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Save Cash and Stay Frugally (Suggestions from the Nice Despair)


Staff member
Mar 15, 2024
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Easy, frugal dwelling in right now’s trendy world remains to be potential with these funds concepts and money-saving suggestions for your loved ones. The old school pioneer life has its place on this quick paced society of expertise. Learn on to be taught extra!

Woman standing next to a Mockmill grain mill in her kitchen.

Observe: This weblog publish has been up to date to incorporate a number of podcast episodes on frugal dwelling. Through the years, I’ve had a number of listeners ask for tactics to dwell extra frugally, so obtain every of those podcasts and hearken to them at your leisure! Right here’s to frugal dwelling!

Hearken to the complete episodes of the Pioneering As we speak Podcast, the place we don’t simply encourage you however provide the clear steps to create the homegrown backyard, pantry, kitchen and life you need for your loved ones and homestead:

  • Podcast #40 – 8 Despair Period Tricks to Save You Cash Now

  • Podcast #47 – 7 Tricks to Spending Much less and Residing the Good Life

  • Podcast #71 – 5 Frugal Suggestions from Ma Ingalls and the Pioneers

Baking ingredients in containers on a wooden kitchen island.

Desk of Contents[Hide][Show]

Frugal Residing Homestead Type​

Residing frugally with important homestead abilities is extra essential than ever lately with the rising value of inflation. It appears grocery costs improve earlier than I make it by means of the shop aisles. Loading a number of meager luggage of meals into the automotive prices a fairly penny; it’s disheartening.

I’ve been taking into consideration the tales shared with me concerning the steps to a easy life our great-grandparents knew and issues our grandparents reused through the Nice Despair so I could make two ends meet for our household as a contemporary homesteader.

Frugal dwelling is discovered; imagine me, I’ve discovered by means of trial and error over time. Placing into follow the tricks to dwell just like the Pioneers and staying constant has its challenges, however on the finish of the day, it’s been effectively well worth the long-term funding of time and power. Homesteading can actually prevent cash.

Two old Mason jars with paper money and coins.

Suggestions for Residing Frugally​

The little issues in life go a good distance when dwelling frugally within the Pioneer spirit on the homestead, or anyplace for that matter. I’ve discovered and used many suggestions and tips to maintain our family working effectively, experiencing the frugal Pioneer way of life we’ve chosen.

Make a Funds​

I used to be raised in a frugal family. My dad and mom have been taught by their dad and mom, and it was all I knew. I discovered that making a funds is intentional and, if held to persistently, will information you together with your spending. Residing outdoors your funds is the place issues can get out of stability shortly.

Preserving your funds sincere and sensible is essential as a result of your life and family are what your funds manages. Couponing and gross sales can solely get you up to now; it’s a must to ask your self if the acquisition is a need-need or a want-need and await a bit earlier than making the ultimate buy.

Ensuring you will have a margin for the surprising issues that come up, or additional monies wanted for reward shopping for, repairs, journey or the occasional unexpected bills is actual life. We attempt to be sure that the miscellaneous quantity is sensible and reasonably priced.

Freezer meals in ziplock bags.

Spending Freeze​

Don’t put a freeze in your month-to-month payments and requirements. Pay your mortgage, electrical invoice, telephone invoice, and bank card funds. Homeless, chilly and hungry is a horrible place to be, and that’s not the freeze I’m speaking about right here; it’s a spending freeze!

For instance, I’m speaking about freezing your spending on the grocery retailer. Buying bread, milk and eggs when you don’t have a cow and chickens is a spot you wouldn’t freeze. Purchase solely absolutely the requirements and make do with what you’ve received. You’ll save and use what you will have.

Attempt utilizing what’s in your pantry, freezer and family and deplete a number of the gadgets you will have. Generally, I’m amazed at what I’ve available that was pushed to the again of the freezer and made a considerable meal with leftovers.

Get artistic and see how far you possibly can go along with what you will have. My frugal dwelling suggestions for making do-it-yourself meals with meals within the pantry and freezer are much better than spending on comfort meals, growing your grocery invoice.

Photo of a very cluttered and messy garage.

Promote Issues You Don’t Want​

Going by means of my home, outbuildings, storage and different areas on the homestead assist me de-clutter and purge stuff I don’t use or want anymore. Promoting a few of these gadgets provides a bit cash to the funds; it’s encouraging to have cash circulate coming in and never out on a regular basis.

My guidelines for bartering success provide tricks to dwell a extra frugal way of life. Buying and selling one thing you don’t want or use anymore for an merchandise you possibly can use retains you from spending cash and lightens that footprint on our shared planet.

Numerous budgeting is about being frugal, however generally you’re already on so tight of a funds you possibly can’t minimize any extra corners. So this provides us a technique to convey more money into the funds.

Old fashioned kitchen and wood burning cook stove.

Don’t Purchase Issues You Don’t Want​

Bear in mind which issues are vital and that are solely luxuries. Even after the Nice Despair was over and my grandparents had some cash, my grandma was nonetheless within the mindset you didn’t splurge on issues.

My dad advised me a narrative about my great-grandpa going to the shop and shopping for great-grandma a hand mixer. She made him return it and stated, “I don’t want that; I can do with out it.” A lot of what we’ve we don’t want.

I’ll do some procuring on-line as a result of we dwell in a rural space, and I can solely generally get to the shop. I’ve began placing issues within the cart and ready to take a look at instantly. I’ll come again the following day, and often, I discover I don’t want it and find yourself not buying it.

Professional-Tip: Periodically evaluation your memberships and streaming providers to validate that they’re bringing worth to your private home. If not, cancel them!

A woman putting a loaf of artisan bread into a linen bread bag.

Reuse and Repurpose What You Can​

After I reuse or repurpose issues, I really feel like I dwell an old school pioneer life. This frugal lifestyle conjures up me to consider what I can do to go away a lighter footprint on the planet.

Within the kitchen, you possibly can reuse plastic luggage, wash and switch them inside out to dry and reuse them a number of instances. (Or seize a few of my Pioneering As we speak linen bread luggage!) Parchment paper will not be a one-time use both. After I make do-it-yourself no-knead artisan bread or granola bars, I can use it 2-3 instances earlier than throwing it away.

Studying a number of stitching abilities goes a good distance when repurposing or making new gadgets out of previous issues. Stitching will not be one thing I do effectively, however having a seam ripper (what a lifesaver for me) and some easy stitching abilities can actually go far with regards to dwelling frugally.

Ma from the Little Home on the Prairie collection impressed me to contemplate repurposing clothes. These DYI repurposed sweater tasks can present you easy methods to flip two previous sweaters right into a hat, fingerless gloves, a shawl, and two units of boot socks.

You can even take quilting to a brand new stage. The Pioneers did quilting as a result of it allowed them to take smaller bits of cloth and switch it into one thing lovely and invaluable. Quilt making is a wonderful method to make use of scrap clothes whereas protecting you cozy and adorning your private home.

Loaf of artisan bread, halfway through baking, in a cast iron dutch oven with lid removed.

Make What You Can Your self​

My grandmother at all times stated you can also make something at dwelling. She firmly believed the whole lot made at dwelling is best for you than store-bought.

We’ve come full circle and are embracing this lifestyle once more. Making do-it-yourself meals is cheaper than shopping for them within the retailer, and it’s more healthy.

There are frugal methods to arrange meals thoughtfully, like within the days of the Nice Despair. My dad remembers consuming biscuits and cornbread (no yeast required) with do-it-yourself jam and applesauce as a result of store-bought was too costly.

I nonetheless make strawberry jam, blueberry jam, and cherry jam recipes with out store-bought pectin. You may say I take after my grandmother in some ways. I search for methods to be frugal and inventive to stretch our family meals funds and eat wholesome, do-it-yourself meals.

My nice grandma’s pie crust solely took a number of substances and was used for candy and savory pies, crammed with what they’d accessible. Grandma would make pasties from her pie crusts, reducing out small circles and filling them with fruits, meats, and veggies. Scrumptious and filling!

Being a choosy eater wasn’t an possibility, and treats have been far and in between.

You needed to be artistic, and my great-grandma made a deal with my dad and aunt fondly bear in mind known as chocolate gravy. That they had it over flaky buttermilk biscuits; Dad stated it was scrumptious and filling. Creativity creates reminiscences!

A woman under a high tunnel working in the garden.

Develop Your Personal Meals and Feed for Animals​

Residing a pioneer homesteading way of life and elevating entire meals causes us to concentrate to what we want and may afford, not what we would like. We develop and make meals which are good for our well being utilizing completely different preservation strategies, like fermentation, canning and dehydrating meals.

Corn is often simpler to develop than wheat, at the least the place we dwell. You undergo your corn, choose the ears that aren’t prime, minimize the kernels off the cob, and dry them. When totally dry, make it into corn meal to feed livestock in winter. Each little bit helps with the funds!

Canned pumpkin in quart sized Mason jars with a large pumpkin in the background.

Save as A lot as Potential within the Summer time​

Having a backyard in the summertime might help with frugal dwelling by storing up as a lot as you possibly can for the opposite months of the 12 months. Beginning with a small backyard or container gardening is an effective way to expertise gardening and add meals to your pantry.

Canning, freezing, fermenting and dehydrating meals stretch your meals funds, and it’s a more healthy technique to eat. If you’re new to canning, try my free canning video series to get began.

Farmer’s markets and co-ops are available in most areas if a backyard isn’t one thing you possibly can have. Native farms develop additional meals to promote, and sometimes, it’s natural. Both method, it’s a frugal pioneer technique to retailer more healthy meals to your family.

Picture of a wood stove with a pot on top.

Discover A number of Makes use of for What You Have​

Old school pioneer strategies accomplish varied duties that we’ve forgotten. Take dehydrating meals, for instance; these days, we buy the most recent, best electrical dehydrator and don’t consider using warmth from a wooden range or the solar to dry meals.

My grandpa used a wooden range for warmth, cooking, and as a dehydrator. They didn’t have dehydrators like we do now, so that they used the solar or the wooden range. He hung hooks above the wooden range and used screens to dry prunes and different fruits.

Discovering a number of makes use of for what we’ve takes some analysis, resembling our native library, the web and elders who’ve lived a extra self-sufficient way of life. This analysis offers us entry to data and teaches us the methods of previous for a extra self-sustaining and frugal way of life right now.

Sheets hanging on a clothes line.

Use Issues Till They Are Worn Out​

I attempt to purchase issues of excellent high quality and maintain them. Frugality doesn’t imply buying the most affordable merchandise. You’ll be able to spend a number of extra {dollars} and have higher high quality gadgets that stand the take a look at of time, saving you cash.

We get what we pay for after we use low cost gadgets fabricated from low cost supplies that disintegrate shortly. Spending cash on a higher-quality merchandise and taking excellent care of it might probably stretch your {dollars} additional in the long term.

Clothes, for instance, is an space we as a society fail miserably. We’re all responsible of protecting clothes till we don’t prefer it or need it anymore as a result of it’s now not trendy.

The Despair Period mindset was about discovering methods to make use of issues repeatedly. They usually bought their garments used, even after the Despair was over. We dwell in a throwaway society, but reusing gadgets till they’re worn out is a straightforward change.

Simply step into your native thrift shops and see all of the clothes, footwear and family stuff that’s barely used and prepared for extra put on. Will probably be a major financial savings for you and make good use of things that may in any other case fill our landfills.

Or, when your clothes or sheets put on out, minimize them up and use them as dish towels or emergency “spill” rags.

Bulk food in large storage buckets.

Purchase on Sale and in Bulk​

These suggestions for getting meals in bulk present you easy methods to purchase high quality meals in amount that can retailer effectively in your pantry at an enormous financial savings. Shopping for in bulk will increase your choices to make baked goodies and different vacation meals presents for a number of folks and keep inside your funds.

You should buy gadgets on closeout for fast sale and use them for a number of functions. I’ve a weak spot for gross sales and clearance gadgets and know that I can blow the funds if I don’t suppose by means of what I’m buying. Make an inventory earlier than shopping for so it doesn’t go to waste.

Impulse shopping for occurs once you see a great deal and buy a number of budget-breaking gadgets that don’t get used. It’s a checks and balances methodology that requires self-control and follow. Endurance is required as a result of there may be at all times a great deal across the nook.


Be taught Your Historical past​

Lastly, I might encourage you to speak to your loved ones and get your loved ones historical past, tales, and recipes earlier than they’re gone (just like the pumpkin roll pictured above!). Attain out and ask questions; ask them for recipes and tales. I really feel blessed to attach with my household and protect this data earlier than it’s forgotten and gone.

These days, a cellphone is a mini handheld laptop that lets you conveniently analysis your loved ones’s heritage or maintain movies of a member of the family’s tales and experiences. We will maintain our households historical past and cross it on to our youngsters, so that they proceed to be taught from their ancestors.

Need to save money and live frugally? These are 16 tips from my great-grandmother in 1913 that still apply today. Read now for time tested tips to stretch your dollar


Podcast #40

Podcast #47

The place to search out Ruth:

Podcast #71 – 5 Frugal Suggestions from Ma Ingalls and the Pioneers

A clothesline with white sheets and clothespins.

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