Learn how to live frugally and save extra money with different old fashioned frugal living tips that allow you to live within your means.
Our grandparents really knew best amiright? I also feel like my own parents were better off in a lot of ways then my generation now. Do you feel the same?
Because I love all things old fashioned, one of the biggest ways that I admire how the older generations lived was their ability to live frugally and be less wasteful.
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without
Does this quote sound familiar? Its an old fashioned quote on living within our means and making do. In our modern, consumerism-driven, society, this isn’t something we’re accustomed to doing.
It seems like we’re just wanting the next best thing, not fully utilizing what we are given, and definitely not making do.
My husband grew up very frugally, and he is constantly reminding me of different ways I can save money, make do, and be less wasteful.
Why Should We Live Frugally?
Above all, when you can practice frugal living in your daily life it will not only help you save money, but it can build your character! It takes self-discipline to be able to control your wants and not spend money on (or waste money on) different things.
Frugal living and making do with what you have keeps waste at a minimum and is better on the environment as well. Its just an all around better way of life in my opinion and its a great practice to pass down to your children.
I don’t believe in extremes, and like with anything there can be extremes in living frugally. Life is still meant to be enjoyed… BUT I think the current generation (me included!) could do with a healthy dose of frugal living and learning how to make do with what we have.
PSA: Did you know I have a FREE eBook on my 5 Secrets to SIMPLE, SEASONAL, OLD-FASHIONED, Homemaking?! Its an actionable guide that will help you to embrace this vintage lifestyle in your own home. I think you’d love it! Sign up for my email list HERE to get access to yours today!
What it means to Make Do
Now, to make do means to manage with whatever is available to you, even if its limited or inadequate. Don’t spend out of your means. Utilize the things that you have. Take advantage of things that are free and treasures that are given to you.
In addition, it can also mean stretching things out. Favorite pair of jeans got a hole in them? Learn how to sew and patch them! Fight the urges to go buy a brand new pair. This same principle can apply to anything. Food (make it stretch), vehicles (learn a few mechanic basics so you can fix them yourself), a gift you don’t want/need (save money by re-gifting it!).
Frugal Living Tips
Here are a few of my favorite frugal living tips. Some are specifically for making do, and others are just general ways that you can save a buck here and there. Try putting some into practice today!
Save Money on Food
RELATED: 5 Frugal Living Tips for Grocery Shopping & Meal Planning
Don’t waste food. This is HUGE! Food is wasted every. single. day. Don’t be that person! Your grandma and great grandma likely used up all of the food they could and tried hard not to let anything be wasted. Learn how to plan your menus well, stretch your food, and take account of things that are close to going bad. AND learn to enjoy leftovers;)
Forage. What a fun, old-fashioned and frugal skill! Depending on the area you live in, there are likely a few things that you can forage for instead of purchase. Do a little research and see what your area has to offer! This could include things like mushrooms, herbs, nuts, etc.
Go hunting. The costs to go hunting may fluctuate in different areas. There’s usually a license fee and of course you’ll need the proper equipment, and you’ll need to have completed a hunter safety course.
Although it may have a larger startup fee in the beginning, going hunting AND using up your bounty can save you money in the long run. My husband is an avid hunter and we always have a freezer full of inexpensive meat.
Learn how to cook different cuts of meat. A lost skill! We are so used to the boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or the already prepared steak cuts. Buying a whole chicken is usually cheaper, and so is buying cheaper cuts of beef and other meats. You just need to learn how to cook them well!
Buy generic brand food. This is a no-brainer! I used to hate buying generic brand food, I didn’t grow up that way so it was out of my comfort zone. But since I’ve made the switch I’m sure I’ve saved a whole lot of money, and you can too!
Make your own food. Instead of buying crackers, bread, yogurt, etc. at the store, make your own! Control the ingredients and control the price tag. Almost all of the time, making your own food (and I mean things that you’d normally purchase, not recipes and meals) can you save you a lot of money.
Grow your own food. Learn how to garden! Gardening is a beautiful and old-fashioned skill that our grandparents never took for granted. It wasn’t a hobby back then, it was a necessity. YOU can learn to garden too and skim a little extra money off your grocery bill by growing your own produce.
One of my favorite homestead ladies, Melissa K. Norris, has a free email series right now (and she’s coming out with a book!) all about creating an intentional and effective family garden plan. Get on her list HERE.
Save Money on Clothing and Home Goods.
Thrift. Buy what you can used! Its better for the environment, and if you’re smart about it you’ll be able to find treasures that will last you for years to come. This can include clothing, furniture, dishware, practically anything!
Learn how to mend things. Again, make do by learning how to mend your different clothing items and home goods rather than throwing out things when they get too worn.
Re-purpose. Along the same lines is learning how to re-purpose things! My mom has an awesome, quilted, jean blanket pattern that she uses whenever she has enough used jeans. Its a beautiful, practical, and frugal way to re-purpose old jeans that may have otherwise been thrown out.
Take advantage of hand-me-downs from relatives. Let your little community of friends and family know that you’d love them to pass on things that they would otherwise get rid of.
Don’t get caught up in fashion and home trends. Its much harder to save money when you’re always wanting the next best thing. Figure out a sustainable and classic style that you can keep forever.
Save Money on Utilities.
Turn out the lights! I am bad about this one. I love the ambiance of certain lighting at nighttime in our home, even if its not actually necessary. My husband is always reminding me to turn out the lights when I leave a room.
Close the doors in rooms that you’re not using. This should save you a bit of money on your cooling and heating! If you’re not in the room and don’t need it to be warm or cool, close it up.
Wear extra layers (or less layers). Instead of cranking up your A/C or your heat to get the perfect temperature, learn to live with it a little cooler or warmer by dressing appropriately. Embrace the seasons!
Get as much done as you can with a sink-full of warm water. Fill your sink up ONE time in the evenings with hot water and crank out as much cleaning and dishes as you can.
Batch cook or bake things to save money on gas or propane. Maybe if you are already baking a batch of cookies, throw a dish of brownies in while the oven is hot and freeze them for later.
Unplug unnecessary appliances. Do you have appliances that are constantly plugged in and sucking electricity but you don’t have use for or need? Un-plug them! Although it may not save you a bunch of money it will save you a little.
Consider a wood-burning stove. This can help you save money on your heating bill! In some states you can cut down firewood on public land for free. Or often times you can contact someone with private land to ask if you can utilize any firewood they have. Do what you can!
Miscellaneous Ways to Save Money
Re-purpose used paper. Do you constantly have sheets of scrap paper or used paper that you’re throwing away? If so pass them along to your kiddos to doodle on instead of buying new coloring books.
Do all of your shopping in ONE weekly trip (or monthly if you’re can!) Avoid multiple trips around town running errands and consolidate it all into one day to save money on gas.
Make your own DIY Gifts. Gifts for friends and family aren’t usually something you can get out of. Save a little money by making handmade gifts that they’ll love!
RELATED: 17 Amazing Handmade Christmas Gift Ideas Your Friends & Family Will Love
Go out to eat less! Enjoy home-cooked meals more often and make going out only for special occasions.
Carpool. Oh what a frugal and neighborly thing to do. I remember carpooling with friends at school until I could drive on my own!
There you have it! Over twenty ways you can save more money and live frugally today, just like your grandparents did. I’d love to know, what old-fashioned, frugal living tips do you practice?! Let me know in the comments below!
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