Monday, February 28, 2011

Savvy saving tips from my Gramma

I read this article today from Chatelaine's Caroline Cakebread, the magazine's talented finance blogger, full of 'old-fashioned' advice with Nine Money Tips from Grandma.

My grandmother passed away last August, and while I miss her, I realized that she left me with some great frugal-living tips that shouldn’t be missed. Having been inspired by Cakebread's post, these are the some of the day-to-day saving lessons that my Gramma passed along to me:

Everything can be used again.
I keep all the milk bags that the 4L bags come in and I realized that this is a habit I picked up from my Gramma. Grocery stores now charge $0.15 for a plastic bag and while I proudly tote my eco-bags to the supermarket, I use these milk bags for my wet towels after swim practice or muddy shoes after an outdoor run in order to keep my gym bag clean. The best part? I store these milk bags in empty tissue boxes under the kitchen sink… just like my Gramma did. Frugal and fabulously tidy!

When you do make a purchase, look for quality over quantity.
My Mum is now wearing a beautiful gold watch that her mother received from her mother back in the 1950s. This antique is worth about a $1,000 and it must have cost my great-grandmother a pretty penny all those years ago. We can only imagine that Granny Annie must have saved for years to buy this piece of jewelry. But she obviously picked it for both its beauty and craftsmanship as over 60 years later, it’s still ticking (and stylish!).

Dresses are meant to be borrowed.
My sister and I would absolutely flip-out if either of us took another’s treasured garment without asking first. I’m scared to count the dresses that I have in my closet, but I know that my Gramma only ever had 2 as a young woman so she would borrow her sister’s dress to rotate into her wardrobe… and then she’d run to the bus stop before she’d get caught red-handed. If you only had 2 dresses in your closet, of course you’d treasure them both! Stories like these remind me that less really is more. Who cares if I wore that dress to work last Thursday? If it’s my favourite then I’m wearing it again! And if it's a special occassion? I'm stopping by my sister's closet before shopping at the boutiques.

Beauty is a DIY time.
Last spring I gave up my weekly manicure after my credit card bill peaked. I’m now a DIY mani-pedi girl and whenever I even think about complaining about what a sacrifice I am making, I remember that my Gramma used a beef broth gravy to paint her legs when pantyhose become scarce during World War II. She showed me that you don’t have to sacrifice fashion just because times are tough and money is tight, but you do have to be resourceful.
While I am blessed to wear pantyhose to work everyday without the fear of gravy streaks showing, I do save the old ones when they get tiny rips or pulls. The fabric can be stretched over plant pots outside in the spring too keep the aphids off your budding roses and of course, my Gramma taught me that trick too.

Your Golden Girl,


1 comment:

  1. Your grandma sounds like a frugal and fabulous woman. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Wow... Beef broth in place of pantyhose. How very innovative!