It’s no secret that our parents were absolute pros at making their pennies go the extra mile and getting the most out of their weekly budget. The post-war era pushed them to get creative in cutting bills, reducing food waste, and making clothes and appliances last longer, all in the name of making ends meet.
While some of these savvy money-saving tricks may not be as popular these days, there’s still a treasure trove of timeless tips that can put a little extra sparkle in your bank account. Incorporating these into your routine can not only stretch your money further but also add a touch of budget-friendly magic to your financial journey.
That’s why we’ve compiled some of the best to help you stretch your dollar further and embrace the art of budget-friendly living.
Cleaning products from the supermarket don’t come cheap and when you take into account all the various types of cleaning products we use every week – from bathroom and kitchen spray to floor and glass cleaner – it certainly adds up. Instead, try making your own version at home with a little vinegar, bicarb soda, or dishwashing liquid.
Tumble dryers are a great convenience, but they suck up a lot of electricity. Where you can, use the line, or if it’s raining set up a clotheshorse inside or on the porch. If it’s really necessary, you could use the drying to “finish” the load if it’s not quite dry. You’ll still be saving plenty of electricity.
You might not be entirely self sufficient, but by growing your own food you’ll save money at the checkout and get the satisfaction that can only come from preparing food you grew yourself. If you don’t have the energy or the space to create a large veggie patch in your garden, a simple veggie box will do the trick. Veggie boxes came in all shapes and sizes these days and many are built high off the ground meaning you won’t need to get down on your hands and knees to tend to your produce.
You’d be hard pressed to find someone who grew up in the post-war era that didn’t know how to make leftovers stretch that little bit further. While food wastage has become all too common these days, using leftovers to create an entirely new meal was normal for many Baby Boomers growing up. Some of the best leftover meals include, stew or curry made from roast meat, fried rice made from steamed rice, fried ham, egg and veggies, and bread and butter pudding made from leftover bread from the week.
Of course, if you can’t be bothered cooking a whole new meal and you have a lot of leftovers, freeze them! This way, they don’t get thrown out after a few days, and they’ll be there when you can’t be bothered cooking, saving you from ordering expensive takeaways.
If you have some old towels, cut them up to use as cloths for spills and wiping down surfaces. They can be thrown into the next wash and they’ll not only save you money, but they’re better for the environment too.
Having an expensive gym membership is practical if you’re using it multiple times a week, but if you find yourself struggling to drag yourself there more than once a week consider cancelling and finding a less expensive way of working out instead. There are plenty of free or discounted community classes on offer around the country, and it’s hard to go past a good old walk around the neighbourhood for some fresh air and exercise. If the weather’s a little dreary outside, try working out at home instead using strength training to build your muscles and get your blood pumping.
By incorporating these tips into your daily routine you’ll not only master the art of budget-friendly living but also find joy in making your dollar stretch a little further.