These money saving tips from the Depression Era can still be used today to help you can save money in practical ways.
Most everyone knows that during the Great Depression people had to look for ways to save every penny they could. Some of these ways are hard to apply to today, but many of the money saving tips from the Depression Era can be used today.
Money Saving Tips From the Depression Era
Make your own bread and other convenience foods. There were very few convenience foods in the depression-era. People made what they used from scratch for the most part and buying bread was very rare. This money saving tip is something that can be applied to today and will save you a bundle. Here is an easy rustic French bread recipe to get you started. What convenience foods do you buy? Search for a homemade recipe. You may find that making the item from scratch doesn't take that much more time.
Money Saving Cooking Tips from the Great Depression:
Find free fun. The library has movies, books, music, and classes in many communities. You may even get lucky and live near a library that is almost like a community center offering free concerts, free movies with popcorn and craft activities. Many local museums have one day a month that they are free to the public. There is no reason to spend money on entertainment when there is so much to do for free.
Learn to sew and stop throwing out clothes that have holes or are missing buttons. During the great depression, people often only had 1-2 outfits. They had to make do with this meager wardrobe so they sewed things up as many times as they could as well as made a lot of their clothing. It might be worth the investment to be able to sew like this so be sure to take a class or two if you don’t know how. Here are tips for saving money on fabric and sewing supplies and here are resources for free patterns.
Use cloth instead of paper. There was also no such thing as paper napkins, paper towels, disposable diapers. Women made their own napkins, used rags, and new moms made their own cloth diapers. While most of us wouldn't want to make our own diapers, it is still possible to save money by using cloth in place of paper products. Here are 5 easy ways to use cloth instead of paper products. And here are tips for how you can save money using cloth diapers.
Grow your own food whenever you can. Not all people lived out in the country during the great depression, but most people grew what they could on window sills, in buckets on balconies and where ever they could find to space to grow produce in an urban garden. Gardening today can still save you a lot if you focus on growing the more expensive vegetables. Here are tips for growing vegetables in a container garden.
Before you throw something out, think about if it can be used for something else. We have grown so accustomed to tossing things when we are done with them that we have almost lost the very fine art that most households possessed of reusing everything that can be reused. While you don’t have to go to the extreme of using cardboard boxes cut into sole liners for your shoes, you can reuse many things you toss out without thinking. Here are 5 Things You Can Reuse in Your Home.
Be willing to lend a hand. Neighbors helped neighbors during the great depression. Because services were very hard to pay for, people helped each other with what their talents were. If you know someone who is good with sewing, maybe trade services with them if you are good at baking bread or cutting hair. When you help each other, you keep expenses down.
Use up everything until it is absolutely gone. Don’t toss out that toothpaste tube until you get all of the remaining product out. Add a little water to an almost empty jar of dressing, barbecue sauce, or jam to make a marinade. Stop buying things in every color. Be conscious of your consumer ways and really give yourself a reality check if you think you need to buy more of something that still works or that you haven't used up.
Go back to basics with cleaning supplies. Vinegar and baking soda will do most cleaning jobs around your home. The best part about these two natural cleaners is, they are both very low cost. Here are 5 easy and frugal homemade cleaners.
Question the necessity of every purchase. While the above tips may seem small, start adding up how much you spend eating out, and buying convenience foods. Just switching to cooking at home can add up to a savings of several hundred dollars a month. Look over your receipts. How much are you spending on paper products? cleaning products? How much is wasted on buying something new, when you could have fixed or repurposed an old item? Those who lived through the Great Depression questioned every expenditure, we would be wise to do the same!
More Frugal Tips from the Great Depression
More Money Saving Tips
- How to Get Started Couponing
- 10 Secrets of Frugal Shoppers
- How to Avoid Supermarket Spending Traps
- 10 Ways to Save on Groceries without Using Coupons
This was originally published on February 26, 2014. It was updated on July 24, 2017.