This article, entitled 5 Forgotten Frugal Strategies (and How to Resurrect Them), comes from Stacy Johnson at partner site MoneyTalksNews.com.
Did you ever notice how industrious your grandparents and great-grandparents were? As a kid, did you roll your eyes at the lengths they went to conserve, save, and find new uses for old stuff? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to truly appreciate some of those nearly forgotten frugal strategies embraced by the older members of my family.
With our society’s renewed focus on green living and simplicity, maybe we only need to look a couple of generations back to find our way forward. Here are a few frugal strategies that are worth resurrecting.
I can’t remember the last time I mended something, unless resewing a loose button counts. But with the high cost of clothing, maybe it’s time to rediscover this lost art. With a few classes in hand sewing or a couple of lessons on a secondhand machine, I’m sure we could stretch the life of our clothes — and stretch our budgets too.
We hauled bushelbaskets full of potatoes to the basement and would use them all winter long. My brother and I sold excess tomatoes and cucumbers to neighbors and friends all over town (organic, local and home-delivered, no less). I know it sounds a bit too bucolic to be real, but it wasn’t that unusual in Iowa to see big family gardens, even as late as the 1970s and ’80s.
The burgeoning lawns-to-gardens movement is re-energizing this old idea of self-sufficient food sourcing. From containers planted with herbs on the balconies of big-city high-rises to neighborhood co-op garden programs, growing our own food is becoming cool again. Maybe it’s time more of us tilled a little spot of soil and tested our green thumbs.
A good friend of mine helps a salon owner market her business online in exchange for a regular cut and color. Another friend takes care of his neighbor’s lawn in exchange for access to her apple trees in the summer (the landscaper’s wife is a master pie maker).
Our grandparents and great-grandparents would be proud. Bartering is creative, relationship building, direct and often tax-free. What are some ways that you could creatively go cashless and build good will at the same time?
This is a simple example of giving new life to an item that would otherwise be fodder for a landfill. But there are countless others. Restaurants turn wine bottles into candleholders, interior decorators transform ornate doors into one-of-a-kind headboards, old tires become classic tree swings. Opportunities for creative reuse are all around us; we just have to look with a little imagination and inspiration.
Do you have a favorite frugal strategy that you picked up from an older friend or relative? What new methods of saving and simple living do you teach your own children?
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