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There was a time about 100 years ago when money was very tight. Not just ‘Oh I can’t afford those shoes this month’ kind of tight but ‘I don’t have the money to buy food this week’ kind of tight. This time was called the Great Depression. Even times after the depression ended were tough.
They didn’t waste money and they did as much as they could themselves. I had the blessing of knowing a few people that went through the great depression and they taught me quite a bit even if they didn’t realize it. I want to pass this on to you.
Frugal Lessons Learned From the Great Depression
Everything learned in the great depression can pretty much be summed up in one phrase. Use it up, make do, or do without.
Use it Up
So many things were rationed during the depression, because of this they never threw anything away unless they could get no more use from it. We can learn from this! Use the ends of bread to make breadcrumbs, scrape the side of the jelly jar or peanut butter jar to get an extra sandwich, and squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. The point most of you toss your toothpaste tubes out? There are about 5-10 more brushes out of it which equals about 3 tubes a year.
Turn over and get every bit of soap out of containers and mix them with the new ones. Save leftover dinner to eat for lunch the next day.
Pick up a basic sewing kit and mend items yourself. Fix a seam, sew on a button and mend a hole. In the depression, it wasn’t uncommon to see clothes with patches because it cost too much to go out a by a new pair of pant vs putting on a patch from leftover material. You would spend less than $5 on thread for the year and save $100 or more a year!
With the amount of thrift stores and garage sales, now you can buy clothes cheaper than making them! Take them home give them a nice warm wash and you’re good to go!
Push this over to your cars as well! Drive it until the wheels fall off is the joke in our house. My husband had the car he had when we got married until it couldn’t make it up the mountain for him to go to work. It had an old stereo, no A/C and the bare bones but it worked we had no car payment and it ran! When he had to get a new car we were able to get one only 2 years old with the warranty still on it and within a year we were right side up on it! If thats not enough of an incentive keep in mind for every new car you buy you lose several thousand dollars. Take it a step further and pay cash for your car and not get a loan.
All those little wants, video games, new clothes, a new hand bag, the pack of oreos (I know it’s not just me!) you can do without. On average you can save about $50 a month cutting out EVERY little thing that isn’t needed. That’s $200 a month or $2,400 a year. Wouldn’t that be nice to see in your savings account?
Don’t Buy it if You Can Make It
I have seen so many super cute decor items on Etsy! If you REALLY look at them they are SO easy to make and it will cost you about 1/4 of what they are selling for! While I have already said with thrift stores and garages sales it’s cheaper to buy clothes then make them you can take this make it philosophy to many things. Why buy a chocolate cake when you can make one, why buy hair detangler when you can make it? See where I’m going with this?
While we need to make sure to use every last drop of things we also need to use less of what we have. dilute your hand soaps, shampoos and other soaps with matter and use less detergent when washing clothes.
Take Advantage of EVERY Freebie
Don’t buy books when you can get them free at the library. This goes for movies too! You don’t need to go to the movie theater when you can get free Redbox codes from their text alerts! Save the envelopes you get to return payments junk mail and use them when your mail letters ect. I never paid for address labels because you can get 40 free here and there just search the web!
A garden was essential back them. You wanted to grow and raise as much of your food as you could because it was less you had to buy. So they had gardens, and if they could afford it a milk cow, and some chickens. This would allow them milk and eggs. From here they could make their own butter and cheese.
to wrap it up we live in a very, must have it now society. Many go out and buy the new iPhone 6 when your iPhone 5 works just fine. So they put themselves into debt or sacrificing their saving to have the newest and flashiest items. We need to get back to a time where we saved up cash to pay for what we wanted instead of going into debt. You may find those items aren’t so important when you have to wait 3 months to save up the cash for them, in turn saving you money. I know I much rather see my saving build then have a new purse or shoes.
Picture (c) Can Stock Photo