Money-Saving Tips Our Grandmothers Knew

When my grandmother grew up there was little of what we have today, and as a result she was much more of a savvy saver than we all are today. Back in her day there were no credit cards that allowed an unlimited amount of splurging on items that often leave us thinking ‘I wish I hadn’t spent that!’, and no nipping to the nearest supermarket to pick up a few items.

My grandmother had to go through hardships and as a result she learnt the best way to save a few pounds, which she fortunately has passed down to me, and these tips could be the key to the start of your money saving changes.

One of my favourite stories I remember included gravy browning and eyeliner which she used to give the illusion of stockings during World War II as rations were limited and hosiery was not on the top of the shopping list. The gravy would be used to darken the colour of the legs and then an eyeliner pencil used to create lines that would give the illusion of seams up the back. Now this may be the most interesting tip passed down to me, but it’s not going to save you much money nowadays! So, onto some more helpful tips…

Grow Your Own

Vegetables are a vital part of any healthy diet and are bought at every weekly shop, so why not save some money and grow your own? Back when my grandmother was growing up fresh produce was not as readily available; the easy way to source fresh vegetables was to have a vegetable patch. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can still keep a small tomato tree or vegetable tray in your kitchen, and you’ll soon reap the benefits!

Not only is this a top tip for saving money, it is also a great activity for the family. Children or grandchildren will love creating their own food – it may even give you the opportunity for your younger family members to experiment and try more vegetables and enjoy them, maybe even the infamous broccoli.


Keep Hens at Home – For Lunch and Luscious Locks!

Another weekly must-have on our shopping list is eggs. You may think eggs are a relatively cheap product, priced around £2 for half a dozen, but there is a money saving opportunity that you can take, and another top tip from my grandmother: chickens. By having your own chickens at home or in a local allotment you can not only get a daily supply of fresh eggs that will beat the supermarket-bought eggs on flavour, but also creates another activity that children will love.

Eggs used to be a regular part of my grandmother’s diet, but she also had an extra top tip that involved using a raw egg as part of a cosmetic solution for your hair! It requires applying egg onto damp hair and leaving it on for 20 minutes, then washing it out with cold water and shampoo (careful not to use warm water to prevent the egg cooking!). For dry hair just the yolk is needed, for oily hair use the whites of the egg and for normal hair use the whole egg. I was hesitant at first to try this too, but it really did work. Just make sure you use cold water, as I’m not sure you want a hair omelette.


Homemade is Best

The final top tip from my grandmother involves another family favourite of bread. It is so readily available at every supermarket but you cannot beat a loaf of homemade bread; you will save money on buying the ingredients in bulk and keeping them in the cupboard, adding extras such as olives and sundried tomatoes to make an extra special loaf, and it can be so easy to make, even without a bread maker.

homemade bread

This food calculator from Candis will show you personalised money saving top tips, by simply entering on average what you spend on everyday items and then telling you if there are any savings you could make for you and your family.

So, what money-saving tips did your grandmothers share with you?

Alexandra Bacon is a student and a food fanatic who has passion for home grown and locally sourced produce. Growing up with her mothers and grandmothers cooking she has always been interested in using the hints and tips passed down to her to make delicious food and share that with others.

Jimmy Simond is a founder of, he share his immense knowledge of finance in this blog.