12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

Being frugal seems to be becoming more fashionable.

We now have TV programs about spending less but living well.

But what about the traditional frugal living tips that can help you stop living beyond your means and save money?

These traditional skills were actually just the normal way of life for our grandparents both before and after they retired.

Yet these frugal skills had a big impact on our grandparents ability to successfully live on a low income and make ends meet.

They didn’t have labor saving devices that you spent half a week’s wages on.

Their wages were too low to buy convenience so they had to live cheaply.

What they had was the knowledge of how to live frugally and spend less than they earned.

These traditional skills are now seen as the latest and best frugal living tips yet were previously handed down from generation to generation as normal activities to do in your daily life.

Over the years many of us have lost these traditional skills as more time saving gadgets have been invented and I think we are poorer as a result.

Poorer of knowledge because we don’t know these skills and poorer in money because we have to pay for something or someone else to do them instead.

More and more of us are living paycheck to paycheck and with that comes the worry about every bill that comes through the door.

If you can learn these skills and adopt them in your life then the worry will go away and you will be on target to successfully living within your means.

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homemade muffins and a rolling pin

12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings

Thankfully you can make a start on being more frugal using these traditional skills straight away.

They are all easy to learn and will have a big impact on your ability to make ends meet and manage your finances.

Living a frugal life and altering the way you think about things can take a little getting used to.

Convenience comes at a price.

If you’re not willing or able to pay for convenience then taking a little time to learn from your grandparents will help you cut your spending down to more frugal levels.

The most important aspect in this is to not automatically reach for your wallet or purse when something happens.

Think differently:

How can I deal with this without spending money?

What would my grandparents have done?

All of these tips are actions that were the absolute norm 50 years ago. They are certainly not in the realms of extreme frugality.

Extreme frugal living is not ordinary, not then, not now.

Not that there is anything wrong with going to extremes – but let’s concentrate on just being normal frugal for now!

Make Do And Mend”

Mending

We now live in a world where you can get a brand new t-shirt for a couple of quid.

People think nothing of getting rid of clothes after a few wears in order to make room for the latest must have item.

Sewing your own clothes is an art and can be quite expensive these days as the price of fabric is not cheap.

However mending what you already have is one of the best tips I can give you to help you become more frugal by stretching your money and making your clothes last longer.

When DD1 first started school I was too lazy to sew her buttons back on if they came off.

I knew how to do it having been taught in school just couldn’t get myself organised enough to put this frugal tip into practice. Shameful!

Now that I have embraced the frugal lifestyle I sew buttons on and take up trousers if necessary.

I’ve even undertaken a sewing course to increase my mending knowledge.

Many mending jobs don’t even need a sewing machine, just a needle, thread and your willingness to get stuck in.

sewing equipment and a cut up pair of denims with a denim flower crafted

Making Do

Making do is at the very heart of learning how to live within your means. Yet I feel it is something many people have lost.

Making do is about accepting what you have even if it isn’t as much as what others have.

It’s about knowing when you have enough.

It’s about not always wanting the latest and best technology or chucking something out just because one corner needs fixing.

Our TV is 10 years old but we make do with it because it works, the picture is good and why not keep it?

No it’s not HD or 3D or 60” but we like it, it does exactly what we need it to do so why would we spend hundreds of pounds on a replacement?

We can get bombarded with adverts for the latest must haves along with adverts on how to buy everything NOW by paying for it later.

But this is not going to help you be more frugal, it comes with a cost – paying interest and lack of savings.

I like my TV and I like the savings I have in the bank. Why would I get rid of both just because there is a bigger and ‘better’ TV out there?

You may also like: Frugal Living Strategies – How To Make Frugality A Success

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney

Baking

The older generations knew how to bake. Not just bread but cakes, biscuits, pies and crumbles.

There really is no comparison between home baked bread and supermarket bread.

Making bread the traditional way is a multi step process including allowing your dough to rise, bashing it down again before allowing a 2nd rise.

But the smell!

Oh my, I think the smell of freshly baked bread is one of the best things about being frugal.

There are also recipes for artisan and sour dough breads that do not take so long from start to finish.

Indeed Mr2p makes 5 minute artisan bread which smells just as divine coming out of the oven.

Baking enables you to know exactly what ingredients are going into your food and keep the additives and preservatives to a minimum.

For families with allergies baking at home allows you to remove those allergens from your food and kitchen completely and have food that can otherwise be very difficult or expensive to buy.

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2 young children in aprons and chefs hats baking at table with eggs and rolling pins

Cooking From Scratch

I once worked with someone who never cooked. When I say never, I really do mean never!

She bought microwave meals for her family of four for every night of the week including a roast dinner meal on Sundays.

I’m not the best cook in the world but if there is one tip for living more frugally I try my best to follow, it’s cooking from scratch.

And of course not buying a bunch of convenience food.

Cooking your meals from cheap frugal foods and basic ingredients enables you to use what you have in the cupboards and stretch some items further than if you were buying it ready made.

For instance when Mr2p makes lasagna he stretches the meat to make a very large dish of lasagna padding it out with fresh seasonal vegetables (think cheap).

Meat can be expensive when you are living on a budget so stretching it further helps you to be frugal with money.

You can also make extremely frugal meals to make the most of foods that are in season saving you money on your groceries.

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traditional kitchen utensils hanging on ship lap wall and worktop

Bartering

Bartering is an age old tradition and pretty much pre-dates actual money.

It’s all about exchanging something of yours for something of someone else’s.

It could be your time, your skills or goods that you have produced.

You might be a dab hand at fixing cars and could exchange time spent fixing your neighbors car for produce from their garden.

Perhaps you need a babysitter or the use of a leaf blower?

Your friends might have invested in a leaf blower themselves but want to use your lawn mower.

Bartering is alive and kicking in some communities but much less so in cities.

Frugal living tips such as bartering really are an easy way to save money.

No need to buy every expensive tool you need as you can share what you have in exchange for what others have.

green enamelware saucepan set on stove top and wooden kitchen surface with white painted wall

Batch cooking

Cooking from scratch combined with batch cooking are two of the most useful frugal living tips I can recommend to you.

Batch cooking will provide you with a home cooked meal on a busy night within a few minutes.

Cook big batches of your favorite foods such as bolognese, chili and casseroles and freeze in family size portions.

You just need to pull the meal out from the freezer in the morning and reheat when you get home.

Batch cooking will save you time when you most need it.

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womans hands with turquoise nail varnish pulling dollar bills out of a red purse

Paying cash

In times gone by credit cards hadn’t been invented, everyone got paid in cash and if you didn’t have the cash you couldn’t spend.

Now we have credit cards and contactless payments now so you can spend on your cards without ever seeing cash.

The problem with that is your spending is hidden and you are much more likely to spend more.

When you are in debt or on a tight budget paying by cash is an excellent way to not overspend.

If you want help in sticking to your budget each month then using the cash envelope system is something I highly recommend.

I still use it myself when I need to refocus my spending habits.

There is something about having to hand over physical money that makes it that much harder to spend too much.

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Foraging

Foraging for blackberries is something I look forward to every year but did you know there are many other plants you can forage for?

Wild garlic is lovely and abundant in woodlands in May.

Beech nuts are another favorite but you’ll have to fight the squirrels for them!

It has become quite the in thing to forage for herbs such as wild garlic and sorrel and they are used on trendy restaurant menus.

More experienced, fabulously frugal folk forage for mushrooms but you really have to know what you are looking for.

So many mushrooms can look the same but are poisonous.

I may love being frugal with money but I don’t know one fungi from another.

If you want to delve further into foraging why don’t you look into getting on a foraging course of some sort run by an expert?

There’s nothing like having real life examples being shown to you rather than using a reference book.

shiny red watering can with pin flowers in on a red gingham check cloth

Gardening

One of the reasons I haven’t investigated foraging as much as perhaps I could is that we have an allotment and grow a lot of our own vegetables.

Even if you don’t have a large garden you can grow many vegetables in pots on a patio or balcony.

Plants such as tomatoes, beans and potatoes all work well grown this way.

A large punnet of tomatoes will cost the same as one packet of tomato seeds.

Yet that packet will provide you with hundreds of tomatoes over many weeks.

Growing your own garden is one of my favorite things about being frugal.

You get great food, moderate exercise and it’s an integral part of the frugal lifestyle. What’s not to love?

Preserving

The art of preserving is an integral part of the homesteading movement.

You preserve the food you have grown to use it during the winter months to feed your family.

But you don’t have to be a homesteader or a gardener to make preserving part of your frugal lifestyle.

When you find a ton of produce reduce to clear you want to be able to buy and use it.

Preserving is the frugal way to save money and turn that produce into food for your family.

Preserving takes many forms but the most common are:

  • freezing
  • canning
  • dehydrating
  • pickling & making jams

You don’t need any special equipment to freeze food or make pickles and jams.

Although a jam pan and jam thermometer can make the process of jam making a little easier.

This is great frugal recipe to get you started if you’ve got green tomatoes that need using.

colour painted eggs on straw and white wooden background

Keeping chickens/ducks/guinea fowl

We looked into keeping chickens and ducks last year with a view to getting some once we moved to the Lake District.

They require very little hands on work mainly keeping them safe from foxes.

You need to shut them up at night and let them out during the day.

Keeping birds isn’t one of the best frugal living tips as the cost of the feed and pellets you need cancel out the savings you make from not paying for your eggs.

But you do get the most wonderful eggs for almost free.

These days you cannot feed your chickens on kitchen scraps if you intend to sell or give away any excess eggs (UK rules).

However if you are living on a budget and have the space then you’ll get the most delicious free range eggs at little or no cost from keeping birds.

Fishing (and maybe hunting?)

Did you know that fishing is the most popular sport in the UK?

The sport of fishing does not include keeping the fish to eat but you can fish to eat in many places.

Mr2p loves sea fishing when he gets a chance and can bring home a few mackerel if we’re lucky.

It’s his job to fillet the fish though – not my thing!

Hunting and fishing are traditional skills taking us right back to our ancestral times.

Humans started out as hunter gatherers and it’s a skill you can use when you are living on a budget.

Meat and fish bought from the supermarket can be exceedingly expensive if you want something other than fish fingers or mince!

notebook wrapped with lace on desktop with pink tulips in jug

Frugal Living Tips For Today’s World

When you are wanting to learn about how to live frugally and save money, these traditional skills can help to supercharge your savings.

Not all of them will suit you and your situation. Why not choose the ones that are the best fit and start saving money today?

What frugal living tips do you use? Do you have another tip to share?

Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips that will help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips to help you save money. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugallifestyle #budgeting #savemoney
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills
Traditional frugal living tips to supercharge your savings. Homemade is best whether you are homesteading or trying to simplify, cut your costs and budget or be thrifty. Why not try one of these money saving skills your grandparents used and save money. #frugalliving #howtobefrugal #frugal #budgeting #savemoney #moneysaving skills

18 thoughts on “12 Traditional Frugal Living Tips To Supercharge Your Savings”

  1. OMG!! TUPPENY YOU DID IT! IMAGINE MY SURPRISE AFTER A WEEK OFF TO FIND YOU ON MEDIAVINE!!!! CONGRATULATIONS TUPPENY! THIS IS AMAZING…YOU ARE A TRUE TESTAMENT TO THE PROCESS!! WELL DONE, PAL!

    Reply
    • Thanks mate! I really appreciate it! Bit of a fluke due to a couple of viral pins but Would have been silly not to take advantage 🙂 I shall share the fun and not so fun in my 6 month update – due in a couple of weeks.

      Reply
      • I love this this and it brought back many memories from my grandparents. My maternal grandmother raised 5 children basically on her own as my grandfather died young by working in a hosiery mill. She talked about feeding them lots of dry beans and cornbread, vegetable s, chicken and pork and fresh eggs that brother’s would bring from their farms. Both sets of grandparents talked about best being a huge great and they only had that when they could barter for it. My aunt who is 97 was telling us the last time I talked to her about how all of our kids and grands had no idea how it was to live with so little, she told us when they were young they would sit together talk, play games and my granddaddy would play his fiddle so they could dance, she said we thought we had died and gone to heaven when daddy got us a radio and we could listen to stories, ballgames and The Grand Ole Opry. Even though my paternal grandparents were better off, my granddaddy had a farm and in the off season he made money playing his fiddle at honky tonks, cutting hair, an ad doing carpentry work. At the grocery store the only thing s they ever really bought were, coffee, flour, sugar and of course just enough toiletries to get by and soap for dishes and clothes if my grandmother ran out of the soap she made. I never lived that nor my daughter or grandchildren and it’s sad to think that today even though we have been blessed we don’t have the happiness that families of yestery, ear seem to have had. By having more, we want and think we should have more and it must be easy and fast and unfortunately it had come at a very steep price. Thanks for a chance to ramble on, it has been years since I have talked this much. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!

        Reply
        • Hi Donna, you ramble right on! I love stories like your grandparents because they strip away all the stuff and show us how to live and be happy with what we have. Reminds me of my favorite book serious as a child – The Little House on the Prairie.
          And I feel sad too that people have the sense of entitlement which equates to debt and feeling dissatisfied with their life when they can’t have everything the hanker after. I would love to get my grocery list down to just those few items, what a savings that would be! Thanks so much for sharing your memories.

          Reply
    • Yeah, sewing is not my strong point even though it’s relatively simple when you’re just looking at mending bits. Sounds like your hubby’s shorts get holes a little too often!

      Reply
  2. Loved this! Especially the bit about making do- it’s so obvious but amazing how little of us actually do it- we will move on to the next tv, the bigger house, the better car and it absolutely costs a fortune. Thanks for these tips, such a good read 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Grainne! The more we chase the bigger and better the poorer we are. Making do means you get to keep your money – I know which I prefer. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. I hopped onto this post from a link in another post, and now I’ve got bread proving. I read about the smell of bread in the oven and thought, “That’d be so nice for my boys to wake up to!”
    I grabbed some chicken stock out of the freezer, with some shredded chicken to make soup – and there’ll be a fabulous lunch for us all. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • Hey Frogdancer! You’re making me hungry! I’m so impressed you were able to set to and make a loaf so quickly – you’re obviously a natural. Thanks ever so for stopping by!

      Reply
  4. Great post! There’s so much we can learn from our Grandparents’ generation. I think they had a much better community spirit than in many places today. I guess alongside bartering they also traded skills and chipped in to help each other out more. My Nan ran a local shop so knew almost everyone, and often would cook dinners for local folks in need, which my Mum was sent out to deliver! She also used to make rolls or sandwiches for the dustmen when it was bin day. Whenever she needed a favour, there were people bashing down her door to help…

    Reply
    • Community spirit is something that has definitely been somewhat lost in some places, cities and towns maybe more so which coupled with losing these traditional skills mean we are poorer in more ways than one. Love your Nan – that’s community spirit personified.

      Reply
  5. Excellent tips. We do a lot of these already, but some things, like keeping chickens, we haven’t gotten around to doing yet. In fact, I don’t think we are allowed chickens where we live. I need to get better at mending things so that we can truly wear them out before they get replaced.

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah! Great to here you already do many of these things, I bet you feel the difference in your savings. Mending is one of those things that we all know we should and can do but like you I could definitely be better at mending. My favourite trousers are currently missing the top button – I’ve made do with a belt yet I really should sew that button on. In fact it’s going on my to do list right now. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  6. I think a lot of this gets passed down from generation to generation. Some of it is lost as new technology arises though. Like you mentioned paying with cash. I’d rather have it protected on my card and get “cash back” then to pay with cash.

    Reply
    • Technology has definitely changed things, mostly for the better I know. I am with you on the cash back, unless I am having a money focus month in which case I switch to cash only. It’s actually hard going working with just cash when you are used to the convenience of card but it does help me to reconnect with my money. Thanks for stopping by Tim!

      Reply
    • Hi Lynn! Yep, I feel your pain on the expensive location. Although I no longer live in London it is still more expensive here in southern England versus the north – hence our plans to relocate. Hope you still manage to do frugal the Californian way. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply

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