Grandmas are full of infinite wisdom. They swear by doing things the old fashioned way, and though we will happily take our technology, sometimes they really do know what they're talking about. Our grandmothers came up with some brilliant life hacks before they were featured on Youtube and Pinterest.
Though we may be able to Alexa or Siri all kinds of things, sometimes doing things the old fashioned way is easier and more reliable. We might even find that we can save a little dough while we're at it. Many of our grandmothers managed households at a time where penny pinching was ever important. Okay, it was also probably a lot easier to save money before Amazon Prime!
We aren't kidding when we say grandma knows best though. Our grandmothers were seriously genius with some of their ideas about things, like calming babies during the witching hour to impossible stain removals. Their ideas are much more reliable than the variety of answers we'll get asking about Sharpie stains in the mom group and usually don't include essential oils or breastmilk. Point 1 for grandmas!
They came from a simpler time, and simple is sometimes the way to get things done. Having these tips in our back pocket can seriously help us out in a pinch or even get mixed into the general rotation.
20 Hidden Vegetables
Picky kids aren't a new concept. Often times our parents and their parents hide vegetables in things like pasta sauces and other dishes just to get their kids to eat something green. This is a battle moms have been fighting (and will continue to fight) for generations. Veggie hating kiddos aren't going anywhere so neither will clever, veggie sneaking mamas.
According to Kidspot.com, one popular hidden vegetable recipe is zucchini brownies. Grandma probably left off that first word and just called them brownies. Zucchini bread is also a popular choice that lets us sneak some greens in something yummy! No one minds eating a vegetable that's mixed with chocolate.
19 Freezing Extras
Grandmas are notorious penny pinchers. A few ways to save money on groceries is to buy things in bulk, on sale, or in season. Obviously produce is cheaper during certain months so it would be smarter to buy it then. We can utilize our freezer to keep produce and meats fresh longer, especially for those months where they're super cheap.
Freezing can be surprisingly tricky. We can't just stick what we bought in the freezer. According to WiseBread.com, it is best to separate items into individual portions to prevent them from clumping together while frozen and so we can just thaw what we need. We can use plastic wrap to separate items into our preferred portions.
18 Clean By Season
We have all heard of spring cleaning, but our grandmothers used to do regular big cleanings for every season. Find a time for projects like cleaning out and getting rid of extra holiday decorations to tackling deep cleans. This will help us to eliminate some of the clutter we've accumulated over the years that really has no purpose.
If we know when we plan on cleaning, we can schedule to have some help on hand for things like furniture moving while we vacuum as suggested by Better Homes And Gardens. These seasonal cleaning sessions can be a time to enlist the entire household to help or to do by ourselves.
17 DIY Windex
The vast selection of cleaning products we find our store shelves today wasn't always around. Often times they made their own cleaning solutions from a few basic products they had on hand. It saves money, and we know what's in our cleaning solutions. No harsh chemicals and no ridiculous price tag are surely worth the few minutes it will take to mix up these simple ingredients that we probably always keep on hand anyways.
DoYouRemember.com suggests on mixture for cleaning mirrors and windows that is probably rather similar to what grandma has. The mixture requires one-and-a-half cups of water, one-and-a-half tablespoons of white vinegar, and one-and-a-half tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The combination is best used from a spray bottle.
16 Swap Tea Towels In For Paper Towels
According to DoYouRemember.com, tea towels are made from cotton and a simple substitute for paper towels. Tea towels are made from cotton and do not leave lint like paper towels do. This makes them a great choice for cleaning glass.
Tea towels can be reused which is much is easier on the planet and our wallets. They can be washed easily and dry pretty fast which is always convenient. Plus it's nice not having to worry about running out of them since we can just throw them in the wash.
Tea towels can be used in place of paper towels for a wide variety of things. Our grandmas have been doing it for decades, and we'd be silly to ignore their wisdom.
15 Revitalize Old Pots And Pans
If there was a zombie apocalypse, chances are cast iron pans would still be around to talk about it when the dust settles. These sworn by kitchen essentials can certainly take a beating. Afterwards we can clean them up, and they're good as new.
According to LifeHacker.com, we can mix one part vinegar (one cup) to one part water. Scrub the pan and try to remove as much rust and dirt as possible. Then we re-season the pan, and it's basically good as new.
This trick is something our grandmothers have been doing for ages. Plus thanks to Pinterest there are tons of fun recipes to make in our cast iron pans (hello giant chocolate chip cookie).
14 Use WD-40 To Clean
Good ole' WD-40 is useful for more than just some squeaky door hinges. The lubricant that we find in any man's tool box can be wielded as a cleaning savior as well. According to WD40.com, it can be used in the kitchen and bathroom to clean grime off of fixtures and have them looking shiny and spotless.
GoodHouseKeeping.com suggests using WD-40 to remove fingerprints from stainless steel appliances. They also recommend it for removing stickers and glue residue. It can even be used to remove crayon from walls! It's really no surprise that our grandmothers swear by this unthoughtful of hack.
13 Old School Ink Stain Removals
Kids get all kinds of stains all over themselves and us. It's nice to know that things aren't necessarily ruined and maybe have a fighting chance to survive a stain removal. One removal technique from LifeHacker.com suggests soaking ink stained items in two parts milk and one part vinegar over night. They then suggested leaving it to hang dry and washing as normal.
Just as some swear by milk to remove stains, others swear by hair spray (preferably the aerosol type). Old school hairsprays included a high alcohol content, which is what removed the stain. Today if hairspray won't work, we can use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball according to GoodHouseKeeping.com.
12 Use Olive Oil To Relieve An Earache
Before online "doctors" were a thing, there were countless old wives' tales for curing basically any ailment under the sun. One common one is using olive oil for an ear ache or ear infection. Just a couple of drops in the ear can help relieve the ache is how grandma probably used to do it.
According to Ask Dr. Sears on Parenting.com, using a few warm drops of oil in a child's ear with the ear in an upright position can help relieve pain and shouldn't cause any harm. This natural remedy is easier and cheaper probably than a clinic visit so some see no harm in at least trying it. Our grandmothers will probably swear it worked for all of their children.
11 Plan Out The Week's Meals
Meal planning isn't exactly a new concept, yet we often times find ourselves scrambling what to make for dinner and what we have on hand. Before the days of Amazon Grocery and HelloFresh our grandmothers managed to plan dinner and have all of the necessary ingredients in the house thanks to meal planning.
Our grandmas know what they're talking about when they suggest creating a weekly menu and sticking to it as best we can. There are countless benefits to this simple household hack. According to MealPlanMagic.com, meal planning can save us both time and money. We'll likely eat healthier too since we won't be opting for a drive thru or delivery if we have a plan for dinner.
10 Multiple Uses For Shower Caps
Who knew shower caps would be a great asset to use in the kitchen instead of just the bathroom? Grandma has probably used a disposable shower cap or two in the fridge to keep things fresh. It's the perfect shape and size to throw over a bowl instead of fussing with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Plus we can reuse it again and again.
ToughNickel.com suggests it as a solution for those containers we can never find lids for. No more searching for Tupperware lids sounds way too good!
Disposable shower caps are also great for our indoor plants. They can catch excess water from the pot or planter.
9 Stay On Top Of Things
If we clean as we make messes, it prevents tons of things from piling up and getting really behind. According to DoYouRemember.com, there are little things we can clean in the moment such as toothpaste in the sink or the shower after we use it. If we keep up with these chores, we don't have to put them on a to do list for later.
This seems like common sense, but so many of us don't do it. In the moment, we probably tell ourselves we'll get to it later. But later never comes, and the mess builds up. If we add a few extra minutes in our schedule each day for small little things, it won't take a big chunk of time to do a big clean.
8 DIY Room Freshener
Grandma's house always smells good. She's passed that wisdom on for us, and we couldn't be happier. According to DoYouRemember.com one way to get this scent is to dip cotton balls in vanilla extract. They suggest rubbing the cotton balls on light bulbs and the heat will cause the scent. We can also heat it up in the microwave or on the stove to get the scent in our kitchen.
Since vanilla extract is a key ingredient in so many baked goods, the smell of it warming alone on the stove or light bulbs will still give us that delicious scent.
7 De-Wrinkle In The Dryer
No one actually enjoys ironing, do they? According to LittleThings.com we can throw items in the dryer (even non-dryer items) for about 5 minutes before hanging to dry. This will prevent wrinkles and save us the hassle of ironing. It shouldn't be long enough to shrink or otherwise damage an item.
Grandma knows the struggle of ironing. Some probably still swear by it while others swear it off. Either way grandmas are the laundry and ironing experts. Though we're probably still helping our grandmothers set up their computers, they are the ones who figured out how to get the dryer to do the ironing for them.
6 Lemon Removes Salt Stains
Salt stained boots are a sad sight. Before the days of expensive boot cleaners and protectors, our grandmas figured out how to get rid of these pesky winter stains. According to LittleThings.com, we can cut a lemon in half, squeeze it a little, and rub that on the stain. We can use a wet cloth and repeat until the stain is gone.
Lemons are more natural than all of the chemicals in common salt stain removers so we don't have to worry about that. They're also cheaper and easier than some of the mixtures we find in stores. Plus we're probably more likely to always have those on hand.
5 All Kinds Of Rags
Our grandmas knew a few things about saving money. Rags were one way they really saved because instead of investing in the fancy rags and such, they used whatever cloth they had on hand. Littlethings.com suggests using old socks even as rags. We won't worry about them getting dusty and dirty. We also won't feel bad tossing them when they're really gross.
Socks are great because we can even stick our hand inside them to dust. But we can use other kinds of clothes like ripped t-shirt as well for rags. It's the perfect way to recycle those shirts that we would otherwise just throw away.
4 Frozen Orange Peels Clean The Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals have been around for almost one hundred years. Our grandmas have come up with a great way to handle the stench that can come from them after a while. After all, it's a place we throw old food.
Our garbage disposal can start to smell funky. All kinds of gunk and gross food gets stuck in there that we just can't see. LittleThings.com suggests using a frozen orange peel in the garbage disposal.
A frozen orange peel will be hard enough to knock loose anything that's stuck. It will also release that wonderful citrus smell which we would prefer to rotting food any day.
3 Toothpaste Cleans Silver
According to LittleThings.com toothpaste can be used to clean silver. We can use this hack on anything from silverware to jewelry. How neat is that?
We can rub toothpaste over the silver where it is tarnished. Once we rinse the toothpaste off and let it dry, we can repeat the process as necessary. It's such a simple process.
This is something our grandmothers came up with that can really save us in a pinch. When we want our jewelry clean and shiny, but run out of time, it's nice to know we have something on hand to help us out.
2 Cut Dish Sponges In Half
We know most grandmas like to save money. Honestly, who doesn't? One clever way they did so was by cutting dish sponges in half, according to LittleThings.com. Not only does it save money, but it honestly makes them easier to use.
We get two sponges for one by doing this. A smaller sponge also dries faster. Plus it saves us that ever important kitchen space! We can use the two halves for different things or put one half away and save it for when our first sponge gets tossed out.
This simple life hack is something that we can all implement in our own kitchens.
1 Vacuum During The Witching Hour
Colicky babies are no fun to deal with. The crying seems impossible to stop during that witching hour (or hours). There's no proven way to soothe a colicky baby. There are quite a few old wives' tales regarding colic.
Monbaby.com suggests using white noise to soothe a colicky baby. A vacuum cleaner is one of the top methods to do so. It's pretty old school, and our grandmas swear by it. Plus we'll have clean floors! A hair dryer could also probably work. Now a days, we have white noise machines which work for some babies but not others during this specific time.
Sources: Kidspot, WiseBread, BHG, doyouremember, LifeHacker, WD40, GHK, LifeHacker, GHK, Parenting, MPM, ToughNickel, Lt, MonBaby