budget · debt · finances · frugal · homemade

Five Lessons from the Depression Era

I became truly intrigued with what happened during the Great Depression after watching a YouTube channel called: Great Depression Cooking. Clara, the host of the videos, shows her audience meals that she ate to make ends meet. She also shares her stories of how life was during those trying times.

After doing some more research on the Great Depression I realized that there are a lot of life lessons that we can still learn from. The Great Depression was a time in our history where people had to pull up their bootstraps and really become frugal. They didn’t really have much of a choice. Unemployment was high, if you were lucky enough to have a job your wages were cut and some people lost all of their money in the stock market. These were some rough years for many people not just in the U.S., but worldwide.

Below I’ve listed some lessons that are still relevant today:

Use what you have

 Instead of running out to the store, you should always something at home that you can use. Need butter for a recipe, but only have applesauce? You can use that! If I’m out of an ingredient I typically search for substitutes and most of the time I save myself a trip to the grocery store.

Have a rainy day fund

We all know when it rains, that it pours. The rain doesn’t bother you so much when you are under an umbrella though, right? Think about the rainy day fund as your umbrella. Be financially prepared for these rainy days because we never know when they could happen. I mean it was just a few years ago when we went through a recession. This was a tough time for a lot of people because they just weren’t ready for that kind of economic turmoil.

Grow your own food

This is one of the things that I am most looking forward to when I buy a home and have the space. I would love to grow my own fruits, vegetables and herbs. To watch the seeds that I planted grow into something that will nourish my body makes me happy. It’s the little things! Plus, think about how much money you could save by doing this.

Learn to fix things on your own

I’ve become one of those people that will Google, search for a YouTube tutorial or a helpful pin on Pinterest first. It feels better to know that you fixed something with your own two hands than having to pay someone to do it for you. Of course there are some things that are out of my area of expertise (car repairs, anyone?), but if it’s something simple enough I will give it a try. It helps to save money and I’m learning something new.

Cooking from scratch

Not only is this a huge cost savings, it really makes you appreciate that home cooked meal even more knowing you put so much effort into it. Plus, the more conscious I have become over the years about what’s in our food the more I would rather make certain foods from scratch. I love baking a big batch of homemade granola on the weekends, using veggie scraps to make a vegetable broth, baking a loaf of bread (although I’m still trying to find the perfect recipe), and peanut butter energy bites.


Have you incorporated any of these lessons in your current day-to-day?


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