Vintage homemaking skills are a great way to save money and live a more sustainable and simple life. These are some that you should consider learning today.
I’ve always enjoyed learning about homemakers in the past. Many of my favorite parts of the Little House on the Prairie TV show are when they are just doing normal chores. The same is true of shows like Donna Reed and I Love Lucy. How we take care of our homes has changed so much.
Don’t get me wrong, the fact that we can have robots vacuum our houses is pretty awesome. However, we’ve forgotten some good housekeeping skills of the past. These skills still have a lot of value today.
As many of us are searching for a simpler and more frugal life, looking to the past may help. Homemakers of the past were frugal and eco-friendly without really thinking about it. It’s just what you did.
One added benefit of the way homemaking was done in the past is a slimmer waistline. While many things played a role in the weight of women in the past, one was spending more time doing housework. A housewife in the 1950s burned around 1,000 calories a day by doing housework, now we burn just around 560.
All of this is why I’d like to get back to using the vintage homemaking skills I have and learn more about them. It would be nice to save money, be less reliant on others, and possibly burn a few extra calories.
Here are a few vintage homemaking skills we all should consider learning and using.
Vintage Homemaking Skills
Learn How to Make Bread
Homemade bread is the best. If you ask me there are few things as good as a piece of freshly made bread. Making your own also saves money and gives you control over the ingredients.
Baking bread isn’t hard but it does take time. Though I can’t say I’ve ever regretted taking the time to make bread. Since bread freezes really well, if you have space, you can make a few loaves at a time and freeze the extra. Saving a little time and effort.
I will plan to share more about baking bread soon but until then there are some great books on baking bread that can help you get started. You can also check out some of the bread recipes on this site, they are all simple and delicious.
Learn How to Sew
This is one I haven’t mastered yet. I have a sewing machine but haven’t used it much. I did shorten some curtains for our bathroom and have done some mending.
I’d love to learn to make things like cloth napkins, dish towels, and other household products. I’d also like to learn to make at least some simple clothing items.
Even if I don’t always use this skill it’s a good one to have. I can already sew on buttons and do some basic mending but learning to do more will help me to make our clothes last longer.
Learn How to Garden
I can grow flowers and I enjoy that but I’ve never really taken the time to set up a vegetable garden. Honestly, I don’t have much of a green thumb but I would like to at least grow some fresh herbs. Even if you only grow a few things in plants it can be nice for your budget and also a great way to be a bit more sustainable.
A friend of mine is so amazing at gardening and shares all about it on her blog A Modern Homestead. It’s a great place to go to learn more about gardening and a resource I’ll be using.
Learn How to Start Canning
Okay, I’m going, to be honest, this one scares me. I do not want to give my family botulism. I know there are many things to do to prevent this and really it’s quite rare, but poisoning your family is a scary thought!
I want to use my friend’s guide to water bath canning to help me feel like I’m not going to kill everyone. If I have a garden it would be nice to be able to can some of the things I grow. I also love homemade jellies and jams so I’d like to be able to make those.
Learn to Cook from Scratch
I already cook most of our food from scratch, at least in the way most people mean by that. I want to do more though. Some things I want to make more often are pasta, bread, and snacks. I do have the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer and have used it a few times it’s quite easy, I just need to do it more often.
I’d even like to learn to make some cheese, especially ricotta. I have no plan to learn to make hard cheeses, that is a much bigger task but things like ricotta and cream cheese, even mozzarella don’t look too difficult. I enjoy cooking and homemade almost always tastes better so this is a skill that will bring many benefits.
Learn to Reduce Waste
I used to be a lot better at this and I want to get back to it. I want to compost what I can and put more effort into recycling and reusing. I also want to be sure to keep track of the food we have and use it up before it goes bad.
Food waste really bothers me, it’s like throwing money straight into the trash! I’d love to get our trash down to a very small amount. It’s already less than the average American but I know we can do even better. Less waste isn’t only good for the environment, it’s good for our pocketbooks.
Learn to do more home improvement projects
I already have some knowledge in this area thanks to my very handy dad that let me “help” him with projects. I know I can learn more though.
Not having to hire people not only saves you money, but it’s also empowering. I grew up in a family that rarely hired anyone to fix things or do any home improvement projects. These skills are some that we are losing fast.
Learning all of these homemaking skills and also always looking to find more you can learn not only makes you a better homemaker but can also help your brain. It’s so important for brain health for us to keep learning and this is a great way to do that.
More Vintage Homemaking Resources