Homemaking is a job that our culture undervalues, but I’m here to tell you today that homemaking is an infinitely valuable vocation and I’m showing you 15 ways that you can contribute financially to your family by being an old-fashioned frugal homemaker.
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How to Be an Old-Fashioned Frugal Homemaker
In pre-industrial days, homemaking was seen and valued as a vital part of society. After all, someone had to keep the home fires burning, so to speak. Food had to be made, the home had to be cleaned, clothes had to be sewed, kids kept in control and the garden managed.
Sadly, in our modern lives, homemaking is no longer seen as a real job, even though these things still need to be done by someone. As they say, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. These words are still true, no matter if our society believes them or not.
Homemaking still is and always will be an extremely vital role, but it can be a frustrating one in a society that says only those who contribute monetarily are important. To me, this is extremely sad, I mean just think about how shallow and materialistic this sounds. You’re only important if you bring home money. Wow. So ignorant.
Our society is entrenched in consumerism, so much so that we value people based on their money making abilities, but isn’t nourishing the human spirit and caring for families also valuable? Of course it is and don’t let anyone tell you different.
I’ve been told since elementary school that going to college and climbing the corporate ladder is the only way to contribute to society and be worth something, which is such a lie and so extremely shallow.
What about farmers? Isn’t our food supply important?
What about all of the (mostly) men doing trades like plumbing, construction, and mechanics? Don’t these jobs play a vital role in society?
What about a mom who stays home with her kids and cares for them like no one else in the world can? Doesn’t raising kind, loving and morally sound children mean anything? OF COURSE IT DOES and anyone who tells you any different is confused. Strong families are the bedrock of a society.
Like I said before it can be frustrating to be a stay at home mom in our current society, simply because you aren’t bringing home money, but don’t stay at home moms still contribute to the family monetarily? The answer is absolutely and the more frugal, industrious, and resourceful that you can be, the bigger of a blessing you will be to society and your family.
Today I’m going to be sharing with you 15 ways that you can save your family money by being a good old-fashioned frugal homemaker. I hope this list inspires and motivates you to look at your resources and see how far you can make them stretch.
15 Ways to Save Money and Be an Old-Fashioned Frugal Homemaker
Make Homemade Bread
An easy and fun way to save your family money is to try making your own homemade bread. Your money goes a lot farther with a jar of yeast and a bag a flour than it does on the bread aisle at the store. If you try it and like it, see how many more bread products that you can make from scratch such as, naan bread, pizza dough, dinner rolls, doughnuts, tortillas, and muffins. It really is amazing what you can do with a few, simple ingredients.
Reverse Meal Plan
Meal planning can be a huge money-saver, if you do it right. Don’t just think of a list of meals that sound good, but go through your pantry and see how many meals that you can come up with and then stock up on what is on sale at the grocery store that week. This is the most economical way to meal plan. If you need a list of frugal meals to get you started, see the resources below.
- 15 Cheap Pantry Meals with 4-Ingredients or Less
- How to Meal Plan on a Tight Budget
- How to Build and Old-Fashioned Frugal Pantry
Eat at Home
The more you eat at home, the more you save. I’m sure we all realize this, but sometimes it’s tricky to implement. Having a meal plan is a great start, but also keeping a few quick and easy meals on hand will save you money in the long run. Also, planning ahead by packing dinners or lunches when you have a busy day can save you hundreds over time.
Always be thinking ahead, prepping for the next meal and you won’t be caught with hungry kids and nothing to feed them. Don’t over complicate it. Oatmeal or toast and scrambled eggs is a full meal. Sometimes all you need to do is fill bellies.
Grow a Garden
Growing a garden is a great way to save money, if you can grow what you would normally be buying at the grocery store. Look at the produce that you buy and see how much of it will grow in your area. Challenge yourself to grow a years supply of at least one item. If you’re new to gardening, the learning curve can take some time, but just keep trying and eventually you’ll find that you are bringing in tons of fresh produce to supplement your family’s grocery bill.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a smart way to shop, if you know that your family will eat the food that you are buying before it goes bad. Only buy in bulk what you’re family eats and if you have a way to store it properly, otherwise it can end up costing you money.
This one can seem kind of vague, but once you make the mindset shift of trying to make things yourself instead of buying, the money saving possibilities are endless. Pretty much anything can be made at home instead of purchased if you put your mind to it. If you need a little help in this area be sure to check out the resources below.
Learn to Eat and Preserve in Season
If you’re growing your own food or buying it on sale in bulk, then knowing how to preserve it is a great way to save money for your family. Canning, freezing and dehydrating are great skills to look into. Check out the resources below to get started.
- How to Freeze Blueberries
- How to Dehydrate Tomatoes
- Instant Pot Homemade Applesauce
- Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce
Stay at Home
Some people might not like to hear this one, but the more you can stay at home, the less money you will spend on gas, entertainment and unplanned purchases. See how many days a week you can stay home (without online shopping) and learn to make home life exciting, by growing a garden, keeping chickens, playing cards or learning to crochet.
Make Homemade Cleaning Products
It’s amazing to me that there are entire aisles at the grocery store dedicated to cleaning products. I mean how many products do we truly need? The truth is, most of your cleaning needs can be met by using vinegar, baking soda and dish soap. Don’t try to make everything at once, which can be overwhelming, but just pick one thing that you normally buy at the store to make at home. The easiest ones are glass cleaner using vinegar and water and toilet bowl cleaner using baking soda.
Buy and Sell Used Clothing
We buy at least 80-90% of our clothing used either from thrift stores, ThredUp or at consignment stores. With the fast fashion culture that we live in, there is a surplus of clothing that is floating around out there at amazing prices. You can get pretty much any name brand you want if you are willing to shop around and look through racks.
Kids clothing especially can be found at rock bottom prices, since they outgrown them so quickly. Doing this will save you hundreds of dollars each year and is better for the environment. You can also keep all of the gently used kids clothing that your kids no longer need and sell them online or at a consignment shop. Doing so can pay for at least some of the clothing that you need for the upcoming season.
Skip Using the Dryer
This one might seem insignificant, but every bit that you can save adds up. The average family can save $200 per year just by not using their dryer. Laundry lines are cheap and weather permitting, it’s pretty calming to hang your laundry to dry by hand, not to mention it’s better for your clothing. Why not give it a try?
Learn to Mend Clothing
Mending is a dying art, I mean who takes the time to sit down with a needle and thread to fix clothing anymore? Well, I do for one and I know that their are others out there. Mending saves you money by extending the life of your clothes and it’s a calming activity that can be done in the evenings while watching TV or listening to music. There are several books on the subject, so why not check one out from the library and give it a try? It’s sure to save you money.
Take Advantage of the Library
The local library is an amazing resource for the frugal minded homemaker. Not only do they offer books and DVDs to check out for free, but they often also have a vast online library of resources that you can access using your card. They also often offer community classes, workshops and sometimes book, puzzle and seed exchanges, all for free.
Learn to Do Hard Things
Our culture seems to think that the easiest, quickest way is the best way, but of course, that isn’t always (if ever) true. Quality matters and often times that means we have to sacrifice either our time, energy or money to get the quality that we desire.
For instance, it our takes time and energy to line dry clothing. It’s “easier” to just throw clothes in the dryer, but it uses more electrical energy that in turn costs us money.
Buying bread is easier than baking it, but baking it saves you money, gives you a healthier product, uses less packaging, gives you the satisfaction of doing something for yourself and has a calming effect from getting your hands into the dough.
Growing your own food is more difficult, but it also saves you money and is good for your physical and mental health. I think our culture has bought into the lie that hard work is a four letter word to be avoided at all costs, but I beg to differ. I think working for our family and our own well being is extremely satisfying and worth doing. We were made to work and to create, which I think people are craving in their modern lives.
Use What You Have and Learn to Need Less
An amazing money-saving mindset to have is to look around you and use what you have to solve problems, instead of always buying more. It’s surprising to realize that we actually need very little and the rest is us using up unnecessary resources on things that don’t matter.
I hope you enjoyed this list and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!