Grandma and the women who came before them new how to pinch pennies in their day. They knew where every bit of the money coming into their household went and on what it was spent. That's ok if you don't have the same amount of control. Today we all have apps and auto billing that reach into our accounts and just pay things. It is hard to keep up.
Doesn't mean we can't learn from grandma. I am going to spell out a few money-saving and money-making habits that your grandparents cultivated with a modern twist.
- Rent out your rooms. If you have extra empty rooms in your home rent them out. Grandma did! People back in the 50s and 60s new that extra room in a house was a gold mine for them. Today its even easier with the advent of AirBnB or HomeAway. Be sure to check your local regulations. Another option is to find a roommate and become a landlord, gain tax deductions and extra income. If you have a large open area for entertaining consider putting the space on Splacer, an online marketplace for event planners. If you live near an event space consider using your extra yard space for paid parking.
- Yearly review of home insurance. Take the initiative to talk with your insurance agent each year when your home insurance renews to make sure you are not overpaying for insurance. Look for instances where you may be paying double and ask what you can do to get discounts. Also if you have gotten rid of anything that insurance covered you may be able to reduce your replacement cost a bit.
- Do your own research. Before you decide if you need to hire a professional, do a Google search and understand what is needed to actually fix the problem. You may find out that you can DIY the solution and save the cost of a professional. Remember, most of them charge you a call fee and then charge you the cost of the repair plus parts.
- Pack up your refrigerator. Not something you may know about but actually packing your fridge helps you save money. With less dead space for hot air to gather your fridge will actually stay consistently colder. Set your thermostat to 36 - 38 degrees F for maximum efficiency.
- Free stuff! Check with your local electric, gas or water utility company to see what free items or assistance they offer. You may be able to get an energy audit, energy-efficient light bulbs, new shower heads, HVAC coil cleaning or usage assessments. What is there to lose?
- The power of rags. In our throw away society, we may depend heavily on paper towels but take another look at keeping a good bag of rags. Use old t-shirts, cut up towels and even old socks. When calculating the energy cost to wash them compared to paper towels you will come out ahead. But make sure the rags is good and dirty first.
Hope you enjoyed reading about grandma's tips and remedies. It seems we can all take a lesson from the past and get back to basics. You may want to consider using this method with your food preparation too. Get back to preparing whole foods and drop the over-processed meals we have become accustomed to today.