Pardon while the Damsel gets a bit serious.
Self reliance is more than making your own buttermilk. It's an attitude.
Of course it's easier to just buy stuff already made. Once in a while, doing stuff the old fashioned way really is easier, but that's usually not the case. Ease is what the ready-made world is all about.
There are many reasons to learn to do things for yourself, but the feeling of being self reliant is way up there. By being more self reliant, you'll feel safer. Secure in your own capability. Comfortable in the idea that you can take care of your loved ones.
The Damsel realizes that all this hard work at preparedness may not be called upon in a dramatic way. It could be that we'll live our whole lives without having delivery pizza cruelly taken away from us. That the grocery stores will remain stocked with boxed dinners and cold cereal. But there are few things in this world we can derive such an honest, basic satisfaction from as from making something with our own hands.
They say Leonardo da Vinci said "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." The Damsel loves this quote with all her heart. And she feels that doing things herself is one way of bringing that simplicity into her crazy, noisy life.
Margot is a mom of seven and pretty much crazy from it. Online she's known as the Damsel in Dis Dress and blogs at the Old School (http://www.mynewoldschool.com/) and twitters at @the_damsel.
A blog about her writing adventures is found at Inklings.