7 Frugal Lessons from Great-Grandmother
If there is anything good that came out of the financial disaster we just experienced, it's the general public's attention to frugal living and the realization that money does not, in fact, appear out of thin air. During the boom years of the 90s and the easy credit of the last decade, the whole country seemed to forget how to live below its means. Luckily, we don't have to venture far to find the appropriate way to live. If we just look at our great-grandmother's way of life, we can get insights into how to save money. Here are eight ways that she lived with less.
She did things herself.
She almost always cooked for the whole family (and probably cooked while they were on vacation too), and it doesn't end there. She had no maids, nannies, or even a handyman to call on. She fixed small problems like leaky faucets and non-working toilets while leaving the bigger jobs to her husband.
She saved every condiment, napkin, and anything else unused.
It didn't matter if it was from the occasional takeout or from a dinner out on Mother's Day. She saved everything, taking it out when she needed it next time.
Actually, she would rather not use paper napkins at all.
Anything that's one-time use is a waste. Convenience is great, but saving money and reusability is much more important to her.
She had a clothesline.
Why use a dryer when all it does is ruin the fabric and waste energy? There's really no need to look at the instructions tag if you are drying clothes via fresh air.
She brought drinks from home.
Whenever there would be a family trip, she always brought everyone's favorite drink from the fridge. "Can I buy a can of Coke mom?" "Are you nuts? That costs 5 cents!"
She wasn't addicted to technology.
Not that there were nearly as many gadgets back in the day, but she lived just fine. She had no smart phones, no iPods, no laptops to replace every three years.
She used public services.
She encouraged the kids to use the libraries, didn't have a pool in her backyard when there was a community pool just outside, and certainly would have taken the bus (or walked) instead of buying that fancy car.
Few great-grandmothers lived with more resources than we have today, but they managed, on avarage, and with bigger families, too. You may hate the idea of living frugally, but perhaps a more relaxed life will change your mind. Great-grandmothers show us that frugal living is really not a sacrifice.