Save thousands this year by living like a homestead granny

Become a Financial Genius Mindfulness + Minimalism

My great grandparents were the textbook definition of frugal. When gasoline surpassed nine cents a gallon, they brought the work horses back out of the barn, and stuck the international tractor in their place. Great Grandpa Melvin would chew the coffee grounds at the bottom of his mug so it wouldn’t be wasted, and Great Grandma Grace reused the same roll of aluminum foil from the late 70s, well into the mid 00s. They were well off financially, but they sure never acted like it. Truly, their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments were stunning and admirable. There’s so much we can learn from not only them, but that entire generation born in the late 1910s to early 1930s. They knew what hardship was, and they lived such frugal lives that they ensured they would never face it again.

Today I wanted to take some of my awe and inspiration for this generation and turn it into a money saving post for you guys. Without further ado, lets get into it!

Granny Money Hack #1- Make it Yourself

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Granny Money Hack #2- Reuse it Again (and again!)

Empty product container? Reuse it! Butter/sour cream/cottage cheese/etc containers are nearly free tupperware containers. Empty glass jars, such as pickle jars, are cheap mason jar alternatives. And tin cans make great little planters for houseplants and starter garden seeds.

Do like Grandma Grace and wash your tin foil, plastic bags, and other “disposable” items. Tin foil can also be balled up and used as a scrub brush (like steel wool), or thrown in with your laundry in the dryer for up to 6 months as a dryer sheet replacement.

Compost. I have a large airtight container under my sink that I throw my eggshells, tea, and coffee grounds into. This is great for soil quality for my houseplants, and my garden (that I’ll be putting out this year).  Outside, I have a compost bin for kitty litter, old kitchen grease, cardboard, paper, and any food that doesn’t get eaten (what a shame!). Coffee that doesn’t get drank is given to my plants once room temperature.

If you’re not a fan of simply reheating leftovers, try to make something new out of the leftovers. Monday’s leftover baked chicken could be Tuesday’s casserole or soup.

Buy secondhand clothes, kid’s toys, furniture (you can even buy mattresses that have been returned to the store), hobby items (kayaks, knitting supplies, show shoes, etc), tools, appliances, and more.

Disposable items have gotta go! Check out these reusable (money saving) items:

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Granny Money Hack #3- Take Care of What’s Yours

Wash your clothes less. Not only does it save you water, electricity, and detergent, but it also keeps your clothes in better condition. One of my favorite cleaning hacks is to throw clothes into the freezer overnight to kill bacteria and make them smell new again. I had a pair of gross (but so loved!) yoga pants that were perfect for jogging and CrossFit. But the sweat smell just never went away. For almost 3 years I put up with the stinkiness (EW!) until I finally tried this hack. Now there’s absolutely no smell to them!

Fix what’s broken. This applies to more than just mending clothes.

  • Ugly dresser? Sand it down and repaint or restain.
  • Saggy, torn, or otherwise gross couch? Reupholster it.
  • Faded out clothes? Dye them back.
  • Car making a funny sound? Check it out before it becomes an issue, or better yet, do regular checkups and maintenance.

Granny Money Hack #4- Find Entertainment Elsewhere

Granny didn’t have a big television with hundreds of channels and a DVR box. She didn’t have the internet to keep her company. She didn’t go to concerts (or heck, maybe she did if she was a cool Woodstock granny). When she was alone, she worked around the house (see Hack #3), she gardened, and she cooked, and cleaned. When company came over, she drank coffee or tea with them, or played board or card games. Conversation was the entertainment, and the fuel of those talks usually involved books, current events, ideas, and future plans. Granny didn’t need a source of “fun” entertainment, and neither do we.

Work on improvement, for your mind, your body, your home, your relationships, and your finances.

Granny Money Hack #5- Simplify

  • Cut the cable
  • Eat more foods that require very basic ingredients, such as beans, rice, soup, and pasta.
  • Eat one ingredient foods, like vegetables
  • Live in a smaller home
  • Have a tiny wardrobe
  • Get rid of your smartphone
  • Stop mowing your lawn by replacing it with rocks, or a garden.
  • Exercise by doing your chores- such as cleaning house, gardening, or walking your dog more often and longer
  • Downsize your vehicles, because they’re more expensive that you think
  • Use less electricity, propane, fuel, and wood for your heating, and more blanket, jackets, and socks
  • Have more meatless meals
  • Keep a box in your refrigerator, and put leftovers and soon-to-expire foods in it so you know to eat those first- less food waste
  • Use fewer gadgets– you don’t need a bread maker, popcorn popper, or pizza maker if you have an oven with a stovetop
  • For many people, myself included, vinegar works better than shampoo when it comes to hair washing
  • Make friends with your neighbors. Take them meals occasionally, help them when they’re sick, and let it be known that you want to be friends. You can borrow ingredients, tools, and labor (like pet or babysitting) from one another- rather than buying, renting, or paying someone else.
  • Have potluck dinners, rather than nights out in town, with your friends, family and new neighbor friends.
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18 thoughts on “Save thousands this year by living like a homestead granny”

  1. I found this post via the Boss Girl Bloggers page and I’m so glad I did. This was an incredible compilation! I’ll definitely be sharing this with friends and family and bookmarking this for future uses. Thanks!

  2. Wow, what a great and comprehensive list of life hacks! Your grandparents definitely did it right! I’ll be bookmarking to return to later for sure.

    Marriah Tarango
    TarangoVisualStudio.com

  3. Well hello there 😉 I created a blog too! Mine isn’t focused on homesteading or money management thought, just my fitness journey. 🙂 Loved this post!

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