Modern technology is supposed to make life easier, and sometimes, things go as planned. However, access to modern tech tends to come with a premium price. Whether you’re a Luddite or simply someone who is into saving money, using antiquated tools that require some manual labor and thought is a cheaper – and in some cases, more reliable – solution. Here are a few for you to try at home.
A push lawnmower
Reusing old tools doesn’t mean doing a lackluster job. Sometimes, the good old ones are more than good enough. Take the push lawnmower as an example. Sure, you may be in danger of losing your toes or fingers, but if you don’t stick your exposed digits down there, you’ll save money on gas and motor oil. That means you’re saving money, the environment and getting a good workout. And to sharpen the blades, the main ingredient – along with a sharpening stone – is elbow grease.
Go to an antique store and buy a washboard if you have time on your hands and the desire to save money. By using a washboard to wash your clothes, you’re saving money on water and electricity. Wash clothing, remove stains and build up strength in your hands, arms and shoulders. When you’re done, work that rhythm and join a jug band. Your neighbor can bring the empty moonshine bottles.
Electric mixers can be expensive to purchase, they eat up electricity and they break down frequently, unless you buy the good stuff. With a manual eggbeater, you’ll save cash and build up your wrists and arms. It’s better than using a spoon for mixing, and you can find one in a second-hand store.
A paper map book
For centuries before the Internet, explorers used paper maps for navigation. Be a Magellan in your own life and go back to using paper maps. True, it may not be good for trees, but it’ll make you a more well-rounded person who is connected to the spirit of history. Plus, you won’t need a computer for the task, which can save you a grand.
A meat grinder
Take a cheap cut of beef and grind it up manually with one of these. Make burgers or anything else that ground beef can achieve and save on the labor cost of making ground beef, as well as any electronic improvement upon the manual design. Having one makes it look like you’re a gourmet cook, too.
How did people write neat correspondence before computers? With typewriters! You don’t even need to go electric with this. With fresh ribbons, a few squirts of oil and occasional tender loving care, a manual typewriter can do the job and remind you of the days when they used carbons in the steno pool. Don’t forget the Wite-Out.
Ultra-fancy home cleaning gadgets like a robot Roomba vacuum cleaner are fun, but a broom and dustpan can do the job. Plus, you’ll save on the cord mess, which can trip you, your family and the car key gnomes.
An abacus and slide rule
Some people have heard of these antiquated math and science tools, but fewer know how to use them. Expand your mind with research and get cracking. When Gort comes to Earth and disables all electricity (substitute a EMP bomb for similar effect), you’ll still be able to calculate high figures and do logarithms. This is particularly useful if your version of Gort is vulnerable to logarithms.
A manual can opener
Once the electricity is gone, the refrigerator goes out the window. All you have left is canned food, but you’re teeth aren’t as powerful as Richard Kiel’s from the James Bond movie “Moonraker.” You need a manual can opener to stay alive, because a pickaxe is only going to spill stuff for the ants that will no doubt consume you once you drop due to lack of food.