Earn/Save Money

20 Old School Tips: Money Saving Advice From Grandma

I just celebrated Thanksgiving with my family in Canada – it’s Columbus Day to you Yankees, and one of my favorite things to do is get the scoop on what’s up from my Nana. She’s 85 and went through times of war when you really needed to make due with what you had. When you shared your neighbors phone, made your own clothes and had to go without all of the luxuries. These frugal ways stayed with my grandparents right up to today, where they still reuse paper towels and are sure to scrape every last ounce of butter out of that container so nothing gets thrown away. Figured I would gain some simple money saving advice from grandma so that I can share them with you (just in case you don’t have a Nana like mine or yours is crazy or something).


1. To make hamburger meat go further, mix in a few handfuls of crushed cereal or bread crumbs to beef it up and save money.

2. Don’t be scared to buy frozen fish. Fish that’s flash frozen is the same quality as fresh fish, but usually always less expensive.

3. Don’t always believe the expiration date of eggs. Throw it in a cup of water – if it sinks, it’s still good. If it floats, throw it out.

4. Want to keep cheese from drying out? Spread butter on the cut edges so that moisture can’t escape. (mmm butter and cheese)

5. Line the bottom of your refrigerators veggie drawer with paper towels. They absorb the excess moisture that can make veggies spoil.


6. You don’t need so many different cleaning products! Pick all-purpose and multi-purpose cleaners, and save specialty cleaners for tough jobs or surfaces like leather and carpet.

7. Windshield washer fluid is less than half the price of Windex. Buy it in bulk when it’s on sale and just refill your old containers.

8. We all seem to forget this one, but use rags instead of paper towels! They work better, are cheaper, and produce less waste.

9. Newspaper actually cleans better than paper towels – cheaper and leaves no residue.

10. Don’t throw away lost mismatched socks – throw them on your hand and use them to dust and clean the house.

Around the house

11. Close off unused rooms to lower your heating and cooling costs. Shut their heating vents and put rolled towels along the crack between the door and the floor to prevent drafts.

12. If you have an older water heater, wrap it in insulation to save a bunch on your water bill.

13. Reduce the temperature on your water heater to about 120F. You don’t need to pay to have it scalding hot anyway!

14. Install a low-flow shower head to save water (this one would be hard for me. I’m big on water pressure).

15. Run full loads of clothes and dishes. Most of a dishwashers energy is used to heat a set amount of water, so running smaller loads wastes both energy and water.


16. Diluting shampoo by as much as half keeps it effective but gets you double the use. (I would probably do 1/3)

17. To revive dried out mascara, remove the brush cap, put it in a mug upright with a damp napkin on top and put it on high in the microwave for 10 seconds.

18. Use Vaseline as a makeup remover, lip moisturizer, balm for dry skin, and cuticle oil. Baking soda is another miracle staple with tons of beauty uses – see all of them here.

19. Use cinnamon oil to plum up your lips instead of expensive products. It’s much cheaper and your pout will have a nice spicy scent.

20. Use bar soap. Old school, but just as effective in getting you clean – lasts longer and is much cheaper!

saving advice grandma



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