How Following a 1950’s Housewife Routine Helped Me Save Tons of Money

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

10:30 am 

  • 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

11 am

  • Sit outside and absorb some sunlight for the first half of coffee
  • Post on social media, catch up on work

12 noon

  • 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

12:30 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.

Living Room:

  • 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

Bedroom(s):

  • 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

Bathroom: 

  • 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

Kitchen: 

  • 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

3:30pm:

  • Plan dinner
  • Do any meal prep needed (like making dessert) 
  • Wash any dishes necessary for making dinner

4:00pm

  • 10-minute powernap if needed
  • Do more work things

5:00pm 

  • Begin making dinner
  • Wash dishes/put dishes into the dishwasher
  • Clean kitchen floors
  • Set out dishes for dinner

6:00pm

  • Serve dinner 
  • Eat 

7:00pm 

  • 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

10:00pm

  • Cleanse face and remove makeup
  • Apply more moisturizer
  • Brush hair 

10:30 pm

  • Close all windows
  • Start dishwasher
  • Make a snack
  • Eat said snack 

11:00pm

  • Take shower
  • Put on nightwear
  • Go to bed

Weekly Tasks

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!

How Following a 1950\'s Housewife Routine Helped Me Save Tons of Money

5 thoughts on “How Following a 1950’s Housewife Routine Helped Me Save Tons of Money”

  1. This is a very interesting way to organize! My day is on a different schedule; I start at 6:30 and tend towards bed by 9:30. Whatever works, right?

    One point that I’m not sure you’ve had to consider is this: the 1950s housewife didn’t work outside the home, as today’s housewife does. Taking care of the home and kids was her sole occupation. Also being single, I have to make a living in addition to keeping the house. I don’t spend any time on makeup and seriously don’t worry about cleaning the blinds or under the furniture every single week. Today’s housewife not only works outside of the home, she’s expected to maintain the house, often with little help from her partner. But as you say, functional is better than pristine. My house is functional. Definitely not pristine LOL

  2. I have a routine but it’s more flexible. My motto is: clean up where you are. I don’t have messes to clean up – ever. Dishes go into the dishwasher straight after eating. Kitchen cupboards never need spring cleaning because everything in them has a permanent place. Laundry is done on Tuesday, grocery shopping on Thursday, gardening and mowing on Wednesday and/or Saturday. Everything else is flexible and done as needed. Since there are just 2 of us, it works for us.

  3. Here’s my “day in the life” on the farm: Up at 4:30ish am.
    I drink a very large cup of hot fruit green tea and read the overnight news.
    At daylight I go up and let the chickens out into their fenced in yard and scatter grain for them.
    I make my rounds on to the dairy goat barn to check in on everyone and let my two huge Great Pyrenees come down to the house for their breakfast.
    Notice I haven’t had my breakfast yet.
    It’s now about 6:30ish. If it’s cheese making day, milk pails full of cold milk from the previous days are placed in the sink filled with hot water to be warmed while I’m milking the goats.
    7:00: I’m heading out to milk my goats and taking the dogs back to the pasture. After milking but before leaving the goats I open all the pasture gates.
    7:45: Back in the house now, I filter the milk, add the warmed milk in a large 5 gallon vat and begin the cheese process which takes 3 to 4 hours.
    Grabbing a cup of coffee half way through the process I like sitting down for a few minutes while reading my favorite websites which are The Organic Prepper of course, Armstrong Economics and Dr. Mercola.
    Insert lunch here and/or a nap.
    If not making cheese, there are vegetables to dehydrate from the garden or grocery store and plenty of other chores to be done. I like to cook a large early dinner most days so to have enough leftover for lunches and maybe a few dinners for the week.
    I squeeze in laundry and cleaning before my afternoon farm chores.
    3:00ish Time for afternoon milking, feeding, picking up eggs and letting the chickens free range till dark and I like bringing the dogs back down to the house to visit for a while.
    4:00ish We’re having dinner and I’m cleaning up the kitchen again!
    Close to dark I will make my last rounds taking the dogs with me to close up the chickens for the night, close all pasture gates at the goat barn and leave the dogs.
    Finally getting a shower and I’m down for the night.
    Wake and repeat!
    Of course I haven’t mentioned the gardening, grocery shopping and all other chores around the farm. When or if all the goats are dried up and I’m not milking it’s a little slower pace but the time quickly gets filled in with other things or I can take extra much needed downtime.
    There is no way to get it all done, things do get bumped to the next day on a daily basis. I just have to get what has to be done “that” day and move on to the next day.
    Organizing my day is a necessity but it seems to overflow on a regular basis.
    Just a side note, my oldest and favorite goat is named Daisy.
    I also have Ginger, Emma, Ivy, Lucy, Clary Sage and a buck named Frank.
    This is the first time ever posting on any site.
    But I do so love to read all the comments of other’s, it like having conversations with likeminded friends.
    D

  4. When I was little Mom had a specific day for major chores. A laundry day, a baking day, 2 gardening days and so on. That was 1950s. She also ironed everything, sewed all my clothing and most of hers. We even iron pillow cases and tea towels. Things required cooked startch and sprinkling and rolling up overnight to iron nicely.

    I’ve owned a restaurant, opened and run a K-12 church school….. always been busy outside of the house. Raised our four kids and another dozen kids for times from months to years. House work got done wherever I was at at that moment. If I was on a corded phone I dusted and picked up there. If I had a few minutes I walked through the house gathering things that needed put away. Kids were expected to help. I cooked they cleaned up. I washed and dried laundry till teens then each became responsible for theirs.

    Kids have been gone for years. If I need to go to a room I look for things that need done. I often start laundry at bedtime. No dryer so hang up laundry on folding rack by mid morning. Pants are folded onto racks. Shirts go one hangers. Pants get turned over by the next morning. When dry they are already neat. A fold or hang up and they are ready to wear. Dishes are done if possible while I’m cooking or soon after a meal. No dish washer. We get free lunches now, so about 1 hour before they are delivered I bathe and dress my husband and get him moved to the livingroom where he will eat on a TV tray. By then I’ve fed and watered the critters, checked on the garden. Watering is late afternoons or slow on soaker hoses at night when I’m not washing Iaundry. Sweeping is am before I get husband up. Mopping is when necessary or as I can get to it. Right now I’m making shelves from drawers. I work on that in am and during the afternoon if I can. A simple job can take days. I’ve also been canning. I aim for one canning in the evening when the house cools off some and I can have windows and doors open. I have 2 pressure canners and 3 waterbath canners. They can be used 2 or 3 at a time. When its time I remove jars, set them on the counter by the sink. Put them away in the morning. I go to bed closer to midnight, get up closer to 8 or 9 depending on how the night was. Once a month I take my husband to the emergency room at a hospital 25 miles away. Twice a month I go to a community pantry, pick up prescriptions, do any shopping, check the mail at the post office, and pick up milk for my husband. I used to do that weekly. Starting soon he will have a physical therapist coming to work with him. I’ll soon have to pay a babysitter to stay with my husband so I can got pick up food a n d prescriptions. He’s less and less able to be alone. Diapers and catheter full time now. Its rare he gets up without me. He’ll stay in bed or a recliner and never move day after day unless I get him up from the reiner or bed.

    Life changes, routines are nice but don’t always fit. Sure is nice when they do. I aim at a routine. But life is changing too fast right now.

  5. LOL, one trick I use is wash my dishes every time I eat. I have three plates, two bowls, a couple of cups, and maybe a couple dip dishes in the drainer. As soon as I get done eating I wash them for my spouse and I and put them back in the drainer. All other dishes are kept stored away. I never have a stack of dishes!

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