Life-proof skills worth learning to survive the Inflation
By Mikaela Delos Santos, Publishing Editor
There is no arguing in the sentiment that inflation has not been easy for many Canadians. One of the biggest groups affected are university and college students. Juggling school, work, and other commitments on a uni budget are hard enough— here’s some life-proof skills everyone should try to survive the inflation.
There’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with learning how to sew. After learning the basics of operating a sewing machine, and/or learning how to do basic hand sewing stitches, the possibilities are endless.
With the skill of sewing, you can make clothes, resize and hem thrifted finds, mend rips and tears, as well as make memorable quilts. If you’re looking to start, get yourself a reliable sewing machine such as a Brother XM2701 or a Singer 4423 Heavy Duty . While they can be pricey, the investment and the learned skills will be worthwhile for years to come. If you want to start the old-school way, a sewing kit is also a great place to start.
Crochet and Knitting
What better way to keep yourself warm during the fall and winter months than by making your own sweaters and scarves. Time to bust out grandma’s old knitting needles, crochet hooks and make yourself something cozy.
If you’re wondering what the difference is between crocheting and knitting, crochet consists of one hooked needle and knitting requires two. The methods are also different, where knitting is to interlock loops while crocheting is to create knots. Because of this, anything done by crochet is less unlikely to unravel compared to knitting. (Fun fact, crochet actually can’t be recreated by a machine). Despite their differences, learning these skills will be a hobby to cherish and be of convenience for a long time.
Depending on what you decide to do, start with a 5.0 mm hook and/or needle (Letter I for crocheting, and US Size 8 for knitting). This size of needle or hook will be best for a Medium (also called Worsted) sized yarn. This is the most common size of hook/needle and yarn for those looking to begin the skill. It is also recommended for beginners to start with a light coloured yarn so they are able to see each stitch and knot better.
Canning or Preserving food in jars
Throwing away food or leaving them to spoil is one of the most guilt-inducing feeling there is. As groceries become more expensive, preserving food is an economically and environmentally friendly know-how. Although this skill comes with some precautions— doing so incorrectly can cost you your health. Make sure to do your thorough research before preserving your own food.
With that said, canning or preserving food comes with knowing which jar is the appropriate one for use. Make sure that the jars you get are canning and food safe— a 12 pack of quart jars are easily found in many grocery stores. Science-based recipes specifically made for canning are also something to consider. Certain types of food and recipes require their own different preserving methods such as differences in temperature to kill harmful microorganisms. Creating your own canning recipe without appropriate research can lead to cases such as botulism. Having your own pressure canner is also a way to guarantee proper and safe canning process. Sterilization is also an important factor, and knowing that not all lids are meant for multiple uses.
While this seems like an overwhelming process, canning or preserving food in jars is completely safe as long as it is done correctly. If you’re not ready for the overall process yet, don’t worry! You can still use jars for other food-related use.
You can use them to pickle vegetables, create berry syrup, or freeze soup in jars for meal prep purposes. Looking for more? There are tons of canning and jar related possibilities that can be found on Pinterest and cooking blogs.
It pays to have a green thumb! Owning houseplants has been a craze for the past few years, why not add more plants that give back? If you have a backyard, planting your own grocery produce is a cheap and fulfilling way to do your daily meals. If you are short on space, you can also keep some fresh herbs that can easily be placed on your kitchen windowsill.
Some essentials you can start with are tomatoes, ideally planted from early to mid-May. Tomatoes require a sunny spot and everyday watering. With proper care, tomato plants will give you lots to harvest.
If you’re looking for something easy and quick, some produce leftovers can be used to regrow for more harvesting. Roots of green onions, bok choy, celery, and lettuce can be placed in water— wait for a few days to see some stalks and enjoy your new everlasting source of vegetables and herbs.
Living through adult life during the inflation is not easy for many uni students. While paycheques, student loans, and bills may come and go, learning these inflation proof skills will always be priceless and timeless.