I recently have been spending more time with my grandma. Besides the great company, I have also learned a few “old-time” ways of saving around the house. She grew up during the Depression so she has a very different mindset than my own (mid-twenties). When I started applying some of her methods (along with ones I’ve picked up on my own) I’ve been able to cut down on costs that were actually really quite easy and simple to put into effect.
Here are some of those “old-time” ways of saving I picked up from her…
Use your local resources
We’ve all have gotten into this habit of going out of our way to find the best deals. The problem is that the $50 you may be saving on a new item may only actually come to be $20 (or less) after you figure gas and transit time. Plus, what if you could have done without? Now you’re spending money on things you really didn’t need.
The people growing up during the Depression did a great deal to save money. Mainly, they hunkered down and worked around their local resources, so you went to the local farmers market, you bartered, you found work around the neighborhood, and took care of each other.
Sure, sometimes there are particular items that may come at a premium depending on your location and the culture, but for the most part the local offering is going to be greatly cheaper especially since you could barter with the individual (because they may be someone you know or within your extended network).
Get on the dang phone!
I’ve noticed that many of my peers (and those younger) avoid talking on the phone like the plague. We’re just used to messaging and doing status updates on social media. It’s rather silly because you can easily get through to a company in a few minutes versus waiting hours for a response with email.
My Grandma told me I need to pick up the dang phone and contact utilities, debtors, and the like because that’s the best way to really reach them and come to a better agreement.
It sounds like a no-brainer but you know you tend to avoid calling because you don’t want to be put on hold. If you take nannies advice and do a bit of mine by using the site https://gethuman.com/ you can skip through all the bull and go right to customer service so you can renegotiate on payments and plans – that’s where you’ll really start saving money on the basics.
Never settle for one… or three…
That same laziness we have with calling people is about the same type of process we go through when shopping around. Usually we go to a place like Amazon or Walmart to buy our stuff because we assume it’s the cheapest. The same can be said about utilities. We’re used to just seeing one provider when there are always options.
I took her advice and looked beyond just one provider (and didn’t even settle on the median of three offers); I used my knowledge of the web, checked out providers in my area of Alberta, and found plenty of options for power (in this case) that greatly cut down on the costs of moving in. I recommend you learn more about deregulated energy plans online.
You can bet my grandma was part of a few clubs back in her day. The clubs weren’t just about being social but also to introduce yourself to other important individuals within the area or industry. The clubs also were able to negotiate lower rates on stuff like eating out, lawn care, and shopping discounts because the companies and businesses wanted their business.
Nowadays you can find a club for just about anything and everything. Meetup is a great online tool for creating groups and clubs with other likeminded individuals. Perhaps you could start one (or maybe just join an existing one) and leverage the club size for discounts on all sort of items and services for your home (and those related to it).
If you’re introverted you could always take advantage of club rewards such as the cards businesses give out for discounts/coupons and then maximize it by adding in some couponing and smart shopping.
Did your grandma ever teach you some of her old-time ways of saving?