One of the greatest things lessons I have learned over the years on independence and thinking independently is simply the practice of learning to do things for myself.
My biggest example for this is yogurt.
For the last two years (except when traveling), I have not purchased yogurt. I have made my own. Yogurt is just about the most easy dairy product to make and takes about two days: one to heat the milk and inoculate and let it set, one day to drain off the whey. Although my kitchen scale does not go high enough, my estimation is that a gallon of milk will get me about 1 to 1.5 lbs of yogurt. That will last me for about a week, at which time I will get a new gallon of milk and heat it and introduce some of the culture from the previous yogurt into this one (such culture will acidify over time, so I do have to start with new starter culture every now and again).
To a lesser (much lesser extent) I can do this with other dairy products like cheese (but my friend, Rain, is an actual master. Her, you should follow). And one can make the argument that on the whole, I am probably not saving a great deal of money - for yogurt, I think I save a little.
But that is not really the point.
As one provides for one's self in any aspect - yogurt or vegetables or car repair or sewing - one is doing something much more valuable than just providing a product: one is training the mind.
The mind is being trained to think and act for itself in its own provision, rather than constantly having to go to an outside source to provide for it. One realizes that one can do things: I can make yogurt or cheese or darn socks or make something out of leather, something that is useful and productive. Will I necessarily save money? No. It will at best be a wash and at worst cost me more.
But in doing these things, I realize a truth. I can provide for myself. And as I learn to provide for myself, I find that I am learning to think for myself. My first reaction is not "Where will I find this?" or "Who will do this for me?" It is "How do I do this?" or "How do I find out how to do this?" I am looking to myself to do the thing or get the information, not relying on someone to provide it for me or tell me what to do.
In a way, I think this is why Our Political And Social Betters disparage the concepts of doing for ourselves and really only encourage those sorts of things that make us look to them as the fount of all supply and wisdom. To do for ourselves is to remove their power, and to remove their power is to make them obsolete.
Want to start someone down the route to independent thought and self determination? Teach them to make yogurt.