6 old-fashioned frugal living tips that still work (and can save you big money)
On her YouTube channel Timeless Secrets, Angela Braniff posted a video dedicated to age-old frugal living tips that are as relevant and effective now as they were in the good old days. The idea of saving money like frugal people of generations past is so popular that the video has racked up 347,000 views.
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GOBankingRates spoke with financial experts who revealed how people can apply Braniff’s timeless tips from last year to their modern lives today, because as it turns out, saving money never goes out of style.
Cook from scratch at home (and wear an apron)
Braniff begins her work in the kitchen, advising her followers to cook from scratch at home using simple recipes and avoiding those that require exotic and expensive ingredients.
This frugal living tip not only saves money, it allows for endless experimentation and simplifies your family’s culinary life.
“You almost don’t need a meal plan if you’re cooking from scratch,” she said.
Stick with the real old fashioned look and keep costs in mind throughout the entire process, including protecting your clothes while cooking.
“Our grandmothers wore aprons,” Braniff said.
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Cook with what you already have before heading back to the store
Hope Ware, founder of the personal finance site Under the Median, raised four children with her husband without debt — including paying off her house with cash — and on a low income. Her YouTube channel has 175,000 subscribers and 16 million views.
She agrees with Braniff’s views on cooking from scratch, but goes a step further by preparing meals based on what she has on hand until it’s gone, just like home cooks of previous generations.
“People go to the store because they think they’re out of food,” Ware said. “Using only what I have at home, I challenge myself to create a menu plan for the next three to five days. This habit has helped our family save money by cutting down on shopping and reducing food waste to nearly zero, even when we were raising four boys.
Never let perishable items go to waste
Your grandparents grew up in an era governed by a “waste not, want not” mentality – and you would be wise to apply the same outlook to your refrigerator by prioritizing food consumption.
“I reduced our monthly food budget by 20% when I started doing weekly perishable food inventory and menu planning,” Ware said. “It is important to have an up-to-date stock of supplies and freezers.
She continued: “But people do not understand the importance of regularly looking at the contents of their refrigerator.” “Every Thursday, I write a list of perishable items. This list is prioritized, meaning items with the shortest shelf life come at the top of the list. For example, lettuce, which will wilt within days, appears near the top, while cabbage , which will keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator, is near the bottom of the list.
Reuse jars, boxes, and anything else you can to give it a second life
When something you buy comes in a nice container or box, Braniff considers the container part of the purchase. She almost always sticks to it to avoid buying a similar container later.
“If you’re a minimalist, this may be difficult for you because your mind is geared toward getting rid of things,” she said.
But getting rid of something that you can use again is not a simple matter. It’s a waste.
Vice president of brand at Achieve, a digital personal finance company in San Mateo, California, and consumer finance expert, Tanya Peterson, makes the point with a familiar rhyme from a bygone era.
“Use it, drain it, make it work or do without it,” she said. “This is old school language for ‘recycle, reuse, reuse’.”
Organize and organize
While saving useful things like old jars can save you money, living in a state of jumbled clutter can have the opposite effect, whether you realize it or not.
“Decluttering, even though on the surface it doesn’t seem like it’s saving you money because you’re just getting rid of things, it can save you money,” Braniff told her viewers. “If I can’t stay on top of it, I’ll be wasting money by buying something I think I don’t have, but I can’t find it because it’s buried somewhere.”
“Previous generations generally owned a lot less stuff and didn’t have access to all the retail options that we do now,” she said. “Decluttering has well-documented benefits that range from reducing stress to saving money, not just by selling unnecessary items online or at a yard sale, but by knowing exactly what you have so you don’t make repeat purchases.”
Let Mother Nature dry your clothes
Clotheslines are one of the most familiar and nostalgic images from generations past – a permanent fixture in Braniff’s own yard.
“I love the way sun-dried clothes smell,” she said in her YouTube video. “It brings back brightness to clothes.”
It can also save you money on utilities.
“A dryer is probably the highest energy user of any appliance besides your oven,” Peterson said. “Wash them in cold water and you can save up to 90% on the energy the machine uses. Then hang as many clothes as you can to dry, both indoors and outdoors.
Other frugal Braniff tips include:
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 6 Old-Fashioned Frugal Lifestyle Tips That Still Work (And Can Save You Big Money)