12 “Odd Scraps” For The Frugal

“Odd Scraps”?!?!  Made me think of what you might give to the dog.  Never fear!  It’s actually just tidbits of information to help you toward the goals of living a frugal life or having “nothing be lost”.

  1. Don’t throw food away that can be used – put it a container in your freezer for those few leftover veggies from dinner.  When the container is full, make veggie soup or add any meat to make it meat and veggie soup.
  2. Don’t let bread go stale – cut it up and dry for stuffing; or cut it up, season and bake for croutons.
  3. Don’t waste fresh vegetables that are sprouting – when vegetables begin to sprout or decay, put them on the compost pile.  If you don’t have one, you may want to consider starting one.
  4. Mend clothes! – clothes that are mended can be used for play or work clothes.
  5. Make your own bread, cakes and cookies – making your own baked goods can save a lot of money AND you control the ingredients that go into them (sugar, preservatives, etc)
  6. Clean throw carpets often – dirt that collects under carpets can grind out the threads and ruin the carpet prematurely.
  7. Keep “Indian Meal” (corn meal) and rye meal from fermenting in summer – keep in a cool place and stir often; a large stone in center of container helps to keep it cool.
  8. Rags should not be thrown away because they are dirty – wash and put into a ragbag to use for those dirty tasks.
  9. Don’t necessarily throw away old clothes – old clothes can be torn into strips for sewing or braiding into rugs. (I have made some crocheted rugs out of old fabric and it’s very fun!)
  10. Use suds and ash on bushes and young plants – a great fertilizer for bushes and plants and they need to be watered anyway.
  11. Make young leaves from currant bush into tea – gather and dry; can hardly be distinguished from green tea.
  12. Don’t let cheese go bad – wrap in paper, fasten with flour paste, store in cool, dry place (can be kept free from insects for years)

As I was compiling these, I thought about my grandmothers quite a bit.  They both had done many, if not all of these, in their lifetime.  Being frugal (or economical) was just part of life for that generation.  One of my grandmothers told me that they hardly noticed The Great Depression because on the farm they were already self sufficient and lived off the land.  What a thought, huh?


Note:  This list was compiled using “The American Frugal Housewife” by Lydia Maria Francis Child.


2 thoughts on “12 “Odd Scraps” For The Frugal

  1. My grandmother was the thrifty person I knew, she threw little to nothing away. This woman lived through the depression and was taught to simply use what you had. One of the most interesting things is that she made the cutest pin holder by using a tuna fish can, it had fancy legs and she sold them at yard sales.

    1. Oh I love that story! What a fantastic way to “reuse” something AND add a small income stream to the family budget.
      Both of my grandmothers were the same way for the same reason. When I look back on things that they did to conserve and utilize what they had, I’m amazed. As a child, I was sorta embarrassed but now I wish they were both here to guide and direct.

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