One of the most popular adages to come out of the Great Depression, that is still good advice, is the saying “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do or Do Without”.
Getting through the Great Depression involved a lot of factors, but much of it had to do with attitude and know-how. Survival during that time often came down to the kitchen. How the housewife spent any hard earned money, where she shopped and what she made was very important to her family and their health.
But her attitude was too. Many first hand accounts I have read about children that survived the Great Depression said that they never realized they were so poor because they had everything they needed. Their parents presented the Great Depression more as a challenge to be overcome than a time of utter lack.
“Making do” didn’t necessarily mean that you had to go without. It meant putting a new and different spin on what you had. People still celebrated and shared good food with each other, but it often was in the form of a potluck or community meal where everyone brought what they had instead of a formal dinner party. Also, the famous cocktail party came out of the Great Depression era as Prohibition ended in 1933.
Here are some wonderful food and money saving tips gleaned from the Great Depression!
- Make as much of your food as you can from scratch. This keeps cost down from buying pre-packaged foods.
- Shop the sales and markdowns at your local grocery store.
- Learn how to can and preserve your own food.
- Buy cheaper cuts of meat.
- Learn how to replace or swap some foods for others in a recipe like cornstarch for an egg in baking. Substitute one ingredient for another.
- Soups can go a long, long way!
- Buy in bulk when you can.
- Stretch and eat your leftovers. Cut down on food waste.
- Learn how to forage for what grows well in your area.
- Go fishing or hunting.
- Make desserts a treat again by serving them only two or three times a week.
- Pack or make your own lunch.
- Grow your own food in a garden.
- Barter with your neighbors or swap produce.