We call them the greatest generation for a reason. They walked through fire and came out standing stronger on the other side. But not only was that generation full of heroes, but it was full of men and women who were fantastic at saving money in ways we no longer think about. These days life is just as uncertain as it was then; we don’t know where our income will be in a few weeks or if we will even have one. In this case, the best thing we can do is learn from history and use a few World War 2 money saving tips to help ourselves.
Part of the reason that our ancestors who lived through World War 1, The Great Depression and World War 2 survived the way they did was because they took on the motto of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
You might be surprised at how much that little slogan helped people, but if you really think about it; it is easy to see why it did.
World War 2 Money Saving Tips
It kept saving money at the forefront of people’s minds and made what we now view as strange sometimes – living an extreme frugal life – commonplace and even something to aspire to.
But now, with 2020 bearing down with the full force of its might on the entire planet, living frugally and possibly even with an extremeness like we’ve never done before has suddenly become a necessity again.
and that is where these World War 2 money saving tips enter the picture.
WW2 Money Saving Tips
As I said earlier, the folks that live through the Great Depression and both World Wars were a tough sort.
You only need to read the Medal of Honor stories to know that.
It is those lessons that they learned that we can draw from when we’re looking to use a few frugal living tips from World War 2 in our own lives.
They may be lessons from a life gone by but they’re still very much applicable today.
Frugal Living Tips from World War 2
I have written on this topic a bit before, but never in a post as large as this. Not too long ago I did a post that shared frugal living tips from the Great Depression.
These frugal living tips from World War 2, however, take those tips one step farther and really dig into the specifics.
and if you ask me, it’s the specifics we all need right now.
Frugal Living Tips from WW 2
It should be common sense, but unfortunately for some, it’s not. The biggest way to save money isn’t necessarily a WW2 money saving tips, but it’s one people who lived during that time understood.
If you want to save money, buy fewer things.
Our grandparents that were saving money during the Great Depression and WW2 were not out spending their money.
They were at home. Spending less than they ever had before.
Make More at Home Instead
It sounds difficult at first, but you can replace a lot of what you’re buying with things you make at home yourself. Doing this actually leads to being more self sufficient.
My own family began doing this around 2015 and the results of this alone have been tremendous. In five years, I estimate it has saved me at least $5,000!
This frugal living tip from World War 2 comes straight from their experiences. Because they often did not have the money to buy the things they needed, they were forced to make them.
Eat a Simpler Diet
Don’t get me wrong. I love an amazing recipe, but these days, our recipes often consist of expensive ingredients that really are unnecessary.
One WW2 money saving tip we could all learn from is to just eat a simpler diet. This would include simpler cuts of meats, fresh vegetables and basic recipes.
One of my favorite Depression era cooks was Clara. I’m sure you’re familiar with her Youtube videos but if not, check her out. I love that her sons put out a cookbook in her honor after her death that contains all her favorite recipes.
I have the hardcover copy of Clara’s Kitchen and it stays in my kitchen all the time. I use it so often – although I do modify a few of them these days.
Along with eating a more simple diet comes learning to do for yourself. Baking is a great plade to start.
This may actually be my favorite money saving tip from The Great Depression period since I absolutely love to bake.
Learning to bake things such as homemade bread, cakes and biscuits are a great way to not only save money but to help your family eat better and be healthier.
If you don’t know how to bake or aren’t great at it, companies such as BluPrint offer great how to videos to help you learn or improve. They even offer a free trial for those who aren’t sure they want to continue watching their online classes.
Have a Baking Day
Talk to anyone who lived through The Great Depression – or read what they have said before – and you’ll find that while they did make a lot of their own products, they also did not do their baking or creating all week long.
Instead, they dedicated specific days to those things. The reasons for this was numerous but one main one was that they were able to target their baking when it would cost them less in time.
You know the old saying “time is money?” Those people knew that and as such would try to maximize their time.
By creating a baking only day each week, you will allow yourself to maximize your time, shop for ingredients at a time when they won’t go to waste, and to plan to use the least energy possible.
Use Electric When It’s Cheaper
This is not exactly a World War 2 money saving tip, but it goes along with the mentality of spending less.
Most power companies have a time when the power is cheaper per kilowatt hour. These times are usually off peak. By contrast, power use during peak hours is usually far more expensive.
To spend less of your money, try to use the bulk of your power during those off peak times. You will save yourself a siginifcant amount of money.
It is also worth checking to see if your power company offers different plans. Mine for instance offers a plan that I jumped on when it was offered to me. I pay $0.01 per kilowatt hour more during the day but from 8 pm to 5 am my power is totally free.
Can you guess when we do things such as wash dishes, do laundry and use hot water for showers?
Save Bacon Grease
Bacon grease is the holy grail of all Grandma’s everywhere for a reason and is a perfect example of the World War 2 money saving tips that used the motto “use it up.”
Bacon grease can be used in place of butter in almost any recipe. It adds a flavor that you just don’t get with butter.
Don’t believe me? Fry eggs in bacon grease then we will talk.
Save Chicken Fat
Another great money saving tip from the Depression is to save chicken fat. Why?
Because it can be rendered into lard quite easily. Lard is used in place of shortening when you’re cooking and baking.
You ain’t livin’ until you’ve had pie crust or biscuits made with lard instead of shortening. Hand to God it’s true!
Save Beef Fat
Another great – and personal favorite – of the frugal living tips from World War 2 is to save beef fat. Yes, just like chicken fat, beef fat can be rendered.
The difference is that beef fat renders into a final product called tallow.
Tallow is used for cooking, but can be used for other things too. Candles, soaps and more can all be made with beef tallow.
Save Pork Fat
Pork fat and bacon grease are two different things, but if you want to follow these frugal living tips from World War 2, you’ll save your pork fat as well.
Pork fat, when rendered, renders into lard just like chicken fat and is used the same way.
Hand Wash Dishes
The only dish washers during the Depression and WW2 were kids and Moms ya’ll.
While your dishwasher may save you money on water, the energy it uses is ridiculous. Instead, save money and hand wash your dishes.
You can maximize the cost of the process by making sure to fill your sink with wash water then filling the other side of the sink with dishes before you being to rinse.
Too many people leave the water running and that only serves to waste both water and money.
Hand Wash Laundry
This frugal living tip from WW2 may be a bit much for some people, but hand washing laundry was common during the World Wars and the Great Depression.
Hand washing your laundry saves a ton of money on both water and power. It’s a bit more work but that work pays off in dollars.
If you’re having a hard time making ends meet, this is one option that could save you enough to free up some real money in your budget.
Eat More Meatless Meals
Meat is the most expensive part of a family’s grocery budget. That’s why during the Depression and the World Wars, it was common for families to eat meatless meals.
If you’re having an issue paying for groceries or are just wanting to cut your grocery bill, eating a meatless meal once or twice a week is a great way to do it.
Most of the recipes you’re already making can be made without meat, however, if you’re looking for new recipes specifically made without meat, there are plenty of cookbooks that are packed with goodness to inspire you.
Substitute Meats in Meals
If you don’t want to give up meats in a couple of your meals, another great option is to use less meat and substitute it with other foods.
Foods such as beans and rice are both filling and nutritious but will allow you to use less meat in each meal.
Chances are good that your family will never know the difference.
Make Meals Last Longer
Most of us tend to eat huge portion sizes but one frugal living tip from World War 2 that we can learn from is to eat smaller portion sizes.
They weren’t gorging themselves at dinner back in those days. As a result, their meals tended to last more than one meal.
Leftovers are great for lunch the next day or even as dinner a second time.
They’re also a great way to save money.
Build a Frugal Pantry
One big difference between how we live today and how they lived during World War 2 and the Great Depression was that they knew how to keep a full pantry.
The basics of keeping frugal pantry staples on hand and how it saves you money is simple. If you have it on hand, you’re less likely to eat out and even more less likely to need to run to the store.
Frugal pantry items are just the items that are used on a regular basis and cheap to stock, but if you need help with ideas, I have a good list to get you started HERE.
Eat from Head to Tail
Going along with the Word War 2 motto of “Use it up,” the next ways to save money from World War 2 that we can learn to to eat from head to tail.
Basically this just means that they did not waste any part of an animal that could be eaten or used. Hides were used to make things such as blankets and shoes.
Meat that you may not normally be willing to eat – such as Sweet Bread; yuck in my opinion – was eaten for meals.
Bones were boiled into oblivion for broth.
In other words, stop being so wasteful if you want to save money.
Don’t Take What You Won’t Eat
This one should be pretty simple, but sometimes it’s not. If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you’re going to waste food.
Instead, take a smaller serving at first then wait 20 minutes after you finish it to see if you’re still hungry.
If you are, get seconds but remember not to take more than you can eat.
We are a society that thinks more is best and in some cases that’s true. But when it comes to things such as shampoo, soap and of course food, less is more.
If you want to save money like the Great Depression, you will learn to use less of what you have.
A really good place to start is your laundry. If you’re not already making a DIY laundry detergent, know that commercial detergents are really potent.
Try using 1/2 the detergent you do now. You’ll never notice the difference, your clothes will get just as clean and your detergent will stretch twice as long.
Do more for yourself
How many people have cleaning ladies or visit a car wash to have someone else wash their car for them?
While I don’t know the exact answer, I can tell you this; it’s a lot.
Doing things for yourself has become more of a rarity than it it is commonplace. We as a people prefer to pay someone to do something for us than to do it ourselves.
But if you learn nothing else from this list of World War 2 money saving tips, it should be to learn to do for yourself.
It won’t hurt you to clean your home. It won’t hurt you to wash your car yourself or to cook for yourself.
What it will do though is save you a considerable amount of money.
Learn to Sew
Along with doing more for yourself comes learning how to make things for yourself so you don’t have to buy them.
We did this in 2015 out of necessity for my health but have kept it up since the amount of money we’ve saved is so significant.
Sewing is one of the areas that I feel everyone should know how to do for themselves. Whether you’re learning to sew a kitchen towel, a new baby bib or a reusable menstrual pad, knowing how to sew saves you considerable money over the years.
Some things can be sewn by hand while others you will need a good sewing machine for. It all just depends on what you’re looking to create.
Mend What You Have
Once you know how to sew, you can take it a step farther and learn how to mend what you have. This means fixing things like rips, tears and holes.
Ever heard the phrase “to darn socks” It means to fix a small hole in them by hand sewing.
If you learn to mend what you have, you’ll spend far less replacing those things.
Wear an Apron
I wear a half apron anytime I am in the kitchen cooking. Why? Because I have a really bad habit of wiping my hands on my jeans.
It’s a struggle y’all.
But it’s also a practical struggle. Whether you’re working int he kitchen or the garage, wearing an apron or some other form of protective covering for your clothing helps them to last longer.
You’ll avoid stains, excessive wear and even potentially avoid rips or tears.
Learn to Forage
Chances are really good that your own back yard and the areas around you are filled with food you wouldn’t normally think about. Foraging for food has been around since the beginning of humanity and is still a great way to feed your family.
Learning how to forage things such as dandelions or how to forage and identify morel mushrooms is a great way to supplement your grocery budget.
If you’re unsure about identifying wild edibles, my friend Mark wrote “The Idiots Guide to Foraging” and I have to say it’s an excellent book!
Use Manual Kitchen Tools
I love to be in the kitchen but I primarily like to do things by hand. There is such a sense of fulfillment when you’re working with your hands then pull out a loaf of chocolate chip quick bread knowing that you mixed it and baked it by hand.
Not only is it fulfilling, it also saves more money than you might think. Can openers, mixers, blenders, food processors and the like all use much more electric than you might think.
They also were not all that common during the war years. Instead, they used manual kitchen tools.
Instead, replace them with a variety of manual kitchen tools. You’ll save money and have the satisfaction of doing something with your hands.
Use Bar Soaps but Dry them First
Body washes are expensive not only in cost, but in the short time they last you. Bar soap, however, is cheaper to buy and tends to last longer than a bottle of body wash.
But did you know you can make bar soaps last longer and it’s really simple to do.
Simply open the package and allow the bar to dry out. It won’t look pretty, but it will last longer.
Do you still get the newspaper for the coupons or news? If so, don’t toss or recycle it.
In keeping with the slogan to use it up, there are a lot of ways to use newspaper around your home that you might not otherwise consider.
Reuse Wrapping Paper
Wrapping paper of all sorts is another form of paper that has a ton of uses.
Before you toss that old roll or the scraps from opening a present, use it up with these ways to use leftover wrapping paper HERE.
Reuse Empty Milk Jugs
Don’t toss milk jugs either. There are a lot of ways to use empty milk jugs just like newspaper. Check HERE for a few ideas to help you get started.
One of my favorite uses for empty milk jugs is to make a milk jug bird feeder.
Reuse Empty Jars
My kids look at me strangely but one of my favorite things to reuse are empty jars. They were a staaple item to be reused during the World Wars as well.
Use them as storage or for crafts. There are a lot of different things you can do with an empty jar.
Reuse Coffee Mugs
Sometimes our favorite coffee mugs just become unusable any longer. When this happens, use it up!
Find a new way to use old coffee mugs instead! It may just surprise you what they can be used for!
Reuse Old Towels
We love to reuse towels in our home since there are so many uses for old towels. They’re good for so much more than rags!
Don’t Throw Away Old Sheets
Sheets are another great item that you can “use up” before getting rid of it. Again, there are more uses for sheets than old rags. You just have to know where to find ideas.
Cut Your Own Hair
Another skill we can learn from World War 2 is to cut our hair ourselves.
If you’re unsure, buy a doll and practice on it until you’re confident. Youtube is full of tutorials to help you learn.
Curl Your Hair with Rags instead of a Curling Iron
Remember that whole use less electric? Have you ever tried curling your hair with rags?
It’s super simple and gives you a curl that is more natural than a curling iron. Plus, you won’t damage your hair.
Use the Last Bit
One frugal living tip from World War 2 that I learned from my own grandmother was to use the last bit of everything. It surprised my husband the first time he saw me adding a bit of water to a pasta sauce jar to get the last tiny bit out.
By using the least little bit, you aren’t wasting any money on product that is getting thrown away.
Shower Less but Bathe More
Showers use a crazy amount of water; up to a gallon a minute. Where does most of it go? Down the drain.
Instead of allowing that money – and water – to be wasted, take baths more often than you do a shower. Believe it or not, you will use less water.
Barter with Others
Another frugal living tip from The Great Depression we can learn is to barter and trade as much as possible. It’s also a skill we have lost over th eyears.
Learning how to barter is a great skill to have and one that was very commonplace during The Great Depression and World War 2.
It’s a great way to get what you need without having to pay cash and helping someone get what they need at the same time.
or Borrow what You Need
If bartering is not an option, consider borrowing what you need instead. Just be sure to give it back in the same condition – or better – than it was when you borrowed it.
Skip expensive fixes
Expensive beauty items and powders are nice to have, but they are just that; luxuries that are nice to have.
During the Great Depression and World War 2, if those folks wanted those luxuries, they had to come up with a way to either make them or find them ro thewy had to do without.
Instead of doing without though, you can often find cheap inexpensive ways to fix the issue.
For instance, instead of buying expensive shoe powders to control foot sweating and odor, they would simply use cornstarch.
There are also tons of homemade beauty products you could make.
By finding inexpensive solutions to the products you normally pay a lot for, you can save more money for things that are more important.
Drive a Used Car
New cars are nice, but they’re also money pits. Within moments of driving it off the lot, you have lost thousands of dollars in value.
Adding to the loss in value are the high purchases prices, high interest on loans and extremely high car payments for most loans.
Instead of wasting money buying a new car, why not buy a good, solid used car?
You will pay considerably less and still have the reliable family car you need.
or Ride a Bike More Often
An even more frugal option and one that was utilized often during The Great Depression and World War 2 is to skip driving all together.
Ride a bike instead!
Not only is it cheap and frugal, but it’s healthier as well!
or Walk Even
Of the three transportation options in this list of frugal living tips from World War 2, walking is by far the most commonly used during those time periods.
If your destination is close – say 1 mile or under – there is really no reason you can’t walk. It’s free and it’s healthy. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Take Your Lunch to Work
One big lesson we can learn about how people saved money during World War 2 is that they weren’t eating out all the time. In fact,t hey rarely ate out because they didn’t have the money.
This included for lunches and of course, coffee shops were not a huge thing back then either.
Do yourself a financial favor; add up the amount of money you’ve spent on restaurants or coffee shops over the past 3 months.
Changes are good you could have paid a bill or three with the money that has been wasted.
Downsize Your Home
This one may seem excessive to some people, but for others, the answer will be clear.
During World War 2 and The Great Depression, families did not live in homes that were bigger than they needed. Homes were built just large enough to fit the family.
Over the years though, we have taken the idea on that we need huge homes with more rooms than we could ever possibly use. The truth is that we are making ourselves broke by doing this.
Living in a home that is larger than we need only results in larger payments and much higher utility and maintenance costs.
Instead, consider downsizing to a home you can afford.
This isn’t one that I’m just telling you to do. I’ve done it myself when I downsized my daughter and I to live in a hotel full-time for 2017 and part of 2018. You can read about my adventure HERE.
If you do decide to downsize to a hotel, I also have tips for living in a hotel full-time right HERE.
or Become a Nomad
Have you ever heard the word vagabond? It’s a phrase that describes a nomad – or someone who moved around following cheap costs of living or the job market.
If you job allows, the nomadic lifestyle is extremely frugal if you do it correctly. Most live in RV’s and travel the country, however, living in a hotel and traveling can also be frugal if you choose the right kind of hotel.
Buy Day Old Items
If you were to look in my freezer right now, you would see several loaves of day old french bread that I picked up for $0.25 each a few weeks ago.
The loaves are normally $1.00 each meaning I saved $0.75 on each loaf. Even though they were a day old when I bought them, they were still fresh and taste great.
Buying day old item isn’t shameful or anything of the sort. It’s frugal, smart and helps to reduce the amount of food being thrown out by the store.
If you’re not currently looking for those day old items, make it a new habit and you may just surprise yourself with how much money you’ll save.
Always Shop the Clearance Section
My kids and husband will tell you that I don’t go into a store wihtout swinging by the clearance sections. Usually I have them mapped out in the store so I can swing by them as I make my regular rounds while shopping.
Buying clearance items is a great way to save money on your groceries; especially if you buy clearance meats and produce. Just be sure to use them before they spoil since they will spoil faster than fresh. ver and over, but again, it’s a great frugal living tip form World War 2 that we can learn from.
Folks who lived during those times, knew how much money they did – or didn’t – have. They did this by keeping track of their spending.
With the days of debit cards and online transactions, it can be hard to remember to track each expense. Most of the time we simply swipe or click checkout and we’re done.
To make things easier on myself and to help myself remember to track my own expenses, I keep account ledgers like THIS one on my desk; one for personal and one for business expenses.
When I make shop online, I am able to write it down immediately. For things I spend money on away from my desk, I bring all receipts home then enter them at the end of the day.
Grow a Garden
Gardening is a staple for those that are looking to lower their grocery costs and is one that people living in the Great Depression knew well.
It may seem expensive to start a garden, but there are ways to save money on it. If you learn how to regrow vegetables from scraps and to do things yourself like making DIY Raised Bed Garden Beds, you can save considerably.
Start a Compost Pile
Composting not only helps your garden to grow rich and bountiful, but it also helps you to get one more use out of things you would normally throw away.
If you think you can only compost cardboard and vegetable scraps, the number of things you can compost safely might just surprise you. Head over HERE for a quick list that I’m sure you’ll find interesting.
Find Home Remedies
A lot of things we run to the ER or the doctor for can usually be taken care of pretty easily at home. Things like simple burns don’t need a whole lot of medical attention.
Instead, look for home remedies that may work and try to treat simple things yourself.
You’ll save quite a bit of money over insurance premiums, co-pays and doctors visits.
Only Go to the Doctor When You’re Truly Sick
Speaking of doctors, make sure you’re only going when you’re truly sick. Too many of us like to run to the doctor at the slightest sign of a sniffle.
Instead, wait until you know your sick or better yet, call first. Chances are good your doctor won’t even need to see you to help.
Use a Swamp Cooler
Cooling your home in the summer can be incredibly expensive; especially if you live in a hot climate such as we do in Texas.
One way to help cool your home without using hardly any power at all is to use a swamp cooler. They were very common during the Great Depression years in some parts of the country.
How to Make a Swamp Cooler
To make a quick and easy swamp cooler, fill a Styrofoam cooler with ice. Set a fan behind the cooler and it will blow cool moist air into your home helping to cool it down.
You can also help the air circulate in your home to cool it down by adding one box fan in a window on one side of the house and another on the other side of the house.
Keep one fan facing inwards and the other facing outwards. Doing this will help move air through your home and assist the swamp cooler in bringing the temperature down.
Or a Hot Water Bottle
Another frugal living tip from World War 2 is to use a hot water bottle in the winter to stay warm instead of turning up your heat.
It won’t keep the room itself warm, but if you are under the blankets at night, it will help to keep your body warm.
Layer Your Clothes
Layering is a simple and easy way to keep yourself warm in the winter without turning up the heat. It was a common practice during the Great Depression when fuel or wood for heaters or stoves was expensive.
It is, however, so simple that most people forget you can add more than one layer. A sweater, jacket, socks and even shoes can all help to keep you warm when everyone else isn’t.
Or when you’d rather not crank the heat up.
Take Layers Off
Of course in the summer if you’re too hot, you can always take layers off. If you’re wearing jeans,. downgrade to shorts, if you’re wearing a heavy material top, downgrade to a tank top.
It’s far cheaper to change your clothes and it is to run your a/c. Combine a change of clothes with a swamp cooler and you’ll likely never notice the difference.
Line Dry Your Clothes
Clothes dryers were rare during the Great Depression which meant that they were line drying everything they could.
These days, clothes lines have gone the way of the dinosaur but if you’re worried about paying your bills, consider having one make a comeback at your home.
Your dryer is one of the most expensive appliances you own and because of that, line drying is a much cheaper way to get your clothes dry.
Plus, you get the added benefits of sun and a breeze on them which always makes them smell amazing!
If you don’t have room for an actual clothes line in your hard, consider buying a portable clothes drying rack for inside.
Wear Jeans More than Once
Do you wash your jans after wearing them justonce? Stop it if so.
Even Levi’s jeans themselves say that denim should not be washed every time. Not only are you wasting money but you’re adding more wear to the jeans making them not last as long.
Chances are good you can get two possibly even three wears from them before they truly need a wash.
Use Towels More than Once
My children drive me absolutely batty with towels. They seem to think they ocan only use them once then need to wash them.
This couldn’t be farther from the fruth.
Provided you dry the towel fully, you are good to use it a second – probably even a third – time before it truly needs to be washed.
Hang it on a hook on the bathroom door or hang it over the shower rod to dry completely.
Use it twice and dry it. Once it’s dry after the second time, give it a sniff test. If it still smells clean, use it a third time. If it smells musty or slightly of mildew, it’s time to wash it.
Work at Becoming More Frugal – And then Work at It More
If you have been working to save money and be frugal, you may think that it’s super easy to do and there isn’t anymore you can do.
You would be thinking incorrectly and in fact, that is one of the biggest myths about frugal living around.
There is no such thing as being too frugal and you will never learn it all.
If you learn nothing from this list of ways to save money from World War 2, learn this; in order to really be frugal, you need to work at being frugal.
And then? Work at being even more frugal.
It may seem hard to do right now, but working harder is a sure fire way to help your family. If you’re currently stuck at home and working or you’ve recently lost your job, finding new ways to work will be the only consistent way to bring an income to your family.
This may mean taking a second job or starting a home based business, or finding a side hustle to earn money from.
Doing so will give you that extra boost you need to carry your family’s budget even farther.
Work at Home Ideas Anyone Can Do
- 40+ Ways to Work from Home & Earn Free Amazon Gift Cards & Cash
- Home Business Ideas to Work from Home
I have written before about how your thoughts can keep you poor, but it’s especially true if you’re living in a situation like the whole world is facing during 2020.
If you are constantly living life with negative thoughts and actions, you will never get ahead. Those thoughts cause you to want more than you can currently afford and often act destructively rather than as motivating.
Instead, learn to be content with what you have right this second; and then use those wants and dreams as a motivator to push your self to new heights and successes.
Change how you think
Along with learning to be content with what you have comes that change of thinking I just mentioned.
Keeping your mind full of negative thoughtswwill only do your family harm.
Most folks that I have spoken with who lived through The Great Depression and the war years knew things were bad; but they did everything they could in order to stay positive.
Even when things were not all that positive for them.
See things in a new light
Here’s a secret; I hate spaghetti.
Yet I make it – and eat it – for my family. It’s cheap and filling plus once I dress it up, use gluten free pasta and get it on plates, it’s a quick and nutiritous meal for my family.
And as I’m heating my own plate of much hated spaghetti, I have learned to think of it as more than a meal I hate, but as something that allows me to feed my family good food without going broke.
If you care the same way about certain things. changing your way of thinking often opens ways to save money that you never would have seen if you had kept the same thoughts.
You might just be surprised at how many new ways to save you’ll find.
Leave credit alone
Credit is never a good idea, but it is especially a bad idea in a situation like they faced during the Great Depression and World War 2.
In a Depression, credit is an even worse idea since you do not know if or when you will be able to pay it back.
The last thing any of us want is to have creditors banging the door down while you’re already struggling.
We have talked about how the slogan of World War 2 was to use it up, but let’s take that a step farther. Waste was just not a thing during the Great Depression and the World Wars.
If you really want t take these frugal living tips from The Great Depression to heart, make a real effort to reduce the amount of waste in your home.
By reducing waste and finding new ways to use things, you avoid having to pay for more than you absolutely have to.
Part of reducing how much you’re throwing out is finding new ways to use old things. We have quite a few articles that can help you get started doing jus t that.
- 52 Uses for Fels-Naptha Soap
- 36 Things to Reuse Around Your Home
- 10 Uses for Old Towels
- 22 Uses for Sour Milk Clabber
- 39 Uses for Left Over Wrapping Paper
- 19 Uses for Apple Peels
- 40 Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
- 14 Uses for Empty Bottles
- 10 New Uses for Newspaper
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- 14 Ways to Use Empty Milk Jugs
- 52 Things to Reuse
Make Your Hobby Pay
During the Great Depression, side jobs often coincided with hobbies. Woodworkers made furniture. Gardeners sold their product.
In times of need, if you have a hobby that is useful, make it pay so you have more income to work with.
Just remember to keep your prices reasonable.
Save for Rainy Days
Even in the worst of situations, saving money for a rainy day is always your best option. Financial depressions and crisis situations don’t last forever.
Having a rainy day fund, even if it only has pennies in it, will help you to rebuild when you come out the other side.
Repair instead of buying new
The other night, I spent 3 hours unclogging a severely clogged vacuum cleaner – thanks kids. Last week, I spent an hour taking my kitchen sink apart to repair my spray hose.
Could I have gone out and bought a new vacuum or spray hose? Of course and truthfully it would have likely been easier.
But by doing the repairs myself, I saved myself at least $75.00 on the cost of a new vacuum.
We have become such a disposable society that we simply toss most things when they break just to run out and buy a new one.
But by learning to repair things for ourselves instead of buying a new one, you could easily save thousands of dollars in just a few years.
Keep What You Have Maintained
In addition to repairing the things around you repaired when they break, keeping things maintained is even more important.
This is especially important for things such as your car.
No joke. I once blew up a 1988 Honda Accord because I didn’t maintain it correctly. In my own defense, I was really young.
But things like your car, home and electronics for instance, require regular care to stay at optimal performance.
Maintaining things was incredibly important during the war years and they are just as important now.
Get Rid of Disposable Products
As the 2020 toilet paper wars rage on, have ou considered what hwill happen if you run out of other disposable items your family uses?
Things like disposable feminine pads, disposable diapers and more may all be hard to get ahold of at some point.
Making the change to reusable products now, while they’re easily accessible, is the best option for both finding them and for saving money.
There are ton of ideas for reusable products that you may decide you want to use. Others may be across the line of where you are comfortable. That is perfectly okay if something is. Even one product replaced will save you money.
Some ideas are:
- Reusable cloth menstrual pads
- Unpaper Towels
- Family Cloth
- Cloth Diapers with Reusable Diaper Covers
- Reusable Makeup Pads and Face Wipes
- Reusable Baby Wipes
- Reusable Swiffer/Mopping Pads
- Reusable Cleaning Wipes
- Wool Dryer Balls
Focus on the big picture
It can be incredibly easy to lose sight of what matters when you’re faced with a financial crisis. During The Great Depression, a lot of folks had this happen.
But, we can learn the lesson from them that losing sight of the big picture can cause financial struggles, depression and worse.
It is important to remember that any bad financial situation will not last.
Focus on the big picture – getting your family safely and securely through the situation to come out the other side in a better place – and things will go much more smoothly for you.
Keep Your Items Longer
How many times have you used something once or twice only to have it sit? Eventually you just toss it, sell it or donate.
Then, a few months down the road, you need it gain and buy another. And now that you’ve purhased something you one owned, you’ve wasted money.
The solution is pretty simple. If you suspet you will needf an item at any point in the future, keep it.
When you keep your items longer, you avoid having to repurchase it later on.
Get Creative for Fun
I’m sure we’ve all seen the photo of the kids rolling tires down the street during the Great Depression.
They were getting creative!
These days though, we get bored and our first instinct is to rent or see a movie or to go out and do something that usually costs a lot of money.
Instead of going to spend money though, why not get creative with your fun?
I’m certain you’ll think of some really great ideas if you put your mind to it.
While getting outdoors will lend itself to some creative fun, it also has other benefits that people liing during World War 2 and the Great Depression recognized.
Being outside can help you find food, grow food, be healthier and even calm the mind.
Learn to Dehydrate Food
Preserving food is a great way to help build a stockpile for an emergency and learning how to dehydrate foods is the simplest preservation method around.
Learn to Can Food
Did you grandparents have a cellar full of canning jars filed with yummy goodness? There is a reason for that. Canning is another easy method to preserve the harvest and the finish product lasts for years.
Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be a pro and it’s no longer as intimidating.
Learn to Preserve Food in Other Ways
Canning and dehydrating aren’t the only ways to preserve foods,. There are options such as pickling, cold root cellar storage and more.
Learning these different methods gives you more options for preserving food in your own home.
Learn to Hunt
Hunting is a great way to provide food for your family and the cost is generally low.
Deer, rabbits and squirrel all make great family meals if your family will eat wild game. In fact, one of my favorite wild game recipes is this slow cooker venison roast recipe.
Learn to Fish
Not too long ago, Steve and I went fishing for 10 days in a row. Why? Because it’s a great way to fill your freezer with fresh meat.
We fisherd for 10 days and spent far less per meal than we would have at the store for fresh fish. In fact, I was even shocked at how low our meal cost was.
So if you have the necessary fishing supplies, grab your poles and head out to your nearest lake.
Use Food Scraps
Food scraps can be a huge boost to your grocery savings. Not only can you regrow them but you can often make different things from them.
If you want to save money like they did during World War 2, learn to use food scraps as effectively as possible.
Finally, be grateful for what you have. You may not have everything you want just yet, but you’re well on your way to having it.
If you can learn to be content and grateful with what you have, it will strengthen your family and home.
And that will help you make it through anything.