8 Frugal Habits from the Past to Save Money Today

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svetikd/Getty Images

If there’s one thing our society has advanced over the centuries, it’s through spending money. We have a wide range of options available for purchase. And thanks to retail giants like Amazon, our options are increasing every day, if not every day. Now is the time to look back and listen to the wisdom of our ancestors, near and far. What frugal habits did they practice? How can they still help us save money today?

See more: 10 frugal lifestyle habits that help Gen Z save money
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Let’s look into some. You’ll find that many of the old frugal habits incorporate the concept of need over want. Frankly, people usually had no choice but to make the most of what they had and limit their spending as drastically as possible.

“People who grew up in the 1930s through the 1970s and the Great Recession of 2007-2008 learned this very well: spend money on what you need before you spend on what you want.” Tanya Peterson, vice president of Achieve, said. “They understand that a new shirt for the weekend, new home decor, or a flat-screen TV are not ‘necessities’. On the other hand, housing – rent or mortgage payments, food, utilities, health care – is not a necessity.” Is required.”

Focusing on needs over wants will help you become more resourceful and implement these eight frugal habits. These eight frugal habits were historically popular but are less common today. This is largely due to the rise of convenience-based values. However, keep in mind that while these habits may save you money, they can cost you money over time.

oatmeal and brown sugar breakfast

Oatmeal hasn’t necessarily gone out of fashion, but it has gone from being an everyday breakfast to being one of many, many options. And the alternatives are often less healthy and more expensive.

“Eat your oatmeal with a teaspoon of brown sugar or honey, and avoid sugary cereals,” says Christine Stephenson Seale, EA, owner of Advocate Financial Coaching. “It’s much cheaper and you probably already have sugar at home.”

Check it out: 5 Costco Foods That Are a Waste of Money

Victory Gardens

During World War I and World War II, many people planted victory gardens to supplement food rations and relieve pressure on the public food supply. If you have outdoor space, it’s a great way to save money on food, so take it home with you. You can also use your porch or window ledge for produce.

“to plant” [victory] “Gardens can still be a smart money-saving strategy,” said Lindsey Chastain, founder and CEO of Waddle & Clack. “Growing your own produce, herbs, and fruit can significantly reduce your food costs during harvest season. Save even more by canning and preserving your bounty. Tomatoes, leafy greens, carrots, beans, and more. Start by planting simple crops that are suitable for your climate.”

cook from scratch

Cook from scratch and take advantage of your victory garden, like the good old days.

“Today’s grocery stores are packed with packaged ingredients and meals that cost more for their convenience,” says Melissa Sid, consumer savings expert at he says. “Mashed potatoes, soups, guacamole, desserts, etc. are cheaper to make yourself than to buy packaged items.”

DIY household cleaner

Today, many consumers are taking a DIY approach to cleaning their products because they are less toxic and less harmful to the environment than the chemical products found on retail store shelves. But in the past, making your own cleaning solutions was standard practice and a great way to save money.

“Before today’s myriad of expensive chemical cleaners, mixing DIY cleaners was the norm,” Chastain says. “All-purpose cleaners, window cleaners, and more can be made inexpensively using pantry staples like vinegar, baking soda, lemon, and Castile soap. They can also help you avoid plastic waste.”

Utilizing leftover scraps

Making the most of leftovers is a frugal habit that goes back to very ancient times, and one that shouldn’t be abandoned even in modern times.

“I mixed the leftover vegetables into soups and casseroles rather than putting them in the compost, but having compost is great for a victory garden,” Chastain says.

use and reuse

Environmentally conscious consumers understand the importance of using and reusing products, but this was once a non-negotiable reality.

“We’re going to use it up, we’re going to use it up, we’re going to use it up, we’re going to use it up, we’re going to use it as we need it, or we don’t have to use it,” Peterson said. It’s an old saying: “Recycle, reuse, repurpose.” They refer to [everyday] Important note: Don’t throw away your shampoo bottle just because you’re tired of the scent. There’s no need to buy new platters for holiday dinners just to stay on trend.I found that the boxes I had on hand helped me organize my linen closet. [instead of] Buy upholstered baskets that are color coordinated. ”

Cash only

While it’s nearly impossible to go completely cashless today, it is possible to reduce your credit card usage. Credit cards come with high interest fees and can quickly burn a hole in your finances.

“Credit cards are convenient and, if used responsibly, can be a huge asset in building your credit history, but keep in mind that the first revolving credit card was introduced in 1958 ” said Peterson. “Visa and Mastercard came out in the mid-to-late 1970s. Before this era, if you couldn’t afford to buy something outright, you couldn’t buy it at that point.

“Currently, when using a credit card, you are only charged the amount that you pay in full and on time each billing cycle. I try to spend only cash.”

jar storage

“We’ve all been to Grandma’s house and seen the cookie tin that now contains sewing supplies,” Sid said. “This frugal habit still serves me well.”

Save a jar, especially a sturdy glass jar with a lid, for storage later. Not only does this save money, but “it’s a great way to organize items and can also be used as decor or small planters,” Sid says. “Not only is this frugal habit good for your wallet, it’s also good for the environment.”

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This article originally appeared on 8 Frugal Habits of the Past to Save Money Today

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