Over 175 years ago, pioneers migrated west to settle what would now become booming metropolis cities. Today we live in air-conditioned homes, buy our supermarket milk in gallon jugs, and order anything we could possibly dream of with the click of a button and have it magically appear two days later at our doorstep.

We live in blessed times. But do you ever wonder if you could have made it as a pioneer? Actually, those hard-working men and women were doing so many things right. Here are eight pioneer lifestyles that you can adopt to become happier and healthier too.

8 Pioneer Lifestyles You Can Adopt

1. More home cooking

Pioneers didn’t have a Taco Bell they could pull their horse and wagon up to after a long day’s work. They had to rely on home cooking which added more vitamins and nutrients to their diets and cut out genetically modified and overly-processed foods. No wonder they were so healthy!

2. Use what’s in your pantry.

One main rule of homesteading is use what’s in your pantry. The “waste not, want not” mentality of pioneers is something we could all improve upon. Learning how to use those pantry staples like oats, flour, beans, and rice to make healthy meals is a good habit to get in. You can read about how to soak beans and their benefits here.

3. Grow a garden.

Growing your own produce has abundant benefits. You’ll have fresh fruits and veggies at your fingertips, plus you know exactly where your food comes from and what goes into growing it. Here are 35 tips for planting a garden that will grow this year!

4. Learn to can.

Speaking of items in your pantry, canning is a great way to preserve your garden vegetables for those cold winter months when nothing can grow. Canning is a skill that will be vital in case of an emergency. Learn how to can peaches and other produce step-by-step and be a more prepared person for it.

5. Use organic eggs and meat.

When a pioneer wanted eggs for breakfast, he would go out and collect them in the back yard. If a pioneer gal wanted a juicy steak, she’d kill the cow and butcher him up. Although those steps might not be feasible, you can buy locally grown organic eggs and meat. If you have a little bit of space for them, consider raising your own chickens for beginners.

6. Learn a skill to be more self-sufficient.

Whether it’s knitting, sewing, soap-making, or knowing how to start a fire—develop a skill that will enable you to be more self-sufficient. You never know when it’s going to come in handy.

7. Fewer clothes and toys

Have you ever heard the old pioneer saying, Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without?

Pioneers believed in simplicity. The fewer clothes they had to wash, the better. Men had one or maybe two pairs of pants–a few work shirts and one for church. Women were lucky if they had three dresses. Pioneer children ran around in the same outfit for days on end. And you know what…they were happy!

How nice would it be to let go of all the extraneous “stuff” we have cluttering our lives?

8. Be content with what you have.

The best pioneer lifestyle you can adopt is to be content with what you have. You will not be happier with five pairs of designer sunglasses then you were with four. The most pure form of well-being comes when you are happy with exactly what you have.

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