There are many ways to pinch a penny. Some of the most practical are being phased out over the decades. Many of the economically-minded skills of our ancestors are slowly being forgotten and losing their place in our modern world.
Here are a few practical old-fashioned skills that we can all learn to save money.
1. Bread Making
One of the most rewarding skills you can learn is the art of bread making. Sure, a store-bought loaf can be had for as little as $1 if you’re purchasing the lowest quality bread available. But if you’re willing to learn how to DIY, you can create a cheaper and far superior product by making it yourself.
The beauty of bread making is that it can be as simple or complex as you’d like, and require as much or as little time as you can spare. If you’re willing to put in some elbow grease, the only equipment required is basic: your hands and an oven. If you have less time, invest in a Bread Maker to take most of the work out of bread making.
2. Washing Clothes by Hand
Most of us aren’t going to whip out the washing board at the end of the week and wash our clothes by hand. But depending on your living situation, washing your clothes by hand can be a lot more practical than it initially sounds. For example, if you’re an apartment dweller without a washer/dryer on site, weekly visits to coin-operated laundromats can become expensive.
Consider using a washing board, plunge clothes washing system or a DIY clothes washing contraption of your own to save money on the cost of laundromat visits. We’ve covered the washing, but what about the drying? Dry your clothes on an indoor drying rack. Or if you have outdoor space, hang a clothes line and let Mother Nature do the work for you.
Sewing is a highly practical skill to have in your money-saving arsenal. A basic understanding of sewing can allow you to mend torn and tattered clothing and make them stretch years beyond their original lifespan.
Someone with a slightly more advanced sewing skill can create home décor items such as curtains, throw pillows or chair covers. Someone with a truly honed skill can create their own clothing (or even their own wedding gown) and more. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can make by sewing-your-own.
Source: Food Matters
I recently read a quote by Ron Finely that read “growing your own food is like printing your own money.” This couldn’t be more true. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to purchase produce on a budget, and we’re not even talking organics yet.
While there is a learning curve, and cost, involved in maintaining a fruitful garden, once you get the hang of it, you can save hundreds each year on the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. Better yet, growing your own food removes the cost barrier between your wallet and placing organic food on your table.
Gardening and canning go hand in hand, they’re siblings and are natural extensions of one another; you need vegetables to preserve before you can preserve your food, and you need a method of food preservation in order to safe-guard your harvest from spoiling. Canning allows you to enjoy your harvest well into the snowy winter months and beyond, allowing you to keep your grocery costs low year-round.
If canning seems intimidating, learning how to dehydrate food can be the perfect way to preserve nature’s bounty. Dehydrating has less of a learning curve involved and it can be quite inexpensive, as basic low-end dehydrators can be purchased inexpensively. Dehydrating may be more practical for small-space dwellers as it minimizes the size of dehydrated foods considerably.
7. Yogurt Making
If you consume yogurt regularly, making your own yogurt can save you a considerable amount of money. There are several ways to go about making homemade yogurt. You can use the oven method, the cooler method, the crockpot method, etc. Personally, I use the crockpot method since it’s such an easy, set-it-and-forget-it method of making yogurt.
The savings derived from yogurt making in itself are notable (I literally noted them here), but there’s no reason to stop there. With a few additional steps, your homemade yogurt could produce Greek yogurt, yogurt cheese (a cream-cheese-like spread), and it can even be used as a healthy base for DIY ranch dressing. I also like to make homemade smoothie packs for under $0.59 using homemade yogurt.
Of course, yogurt produces whey, which can be used in a multitude of ways. One you may not have known about: whey can be used to make homemade ricotta cheese. How’s that for efficiency? 🙂
How many of these old-fashioned skills do you have?
Would you like to mention additional frugal skills that I may not have mentioned?