Old Fashioned Frugal Living – Living Thrifty and Frugal

Living thrifty and frugal in this modern age can be difficult. It’s not a very popular thing to do, but old fashioned frugal living can give you peace of mind financially.  We can gather some frugal living tips with a big impact from those who have lived before us and have done the hard work of figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Old fashioned frugal living doesn’t mean you have to walk around in pioneer dresses and cook all your food on a cook stove (though, if you enjoy doing that, that’s great too!) But there are a lot of money saving ideas we can learn from generations past that can benefit us today.

Our grandmothers, great grandmothers, and beyond often had to do whatever they possibly could to save money. Times were tough and many of them knew how to make do with what they had, or re-purpose just about anything.

Now we usually just go out and buy what we want when we want it. If something breaks we buy a new one. Many of us don’t even know how to do basic things like sewing, or fixing things anymore.  Those money-saving skills aren’t passed down anymore like they used to be.  But living like grandma can be a wise financial decision.

Other great posts about saving money:

If you want to save a good amount of money, as well as learn how to live like the old days, old fashioned frugal living may be for you. Here are some ideas on how to live thrifty and frugal in what I like to call today’s old fashioned living blog post.

Old-Fashioned Frugal Living

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1. Hang your Laundry

Hanging laundry was pretty popular back in the day. And why not? Have you smelled fresh laundry that’s been on the line all day? I absolutely love it. Dryers are a huge energy hog and will cause your bill to skyrocket. Hanging laundry is a significant way to save money. All you need is a clothesline in your backyard and you can watch the savings roll in!

2. Cook from scratch

Convenience foods are more expensive and food you cook from scratch will often stretch further than if you had bought it premade or mostly made. Take a pot of stew or soup for example.

You can make a pot for fairly cheap and it might even stretch for a few meals. Cooking from scratch isn’t nearly as popular these days, but trust me when I say, people LOVE when they get to enjoy dinner at someone’s house who cooks from scratch. Homemade is SO delicious!

Old Fashioned Frugal Living

3. Walk or ride your bike

Back in the day (quite far back in the day now) not everyone had a car. Some generations lived without one. Actually, for most of my own childhood my family didn’t own a car. Vehicles are expensive between the never-ending maintenance and the gas guzzling. If you can walk or ride your bike to more places you will save some hard earned cash.

4. Sew your ripped clothes

Do you have a hole in your favorite jeans? Don’t throw them out or buy new ones. Just fix the hole. Even if you aren’t someone who knows how to sew, you can easily learn. Youtube has a ton of awesome videos to teach you. You don’t have to learn how to sew a whole wardrobe, but knowing how to sew up a hole, or sew on a button will save you money and doesn’t take much time.

5. Grow a garden

Growing a garden is still old-fashioned in some areas, but gardening is also making a comeback. People want to know where their food comes from, and they want to save money on their constantly growing food bill. Here’s some instructions for how to build a garden from scratch on a budget. If you don’t know what to start growing, try these 10 easy vegetables to start with.

6. Barter when you can

Bartering doesn’t seem very modern, does it? Back in the day, however, it was normal. It doesn’t have to be a thing of the past. If you have something to offer like fresh farm eggs, or vegetables from your garden you can trade them for raw honey from a honeybee farmer, or maybe some flowers for a gift you need to get for someone.

Bartering needs to make a comeback in my opinion.

thrifty and frugal living

7. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it

This one seems obvious, but we live in a culture that believes we shouldn’t have to wait to buy something until we have the money. It’s so easy to put things on credit, or finance whatever you want. The problem with that is it gets us into financial trouble.

People often feel it’s old-fashioned to not use credit to buy what you have your eye on. Well, maybe it is, but it’s definitely an old-fashioned value that will get you ahead in the long run.

8. Only remodel when something needs it, or when you have the money for it.

So, this is one of those points I feel can upset people, and look, I get it. I’ve remodeled things in my home too, just because. But it seems like it’s the modern thing to do to constantly update your home to keep up with the trends.

I’ve seen people remodel their kitchens and then 4 years later remodel them again because their last remodel is already outdated and they just want something different.

It’s old-fashioned to NOT remodel just because. To make do with the outdated home because it’s still super functional.  To keep the wallpaper on the walls, or the shag carpet from the 70s (although, if that carpet is still going strong, that’s impressive!)

Now, please don’t hear me wrong – I know there’s a time and place to remodel or upgrade your home, especially for re-sale value. But I think if we really don’t have the money we should really ask ourselves, whether we should be updating our home cosmetically or not. If something isn’t functioning and just so old it’s falling apart that’s a different story.

The pressure is on out there with Pinterest and social media but you know what? If anyone judges you because your kitchen still looks like it’s from the 90s (which, hey, I loved the 90s, I am all for bringing back slap bracelets, Doc Martens, and Sony discmans) then they aren’t the kind of friends you want to have around anyways. Trust me on this. 

People worth having around don’t care what your kitchen looks like – they care about how you make them feel when they are in it.  Fresh bread and conversation will make them feel better than any kind of shiplap or granite countertops will.

9. If you have a baby, use cloth diapers

Diapers are so, so expensive and when you have a baby you go through SO many of them! If you have multiple kids the amount of diapers you will eventually buy is astronomical!

If you can save in this area you won’t regret it. The initial cost of cloth diapers seems high, but when you work it out you discover you will actually save a lot of money by foregoing disposable diapers.

Here’s some super cute ones you can buy. Even though cloth diapers seem old-fashioned, the new ones have come a long way from the cloth and diaper pins our grandparents used.

Old Fashioned Life

Living thrifty and frugal the old fashioned way

I am thankful for modern times. I love my dishwasher, I am obviously an avid user of the Internet, and if I had to trade in my jeans and plaid flannel shirts for a wardrobe that only included dresses I’d be sad.

But, modern times hasn’t always brought forth the best practices when it comes to finances. Saving money the old-fashioned way can be extremely effective. Many people from generations gone by have had to learn how to be frugal just so they could survive.

Thankfully most of us never have to worry about if we will be able to eat tonight, but at the same time there’s so many out there who’ve experienced the struggle of not being able to pay the rent or mortgage, or how they’ll make a debt payment.

If you start saving money the old-fashioned way you may discover that the financial burden may feel a little lighter. Try some good old fashioned frugal living to help you save money and live within your means.  Living old fashioned in a modern world isn’t as hard as it may first appear, and it will probably intrigue your friends who may start asking you how they can save money the old fashioned way.

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