From Smart Living
Old-School Tips and Tricks
Your grandparents lived in some difficult times and probably became experts in how to be frugal and cut costs back in the day. Some of their penny-pinching techniques might seem ridiculous nowadays, but if there are ways we can make the most out of things we usually take for granted, why not do it?
Here are some old-school tips and tricks that will help you save money and get creative with household items in ways only your grandparents knew how. Follow their advice and enjoy the results! Why? Because grandparents know best!
Maintain Your Appliances
Just like cars, home appliances require the same amount of TLC to make sure they go the distance. After all, a major appliance is not a cheap investment. Luckily, maintaining your appliances in good running is not rocket science. Just ask your grandparents. They may not have had the same appliances but they sure know a thing or two about things in general.
They can tell you all about the small maintenance tasks you can do on your own so that your refrigerator or dishwasher stays in good shape. You can clean the refrigerator’s coils every few months or clean the dishwasher’s filter and gasket regularly to avoid food buildup.
Dilute Your Shampoo
It turns out grandma was actually right. You can dilute your shampoo by adding water and still keep your scalp clean and clear. In fact, some doctors recommend this measure to those with sensitive scalp and damaged hair as some shampoos can have an aggressive effect and make your hair dry. Not only will it save your hair but also your money by not having to buy shampoo so often.
Or, as grandma would say, you could just use less. For medium-length hair, a quarter-size amount is probably more than enough. Also, if your hair is not the oily type, you can probably stick to shampooing every three to four days or even once a week.
Store Bottles Upside Down
Say goodbye to poking the ketchup bottle’s neck with a knife or slapping it until something comes out of the bottle. Just take a look at how your grandparents store everything from ketchup to condiments or body wash and do the same: store them upside down.
Keeping bottles like this will simplify everything and help you get every last drop from the bottle, saving you some money in the process. To make sure the upside-down condiments in the fridge don’t tip, you can arrange them with the help of a carton egg.
Cut Back on Laundry Detergent
Most of us usually use a capful of detergent on each load. According to our grandmothers, we are using way more detergent than we actually need. They are right too! According to Consumer Reports, detergents people use nowadays are ultra-concentrated, which means you could use a smaller amount and still get the job done.
If you want to stop wasting detergent, mark the fill lines that are harder to see so that you don’t overfill the cap. You’ll be surprised to see how much detergent you have left at the end of the month!
Get Every Last Drop Out of a Tube of Toothpaste
There’s always something left in your toothpaste tube, no matter how hard you squeeze it. If you want to get the most from a tube of toothpaste, you should probably listen to what your grandpa has to say. He would probably tell you to take a pair of scissors and cut the tube open and use your toothbrush to scoop out what’s inside. Easy as one, two, three! You can get one or two additional uses out of a tube this way.
Dry Your Soap
If you want to make your soap bar last longer, there’s one simple way to do this: let it dry completely before using it again. More than that, if you keep it on a soap saver that prevents it from sitting in water or in a soap dish with holes, away from the moisture and steam caused by the shower stall, you can also prolong its life and cut down on costs as well.
Extra tip: Wash with soap and a washcloth or loofah. It will not only clean your skin better, but you will also use less soap.
Don’t Leave Razors in the Shower
You might not be using metal razors like your grandpa used to do but the plastic, disposable ones, however, you could still learn a few tricks from your grandfather about stretching the life of your razors. The most important one: Thoroughly clean the blades of shaving cream, lotion, or other products after every use! Leaving them just anywhere, covered in dirt, can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria.
In addition, keep them in a cool, dry place, definitely not in the shower, if you want to prevent them from rusting.
Do Your Research on Proper Food Storage
Before today’s convenient appliances came into existence, our grandparents had to get creative with the way they stored and preserved their food. Pickling, dry salting, or storing in certain recipients were some if the methods used by your grandma to preserve edible treats. They were efficient too, so you might want to follow suit!
There are many tricks and hacks your grandparents could show you in this category, like keeping homemade or bakery bread in a school bread box or putting flour in the fridge. Their purpose was to reduce your waste and the number of trips to the supermarket. Not to mention saving money.
Grow Your Own Garden
What better way to ensure fresh produce than growing them in your very own garden? It’s also a very efficient way to stretch the time between grocery trips and save some money. The most important thing? Don’t think of gardening as a hobby but rather as a healthy extension of your pantry and fridge.
It’s your chance to be as self-sufficient as Grandma was. Plant the things you like and know you’ll consume and use what you already have such as scrap wood for plant stakes and kitchen scraps for compost.
Reuse Aluminum Foil
This cool kitchen tool is pretty much 100% recyclable and more than that, it can be repurposed indefinitely. You can rinse the tin foil in the sink or wash it in the dishwasher (yes, it’s possible) to remove excess grease. You’ll make it like brand new off the roll.
If it’s too crumpled to use it for wrapping leftovers, there are other surprising ways you could still use it. You can shine up your silverware, sharpen scissors, scrub dishes, or even chase away bothersome birds.
Use Cloth, Not Paper Towels
No matter how big a roll of paper towels might be, you still end up with nothing left in a week or two. So, why keep spending money on these items in a feeble attempt to wipe down your kitchen counters or bathroom? Just ask your gramps and grams for some old-school solutions.
One of them would be to use rags for cleaning. You surely have plenty of them already, from cloth napkins to dish towels to microfiber cloths. If you want to make the most of what you’ve got in your house, you could also use newspapers, especially to clean windows, like your grandparents used to do back in the days.