When you picture a 1950’s housewife, what do you imagine? Most people think of women clad in poodle skirts or sheath dresses, with a giant beehive on their heads and pearls around their necks. They spent their days cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their children and husband. And they had their 1950s housewife routine down to an art form.
I know it sounds crazy coming from a 20-year-old who works from home. However, having everything explicitly timed out and planned has helped remove an abundance of stress and helped me save a ridiculous amount of money.
How Following a 1950’s Housewife Routine Helps Me Save on Food
There are fixed days and times for specific tasks, and I’ve wholeheartedly embraced living like a 1950’s housewife. So currently, Instead of scouring Pinterest for recipes, I’ve been asking friends and family members for theirs. I’ve gone through about a million cookbooks that my mom spent so many years hoarding and passed onto me.
A lot of these cookbooks have ways that show you how to reuse the leftovers you made a few days ago. Let’s use meatloaf as an example. They suggest smushing up the leftovers, adding another egg and a few more breadcrumbs, and soaking them in marinara overnight to create the best meatballs for spaghetti.
The average American household wastes approximately $1866 in food in a YEAR, according to Forbes. Having a day a week where I remove every single item from my fridge, clean it from top to bottom, and pull the things that might go bad soon to the front has helped me save a considerable chunk of money.
I Use Almost Every Single Food Item I purchase
The recipes I follow aren’t all that time-consuming, maybe an hour for prep, which is less time than I’ve needed previously for hovering over the stove to make sure everything is perfect. They’re simple, straight to the point, and pretty good if I do say so myself.
Since my boyfriend and I live less than 5 minutes away from the city’s heart, we are pretty close to fast-food restaurants. We have probably been spending close to $100 a week on takeout instead of buying groceries. With having several hours set for the sole purpose of making a fulfilling meal, I think we’ve stopped at the McDonald’s that’s 3 minutes away once in the past three weeks.
Where Did I Get the Inspiration?
I follow many creators on TikTok who take a more nurturing perspective on maintaining a home, and something they all stand by is “functional is best.” Not every single thing has to be perfect at all times. They just have to be functional. If that means letting your dishes pile up throughout the day or letting all of the rooms in your place get chaotic, LET IT. This schedule helps you to maintain the chaos a little.
I was initially intrigued when I saw a video on TikTok from creator The Eyre Effect. She documented the routine that she follows that begins at 6 in the morning to around 8 pm when she goes to bed. Kristina has four kiddos, so her routine had some things that didn’t exactly work for me. I read article after article and watched a ridiculous number of videos to find the one that would work well for me.
Here’s What My 1950s Housewife Routine Entails.
I go to bed relatively late and will typically skip breakfast, so I adjusted bits and pieces. The schedule I’ve been using is a healthy combination of several other routines and goes as follows:
10:30 am to NOON
- Wake up
- Throw covers back dramatically
- Put on a robe
- Open windows and blinds
- Brush hair
- Brush teeth
- Wash face and apply a generous amount of moisturizer
- Apply a tinted lip balm
- Begin brewing coffee
- Sit outside and absorb some sunlight for the first half of coffee
- Post on social media, catch up on work
- 10 minutes of light exercise
- 15 minutes of putting your face and hair together
- 5 minutes for any extra toiletries
12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
- Begin cleaning routine:
You’ll need two baskets—one for your cleaning supplies and one for the random things that belong to different rooms. The cleaning supplies I keep in my basket are:
- my handy dandy feather duster
- a cut-up towel that my washing machine thought was the perfect afternoon snack
- a bottle of diluted Mr. Clean all-purpose cleaning liquid
- Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning spray (basil, of course)
- melamine sponges
- Swiffer diapers
- dryer sheets
- paper towels
I also bring my little trash can around my apartment with me.
- Open windows and blinds
- Put up shoes/coats/purses
- Put away other items that have homes in this room
- Throw things that live elsewhere in your chuck it bucket
- Refresh water in plants, and wipe down leaves
- Pick up any trash
- Carry out chuck it bucket
- Bring in your cleaning supplies basket, broom, vacuum, and mop.
- Dust surfaces like window ledges, pictures and art, shelves, and air vents.
- Fluff pillows and straighten out blankets
- Wipe down window sills and any tables
- Sweep, vacuum, and mop
- Make bed
- Pick up and put away any small items that have homes
- Put away any laundry
- Gather items from other rooms and put them into chuck it bucket
- Pick up any trash and empty bedroom trashcan
- Clean out purifier
- Remove chuck it bucket
- Bring in cleaning supplies, vacuum, and mop
- Dust any surfaces
- Close windows
- Clean the floors
- Remove any dirty laundry or soiled towels
- Put any hair tools or makeup away
- Collect any trash and empty trash can
- Bring in cleaning basket
- Wipe down mirror
- Do a quick swish of the toilet bowl with your cleaner (I keep my cleaner in the toilet brush holder for quick and easy cleans)
- Wipe toilet seat and lid
- Wipe sink
- Straighten up towels
- Reattach shower curtain hooks if need be
- Sweep floor and mop
- Open windows and blinds
- Unload dishwasher
- Hang up or put away clean laundry
- Switch around laundry
- Collect any trash
- Empty coffee maker
- Scoop kitty litter
- Wipe down counters, stove, table, fridge, and cabinets
- Rinse dirty dishes and stack them in the sink
- Take out trash and replace the trash bag
3:30 pm to 7:00 pm
- Plan dinner
- Do any meal prep needed (like making dessert)
- Wash any dishes necessary for making dinner
- 10-minute powernap if needed
- Do more work things
- Begin making dinner
- Wash dishes/put dishes into the dishwasher
- Clean kitchen floors
- Set out dishes for dinner
- Serve dinner
- Clear table
- Put any extra dishes in the dishwasher
- Put away laundry
7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
7:30 – 9:30pm
- Do any other work/hobbies/rest
- Cleanse face and remove makeup
- Apply more moisturizer
- Brush hair
- Close all windows
- Start dishwasher
- Make a snack
- Eat said snack
- Take shower
- Put on nightwear
- Go to bed
Monday: Wipe down blinds
Tuesday: Clean under furniture
Wednesday: Wash and change bedding
Thursday: Groceries + kitchen deep clean
Saturday: Clean out microwave and dishwasher
How This Helped in Other Areas of My Life
I have far too many clothes for my own good and tend to forget about the clothes in the washer. Following this new routine has helped keep me from leaving a load of laundry for an unspecified amount of time, which helps lower my water bill.
I don’t just feel more organized. I AM more organized. All of my belongings have a home, a place to stay until they’re needed. I’m not out buying different shelves and baskets because some magazine or article tells me I’ll die without these items.
My days aren’t nearly as chaotic and stressful because I know what my days are looking like now, from sun up to sundown. It gives me an insane amount of peace to know that I can maintain a clean and functioning living environment while eating satisfying meals that aren’t overpriced and getting all of my work done. It has been beneficial for my mental health, and I credit it entirely to this routine I’ve been following.
Are You Willing to Try Following a 1950’s Housewife Routine?
Why not give it a try? You may just find the little bit of extra organization to be a money saver and a real sanity saver for you as well. Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!