20 Time-Honored Practices Our Grandparents Followed That We Should Bring Back

Our grandparents had a far simpler life. There was no such thing as social media. Instead, there was more walking and meals were always fresh and homemade. With so many things keeping us busy nowadays, sometimes life would seem much easier if we lived the way our grandparents did.


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A practical skill to have is sewing. Instead of throwing out a favorite dress because a button came off, it can just be sewn back on instead. Many families even made their clothes from scratch and Melissa K Norris supports this by writing “A store bought outfit was a big deal to our grandparents.”

Cooking and Baking

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Our grandparents usually had no choice but to create meals from scratch. They rarely ate out and microwave meals weren’t a thing back then. Recipes were handed down through generations. Cooking from scratch gives us a sense of gratitude for food and helps us to appreciate hard work.

Being Self-Sufficient

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It was normal to grow your own produce back in the day, whether that’s veg in the greenhouse or even your own meat. It meant our grandparents also learnt food preservation techniques such as canning and would also save their own garden heirloom seeds each year.

Being Resourceful

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Our grandparents would have used what they had instead of purchasing unnecessary consumer goods. Tasks and chores also became activities to enjoy. This is backed up by One Good Thing who says our grandparents even made their own cleaning products and usually out of ordinary kitchen ingredients such as lemons.

Getting Out of Debt

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Our grandparents rarely ever got themselves into debt. If they did, they would tackle high-interest debts first to give them financial freedom. If money was tight then they would try their best to reduce monthly expenses and stick to a tighter budget. They realized that debt only bought instant gratification and in the long run, it never worked out for the best.

Spending Time Outdoors

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Outdoor activities such as gardening, hiking or farming were more popular back in our grandparent’s age. They would camp more than people do now and they also knew that the outdoors was more beneficial for a person’s mental health. They appreciated the fresh air that came with nature.

Repairing Instead of Replacing

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Babyology writes that grandparents knew “How to sew, how to cook, how to paint a wall, how to fix a broken toy.” They would always try to repair something before having to throw it away and replace it. Learning to repair things not only increased an item’s life expectancy but also helped a person become creative.

Living a Plastic-Free Life

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There was less plastic in the world back in our grandparent’s era. Instead of putting groceries in a plastic bag every time they went to the supermarket, they would have a reusable bag. Sustain The Mag supports this by stating products were packaged in “paper bags, newspapers and leftover fabric trimmings.”

Walking More

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There were fewer cars in our grandparent’s day. Instead, they opted to walk to most places or if they had to travel far then they would take public transport. It was rare to have their own personal vehicles to rely on. Walking more was beneficial not only for their health but also for the environment.

A Sense of Community

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Our grandparents had stronger relationships with those who lived in their town. During this time, towns were usually smaller and there were fewer multi-storey apartment blocks. It was common for our grandparents to be friends with their neighbors. They also participated more in community events such as block parties.

Making Their Own Goods

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Off The Grid News writes “Our grandparents’ generation prided itself on self-sufficiency. Many of them made laundry soap, cut firewood, butchered hogs, knitted mittens…” Sometimes they even created their own furniture. Not only did this keep costs down, but it also made them more creative and meant they had more unique belongings.

Focusing on What Matters Most

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Our grandparents always prioritized what mattered most, such as family and health. Things like fashion trends and social media weren’t anything to care about back in the day. They understood that the simplicity of life holds the highest value and from this, they’ve learnt to manage how to prioritize what matters most in life.

Hand Washing Clothes

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Washing machines are quite a modern appliance, so these were rarely around when our grandparents were younger. They were able to efficiently wash clothes, towels and even bed linens with just their hands. Our grandparents understood the traditional methods of laundry and how best to wash something.

Writing Thank-You Letters

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They would always express their gratitude through handwritten notes. Grandparents value the personal touch in communication and want to keep up the tradition of acknowledging gifts or gestures. Even nowadays, when people prefer to send a text, just a simple handwritten note to a grandparent would be sure to make their day.

Respecting Elders

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 Medium writes “They have lived through historical events that younger generations can only read about in books.” Just as it’s important to respect our elders today, our grandparents knew it was also important to respect their elders as they had also been through many historical events. They would always use formal titles and appreciate the wisdom of their elders.

Making Cakes from Scratch

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Baking was seen as a family tradition and also as a skill. Even today, everyone always appreciates homemade baking more than store-bought. It has a personal touch to it that usually makes a cake fluffier than supermarket options. Baking skills and recipes were always passed down through generations.

Conserving Energy at Home

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Our grandparents were always aware of how much energy they were using in their homes. They would use natural light when they could and tried natural ways of ventilation such as cracking open a window. Energy-saving practices were always incorporated into the home such as air drying clothes and turning the thermostat down.

Home Gardens

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As growing their own produce was a huge part of our grandparent’s era, they would usually have their own gardens to grow everything they needed. This could have been a spot in the corner or a huge greenhouse. They would also share this produce with their community so that if a neighbor was growing something they wanted, they could swap veg.

Community Service

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Our grandparents engaged more in community service, even when it wasn’t compulsory. They would volunteer for local charities or communities because they knew how important it was to give back. Some of our grandparents even had to take part in national service, which meant spending a couple of years in the military in case they needed to be called to war.

Bartering and Trading

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It was normal for our grandparents to use goods to trade for what was needed. They would practice bartering so they could always try and get the best for their money. It emphasized the value of goods and services over monetary transactions.

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