Being frugal in this world isn’t being cheap. The world frugal is defined as being “sparing or economical as regards money or food.” Many families struggle, some living hand to mouth, others well below the poverty line. This got Mrs Pinch thinking. What can we learn from our past? From our ancestors and generations before us? What can we take from the frugal tips our Grandparents used? Let’s travel back to the time of World War 2 and take a look at what our families did.
Many of us put sugar in our hot drinks but sugar was rationed back in the day. It was expensive, in short supply and still costs cash to put on the table today. One of the things that our grandparents used to do is remove the sugar bowl from view. If it was in the middle of the table it was easy to use and would soon run out. Maybe remove the sugar bowl from your table, or pop it into the cupboard out the way. Not only is is healthier for you, you won’t run out quite as quickly, saving you money. You can also replace sugar in recipes with such things as honey or black treacle. Another top sugar tip from the past is to stir your sweetened hot drink more often to keep the sugar from falling to the bottom of the mug.
Your Own Food
When the world was focused on war, there were shortages of such things like meat. It was pretty scarce unless you raised your own. Nowadays, plenty of people keep chickens in their own back yards. They are mainly seen as pets who provide a supply of fresh eggs but if you needed to put meat on the table, you could. You could develop relationships with farmers to buy meat, dairy and eggs directly from them or even trade things you have with people who do have these items. Could you supply your own fruit and vegetables too? Being self sufficient takes away the issue of relying on others which also putting it into your own hands to not run out. Pooling ingredients with loved ones and neighbours can create large meals with a little bit of everything. This is what folk did with their rations. If you have meat and they have veg, make a substantial meal together.
Save Money On Fuel
Switching off lights was a given way of saving electricity during the war. As was closing doors to retain heat in rooms. The modern day equivalent of these things is switching off appliances when they’re not in use. Teach the kids to close doors behind them and turn radiators down in unoccupied rooms. One of the things our grandparents did was to sleep together in the same room. This means only one rooms needs to be heated and body heat keeps you all warm under the blankets too. Walk places instead of taking the car too, not only will you save petrol money, you’ll enjoy the walk! Put into practise some of these top frugal tips our grandparents used.
Stock Up And Save
Having a supply of staple foods in your pantry are a go to in times of trouble. Bags of pasta and canned food have long shelf lives. Concentrate on foods that don’t necessarily need to be cooked either, just incase you have no way of doing so. During the war it was not unheard of for children to discover hard to find items in shops and hide them on other shelves or behind other items. They’d then tell their parents where they’d hidden it so the family could go and buy it. This was perfectly legal but theft was massively prosecuted, especially when it was such things as rationed items. Having a jerry can of fuel for your vehicle in the shed could be a good idea too. If the price of fuel was to increase, you’d be prepared for those car trips you simply have to make.
What About Charity?
Maybe you support charity throughout the year. What about in times of hardship? Turn to non monetary donations like giving blood. Perhaps you could give time instead, so volunteering a few hours here and there would become your charitable giving. Our grandparents would have often been asked by beggars for money but finding work for them to do in exchange for money is far better for everyone. Letting those who couldn’t work, perhaps older generations, do the child care whilst those who can work earn money for living is something else done in the past.
We can learn so much if we look into our history. The frugal tips our grandparents used are invaluable as we live in uncertain times and look for ways to make ends meet.