15+ Frugal Tips from Grandma
No one does frugal living better than a Grandma. Grandma lived through the Great Depression and the tough years afterward. She knows how to stretch a dollar and live within her means. Because of her life experiences, Grandma has frugal tips and tricks to save money or avoid spending money entirely. Here are frugal tips from Grandma!
1. Grow a Garden: Decades ago, everyone had a garden, and it didn’t seem so strange. Gardening is fun and a vital skill to have, but it also helps to reduce your grocery budget. If you don’t have to buy it in the store, you are saving money.
2. Preserve Your Harvest: Now that you have a garden growing with a harvest in your future, you have to learn how to preserve that harvest. Learn how to can jellies, jams, veggies, and soup!
3. Grease with Butter Wrappers: Instead of tossing out butter wrappers, put them in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator. Then, when you need to grease a pan, take out a wrapper and rub it over the pan.
4. Quilt with Old Clothes: Don’t toss out your old shirts. Beautiful quilts can be made from your old clothes. Blankets and bed covers can come from fabric you already have. You can make a theme or remember memories from the clothes you use.
5. Homemade Cleaners: You don’t need to buy cleaners for each room and each thing you have to clean in the house. Instead, make and use homemade cleaners. Vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide should be in your cleaning arsenal.
6. Reuse Tea Bags: Did you know that a tea bag can make two or three cups of tea? Grandma would save her tea bag and make her next cup of tea from it. Considering tea can cost upwards of $3 to $4 a box for 25 tea bags, this is a great frugal tip.
7. Keep a Price Book: You’ve problem noticed that the cost of items varies based on stores. Grandma knew that she might have to go to multiple stores to get the right deal. You don’t have to guess if you have a price book. In your price book, you’ll write the price for all the items you buy, so you always know a good deal.
8. Use the Clothesline: When the weather is nice, there is no reason to run the dryer. Depending on your dryer and cost of electricity in your area, it can cost between $.50 and $.75 per load to run the dryer. If you have kids, you do several loads of laundry per week. Instead, dry your clothes outside on a line. It saves you money and stops your clothes from suffering damage in the dryer.
9. Reuse Aluminum Foil: Aluminum foil can be reused several times. Instead of tossing it out, clean it and fold it up after each use. Once you reach the point when it cannot be reused, make sure you recycle it!
10. Go Meatless: Meat is the biggest expense for your meals. If you reduce how much meat your family consumes, you can reduce your grocery cut. Incorporate one or two meatless meals into your dinner meal to save a few dollars! Another great trick is mix breadcrumbs with your hamburger meat to stretch it further!
11. No Impulse Shopping: We live in a culture where we don’t tell ourselves no. We don’t make ourselves wait for a purchase. If we decide we want a new outfit or a new laptop, off to the store we go with our credit card. Grandma wasn’t like this. Impulse shopping wasn’t a thing. Each purchase was for a reason. Learning how to make better spending decisions takes time, but you can do it!
12. Don’t Waste Food: Throwing out food is akin to sin in Grandma’s world. During the Great Depression, food wasn’t always something that was easy to get. You had to stretch everything. My Grandma remembers her mother telling them if they saved enough sugar throughout the week, they would get a cake on Sunday. Wasting wasn’t allowed. Families toss out leftovers or forget to use the mushrooms in the refrigerator. Don’t waste money by wasting food.
13. Cook Simply: You don’t need fancy ingredients or fancy meals to feed your family. Stick to cooking simple, old-fashioned recipes. Save the fancier meals for nice occasions or special events.
14. Save Each Paycheck: Grandma knew that rainy times come throughout your life, and you need to have savings to prepare for those rainy times. You should try to save something each paycheck. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but a little bit adds up over time.
13. Avoid Credit Cards: If you can’t purchase it with the cash you have in your bank account, you don’t need to purchase it. Grandma doesn’t have credit cards in her wallet. She knows that she has to live within her means. Credit cards came about in the 1950s, so credit was harder for Grandma to understand. Chances are she only took a loan out for her house. Credit cards are off limits.
14. Learn to Mend: Tossing out clothes because they have holes is wasteful. Learn how to mend your clothing. If you become good at mending and sewing, it also can be a side hustle to make more money. People love a seamstress. If that’s not your thing, that’s ok, but you should learn how to mend.
15. Avoid Paper Products: Paper plates, paper towels, paper napkins, and other disposable products are wasteful. You purchase them just to toss them out. Invest in the reusable alternatives to save money. Use dishes that you have to wash and cut up rags to clean up spills. Pennies add up to hundreds.
16. Newspapers and Windows: Don’t use rags or paper towels on your windows. Instead, use Sunday’s newspaper! It is the best way to get streak-free windows.
17. Make Your Own: Best of all, Grandma knew that making your own food and items was cheaper than store purchased items. The quality is better as well. Make your seasonings, bread, cookies, and more!