Our culture of convenience has caused many to undervalue self-sufficiency and hands-on skills. But rewind to your grandparents’ generation who weathered the Great Depression and wars, resourcefulness wasn’t a choice – it was key to survival.

They didn’t call professionals for every little repair or project. They just handled it themselves with ingenuity and elbow grease.

“Taking shortcuts” wasn’t in their vocabulary – a job had to be done right, and no half-efforts were allowed. Their unwavering work ethic was super-inspiring. While we enjoy countless conveniences their generation couldn’t have dreamed of, we couldn’t match them in the following:

Cooking From Scratch8 Things Our Grandparents Did Better Than Us

In stark contrast to our diet of frozen meals and fast food, my grandma slaved over a hot stove all day long. From scratch, she’d whip up tasty meals using fresh, high-quality ingredients – many plucked straight from Grandpa’s vegetable garden.

The extra time and effort poured into every dish made Grandma’s home cooking downright mouthwatering.

Her skillful hands could transform the simplest ingredients into a flavor-packed culinary masterpiece. And the way the whole family would gather around the table to bond over a delicious home-cooked meal? Priceless. Sure, it’s far easier to grab something pre-made. But at what cost to our health and the simple family tradition of breaking bread together?

Perhaps it’s time we dust off those tattered recipe books and get reacquainted with the lost art of made-from-scratch meals.

Cherishing Quality Over Quantity

Cheap goods that are made to be replaced reign supreme these days. Not so for our grandparents. They lived by the “quality over quantity” mantra, investing in durable, long-lasting belongings built to withstand the test of time.

From clothes, furniture, and appliances to toys and tools, each item was chosen with careful consideration and cared for meticulously.

Our grandparents took immense pride in maintaining their belongings through cleaning, repairing, and reusing rather than discarding something the moment it showed a bit of wear and tear. Their homes were typically modest by today’s standards, containing just the essentials – not an excess of clutter weighing them down.

DIY Skills8 Things Our Grandparents Did Better Than Us

Today, we outsource all kinds of home repairs, renovations, and tasks to hired professionals.

But back in Granddad’s day, you had to be a skilled handyman able to tackle any household projects and fixes using your own two hands. The ability to personally attend to all those needs rather than being reliant on outside services was a huge source of pride and cost savings.

DIY Skills Our Grandparents Mastered

  • Plumbing repairs and installations
  • Electrical wiring and fixture replacements
  • Carpentry and furniture building
  • Car and lawnmower engine mechanics
  • Bricklaying, drywall, and painting

While those types of vocational chops aren’t as prevalent these days, the resourcefulness and self-sufficiency of our grandparents are aspirational. Being able to DIY certain home tasks would do wonders for our self-esteem and wallets, bringing a bit of that old-school resourcefulness into our lives.

Gardening & Farming8 Things Our Grandparents Did Better Than Us

Long before grocery chains and farmers’ markets became our source of produce, our grandparents grew their own fruits and veggies right in their backyard gardens or on the family farm.

That allowed them to be largely self-sustaining in difficult times. Their lifestyle focused on living off the land through sustainable agriculture rather than relying on industrial supply chains.

Living Self-Sufficiently

Being truly self-sufficient is a lofty goal these days. Even here on our homestead where we diligently raise livestock and bountiful vegetable crops, we still rely on countless modern conveniences from large-scale operations.

But that doesn’t mean we’re entirely at their mercy. By channeling the old-world skills of past generations, we’ve armed ourselves with the know-how to go it alone when needed.

Each year, we save seed varieties for replanting bountiful heirloom gardens. Our tiny orchard brims with diverse fruit trees and berry bushes carefully cultivated to produce ample harvests. Ensuring our food independence doesn’t stop there. Cupboards overflow with rows of home-canned fruits, veggies, jams, and sauces courtesy of my marathon preserving efforts.

Sure, the internet and modern homesteading tools make our lives exponentially easier. But we sleep soundly knowing that if taken off the grid tomorrow, we’ve stockpiled the crucial proficiencies for self-reliant living.

Thanks to the generational wisdom passed down to us, a return to those pioneer self-sufficiency roots is always within reach.

Living Frugally & Debt-Free8 Things Our Grandparents Did Better Than Us

Thanks to their Great Depression-era upbringings, grandparents were masters at living frugally and being financially savvy. Their motto?

“Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” Reusing items was simply a way of life. Frivolous spending on wants over needs? Forget about it.

They avoided taking on debt at all costs, prioritizing saving up over time to make major purchases rather than seeking instant gratification through loans, layaways, or credit.

Interest charges were looked upon as unnecessarily throwing hard-earned money away. Living within their means and maintaining a debt-free lifestyle allowed grandparents to experience peace of mind and true financial freedom.

They felt in control of their money rather than feeling trapped and owned by it. Sure, we now have greater access to credit.

But look around – most of us are slaves to our debts and saddled with material belongings we technically can’t afford. Perhaps it’s high time we embrace the debt-free lifestyle of our money-smart elders.

Helping One Another

A core tenet bonding our great-grandparents’ communities together was ensuring nobody faced life’s challenges alone.

When the Donalds were stricken with illness, the Davids brought over hearty soups and fresh breads without hesitation. If the Roger barn collapsed in a freak storm, every able-bodied neighbor rallied together until it was rebuilt.

These people knew no truer meaning of interdependence. Because eventually, every family would inevitably face their own periods of struggle or need assistance. So a cup of sugar borrowed here, a clutch of eggs exchanged there – these small gestures cemented bonds stronger than blood.

Whenever wheat harvests were meager, the surplus was simply shared communally. If excess produce resulted in bountiful canning jars, rations were discreetly dropped at homes with greater need.

Money may have been scarce back then, but kindness and generosity were the true community currency that carried them through.

Timeless Things Worth Reviving

Our grandparents’ generation endured more hardships than we’ll hopefully ever have to face. It was their simple living philosophies and astute traditional habits that allowed them to persevere with grace and integrity.

While our modern tech-fueled society has brought about rapid change and countless innovations, we’d be wise to pay respect to the enduring wisdom of our elders. By proudly reclaiming some of their timeless ways, we can inject more purpose, joy, and balance into our fast-paced daily grind.

You may also like:How To Find An Underground Water Source On Your Property

The Only Plants Soldiers Looked For During The Civil War

How to Make the Ultimate Survival Food (Video)

20 Grandma’s Depression Foods We Will Need Soon

DIY Potato Tower

How To Purify Water Off Grid

Print Friendly, PDF & Email