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When it comes to saving money and giving your family great food you can learn a lot from your great grandparents from the great depression. They learned to make do with little to nothing and put meals on the table despite challenges. When it comes to cooking these simple great depression cooking tips will help you save money on feeding your family.
Great Depression Cooking Tips That Will Save You Money
They had a way of cooking during the great depression that made the most of what they had. The food wasn’t always the most balanced or even a favorite but it kept you going and it was there.
It’s easy to take many of their cooking tips and tricks and incorporate them into your everyday cooking routine.
Buy the bone-in cuts of meat
You can usually get bone-in meat cheaper by the pound. You can put the bones to work by making bone broth to add nutrition to foods you cook, soups, and stews.
I am able to find chicken leg quarters in a 10-pound bag at Walmart for $5.90 or 59¢ a pound. I watch the sales and can get then for a cheap at 39¢ a pound in Florida so make sure you watch your sales ads this should be a price found anywhere! Less than $4 for 10 pounds of meat!
I then cook the leg quarters on a pan in the oven. Once cooked I let them cool and then shred them up and divide them into meal-sized bags and freeze them.
I put the bones in a large stockpot and mi in what I have on hand. Usually some onions, carrots, and celery then some spices, thyme or oregano and then just simmer them. I like to do mine overnight on low wake up let it cool and then divide into large mason jars and freeze them.
I share recipes I use with the shredded meat in my Cheap Family Meals Facebook Group
Save the scraps from your veggies
Put a freezer container inside your freezer to dump scraps from your veggies in when you chop them up. These vegetable scraps can be tossed in with water and herbs to boil down into a vegetable broth or added to bones from your meat above to make a broth.
Once you have cooked them down you can strain them out and toss them right into your compost for your garden.
Then also make good food for chickens or other animals you might have.
You can also cook with the leftovers! Check out these 10 Cheap Recipes You Can Make Out of Leftover Produce.
Build a garden
Speaking of veggies, build a garden even if it’s just some tomatoes on your porch it’s something less you don’t have to buy. Never gardened before? Check out How to Plant a Garden for the Beginner Gardener.
Also an herb garden in a good way to save some money. These 5 Tips for a DIY Indoor Herb Garden can help.
Learn to use foods that are in season
Whether you garden or buy from the local supermarket your produce will come into season at different times of the year.
This food is fresher and often much cheaper than foods not in season that have been grown in greenhouses.
When food are in season this is the time to buy and stock up. Freeze them or can them. Which takes us to our next point…
Learn to can
Canning your food is a great way to preserve it for use all year long. Making your own jams and jellies is very easy and can be done with relatively very little work.
Canning is a great way to get the most out of big sales at the farmers market or a thriving garden at home.
Use fillers to make your food go further
Adding Rice, beans, potatoes, or homemade bread to meals, can make them more filling and allow you to put in less of the meat that makes up much of the expense of your meals. Serving a glass of milk with a meal is another great way to both add nutrition and make a meal go further.
Related: 88 Great Depression Recipes
Save the fat
When you cook meats you often find fat at the bottom of the ban. Save this grease for cooking later. You can use it to replace butter or oil in many recipes.
Saving bacon grease is the most common for this use and it makes nearly everything you cook with it have a hint of bacon flavor. Growing up we always poured the fat into a can that was stored in the fridge.
Make your bread yourself
A quick trip to Sam’s Club makes it easy to make homemade bread for very little. Buying yeast and flour in bulk gets you the best deal.
While learning to make your own bread does take practice you can get a machine that will do most of the work or enjoy the great stress relief of kneading bread by hand.
There is also this list of 13 Items They Made During the Great Depression (But We Pay for Now)
So what do you think of these Great Depression cooking tips? Think you can incorporate any of them?