When Grandmas Ruled the World

Grandmas… the best thing since sliced bread. Growing up in the sixties and seventies, my grandmother lived with us as was the case with many immigrant families. Grandmas weren’t just there to visit, they were an important and meaningful part of the family. These days it seems like everyone lives apart and it’s often tough just to get time for a quick visit.

There’s much to be learned from these women who can give us many lessons about stretching a dollar. Following are just a few of the ways they made it happen for their families.

Food Can be Used in Many Ways

Leftovers, love them or hate them, always seem to end up in our fridges. Get creative…use your leftovers as part of a new dish instead of just heating them up again. For example, make a pot of chicken soup with left-over chicken and stock, or try a chicken caesar salad as a main or a side at your next meal. You’ll be surprised how far your grocery dollars can go when you’re mindful of what you’re throwing away, and you never know, you might come up with a new favourite dish!

Organic Gardening is the Only Gardening

Most of us have ideas about beautiful, bountiful gardens delivering us high quality vegetables all season, but this isn’t always the case. It’s easy to drop in to the nearest store and pick up a bunch of chemical-laden growing products but do we really want our families eating that?

Try putting some used coffee grounds and egg shells into your soil instead. These items provide much needed nutrients and calcium for the soil. You’ll see the results in no time and the bonus is – no chemicals. Make sure you get rid of those weeds too, because they’re robbing your vegetables of much-needed nutrients. Even though none of us like to do it, hand-pulling the weeds is the most effective way to keep your garden healthy.

Sewing Isn’t That Hard

No, I’m not suggesting you should darn your socks! But, many of the reasons we throw out our otherwise well-loved clothing items is because of small tears or hems coming apart. We feel like we don’t have time and the chores seem to be never-ending. A bit of practice and you’ll be amazed at how quickly a few stitches will have you back into your favourite sweater or jeans. If you were planning to throw it out anyway, why not give it a try next time you’re watching a movie or have a few minutes to spare.

Quality Items Last Longer

This is a well-known fact even still today. With the new trend of up-cycling and re-using gaining popularity, more and more people are starting to appreciate the quality that was put in to the products of years gone by. Before you donate or throw out an item, think about it and see if there’s a way to turn it into something you can still use or, maybe find a new way to use it. A little paint goes a long, long way.

How Many Square Feet Is Really Necessary?

We’ve all heard the stories of families having 9 or 10 kids and growing up in 1000 square feet or less. This wasn’t an oddity back in the day, it was the norm. The idea of spending most of our take home pay on a mortgage was unheard of by our Grandmothers. A lot of the now-adults who grew up in these types of families have fond memories of their childhood, sharing rooms, hand-me downs and a small backyard. They remember the quality times they had as children, not how big the house was. It’s an important lesson.

There is Always Someone Who Needs it More

With the economy as it is today, people are struggling more than ever. Some of us are blessed with having enough, usually too much. If you’re thinking about getting rid of an item or sharing some of your good fortune, remember that not everyone is as lucky. Make a point of giving somewhere you know it will be appreciated by someone who could only dream of having what you do. Try a homeless shelter, maybe a women’s shelter or your church.

These are just a few of things that were common in our grandmother’s day. We could do well to incorporate a few or all of them into our daily routines. The next time you have the privilege of seeing your grandmother, ask her for some advice. You can be sure she’ll be more than happy to give it to you. These women have a lot of knowledge, it’s part of their legacy to hand it down, and they’ll do it with pride.

Do you have a lesson that was passed down by your Grandmother? Share it with us in the comments!

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