Sage advice from yesterday
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and looking at the myriad of ways our parents and grandparents made do during the Great Depression and lean war years that followed truly proves this old adage. With few resources available to them due to hardship and rationing, they still managed to keep tummies full, families happy and houses clean and neat.
In the prosperous post-war years, many of the frugal and inventive ways people managed to save money fell by the wayside. But we think it makes good sense to revive some of these “old-fashioned” ways. Partly because they still allow you to save money, but also because in many cases they encourage reusing and repurposing, which is good for the environment.
Consider trying some of these simple, thrifty ideas from Buzzfeed:
- When making a recipe that calls for ground beef, replace some of the beef with cooked lentils. Lentils are less expensive than beef, have fewer calories and fat, and can also help to lower cholesterol.1
- Use oatmeal as a “meat extender”. You can make even more meatballs, hamburgers and meatloaf if you bulk up the mixture with a generous scoop of uncooked oats.
- Make your own toothpaste, like the ones featured on Mother Nature News, using simple, inexpensive, natural ingredients.
- Grow a kitchen herb garden on your windowsill so you don’t have to buy large bunches of herbs (most of which go to waste because often you only need a few teaspoons) every time a recipe calls for them.
- Regenerate your veggies. That’s right, you can actually re-grow 13 common vegetables! Celery, scallions, garlic, Romaine lettuce, carrot greens, basil, lemongrass, onions, bok choy, avocados, sweet potatoes, ginger root, and pineapple can all be regenerated with a little time and patience. Click here for more information.
- Mash your potatoes with the skin on. Not only will this bulk up your side dish, but you’ll get an extra dose of fiber and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium if you leave the skins on your spuds.
- Keep bags of soup stock ingredients in your freezer. When you roast a chicken, add the cooled bones to the meat bag, and add onion ends and vegetable peels to the vegetable bag. When you have enough ingredients stored up, simmer everything with some water and seasonings to make a hearty, homemade stock like this Food.com recipe.
- Try to reuse every single container that comes into your house. For example, turn jars into drinking glasses or use them to store spices, craft supplies or nails and screws.
- Never replace anything you can fix. Glue, thread, staples, tape, and nails were invented for a reason, after all! For tips on mending clothes, visit About.com DIY Fashion. For a list of 10 things you can probably fix yourself, visit Lifehacker.
- Make and freeze “meal kits” that you can pull out on those busy nights when you don’t have time to cook. Whatever you make from scratch is bound to be healthier and cheaper than fast food. Check out Tip Garden for some fantastic homemade hamburger helper meal kits.
If you try any of these tips—or if you have some great thrifty tips of your own you want to share—visit us on Facebook and let us know.
410567 CAN/US (04/15)