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6 Frugal Life Hacks from Older Generations

Do you want to live a more frugal life? Consider asking your grandparents how they stretched their every penny during their lifetime. There are many things you can learn from older generations on how to save money.

One thing that older folks want to teach the present generation is to waste nothing. In times of scarcity, the older generation could not afford to waste anything. On the other hand, it may have been easier to save money in the past because things were more durable. When an item stopped working, someone could repair it.

At present, most consumer products are disposable. Still, you should try to find things that will last for a long time. It is important to be smart in spending money, as well as in choosing what to do with the items you purchase.

Powerful Life Lessons from Frugal Grandparents

People who experienced and survived The Great Depression are some of the strongest, thriftiest, and most frugal individuals alive today. They developed habits that helped them survive bleak economies during a time period that included a world war. The following are some life hacks to start living a more frugal lifestyle.

1. Stop Wasting Food

Older generations who lived through the Second World War know how to make food last. With supplies running low, they learned to make the most out of what they had. Today, some people make a large pot of bean soup to get through a week or freeze leftovers, so they have something to fill their stomachs later.

Although you can afford to buy food, avoid buying more than you can eat. Make a list before going to the grocery store and stick to that list to save money. If you have leftovers, put them in plastic containers and freeze them. Make sure to label them properly so that it is easier to find them in the future.   

If you have space on your property, consider growing your own food. Using items from your own garden can help you save money. Having fresh ingredients will make cooking more enjoyable as well, resulting in less time dining out or buying food items from the store. 

Keep in mind, maintaining a garden takes a lot of time and patience. There is a learning curve to ensure plants grow properly. Nevertheless, you will save hundreds of dollars each year once you get the hang of it. You can also be sure, if you so desire, that the food you put on your table is one hundred percent organic.

Another way to make food last longer is through canning, which is a way to preserve the vegetables you harvest from your garden.  Canning lets you enjoy the fruits of your labor even during the off-season and at the same time, keeps grocery expenses low.

You can also try dehydrating food to preserve it naturally. There are cheap dehydrators on the market that are easy to use. Dehydrating food is ideal for people with storage problems because it reduces the size of food items.

2. Spend Less on Shopping

Another way to live a frugal life is to spend less. Limit your shopping list to the necessities. Even if you have extra cash, avoid buying items considered to be ‘luxuries.’ Some people think that the more they buy, the more they need things. You can stop this cycle by limiting your spending power.

When you buy less, you learn to make do with what you have. If an item is still useful, don’t replace it. Do some repairs to make broken items useful again.  It’s more environmentally friendly to repair than to replace because it is one less item in the landfill.

Another way to save money is to make things last longer. Regular maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of some items. Read product manuals to learn how to maintain devices properly. If you find a hole in a shirt, sew it before it becomes a bigger problem. Sewing is a practical skill that everyone could benefit from learning. Even basic stitches can help clothes last longer. 

Probably the best way to spend less on shopping is to find good sales. Look for coupons and other promotions in the daily newspaper or online. Learn when groceries offer discounts on meat and other products so that you can schedule your grocery shopping appropriately.

3. Be Content with What You Have

Your grandparents might not have much, but you likely don’t hear them complaining about it. They have learned to be content with what they have. It is enough for them to have a roof over their head and food on the table every day. They don’t wish for material things but instead ask for good health for their families.

In today’s world, people often forget how to appreciate small things. They always strive for something bigger, brighter, or newer. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have, learn how to be grateful for what you do have. It will make you happier and give you a more positive outlook on life.

4. Earn Extra Money

Aside from your regular job, you should consider establishing other sources of income. Older generations had to hustle to get to where they are right now. You can use extra income from side jobs to buy presents, vacations, or splurge on luxury items. That way you can reduce your dependence on nation 21 loans for expected expenses as well.

5. Learn to Upcycle and Repurpose Things

Upcycling is a way of recycling an item to make it better. You will use the item the same way after you finish upcycling it. For instance, you can re-finish old tables to make them look newer and sturdier. On the opposite end of the spectrum, repurposing means taking an item and making it into something else. A good example of this is using old fabric or clothing to make blankets or quilts.

As mentioned above, older folks often don’t want to throw away anything that they can still use. Instead of buying Tupperware bowls, they use butter bowls. They also use tin cans as drinking glasses. This habit of recycling didn’t develop overnight. They learned it at an early age and have stuck with it into adulthood.

6. Wash Clothes by Hand

While using the washing machine is more convenient, you should consider washing your clothes by hand. This tip goes out to apartment dwellers who don’t have a washer or dryer on the premises. Instead of going to the laundromat, wash your own clothes. It will help save money in the long run. You just need a washing board and an indoor track for washing and drying the clothes. If you have an outdoor space with a clothesline, then hang them out to dry during the day.

These were just a few frugal living tips from older generations. We hope you can incorporate them into your daily life and live thriftily like many of your grandparents.

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Michael Booker

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