Want to learn how to save money on groceries? Check out these tips from 1950s housewives that can still help us save money today.
Many of us are looking for more ways to save money on food, especially at the start of the year. The holidays are over and we may have splurged a bit or maybe we have set some big financial goals for the year. No matter the reason for reducing our food budget is often one of the best ways to save.
Housewives in the 1950s felt the same way. January issues of women’s magazines in the 1950s often featured articles with tips for being more thrifty. Somethings really don’t change that much.
One thing I love about the 1950s housewife frugal tips is they not only talked about saving money but also saving food. Those things go hand-in-hand but still, we often forget about the high cost of food waste.
Reducing our food waste will not only save us money but it is also better for the environment. I always love things that can fix two problems at the same time.
I have saved some tips I found in 1950s magazines and other publications from the time. These tips still can help us save money today and it’s always fun to read advice from the past.
How to Save Money on Groceries
Look for Bargains
Don’t just buy the first thing you see, check to see if another brand or similar item is cheaper. Brand loyalty only costs you money. Be a smart shopper and pay attention to those prices.
You should also consider if there are foods that give you the same nutritional value but are more affordable. This is especially true of seasonal ingredients. You will save a lot of money sticking to foods that are in season.
Fill the Oven
You can save time and money by cooking food for a future meal at the same time as dinner when the oven has extra space. Maybe a dish for tomorrow’s dinner or something for lunch the next day.
You don’t want to overfill the oven as the heat needs to circulate but don’t just put one dish in at a time. Find ways to save yourself some time and at the same time, you will save on your electric bill.
Bake Every Bite
Use a rubber spatula to get every bit of batter out of the bowl. Little dabs of food seem unimportant but those little bits add up and there is no use wasting perfectly good food.
You can use this tip when transferring leftovers to a food storage dish. Scrap all the little bits of the food into the containers so you can get the most out of your dishes.
Watch Your Pot
A slow boil works just as well as a fast boil. As soon as you see your pot start to rapidly boiling turn down the heat. This will save on heat and avoid boilovers.
A tight-fitting lid also helps maintain the heat and will even help the pot come to a boil faster. And don’t forget to use the right sized pot for your meal and the right-sized burner for your pot.
Store Meat Correctly
If you eat meat you want to be sure to avoid waste and keep it fresh by storing it correctly. One thing you want to do is make sure you get the meat into the fridge as soon as you get home and repackage if needed.
Also, make sure to store cooked meat in an airtight container and make sure both fresh and cooked meat is placed in the freezer right away if it won’t be used before it will go bad.
Don’t forget to use up leftovers! Wasted leftovers mean wasted money. If you aren’t a big fan of leftovers do a better job of making the correct amount of food for your family. You can also use leftovers in new and creative ways to avoid getting bored of eating the same thing.
Make sure you have plenty of containers on hand for storing leftovers. My favorite food storage containers are glass Pyrex containers, a brand that was very popular in the 1950s as well. And make sure the containers are placed in a spot you will see so they aren’t forgotten.
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When measuring dry ingredients level it off with a straight-edged knife or spatula over a container to catch the extra. When measuring liquids use a glass cup with a pouring lip to avoid spilling.
This will also help you avoid messes to clean up saving you time on post-baking and cooking cleanup.
It’s thrifty to use only as much as you need, so follow that recipe! You will also avoid cooking flops which cost even more money.
Many of these seem simple but are also easily forgotten. One I never think to use is cooking more at once. This is such a great way to not only save money but it’s also a great way to be more productive with your time.
It’s another great reason to be sure you are meal planning. When meal planning you can look at your meals and see if there are some things you can cook together.
If you don’t have a good meal planning system down put that on the top of your to-do list. I like to create my meal plan using my meal planning printables. It’s a simple way to stay on track.
If you feel like you need more help getting started meal planning be sure to check out my free meal planning guide. It can help you figure out what will work for you.
More Tips from 1950s Housewives
If you love learning from the past, especially the 1950s, you’ll want to check out these other posts. They are not only useful but also interesting.
- 10 Helpful Cooking Tips from 1950s Housewives
- Household Tips from 1950s Housewives
- 7 Cleaning Hacks from 1950s Housewives Worth Stealing
Or check out all of my posts about vintage homemakers. You’ll find all kinds of useful info to start using in your own life.