My grandma grew up during The Great Depression and was part of the greatest generation making her strong, thrifty and frugal by nature. These qualities were ingrained in her by necessity and stayed with her all of her life.
She was one of eight children and grew up on a farm where money and material possessions were scarce, but homegrown food, hard work, love and the grace of God were abundant. I feel like we have so much to learn from this generation and so today I’m sharing 6 powerful life lessons that I learned from my thrifty grandma to hopefully be an encouragement to you as well.
Grow Your Own Food and Cook from Scratch
My grandma had a garden, canned and cooked from scratch her whole life. She did it because that’s just what you did to save money and keep from having to purchase expensive produce from the store. She also cooked from scratch and ate at home 99% of the time because she simply didn’t have the money or the opportunity to buy convenience or eat at restaurants very often.
In today’s crazy busy world, with packaged meals and restaurants at every turn it’s easy to spend an exorbitant amount of money each month on food, but I think a great life lesson for us all is to practice self-control and also common sense by learning to grow, preserve and cook our own food. Check out the links below to help you get started.
Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do or Do Without
My grandma never threw anything away if it had another use. She kept bottles, baskets, tubs, egg cartons, bags and anything else you can imagine for later use. She also used everything up without wasting a drop (as far as it was possible). If she needed an item she would try to make it herself first before she bought it or just simply go without. These practices were second nature to her, but for us it may take some forethought and/or practice.
We can save a lot of money and also learn about gratitude and self-control by implementing these practices in our modern lives. I try my best to reduce food waste by meal planning based on what I already have in my kitchen and also by doing periodic pantry challenges where I limit my grocery budget and try to eat up what we have in our stockpile. For more ideas on reducing food waste and other creative resourceful tips check out the links below.
Be Content with What You Have
One of the most powerful life lessons that I learned from my grandma was to be content. She didn’t have much, but I never heard her complain. She put her faith and trust in the Lord and that was enough for her. She valued faith, family and nature. She didn’t put much stock in material possessions and she was happy with the little that she had.
We can gain so much from practicing gratitude and contentment like my grandmother’s generation did. It’s definitely true that the more you have the less you appreciate it. We have so much in our modern world that it can be hard to slow down, simplify and be grateful for it all instead of complaining about what we don’t have.
Realize the Power of Working with Your Hands
Generations that came before us knew the power of working with their hands. They grew and harvested their own food, sewed their own clothes, created houses, furniture, kitchen utensils, toys, hats, scarves and all kinds of other useful items with their own two hands.
Learning to create with your hands isn’t only practical and frugal, but it also slows you down and gives you a chance to clear your head and appreciate hard work and a job well done. Pick a skill and give it try. You just might realize there’s more to life than purchasing and consuming all of the time.
Another wonderful life lesson that I learned from my grandma was to help others and to give generously. She always had her eyes and ears open to people who needed help. She truly enjoyed giving her time, money and prayers to those in need and I think we would all do well to try to live this way. She may not have had a lot, but she was generous with what she had and was always willing to give and lend a helping hand.
Live Simply and Appreciate Natural Beauty
My grandma lived a simple life by necessity, but she also had a great appreciation for natural beauty. She went on prayer walks every morning down her dirt road and she loved to grow flowers and write poetry. These things cost her very little, but she reaped many rewards from her relatively small investment. A powerful lesson we can learn here is to appreciate the little things in life that matter to us and don’t cost a lot of money. Slow down, live simply and appreciate the natural beauty in your own life.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my grandma and the lessons that she taught me. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to check out my similar posts by clicking on the graphics below. Have a great day!