiment- which is what I do here and Iโ€™m already 2 – very hungry days in, so… Iโ€™ll see where it takes me. My husband bet that I wouldnโ€™t make it 2 days, so if I can just get through the morning, Iโ€™ve already won ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very well. Have fun!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mliae says:

        When does the fun start? LOL

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Ha ha! It’s YOUR circus.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. mliae says:

        Well when you put it that way…. ;P

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I was born in 1942. I remember having to live by the seasons; no fridges; ration cards…….. How can I not admire your stance. Very good luck, and don’t forget a little slippage is perfectly acceptable ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      I love this! Thank you, Derrick! Please share any tips or advice you may have to offer. Itโ€™s day 2 and Iโ€™m already pacing by the fridge! Opened a bag of potatoes for cooking tonight and they were already growing! Gggrr

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d say forget sell-by, best before, use before dates. Use your eyes and sense of smell

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mliae says:

        Good advice, and I will keep that in mind for sure! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I am super curious to see how your journey goes. Sounds like a really good challenge and honestly a pretty cool journey! Can’t wait to read more about it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks girl! Loving this comment ๐Ÿ™‚ so far, so hungry. Thought I had some spare potatoes but I opened the sack tonight and they had sprouted out of the bag already! Sooo disappointing. White rice and blended salmon it is…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh nooo๐Ÿ˜” that’s the worst! And always when you are ready to use them! I’m sorry girly! Sending you all the good potato vibes ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿ™Œ

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mliae says:

        Thanks! I’m good. Lucky we have a small stash of rice and some chopped fish ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  5. A real life experiment. Good luck…(said with sceptical look and a hopeful smile). You will certainly learn new things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks! I know what you mean with the look. Hubby bet I’d last 2 days (on day 3 now..wooohhooo!) and I’m not thinking I’ll make it very far on this experiment. But always have to try!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Jennie says:

    While this is a good idea, I think perhaps 180 days might be biting off more than you can chew. Pun intended! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Haha…Good one!
      I did not mean to say 180 days, but that I was doing a 180 – a turnaround. No way can I last that long! I’ll find my mistype in the post and correct it. Will be lucky to make it 1 month!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jennie says:

        Oh! That makes much more sense. One month is doable. Good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. mliae says:

        Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 2 people

  7. r_prab says:

    Experimenting at a whole new level! All the best! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      A whole new level it is, my friend! Thanks for your wishes and support ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Colette B says:

    Best of luck with this. Isn’t your husband joining in then? I’d love to be able to grow food in my garden. There is so far only what food nature provides – elderberries, blackberries, dock leaves, dandelions, nettles, lambsfoot, shepherd’s purse… Usually I leave all those for the wildlife. My garden borders woodland and creatures such as moles eat anything below ground and squirrels etc forage on produce above ground. That’s my excuse for avoiding horticulture, or one of many in fact. Buying local and sticking with seasonal food is always a good idea ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks!
      Actually, I gave my hubby a pass on this one. I knew it was going to be a difficult challenge and didn’t think it would be particularly friendly of me to force it on him. Surprisingly, he has been sharing it with me for the most part. Since we make meals together, its just easier that way. And when he wants something store-bought, I just sit there with puppy dog eyes and hope he gives me some as a ‘gift’. This is usually proceeded by a big lecture about how I didn’t make it myself. ;P

      Liked by 2 people

  9. normabobb says:

    Impressive. I am looking forward to reading your success stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€ Looking forward to sharing some soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sue McLaurin says:

    What a great challenge!! Good luck. I decided at the beginning of the year to buy no new clothes (exception was underwear, sport specific clothing and shoes. So far I have bought a 5-pack of underwear, and just today I bought a new pair of work shoes. I have been gifted one dress… I thought it would be a lot harder than it is! Good luck and I look forward to reading more about your challenge.
    Sue ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Thanks so much Sue! I must admit, I’m going through some withdrawal…especially as the season is changing. Great to hear your encouraging words. I hope to do as well as you seem to be doing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this idea! It definitely seems like it will be a challenge but how rewarding and fulfilling when you start getting the hang of this new lifestyle! I’d love to live off the land, and hope to one day once my fiance and I have our own home. This was inspiring! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. mliae says:

      Heeeyyyy…THANKS! What a great comment ๐Ÿ™‚ It is rewarding – at least feeling somewhat ‘guilt free’. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. networthbound says:

    Hi there! I am on a year-long shopping ban I began in July, so came across your blog in my pursuit of finding the experiences of others doing this too. It was such a kick in the pants to read about how you feel you have more than enough with 30 items in your wardrobe and even consider it full. It really put things in perspective for me on what “enough” is to others who have a likely healthier relationship with clothing. My wardrobe count is likely deep into the hundreds, and shopping is still a daily temptation, as is if I didn’t already have enough! Thank you for helping me see things in a clearer light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mliae says:

      Oh WOW! You get the ‘Comment of the Day award’ ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you so much for everything you said.
      I blog-stalked you when I saw your comment & I like what you are doing. It’s so….difficult! I am not inhuman. Do you know I actually had to celebrate on Tuesday because I managed to survive the black friday/cyber monday online sales? Oh yes, that involved some jitters and lecturing myself out loud. My husband thinks I’ve lost it completely.
      I am happy to act as a support system for you. There are some things to do that I find helpful. You can find my email under ‘Contact’ in the menu if you would like to discuss.
      Keep up the wonderful work! We’re almost halfway there!

      Like

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