Sometimes, Grandma knows best! That is certainly with these old fashioned skills that are easy to learn and will save you money!
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.
🍞 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.
Homemade Bread Recipes: Homemade Breadsticks, Loaf bread, French Bread
👚 Washing Clothes by Hand
Most of us aren’t going to whip out the wash 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.
Sewing tutorials: Sewing Basics, How to Use a Sewing Machine, How to Hem Jeans
I recently read a quote by Ron Finley 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.
A comprehensive guide on “A Complete Beginners Guide to Home Gardening” can be found here! This source will walk you through all the how-to questions and how much it costs to start a garden. If you live in a smaller space, he shows how to make the most of that with different kids of gardens!
If you want a resource to really dig deep into soil composition along with a true step by step guide to start your own garden, try out this one! The detailed instructions can’t be beat whether you are a newbie just starting out or have a few years of soil under your nails.
Gardening Resources: Container Gardening 101, Square Foot Gardening, Planning a Garden
Gardening and canning go hand in hand, they’re 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.
Resources on canning: Canning for Beginners, Canning Potatoes, Canning Zucchini
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.
Resources on dehydrating foods: Dehydrated Cucumbers, Oven-Dried Strawberries, Dehydrated Bananas
🐄 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, 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? 🙂
Resources on making yogurt: Crockpot Method, Cooler Method, Oven Method
How many of these old-fashioned skills do you have?
Would you like to mention additional frugal skills that I may not have mentioned?
Dehydrating, canning, and gardening I’ve always done. I’ve been asking my husband to put up a clothes line for years. Maybe this is the year! 😃
All the good old fashioned skills! We love it! My husband loves his dehydrator like crazy. We just moved where I don’t have the area for a garden and so I signed up for a community garden to grow my herbs and tomatoes. Good luck on getting your clothes line in! 🙂 Ginny
cheril maynard says
i try to reduce,reuse and repurpose whenever I can,I use refillable water bottle(glass one are the best)and use all those stray socks and the ones with holes in the heels to clean the bathroom before throwing them away and I make my own snack pouches from grocery bags and duck tape as well as using cloth bags for shopping whenever I can
Miriam Laureano says
All of these are methods that I’ve used throughout the years…and truly love them. I wash by hand my underclothes, special shirts, nightgowns…reason? The washing machine is wonderful, but they wear out quicker. Besides with the underclothes I can rinse them better from all chemicals.
Jazmin Rode says
I’ve definitely noticed that things wear out quicker in the washing machine. Still looking into the best way to avoid this!
LizZ H. says
I do a good majority of these tips myself. I especially love making my own bread. I also attempt to use my electric frying pan over my stove when I can to save money on the electric bill.
I love your website! And this article today is terrific. I have just one problem: the blue print inside some of your instructions/advice makes it difficult for some of us to read it. The print is just too light.
Keep up the great work. Your site is so interesting and so helpful.
Jazmin Rode says
Thank you so much, Doris! And I see what you mean about the blue text, I’ll make the blue text bolder so it’s clearer to read. 🙂
Hi, I know how to do most of these. Cooking from scratch also is a huge money saver. Sadly my adult children only know how to cook from scratch half of what I do. The handwashing is a great idea. I have recently down sized aka kicked all the adult kids out and got rid of the house because it was like a frat house. I usually have to wash only two loads a week. One being under clothes and scrubs. I could so do that load by hand instead of going to the laundry mat….would go to the kids but they usually talk me into helping them with theirs.
When my husband and I married, I had very few domestic skills, and couldn’t even cook, but I learned. I loved talking with old people and learning what their lives had been like. My parents both went through the Depression and had survival stories to tell.
I spent a lot of time with my husband’s very frugal grandmother (who was born in 1882) and learned so much from her. She was still gardening, cooking, sewing on her treadle Singer and washing her clothes out by hand (by choice, not from necessity; her automatic washer sat unplugged on her enclosed porch).
Talk to old people. Most of them know a lot about living and you’ll both benefit from the conversation.