Want to be a saver?
My grandmother was one of the most frugal people I knew.
She knew how to stretch a dollar and pinch a penny by necessity and by choice.
She made being a saver look so easy!
The lessons I learned from her growing up not only shaped me into the frugalista I am today, but it also taught me valuable lessons about money.
Here are a few of the things I learned about being a saver from my grandma.
She Used Coupons To Provide For Her Family
One of the most common things you hear about older people is how they always have a coupon handy for something.
My grandmother used these coupons to provide for her family as a stay at home mom.
She knew how to maximize her coupons to walk out with carts full of groceries for practically nothing.
She Let Nothing Go To Waste
When we think about upcycling a vase or a jar in our home, we envision something Pinterest worthy.
When my grandmother was growing up, they didn’t have Pinterest, and they were upcycling to avoid waste and also to avoid purchasing something new.
She would save old bread wrappers to wrap her homemade bread, wash out and reuse jelly and pickle jars, and use butter bowls as Tupperware containers. I remember her sewing box was an old cookie tin. She even had some yarn stored in an old potato chip tin.
Before she threw something away, she would try to find another use for it instead of upcycling when it was convenient. The old saying comes back to inspire us today, “Waste not, want not.”
My grandma would also keep leftover veggies and meat in the freezer, then pull them out to make soup. It was always amazing and never tasted the same!
Here are some great soup ideas to use those leftover Rotisserie chickens!
She Stretched Her Food Budget
My grandmother was one of the many women who lived through The Great Depression, and because of this, she learned how to stretch her food budget.
She would keep food past its expiration date and used it until it definitely went sour.
I remember seeing her cut off part of a bruised apple to avoid wasting it, and she’d never throw food away unless it was necessary.
Her groceries weren’t planned around what was on sale, but what they had on hand.
Then she would prepare her meals around what needed to be eaten first in order to make sure nothing would be thrown out.
She had a garden every year and canned veggies, fruits, pickles, jams, and jellies. She would even barter and trade with neighbors for items out their gardens.
When food was scarce you did with what you had and became inventive with your meals.
She Wouldn’t Eat Out
A trend among many families from my grandmother’s time is that they didn’t eat out.
Eating out was a luxury that most families couldn’t afford, and if they did eat out, it was once a month if not less often.
Eating out wasn’t a common thing to do like it is now, and many people went months or even years without eating out.
Meals were made at home and even snack items! And shockingly, coffee was too!
One of the reasons my grandmother was such a fantastic baker and chef was because she spent her days making her meals at home. She became a master in the kitchen because she made things over and over until she knew the recipe by heart.
She Made Her Own When Possible
During The Great Depression, running to the store for soap was not always a luxury you could afford.
Times were tough, and money was tight. This meant that a lot of people would learn how to make the things they needed to help save money.
My grandmother made her soap, laundry detergent, and even her baked goods. Try your hand at making your own detergent, household cleaners and more!
Creating her own was usually cheaper than getting it from the store, and this stuck with her for the rest of her life.
Making sourdough bread was her specialty. It was so delicious coming right out of the oven.
Sourdough bread isn’t as hard as you think. Here’s a great recipe to try if you are feeling adventurous!
She Learned To Make What She Had Last
If your skirt no longer fits during her early days, you had to find a way to make it fit yourself. This meant taking out a needle and getting to work sewing.
There is an argument that things were made better back then, but I genuinely believe a leading cause for this was because people took better care of their things.
When you know you won’t have the money to buy another pot or pan, you’ll take great care of the one you have now.
They say that we have become a throwaway society. Yes, I don’t know if I have ever darned a sock, but if it saves me money, I might just start!
Here’s another quote to inspire you on your frugal journey: “Use it up, wear it out. Make it do or do without.”
She Paid Cash For Nearly Everything
Credit cards weren’t a massive thing in her time, and she paid cash for everything. Pennies were saved and pennies where pinched.
She would send money to the company for bills and even bring some money with her to the grocery store.
Since she never had a credit card on her, she never got into debt!
My grandmother was a wonderful woman, and she taught me so much about how to live frugally in order to be true saver.
She gave me a person to look up to while growing up, and inspiration to save for my retirement.
Whether your grandmother was frugal or not, hopefully, these tips have inspired you to start living a more frugal lifestyle so you can be a saver too.
YOUR TURN: Did something here remind you of something you learned from your own grandmother? Comment below and share something your grandmother taught you!
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