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Want to save money like your grandma?
You may know him as our monthly Thrifty columnist, or you may be a fan of his blog or YouTube channel. Jane Berry, known for her blog Shoestring Cottage, or affectionately known by many as Shoestring Jane, has released a new book.
‘Extreme Frugality: Save Money Like Your Grandma’ teaches readers how to live a happy and sustainable life without breaking the bank. It seems more relevant than ever. During the worst cost of living crisis we’ve seen in decades, why not revisit the frugal living tips our war-time ancestors had no choice but to use?
Bringing back the ‘make do and mend’ attitude, Jen teaches us about some of her grandma’s frugal habits to help you get through tough times.
We sat down with Jen to interview her about her new book, hoping to delve into the thought process behind it, and how each page can help you.
Let’s start by talking about our new book. What is it called and can you give a brief summary of it?
“It’s called extreme frugality: Save money like your grandma – how to live a creative, happy and sustainable life on very little.
“Some of the best frugal living tips have been handed down from generation to generation. I bring some of these together, along with trendy ways to save yourself a ton of money.
“From shopping and cooking like your grandma, to buying secondhand, finding free stuff and using cashback sites when you need to make new purchases, I’ve put together some of the most helpful ideas to get you through tough times. pulled together.”
Have you always wanted to write a book about it?
“Yeah, it’s been on my mind ever since I started writing my blog ten years ago. I’ve been working on this book for five years! I’m a great procrastinator and let’s put it aside, revisit it.” Continued to write and add to it. But the cost of living crisis suddenly made it all the more urgent and I was forced to publish it.”
You have a blog. How did the idea of turning your blog into a book come about?
“Over the years, my blog readers have suggested that I pull hundreds of posts I’ve written together into a book. In fact, I’ve even added tons of information, as I ask readers, through my Facebook group. I learn a lot from members and by living frugally as much as possible.
What can people learn from your book?
“The basic premise of the book is old-fashioned frugality, including some more modern ideas. Our grandparents and great-grandparents survived WW2 and rationing. They had no choice but to do and improve, every piece of food.” To use the scraps, to grow some of your own fruits and vegetables and to go without if necessary.
“We have passed through a period of unprecedented prosperity, which most of us have taken for granted. We totally throw away good food, spend unsuspectingly on fast fashion and the latest trends, and even shop for fun. Many of us regularly have large debts and no savings, and just one misfortune can lead to financial disaster.
“I’m not suggesting we go back to the 1940s lifestyle, but we can learn a lot from past generations and adopt some of Grandma’s frugal habits that helped us through tough times “
If you had to choose one thrifty trick from your book that readers should try, what would it be?
“Cut the waste in every area of your life.
“Once you reduce waste, you have to buy less. For example, plan your meals, shop with a list, and use what’s in your fridge before it gets old. Take care of things to make them last longer, be it clothing, shoes, furniture or household items.
“As a bonus, wasting less is also good for the environment!”
How did being frugal become a part of your lifestyle?
“I adopted frugality out of necessity. Recently divorced with a small income and three children to support, I had to learn how to stretch my budget as much as possible.
“Once I realized how much money I could save, I became addicted. Now frugality is second nature to me.”
What did your grandmother teach you about frugality?
“My own grandparents were from a working-class background where no one had any money and frugality was perfectly normal.
“My grandfather always had a greenhouse full of tomatoes and a small vegetable patch. When we went, the food was always plain but full. Meat and two veg or canned salmon with bread and salad.
“My own parents inherited some of these skills and passed them on to me. I haven’t always been good with money, but I never knew to waste anything. ,
Where can people find you?
“You can see what I’m doing on my YouTube channel, on my blog. and on Instagram (@shoestringcottage). If you’d like to find a thrifty community, visit my Facebook group, My Second Hand and Frugal Life.
You can currently buy Jane’s new book on Amazon, either for paperback (£9.99) or Kindle (£3.99). You can read his latest Thrifty column here.