Money Saving Tips from the Great Depression
Times are tough for many families these days especially when it comes to the family finances, and it doesn’t look as though it is going to get much better anytime soon. This is not the first time that family finances have taken a hit though, remember the Great Depression? You probably don’t remember it yourself, but your grandparents and great-grandparents might! During that time people had to save money and resources in any way that they could and that includes these money-saving tips from the Great Depression.
Pick Up Extra Work or a Side Hustle
Pick up some extra work on the weekends or start up a side hustle. One great way to make ends meet is to increase the amount of money coming in. This can be something as simple as delivering groceries or fast food on the weekends, walking the neighborhood dogs, or cutting grass for your neighbors.
Use What You Have
One of the most common sayings of the Great Depression was “ Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without”. This can be applied to almost any consumable good in our lives. For clothing, wear it until you can’t anymore. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go to work in rags, just wear your clothes for as long as possible and then try to find other uses for them (like cleaning rags) before running off to the store for new ones.
This saying especially applies to cooking, you don’t have to run to the grocery store for one specific ingredient. Look online and see what substitutions can be used instead, or see if you can make it without that ingredient at all.
Depression Era Recipes
Cooking your meals at home, and meal planning before you go to the grocery store can help you to save money, and prevent food waste. When you are meal planning, think about ways to stretch the more expensive ingredients (like meat) into multiple meals. Do yourself a favor and look up some Great Depression-era recipes. You might be surprised at how resourceful and creative people were when it came to getting food on the table, and at how big of a comeback these recipes are starting to make.
Some favorite Great Depression recipes include water pie, Hoover stew, navy bean and ham bone soup, and hot water cornbread. Most Depression-era recipes use inexpensive, shelf-stable ingredients that you can probably already find in your pantry. If you can’t, it’s time to make a pantry staple list and start working to fill yours up, even if it is only an extra item or two a week. Having a well-stocked pantry means that you can feed your family multiple filling meals, without ever having to worry about running to the store first.
Don’t Pay For Anything That You Can Do Yourself
Yes, it can be quite convenient to have your car washed, lawn mowed, dog walked, and house or pool cleaned by someone else. It gives you a bit of your free time back while making sure these tasks are completed, but it is also costing you money. This is a great time to become more self-reliant and build on your skills.
Start a Garden
You don’t have to plant a large garden, but anything that you can grow yourself in the space that you have is money that you can save at the grocery store. Tomatoes, potatoes, squash, beans, and herbs are all fairly easy to grow and have a good yield. Did you know that you can even start some vegetable plants from grocery store scraps? It’s true. Green onions, celery, garlic, potatoes, and ginger can all be grown from scraps.
Make Your Own Cleaning Products
You don’t need to spend money on antibacterial household cleaners, because you have everything you need to keep your home sparkling clean, and disinfected in your kitchen! Vinegar is antimicrobial and antibacterial and you can mix it 50/50 in a spray bottle with water to be used as a cleaner for kitchen countertops, bathrooms, sinks, and floors. If you need something with scrubbing power you can make a paste with baking soda and water. These cleaners only cost a few cents to make and they are environmentally friendly too!
These are just a few tips that people who lived through the Great Depression used to get by and save money. There are many others out there too if you care to look them up, or even if you just find it interesting from a historical perspective. Do you have any money-saving tips from the Great Depression to share that might have been passed down from relatives who lived through it?