LIFESTYLE: 9 Depression-Era Frugal Habits You Need to Pick Up


  • By:  Emily Co
  • Posted on: 

Scrimping and saving was a necessity during the Great Depression, when unemployment in the US skyrocketed to 25 percent. Although we are seeing better times, we can always take a page from that era and practice some of those thrifty habits. Restart these frugal practices, and your wallet will thank you!

  • Making your own: There are plenty of items we can DIY and don’t have to buy, such as certain foods and cleaning supplies. Not only will making some of these items on your own save you money, but it’s also better for your health. There are fewer chemicals in homemade cleaning supplies and food. 
  • Using it up: Use everything to the last drop before you toss it. This includes everything from bath supplies to cooking ingredients.
  • Going to the library: We often forget our friendly neighborhood library has plenty of awesome freebies in store for us, from ebooks to DVDs. Don’t forget: the library is also a great quiet spot to enjoy free WiFi without the obligation of buying a cup of coffee. 
  • Mending it: Instead of throwing away your items or handing them off to a professional, fix them yourself. Thankfully, we have plenty of online tutorials that can take us through the steps without us blindly figuring it out on your own. Check out these home repair projects you should tackle on your own.
  • Using less: Not only do we need to use everything to the last drop, but we also have to remember to use less of what we have. For example, you can always dilute your hand soap and shampoo with water. And you can use less detergent for your wash. 
  • Growing your own: If growing your own food sounds intimidating, you can always start small. Explore foods that you can easily grow in a small space, such as herbs. 
  • Needing over wanting: Apply the stranger test to purchases. Picture a stranger offering you the cash value of the purchase or the purchase to you, and figure out which one you would pick. If you pick the cash over the item, then you should seriously reconsider buying and just make do with what you have instead. 
  • Reusing items: Don’t throw away items just because you can’t use it for its original purpose. For example, there are plenty of things you can do with an old t-shirtbooks,mason jars, and even maps
  • Spending less on entertainment: Didn’t you know the best things in life are free? Enjoy free activities, and learn how to entertain yourself at home without spending a dime.

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Updated: March 8, 2014 — 7:26 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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