In a world of consumer culture and disposable commodities, it’s easy to forget the frugality and resourcefulness with which our grandparents lived. In times when items were scarcer and often handmade, there was a strong ethos of use and reuse. This not only applied to major purchases but also to everyday items that many people today wouldn’t think twice about discarding.
In this piece, we take a nostalgic look back at ten commonplace items Grandma would have never thrown away, uncovering the wisdom in her thriftiness and the potential for us to incorporate some of these habits into our modern, eco-conscious lifestyles.
1. Glass Jars and Bottles
Grandmas knew the value of a good glass jar long before ‘upcycling’ became a trend. Whether it was for storing preserved fruits and vegetables, saving leftover soups or sauces, or even as a simple vase, glass jars, and bottles had a myriad of uses in her household.
2. Pieces of String and Twine
A ball of string might seem insignificant today, but for Grandma, it was a crucial tool. It could be used to tie up garden plants, patch up broken items, hang clothes on the line, or bundle items together. Nothing was too small to save, and these pieces often came in handy.
3. Cloth Scraps
Every scrap of fabric had a potential use in Grandma’s eyes. Worn-out clothing was repurposed as cleaning rags, quilts, or stitched into other garments. Because fabric was expensive and labor-intensive to make, it was seldom wasted.
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