The Great Depression was a dark time in human history. It lasted from 1929 to 1939, and it is estimated that the cost of this depression led to over 20% of Americans being unemployed at some point during these years. There were many who survived through tough times by living frugally, which can help us today with our individual finances.
The “frugal” is a word that has been used for a long time. However, it was not until the Great Depression that people started to use the term in more ways. This article will explore 13 frugal living tips from the Great Depression to practice today. Read more in detail here: frugally.
Do you want to learn how to live a thrifty lifestyle? If that’s the case, you’re in luck! I’m going to provide 13 Great Depression-era frugal living suggestions. These suggestions are still relevant today and may save you money.
How many people in America today are frugal?
According to a poll performed by Personal Capital, 90% of Americans claim to be thrifty. While 56.4 percent of respondents said sticking to a budget is straightforward, 35.9% said they struggle with the impulse to spend all of the time or often.
Is the Future More Cost-Effective?
For many individuals, a frugal future may be on the horizon. Younger generations spend less on entertainment, dining out, and vacation and more on things that important to them.
Being thrifty is sometimes confused with being cheap, although the two are not synonymous. Frugality refers to being conscious of your spending in order to attain long-term financial stability, while cheap refers to spending as little as possible.
According to a recent poll, the top three reasons respondents kept their conservative spending habits were to save for future investments (56.3 percent), to lack of savings (51.9 percent), and to have a rainy day fund (51.9 percent) (42.6 percent ).
While there are several benefits for being thrifty, these three emphasize the need of financial preparation and self-control.
Respondents are more likely to achieve their financial objectives by being conservative with their expenditures, whether it’s saving for a down payment on a home or building up an emergency fund.
In today’s mostly consumer-driven world, it’s all too simple to overspend and accumulate debt.
Respondents may take charge of their money and set themselves up for a bright future by keeping a closer check on their spending and prioritizing frugality.
However, if you’re unfamiliar with the concept of frugality or need a refresher, continue reading.
So, what is frugality, exactly?
Frugality is the act or condition of being frugal with one’s material resources, particularly money.
Frugality includes a monetary as well as an emotional component. When it comes to money, frugality is defined as spending less than you make and intelligently investing the difference.
Frugality is about contentment — being pleased with what you have rather than wishing for more.
In philosophy, what is frugality?
In philosophy, frugality is defined as the virtue of avoiding waste and luxury. A thrifty person manages their resources wisely and efficiently.
The thrifty person is resourceful and understands how to maximize their resources. They are neither lavish or wasteful, nor are they frugal. A thrifty person maintains a balance between utilizing just what they need and avoiding waste.
Frugality is defined as living simply and effectively, without unnecessary excess or waste. It is a way of life that everyone, regardless of income or financial circumstances, may embrace.
Because they have learnt to appreciate the basic pleasures in life and do not take anything for granted, those who live frugally are frequently the happiest and most pleased individuals.
What does it mean to be frugal?
Before buying anything, a thrifty person thinks about the price as well as the quality.
They recognize that price and quality are often at odds, and they are ready to forego some instant enjoyment in order to save money in the long term. Furthermore, thrifty individuals appreciate their time and do not like to squander it on things that do not offer them pleasure.
This means they are frequently extremely careful with their money, purchasing only what they absolutely need or that will bring worth to their life.
People may save money, live more responsibly, and utilize their time more productively and fulfillingly by being frugal.
13 Great Depression-Era Money Saving Ideas
Although the Great Depression was a period of great misery, it also taught people the need of frugality and self-sufficiency.
One of the most important lessons learned during the Great Depression was to not squander anything. Every scrap of food had to be utilized, every item of clothes had to be repaired, and every piece of furniture had to be reused.
This thriftiness extended to other aspects of life as well. People grew more resourceful, finding creative solutions to problems. As a consequence, the word “waste” has become forbidden.
Fast forward to now, and we have completely forgotten this lesson. From mounds of packing material in landfills to garments thrown after just a few uses, waste is ubiquitous.
We have evolved into a consumer culture, purchasing goods we don’t need and dumping them when they become obsolete.
Continue reading if you want to live frugally and save money.
These 13 Great Depression-Era Money Saving Ideas still have value today, and being more mindful about using resources will benefit us today.
Purchase Pre-owned Items
People couldn’t afford to acquire new stuff during the Great Depression. As a consequence, they learned how to repair and repurpose outdated goods.
We now have access to second-hand shops where we may purchase gently worn products for a fraction of the price of new ones.
This money-saving idea from the Great Depression may still be used today.
Buying used stuff has the added benefit of being environmentally beneficial and keeping perfectly excellent items out of landfills.
Wear It Once More
The majority of individuals do not hesitate to toss their garments in the washing hamper as soon as they remove them. But how often do we wash our soiled clothes?
Washing garments causes them to wear out quicker and wastes energy, water, and detergent.
Wearing your garments more than once before washing them is a simple strategy to reduce laundry.
Of course, this does not apply to underwear and socks, but you’d be amazed how many times a shirt or pair of jeans may be worn before they need to be cleaned.
So the next time you’re ready to toss your dirty clothing in the hamper, think about it. You may be able to save time – and money – by putting them on again.
Plant a Garden
Many, many people living during the great depression had a garden. Growing a garden can save you money on produce. The most cost-effective way to Plant a Garden is from seed.
If you have surplus vegetables, having a garden is also a method to make additional money.
It is also possible to Plant a Garden that will feed you year-round if you can produce to use in the winter.
Making Food From Scratch
Cooking from scratch was one of the finest frugal living recommendations from the Great Depression.
This can seem to be a lot of labor, but it isn’t. Many basic meals may be made using just a few ingredients.
Making Food From Scratch will save you money because you will avoid all the processed foods that are so expensive.
You’ll also be able to eat better since you’ll know precisely what’s in your meals.
So the next time you’re thinking about ordering takeout, consider making a basic dinner from scratch. You’ll be amazed at how simple it is — and how much money you’ll save!
Apply for a Library Card
During the Great Depression, individuals participated in a variety of cooperative activities to save money and assist those in their neighborhood who were in need.
Instead of purchasing everything new, many families would swap goods and services. People would also often arrange huge parties at their houses to enjoy themselves without spending any money.
Visiting the library, on the other hand, was not necessarily more prevalent during the Depression. While libraries were being established at the time, they were not as common as they are now.
As a result, they were less likely to be thought of as entertainment or educational tools. Libraries, on the other hand, may be a great way to save money, particularly for bookworms who would otherwise have to buy all of the books they read.
In addition to books, libraries provide recipes, DVDs, board games, and music CDs available for free borrowing.
So remember to visit your local library the next time you’re searching for an inexpensive way to amuse yourself or your family!
Spend less money
During the Great Depression, most individuals could not afford to waste money on frivolous purchases.
Even if we are not currently depressed, we may benefit from this thrifty technique and cut our expenditure.
Limiting your spontaneous purchases is one way to achieve this. Make yourself wait 24 hours before purchasing anything you desire, for example.
This will give you time to consider if you really need the item and whether the cost is justified.
Another strategy to cut your spending is to make and stick to a budget. Calculate how much money you have coming in each month and set aside cash for certain costs.
You will have to wait until the next month to make any more purchases after you have spent all of the money in your budget.
Living frugally does not imply that you must forego all of your favorite things.
It just entails being conscious of your expenditures and making wise financial decisions.
Make Your Own
In today’s culture, we are used to paying others to do tasks for us.
We are delighted to pay someone else to do things for us, whether it’s having our nails done, hiring a lawn care service, or driving our vehicle to the mechanic.
During the Great Depression, however, this was not the case. To save money, people were considerably more willing to do things themselves.
Instead of coming to the salon, ladies would give each other at-home manicures. When automobiles went down, men would mend them, and families would cultivate their own fruits and vegetables.
The DIY movement is seeing a rebirth these days.
As a method to save money, an increasing number of individuals are taking the time to learn how to do things themselves.
Making attractive home décor products isn’t the only thing you can do with DIY! Doing things yourself is a technique to emulate the Great Depression’s methods. People used to mend, manufacture, and construct things for themselves! They learnt how to accomplish things they had never done before.
YOUTUBE is one thing that folks during the Great Depression did not have. We can learn virtually anything by watching a video. YouTube, for example, makes it simple to learn how to repair a dishwasher, change the oil, and so on.
Maintain Your Property
Maintaining your stuff is one frugal living lesson from the Great Depression that is still applicable today.
People couldn’t afford to replace their goods as often during the Great Depression as we can today.
As a consequence, people had to take special care of their possessions in order for them to survive as long as possible.
We now live in a culture where deliberate obsolescence is the norm.
This implies that things are made to fail after a specific length of time, forcing you to purchase a replacement.
However, if we take the effort to care after our possessions, they will endure much longer.
For instance, rather of discarding a piece of clothing with a little stain, we may learn how to remove it.
Maintaining our possessions is not only cost-effective, but also environmentally beneficial.
Even I am guilty of wanting to acquire something new rather than repair something old. We shouldn’t just discard anything that isn’t operating properly. Most items can be repaired rather than purchased new.
It is important to investigate the cost of repair since it is sometimes more costly to repair an older item, and in that case, buying new may be more cost-effective.
Create your own cleaning supplies.
Another great tip is to Create your own cleaning supplies.. Not only will this save you money, but it is also better for the environment.
There are numerous DIY cleaning product recipes online that you can prepare using things you probably already have on hand.
Vinegar, for example, is an excellent natural cleanser for cleaning surfaces, floors, and toilets.
Another substance that may be used for cleaning is baking soda. It may be used to absorb smells or as a natural scouring agent.
When it comes to manufacturing your own cleaning solutions, the choices are unlimited. So think outside the box and find what works best for you!
Basic Sewing Techniques
During the Great Depression, the overwhelming majority of women understood how to sew. Clothing, beds, and even pillows were all manufactured by them.
I know that not every person reading this wants to sew clothes for their families, and that is okay! However, if we Basic Sewing Techniques, we can make our clothes last longer by being able to fix easy issues.
Check out Craftsy’s amazing classes if you need to master some fundamental sewing abilities. They provide introductory courses, and it is a really inexpensive method to learn!
Make Your Own Gifts
Making nice handcrafted presents is quite simple. When you need a present for a coworker or a birthday, they are ideal.
You may present excellent baked foods or sweets if you are not artistic with gifting. Don’t forget that sending a homemade card can save you money.
Understand the Difference Between Needs and Wants
This is perhaps the most crucial frugal living tip on the list.
It is so simple to want something that we do not need.
Before you buy anything, consider if it is something you actually need or something you simply desire.
You’d be shocked how frequently you can persuade yourself not to purchase something you don’t need.
If you’re still not sure, give it some thought. If you still desire the item the following day, it’s most likely something you need.
There are exceptions to this rule, but generally speaking, if you can wait to acquire anything, you usually don’t need it.
What is a desire?
A want is something you desire but do not need.
You could desire a new pair of shoes, but you don’t need one if you already have a pair that fits perfectly.
You could desire the newest gadget, but if your present one serves you well, it is not something you need.
What is a requirement?
A requirement is something you cannot live without.
For example, you may need new tires for your vehicle or food for your family.
You could also have to pay bills or purchase medicines.
As you can see, desires aren’t as important as necessary for living.
If you learn to discern between the two, this frugal living advice may help you save a lot of money.
Participate in Your Community
One of the best frugal living tips is to Participate in Your Community.
During the Great Depression, this was particularly vital since individuals had to depend on one another for assistance.
We are frequently so preoccupied with our own life nowadays that we forget about our neighbors.
However, there are other advantages to becoming a member of your community, like getting to know people and feeling like you belong.
It might also assist you in saving money.
You may, for example, barter products and services with your neighbors or participate in a communal garden.
You may also go to free activities organized by your local community center or library.
So get to know your neighbors and Participate in Your Community!
I hope you liked these Great Depression-era money-saving techniques. Many of these suggestions are still valid today, as you can see.
So, the next time you want to save money, try one of these suggestions! Do you have any money-saving suggestions to share? Could you tell us about them in the comments section?