Living the old fashioned, off-the-grid, homesteading lifestyle is definitely not for everyone. But, whether you are living in a loft in the city or a farmhouse in the country, there are some skills that everyone could benefit from having. Not only will these almost-forgotten skills help save money, but they are healthier too!
This might seem like an odd skill to list, as you can buy premade bread for pretty cheap. But even if you get your bread from a bakery, nothing is as good as homemade bread. There is just something wonderful about the process of kneading the dough and the smell of bread baking in the oven. And nothing, nothing beats buttered bread hot out of the oven. While this skill isn’t really going to help you save any money, it’s amazing how tasteless store bought bread really is, and once you’ve tried it there’s just no going back.
If the idea of breadmaking is a little intimidating, I might recommend searching thrift stores for a working breadmaker to give it a shot. Bread out of a bread maker isn’t quite as good as real homemade bread, in my opinion, but it is still LOADS better than store bought, and takes a bit less time.
Cooking/Baking from Scratch
Now this skill is all but lost, especially among the younger generations. Learning how to cook and bake from scratch will take a little bit longer and is slightly more expensive at the beginning, but well worth the time. Once you get used to cooking and baking from scratch instead of premade, prepackaged foods, it’s hard to go back.
Not sure where to start? Check out this list of 7 foods you should always make at home, complete with some recipe ideas to get you started! Or, you could check out our list of recipes for some homemade favorites!
Because most people live in the cities nowadays, gardening is quickly becoming a lost art. When most people think of gardening, they picture a huge plot of land on a farm full of all kinds of vegetables. But even if you don’t live in the country, there are plenty of options for growing some of your favorite fruits and veggies at home in containers or community gardens.
The benefit of growing your own food is not only the reduced price, but you also have 100% control over what pesticides (if any) you choose to use on your food, and what foods you grow.
The other half of gardening is storing, canning and preserving food to not only save money but also to make the best use of what you have. Canning is something that takes a lot of trial and error and a little bit of money to start. But, if you do it right you can have food for most or all of the winter without having to buy canned vegetables and produce during the more expensive part of the year.
Last but not least, sewing is the last skill on my list of need-to-know lost arts. I’m continually amazed by how many people are not only clueless about how to operate a sewing machine, but who cannot even thread a needle to do basic repairs to clothing. While there are a lot of cool things that can be made with a sewing machine, I have found that sewing skills are mostly useful for adjusting, repairing and hemming clothing to make it last longer and fit better.
There are numerous resources on the internet for learning the basics of handsewing, and sewing machines are not super expensive if that’s more your style. Regardless, you will be surprised how many clothes you can save simply by knowing how to patch a hole or reattach a button. And each item you save is money you don’t to spend replacing it!
What are some other old-fashioned skills that people don’t take advantage of anymore? Let me know in the comments!