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Survive Inflation Part 1: Urban Homesteading

Liezl Hesketh in Tips 

survive inflation and grow vegetables

People who survive inflation are those who stop expecting the government to supply all their needs and make a plan for themselves. As everyone knows, South Africa’s economy is in dire straits with few signs of recovery in the near future. Inflation is increasing constantly. During inflation, prices rise – they inflate. Sometimes the actions taken by governments can be even worse.  What R100 could buy a few years ago, now costs much more. On 21 January, 2016, R100 was the equivalent of GBP4.20, USD6, AUD8.70, EUR5.50 and CNY39.50 

Survive Inflation

This week, we’re going to look at how city dwellers can go ‘off-grid’. Another name for it is ‘urban homesteading’. It’s a great opportunity to think outside of the box, learn new skills and maybe even find an additional income stream.

Urban Homesteading

You don’t need a lot of space to become virtually self-sufficient. This family isn’t just surviving, but thriving! On an incredibly small space they grow not only enough fresh, organic food for themselves but also sell their produce to local restaurants. Urban homesteading is still achievable in an apartment, albeit on a more modest scale. Drip feeding plants saves not only water but floors, as there’s no drip or overflow issues to worry about.  Even if you don’t grow your own food, buy fresh produce in bulk and make your own jams, fruit preserves and butters, and chutneys etc to survive inflation. Learn to make your own clothes and even furnishings. Recreational Centres throughout the country often host courses in urban homesteading activities. Try the technical colleges as well for handy courses.

Here are some great homesteader tips for saving money

Be a conscientious neighbour and citizen – check your apartment block’s rules and regulations as well as your city and suburb by-laws before embarking on any alternative lifestyles. Let your neighbours know your plans and provide them with proof that it’s legal before going ahead. You may even encourage them to start their own homesteading projects.

  1. Go solar or at least as solar as possible.
  2. Use LED lights.
  3. Replace your electric geyser and stove with gas alternatives and you’ll save a fortune in electricity bills. And you’ll never have to worry about power cuts.
  4. The assumption that a big house and car means you’re successful is erroneous. 98% of big houses are owned not by the people who live in them, but by the bank, who could repossess them at a moment’s notice leaving the former occupants homeless.
  5. Explore new ways to make a small home fabulous! The average RDP house is 45m2 (484 square feet). The Tiny House phenomenon is sweeping America and Europe so there are many sites you can browse for inspiration.
  6. Install a water friendly composting toilet. A composting toilet turns normally unusable human excrement into usable compost. This is only achievable if you are not in an apartment building.
  7. Grow your veggies. If you think you’ll miss having a flower garden plant edible flowers and get double the benefit. Chickens and ducks are perfect poison-free bug eliminators and you get free eggs and meat from them as well. Plant clever. Plants, like people, have companion preferences which encourages growth.
  8. Live Waste Free. Even a small trip to the shops produces a frightening amount of non-biodegradable waste. Here, Lauren Singer has some great tips for reducing your waste, saving the environment and money at the same time. Saving money is great for beating inflation.

Survive inflation by thinking and living differently. So explore, challenge yourself, do life differently.