We’ve talked about home cooked meals, ditching disposables, quality over quantity as ways people used to scrimp and save. But, when money was really tight, those three strategies were far from enough to help people get by.
Here are three MORE ways people used to save money that are still applicable.
Drink More Water…From Home
The most popular beverage in the United States used to be the water everyone had flowing from their taps. It was not until the 1980's that bottled beverages (primarily soda) overtook water as the chosen drink of the nation.
As of 2008, that dynamic has switched back to. But the change is not saving consumers any money. Instead of spending their hard-earned money on soda, consumers are paying for the convenience and perceived health benefits of bottled water. The phenomenon has spawned a $22-billion-a-year industry.
But why are we paying for something we already have flowing from the faucets of our homes? Some cite safety concerns. But there are more safety standards for tap water than are applied to the bottled water industry (ABC News).
Municipal water was (and still is) regularly tested and required to meet certain safety standards. There have been recent instances where degraded delivery systems have negatively impacted some local water. But the majority of local water is safe for consumption.
For consumers who are still concerned about the safety or taste of their local water, filtration devices are a far less expensive than continuing to purchase the prepackaged variety. Coupling filtered water with reusable containers as your go-to beverage can be a big budget saver.
Clothing repair seems to be a lost art. How many people’s parents or grandparents have taught them how to darn their socks? Instead, we toss out and replace our clothes with little regard for the wasted fabric.
But a lost button or ripped seam does not have to lead to a brand-new clothing purchase. You could replace the button or sew the shirt (trousers, sock, etc.) back together. How? YouTube the instructions.
Seriously. Check out these instructions from Nicola Donati Fine Tailoring and Alterations on how to sew a seam. Here is how you can darn a sock. Need to hem those pants but don’t have a sewing machine? Not a problem.
Figuring out how to fix your clothes has never been easier. Practical knowledge plus saving money? Yes, please!
Use the Library
Once upon a time there was free entertainment. Radio was free. Television was free. Now the majority of our entertainment resources are subscription-based. We pay money every month to consume the literature, music, and videos we prefer. But we don’t have to spend that cash.
Local libraries have expanded their capabilities to offer physical and digital books, music, and even popular series and movies. Many locations also provide internet access, meeting rooms, adult and children’s events, and much more.
Next time you look at your “entertainment” expenses, consider what your library offers and how you could benefit from using the public services they offer to the community.
There are a multitude of ways people in the past consistently saved money. Using these three steps can help any household save money. And, as the saying goes, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”