You might have seen in my Five Frugal things post last week that I taught Miss Frugal how to mend a hole in her trousers. This is something I thought would be the first thing they would teach in her sewing lessons at school but no, she can cover a notebook in fabric like a pro but they haven’t got to the part where they learn actual life skills yet!
It seems a bit like basic skills that our grandparents took for granted have been forgotten about. Things like sewing can be looked at as being a bit old fashioned which is a real shame because it can save money and give you a feeling of achievement that you’ve done something yourself.
In fact, there’s a lot we can learn from the older generation….
- You wouldn’t catch my Nana paying someone to mow her lawn for her or to do all her ironing. Not that I’m against paying someone to help you with these jobs but you must admit that it’s not cheap.
- Before ready meals and ready made sauces were popular, cooking from scratch was a necessity and my Nana could stretch her meals like you wouldn’t believe. A ham joint would do a gorgeous meal with Yorkshire puds, a lovely soup with dumplings for tea at least another two nights and sandwiches for lunches.
- My Nana always used to buy local produce from the smaller shops in her town and I don’t think she went in a supermarket in her life. She liked to visit the butchers, the greengrocers and the fishmongers for the freshest food and the best deals. There was no waste as she bought what she needed and nothing else.
- Make do and Mend is a philosophy that I think lots of us have forgotten. It’s not only a case of sewing up a hole or sewing back on a button but what about if you get a hole in something? I remember my Mam patching the holey knees in my trousers with some cute iron on rainbow patches whereas these days lots of us would just throw them out and replace them.
- Even if tumble driers had been invented back then (no idea if they were or not) my Nan wouldn’t have had one. She always used to dry her washing on the line if it was possible and I remember visiting her and having to run out to bring it in when the rain started and then we put it back out again after it had cleared.
- Most things were bought using cash now which I expect made it much easier to budget but also gave more opportunity for bartering and getting better deals. I don’t think my Nana ever had a credit card and she was brought up believing that if she wanted something, she had to save for it.
- I remember my Nana had an old, old TV that my Dad was always offering to replace but she said no every single time he mentioned it because the one she had did the job. And it did. How often have you replaced something that’s working perfectly well just to upgrade to the next model? I know I have.
- I love the feeling of community where my Nana used to live with neighbours who had known each other for years popped in and out. The man from down the road would do the odd job for her and in return, she’d cook him a meal. I love the idea of helping people out and getting something back in return like this.
- Growing your own fruit and vegetables seems to be getting more popular and even the smallest of spaces can be turned into a vegetable patch. We’re not great with growing things but we try. 😉
- Instead of working your way through all the box sets on Netflix why not find a hobby that will help you in some way. Learn crochet, knitting or sewing and then make something with your new skills – to sell, keep or even give away.
And for more inspiration on how our grandparents used to save money then have a look at the lovely Becky’s video about how her Grandfather used to save money….
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