It’s crazy how much we can learn about saving money from our grandparents or great-grandparents. It’s kind of crazy to think about all the crazy thing’s these people have seen in their lifetime, from the great depression to WWII. Having these insane experiences made them have to learn how to be more industrious and learn ways to save money however they could just to make it through.
As a society we seem to have strayed from a lot of these awesome lessons that our grandparents had to learn, and I genuinely think that some day it’s going to catch up with us! Take the time to learn 25 old-fashion frugal living tips so you can improve your finances NOW instead of waiting until it’s too late.
25 Old-Fashioned Frugal Living Tips
1 // Save Eating Out for Special Occasions
I’m going to admit, I love eating out. It brings me so much joy. However, it’s an INSANE waste of money. When you look at the past, there wasn’t all this convenience food around and our grandparents made everything from scratch and saved eating out for special events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
If you start to only eat out when it’s a special occasion, you’ll save hundreds of dollars in food costs and you’ll (probably) eat much healthier in the process.
2 // Repair. Don’t Replace
This is one of the most common frugal living tips. out there! Back in the day our parents and grandparents wouldn’t have bought a new TV if a small aspect of it was broken, they’d find a repair man and get that TV fixed.
Try everything you can to repair your big household items before you go out and buy a new one.
3 // Fix Ripped Clothing
When your clothes are ripped, that doesn’t mean their life is over! Learning how to sew and fixing your ripped clothes is an amazing way to save a whole bunch of money because you’ll never throw away a perfectly good piece of clothing! You can buy an inexpensive sewing kit and repair your clothes really simply.
4 // Ignore FAST Fashion
I swear if my great grandparents were still alive they would scoff at how often we purchase clothes in the 21st century. Fast fashion stores (i.e., forever 21) are not only bad for the environment, but they’re also very bad for our wallets. When you buy inexpensive clothes, they don’t last as long, which means you purchase more clothing than you need to! You should be purchasing clothes that are going to last more than just one year.
5 // Don’t Pay For Things You Can Do Yourself
Why would you pay someone to do something that you are perfectly capable of doing yourself? A good example of this is hiring someone to clean your house. Someone with old-fashioned beliefs would never be okay with hiring someone to clean their home because cleaning is a low skill task that anybody could do! This also includes things like handy work, tailoring of clothing, cooking, etc.
6 // If Weather Permits, Grow it Yourself!
For hundreds of years people grew their own fruit and vegetables and that saved them a whole bunch of money and the quality is so much better than buying it at a store. If the weather where you live allows for it, you should at least try growing it yourself!
You can start a small garden in your backyard: check out this post for tips on gardening for beginners!
7 // Preserve Whatever You Can
If something goes on sale, or you grow a ton of your own product, try and preserve it! You can do this by canning, dehydrating, or fermenting. This is something that I’m nervous to try but absolutely fascinated by. You can read this awesome article about the four ways to preserve food to save money.
8 // Stock Your Pantry With Inexpensive Staples
You should always have inexpensive and easy to cook foods like beans, rice, and canned vegetables in your pantry. You never know what could happen where you’d no longer have enough money to buy fancy food and expensive produce! These are great ways to bulk up a meal to make extra food for lunches, or to just add more nutrients!
9 // Bake Your Own Bread
If you eat a lot of bread, the cost can add up really quickly. Not only does making your own bread save you a whole bunch of money but it also saves you from eating all of the horrible chemicals that is in modern bread.
Check out this awesome artisan bread recipe!
10 // Downsize Your Living Situation
It seems as time goes on people value having huge homes over actually having money in the bank accounts. Back in the day, kids shared bedrooms, people only had a few rooms in their home, and they did just fine!
You should downsize your living situation whenever you feel like times are tough because it’s a great first step towards making better decisions and needing less stuff.
11 // Skip The Disposable Products
One of the biggest ways to throw money away is to buy things like paper towels, disposable plates, and plastic cutlery. These things are horrible for the environment and they’re a silly expense. You can get decent plates and cutlery on amazon for pretty inexpensive prices! As for paper towel, it’s less expensive long term if you just use some nice dish cloths and wash them when necessary.
12 // Wear an Apron When You Cook
Wearing an apron when you cook will help keep the mess off of your clothes which means that you’ll not have to replace them as often! Bonus, it’s also so cute to wear an apron, I have a christmas one that I wear year round.
13 // Make Your Own Cleaners
Fancy household cleaners are a strain on any person’s budget. Not only are they not so good for you since they’re filled with chemicals, they’re also way more expensive than making your own.
Check out this awesome DIY cleaner recipe!
14 // Save All Your Change for a Rainy Day
This tip is definitely losing some stream since most of us use credit and debit cards way more often than cash, but if you. use cash this is an awesome tip!
If you put all of the money under $5 bills into a jar at the end of each day you can save hundreds of dollars in a year which can be used for christmas, for birthdays, or whatever else you need.
15 // Go For walks, Bike Rides, and Other Free Activities with Family
You don’t need to spend money in order to have a good time with your family and friends! You can find all sorts of free activities to do with your friends and family instead of going to things like movies, expensive dinners, etc. Here’s a list of things you can do during a no-spend weekend.
16 // Save at Least 10% of Your Paycheck
Saving 10% of your paycheck is an amazing thing to do and works best when you pay yourself first. This is advice that I received as a young person but didn’t start to implement until a few months ago.
If you save 10% of your paycheck before you spend a penny, you’ll be able to build an awesome emergency fund and also grow a nest egg for the future!
17 // Find a Money Making Hobby
All of the best hobbies are ones that you can monetize that you also enjoy. Having extra money coming in on the side is a great way to put more money in your savings while also paying off debt.
My favourite money making hobby? BLOGGING! You can check out an entire 3000+ word guide on how to start a blog.
18 // Put on More Clothes Before Turning on the Furnace
This one is a really basic idea, but some people are bigger fans of just turning on the heat. Personally, I love wearing sweaters and blankets and socks and slippers. I’ll have a house that’s freezing cold before I turn on the heat and that’s the way I love it.
You can save hundreds of dollars every winter just by waiting a few weeks before you turn it on.
19 // Handwash Your Dishes
Although washing your dishes by hand can be a real pain in the butt, it can save you tons of water. Dishwashers not only use a whole bunch of water but they also use a lot of electricity.
Personally, my dishwasher runs for over 2 hours and sometimes stuff doesn’t even come clean! Washing your dishes by hand will ensure that your dishes get clean while saving water and electricity.
20 // Reuse Wrapping Paper
Wrapping paper is one of the biggest wastes of paper & money I can think of. Every year we spend money on cute paper that just gets thrown away the second it’s opened! Isn’t that a crazy practice?
Try taking off the wrapping paper slowly and carefully so you can reuse it next year! Especially gift boxes and gift bags that are less prone to being destroyed.
21 // Drink Water Always
Not only is water the healthiest option for you to drink, it’s also the least expensive option. At most restaurants you can get water for free and if you buy a brita water filter you can have a constant supply of water for super cheap.
22 // Be Patient!
Just because you want a new pair of shoes doesn’t mean you need a new pair of shoes. You can and must learn to be patient when it comes to making purchases that aren’t life or death related.
Unless it’s food that you need to survive until tomorrow, wait a while, chances are you won’t even want the thing anymore.
23 // If It’s Yellow… Let It Mellow
This one may be gross to a lot of people that read this, but I remember my dad saying this to me a few times when I was young. Specifically, once during a serious blackout in like 2003.
Essentially, this is a tip to save water by not flushing the toilet unless there’s a poo in there. It’s totally okay to let your pee hangout in the toilet for a little while. If you go to the bathroom as often as I do, you’ll save a ton on water costs.
24 // Make Your Own Soap
One of the biggest items we use every day is soap, because everybody needs to be clean. Making your own soaps can save you a whole bunch of money over a few years and you can avoid the horrible chemicals that are in. a ton of products these days.
Your skin and your wallet will thank you! Here’s an awesome recipe for making your own soap!
25 // Use Every Inch of Paper Before Recycling
Instead of purchasing new paper and notebooks all the time, you should try your best to use every inch of paper before you get rid of it.
This means you should twist the paper around and write on the small corner on the back. Need to write down a phone number when your cell is dead? Use the paper! Writing a recipe? Use the paper!
The opportunities are endless! Plus you can save some trees.
Bonus Tip: Be Content With What You Have
This is genuinely a key to be happy in any area of your life. If you’re constantly waiting for something else to happen to. be happy (i.e., I’ll be happy when I have X amount of money) then you’ll never be happy!
Appreciate everything you have, love your family more than you love money. It’ll change everything.
Frugal living is never going to go out of style, these old fashioned frugal living tips are going to be around for years and years (I hope)! If you have anything to add be sure to leave a comment and let me know.