Money Saving Tips we can Learn From the Amish Lifestyle

The Amish lifestyle is one we can learn a lot from when it comes to things like work ethic, values, and finances. Their way of life gives us many ideas on how we can apply the same principles to our lives to save money.

amish lifestyle

Over the years we have seen some Amish folk move in the surrounding areas of where we live. I have always been intrigued by the Amish lifestyle. While no culture is perfect, I have been inspired by the way they try to live intentionally with simplicity and frugality.

While we have the Amish living near us, it is still a very small group of Amish. A couple years ago my family and I took a trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania and we were able to witness the Amish lifestyle on a whole other level.

I loved driving by the Amish farms and witnessing the people hard at work out in their fields. We made sure to make a stop to buy some homemade root beer at one of the farms.

It was a common sight to see the kids happily playing outside, most in bare feet and many playing on scooters. So many horse and buggies out there on the streets and back roads of Lancaster made me feel like I had stepped back in time.  The Amish lifestyle definitely feels very different than the way most of us live today.



The Amish are people who live very simply, refusing to use modern conveniences or technology and who also wear plain clothing. They don’t have electricity, and they don’t drive cars. They are very family oriented and hard workers.

They believe children are a blessing from the Lord and have large families. Even though having so many kids can be a greater expense, because they live such a simple and frugal lifestyle more children often don’t put a financial strain on them.

The rules for the Amish from one community to another can vary a bit, with some groups adopting a more traditional lifestyle, whereas others have made certain allowances. The most traditional group of all the Amish are called “Old Order.”


*This post contains affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy HERE.

They have a very simple wardrobe. The Amish sew their own clothes and have only the basics. The women wear the same style dress every day and the men wear the same style shirt, suspenders, and pants every day.

You don’t have to sew your own clothes to save money like the Amish, but you can simplify your wardrobe. That means keeping the number of clothes you own to a minimum. When purchasing clothing, pick shirts that can go with a variety of pants or skirts, and vice versa. Create a wardrobe that is versatile.

Even if sewing clothes is not your thing, you can learn how to patch a pair of pants, or sew on a button when they fall off. This will give your clothes a longer life.

They grow their own food. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to drive through an Amish neighborhood in the warmer weather, chances are you have seen them working hard out in their garden (possibly barefoot while they do it!) Growing your own food will save you money, but it can also make you money. Many Amish people have farm stands where they sell their extra produce.

And of course, after you grow it you can preserve the harvest so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor all winter long!

They hang your clothes. A clothesline full of clothes drying is a common site outside an Amish home. They hang clothes in all seasons.

Hang your clothes outside on a clothesline instead of using the dryer. In the winter you can find a dry place in your home to hang them as well. We hang ours near the wood stove. If you are really brave you can get rid of the dryer all together to avoid temptation of using it. If you don’t have a clothesline, check out this one here to get you started.

They live with less. A few times I’ve been at the front door of an Amish house and the one thing I’ve noticed when their door opens and you can see right in their home is that it isn’t filled with clutter. They don’t believe in collecting an abundance of material things. You’ll usually notice the outside of their homes are not overly cluttered as well.

You can live with less by de-cluttering and not filling your home with a bunch of items. Instead of shopping learn to live with less. This is a great way to save extra cash.

They cook from scratch. It’s no secret that the Amish are amazing cooks and bakers. Years ago before I used to cook most of my own food from scratch we would always visit the local Amish to buy their amazing donuts or homemade bread. They not only save money by making their own foods from scratch for themselves, they also make money by selling it.

Convenience foods are not only expensive, they usually aren’t that good for you. Learn how to cook from scratch. Want to start by learning how to bake your own bread? Check out this easy step-by-step tutorial to help you.

They shop in bulk. Buying in bulk saves money in two ways – often it is a cheaper price per unit, but it also eliminates extra stops at the store. I can’t be the only one guilty of running into the store to just buy “one” thing, only to come out with an arm full of stuff. Sometimes the Amish run bulk food stores which I have actually purchased my flour and grains from.

If you buy in bulk, consider buying food grade buckets, and these special lids that are perfect for storing bulk foods. I bought these gamma seal lids online years ago.

Gamma Seal Lids

While there is an initial expense, they last for a very long time and you don’t have to worry about critters getting into the food. The best part about these lids, though, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to pry them open. I always hate trying to peel off those lids on the 5 gallon buckets. My fingers would always get hurt. These lids you just screw right on.  They eliminate a lot of frustration.

They are well worth the expense. So much so that I plan to buy a few more!

They work extremely hard. The Amish are known to be very hard workers. Many are business owners. Really, even though they live a simple life, in a way they are hustlers. They know that to afford the expense of living they need to work hard. Working hard will help you save money as well as pay down any debt you may have.

They work at developing skills. The Amish are excellent at developing skills that help them in their businesses, or in building things for their own homes and families. Need a table? They can build it. Need some clothing? They can sew it. Need a barn? They can raise it!

Furniture making is one of the skills in the Amish community that is quite prevalent. The furniture they make are of high quality, usually one of a kind, not to mention absolutely gorgeous, and because of that they are sought after by many people.

Developing skills in your own life means you can save money by doing it yourself rather than hiring someone else, or those skills you develop can help you make money by selling whatever you create or whatever service you can offer.

They avoid credit. Most Amish do not use credit cards and do not agree with using credit as a means to obtain something. If they can’t afford it they don’t buy it.

I think we all know by now that the less credit we use, the better. If you have multiple credit cards it may be time to get rid of a few, and you can make a decision today to stop using credit to fund various items in your life.

They are savers. When it comes to money, they don’t spend all they have. They know it is wise to put money away for when they may need it in an emergency. Because they don’t believe in racking up a bunch of debt, they are able to save more money because they aren’t paying a monthly debt payment or extra interest.

You can save like the Amish by building an emergency fund to have cash available to you when an emergency arises instead of using credit to cover the costs.

They are off-grid. The Amish do not use electricity. They also don’t have telephones. That means they don’t have the expense of cell phones either, which, let’s be honest, can add up quickly in a home where multiple people own their own cell.

Maybe having no electricity seems impossible to you, but there are other ways to reduce your use of electricity. Heat mostly by wood if you have a wood stove. Consider solar panels. Or you can also make a conscientious effort to turn out the lights, unplug items you aren’t using, and cut back on using energy hogs like the dryer.

Their kids help out. A lot. Extra-curriculars in the Amish community consist of helping on the family farm, doing chores, or helping with the family business. That means the Amish are not paying a bunch of fees for extra-curriculars for their children to be involved in.  Instead they believe they can teach them many useful things right at home.

While I am not necessarily suggesting we stop putting our kids in extra-curriculars, I am suggesting we consider “downsizing” the amount of extra-curricular activities we sign our kids up for. If you are out every night is there even one thing you can eliminate? Not only will it create more family time, it will save you money.

They shop secondhand. While the Amish generally don’t acquire a ton of stuff, there are times they do need to make a purchase. If they do, they often shop at secondhand stores first and foremost.

Secondhand stores are the place I tend to go before I consider buying new for a lot of our household items, as well as our clothing. You can save a lot by shopping at thrift stores.


You don’t need to become Amish to save money like they do (plus, I hear it’s quite difficult to become Amish, and frankly, I’m not sure I could live a life without musical instruments. 🙂 ) You can still take some of the simple and frugal living tips from their way of life and apply them to yours.

The homestead life has a lot of similarities to an Amish lifestyle which  makes sense since a large percentage of Amish are also homesteaders or farmers. While homesteading does not require you to live by a list of rules like the Amish do, the goal of homesteading is to live a simpler life that hopefully in the end will save you money – even if there are initial start-up costs.  Much of the Amish lifestyle revolves around a simpler life as well.

The more you are self-sufficient on your homestead, the less you will have to spend at the stores. The Amish are extremely self-sufficient people who have learned to take care of each other as a group and to not rely on government for help.   They know that in order to support themselves and their families they need to be able to do things for themselves.

You can start saving money today by applying some of the principles from the Amish lifestyle to your own life.  Not only will it help you save money, it will simplify your life, as well as assist you in becoming more self-sufficient.  Often the more we learn to do for ourselves the less it costs us in the long run.


10 thoughts on “Money Saving Tips we can Learn From the Amish Lifestyle”

  1. We love Lancaster. We saw children playing croquet and all ages were enjoying it together. I sure would love to be able to shop their little produce stalls at the ends of their driveways every week.

  2. I frequently incorporate many cost-saving practices daily as I grew up with them. However, I do own more electronics than I should and I’m aware of how fast they either just plain go bad or become out of date. It isn’t rocket science to just look up how short of life span many of our daily products have.
    But cooking from scratch and being selective about what you choose for your diet is a big money saver. You can go to any standard grocery store and see how many people lean on and pay too much for easy or nearly instant fixes for their diet and later pay for it again.
    Perhaps I will someday I will be able to expand some of these choices into other areas.
    Nice article

    1. I think it is SO easy to own too many electronics. I know we do too! Thankfully I like to think we make up for it in other areas. Thank you so much for visiting the blog!

  3. I always find it amusing how people speak of PA Amish places. There are now and always have been far more Amish in Ohio. Holmes County Ohio is another world. As some one who has lived near them all my life (I am 73) I can tell you no different than most other People. Good and bad things. There is the fact that women have to answer and obey husband Bishop and even adult sons. Domestic violence is a problem too. There is plenty of drug and alcohol abuse as well.people text out with 4th grade education. Many adults have no idea who our president is or what other states are in America. There is good in the community. Just saying their life is not all charm and prayer kapps.

    1. We only have a small Amish community where I live. But we visited Amish country in Pennsylvania so that is what I am most familiar with, though I did know there was one in Ohio. I didn’t know it was a bigger community there though. I agree, though I do now know all the ins and outs, that they are just people and have their issues as well. I think the simple life they lead is intriguing to many of us because we live in a world that has a strong focus on material things and so that part is refreshing, but yes, I have heard there can be many issues within the communities as well.

  4. I worked in an Amish Market for 15 years in 3 different locations. I became friendly with a few families that I have a lot of respect and warm feelings for, but I have seen bigotry, religious based hate, unclean habits, and “do anything for a dollar” behavior. Oh yes, cell phones, cheating on taxes, drinking, and cheating customers. This group is no different than any other.except in someways they are willing to work harder. They are no different than any group and have as many flaws as the rest of us, only we dress better.

  5. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, Pocatello, Tampa, and Chicago before moving to my mother’s hometown in central Wisconsin (population 2400). One of the blessings of this location is having such a large Amish and Mennonite population, which means produce stands and farmers markets for fresh eggs and vegetables, bulk food stores, bent and dent stores, and plenty of horse apples for compost! Your article is well written and helpful and mostly familiar to me with my 72 years of experience. After reduce, reuse, recycle, and make it yourself, one thing you could add is ‘making do’. When considering a purchase, look at what you already may have to serve the same purpose. For example, instead of buying 5-gallon food storage buckets, I use canning jars. The really big jars don’t fit in my canner anyway! Haha

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *