Fruitful Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

Ankita Kamat

Frugal living tips from the great depression teach you the hacks of surviving life. I’m practicing frugal living since my school days. And I have a keen interest to learn more about frugality.

Now in my 20s, I’m experimenting with new frugal tips to make my life better. Recently I’ve started to do a little bit of research about frugal living tips from the great depression. As I started to analyze that phase of depression, I’ve got the resourceful practices.

I found that there are so many inspiring stories to learn from them. Now as we are witnessing COVID-19 pandemic, I feel that one should adopt these frugal living tips from the great depression to overcome today’s critical time.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

23 Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression that TEACH YOU A LOT

It’s so difficult to imagine the phase of the great depression. I get scared that what if history repeats itself. Well, our great grandparents survived such difficult times and set an example for all of us.

So let’s follow these frugal living tips from the great depression. This helps you to live your life to the fullest without spending more money.

1. Follow impactful health tips at home to avoid paying hospital bills

Well, health is the greatest wealth. People in the 1930s used to take care of their health at home. They were following holistic home remedies whenever necessary.

So you can also follow daily exercise, yoga, cardio or even dancing at home. Also, try mediation for mindful living. You don’t need to pay money at the gym to be healthy. Follow a disciplined lifestyle at home that helps you to stay healthy.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

2. Follow DIY hacks and be more resourceful

All thanks to such life hacks that helped people to face the great depression era and they survived it. From homemade gifts to plumbing work you can try these things at home. You can easily make homemade gifts during festival seasons. This will help you to celebrate festivities without spending more money.

By watching YouTube videos for free you can easily learn life hacks like repairing your TV box, freezer, plumbing work and much more.  By this, you will save more dollars and become more independent in life.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

3. No need to spend on fancy food and outside food

Keep your meals simple and healthy. During the great depression, the situation was worst. People were not even having minimum food to satisfy their hunger, forget about the fancy food.

Now in 2020 due to COVID-19, we are already suffering a lot. Try to avoid preparing daily dessert or side dishes that will cost you extra. And also avoid eating outside food. Especially teenagers should inculcate frugal food habits.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

4. Take a walk or jolly ride on a bicycle instead of plunking down your money on fuel

Nowadays riding a fancy vehicle is trending. But if you calculate your expenses you will realize that you are spending money on fuel, servicing of a vehicle, insurance etc.

I feel that as people used to walk more and were riding a bicycle in the past, now again you should adopt this simple living. This saves money and also saves the environment from pollution.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

5. Repurpose your old t-shirts and jeans to make fancy things

You don’t need to throw out your old clothes. People who suffered from the great depression era started to know the value of everything. They started to make rugs at home from their old t-shirts.

We should implement such practical frugal tips in the current situation also. So you can also repurpose your old jeans to make storage bags or grocery bags.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

6. Get grounded in the numbers and stop buying multiples of everything

I’ve come to know that the people used to avoid multiple things at home. They were using a single phone at home along with a shared network with neighbors. But now we are living in the times where we can find 2 cellphones in a single pocket!

To face the rainy days you should follow minimalism. Avoid having extra things like more pairs of shoes, hair drier etc. Even I’ve seen that some people have 2 TV sets, one in the bedroom and another in the living room. All these extra things mean extra expenses.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

7. Seek FREE entertainment

The people who survived the great depression era were not spending money on entertainment. Frugality has so many amazing benefits. So why should you pay for entertainment when you are getting free entertainment?

Due to the easy accessibility to the internet, you can enjoy free entertainment. So check out free videos on YouTube and also get free ebooks online. Also, you can download free gaming apps and enjoy playing them. But don’t overindulge in these entertainments.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

8. Know how to have more fun during the holidays by SPENDING LESS

I’ve analyzed that in the past people were spending more time with their families during vacations. They used to play indoor games. But nowadays it looks like spending money is compulsory during the holidays.

But in reality, one can have a lot of fun during vacation without spending more money. So instead of planning an expensive trip with your friends, you can spend quality time with your family.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

9. Look for the best BORROWING OPTIONS rather than paying for a new product

In the 1930s people stood for each other and survived the great depression. People used to borrow things from a neighbor. They could not afford to buy any new things at that time. So here we can learn the great quality of humanity.

So when we help each other we can overcome any type of economic depression. So if you need anything then first you can check any borrowing options instead of buying the things. You can take help of your friends or relatives to borrow needy things.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

10. Repair instead of paying for replacing with a new one

Nowadays within a few seconds, you can grab your smartphone and order new products online. But what I’ve found that fixing the things and repairing them not only save money but also helped our great grandparents to survive the financial losses.

You can imagine how little actions help you to save more money. So instead of ordering a new pair of clothes online first go for mending.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

11. SAVE EXTRA MONEY on utilities 

Everyone knows that one should save money on utilities. By taking simple actions in day-to-day life like switching off the light while leaving the room, turning off the charger once the mobile battery if full. But still, most of the people ignore these things.

Here one should understand that the money saved is money earnt. So start practicing these simple frugal tips.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

12. Replace meat with CHEAPER and HEALTHY food choices

Meat is costlier than veg food. So instead of having daily meat, you can have meat only once or twice a week. In the remaining daily you can try healthy veg recipes.

In veg food also there are many groceries like soya chunks that are rich in proteins. These food items are less costlier. So add such food ingredients in your daily menu to save money on food.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

13. Enjoy plantation and grow food at home WITHOUT ANY EXPENSE

Since childhood, I’ve some thoughts like growing greengrocers at home. When I was a kid I planted coriander for the first time and that was a happy moment for me. Then slowly I’ve realized that growing greengrocers at home save a lot of money on veggies.

Now I’ve some more edible plants at my home like mint, curry leaves, Malabar spinach etc. This is how you can also easily save up to 30% of your money on greengrocer. Even during the great depression times growing own kitchen garden was trending as it was a necessity.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

14. Be curious about recycling old products to save a dollar

Recycle is one of the best steps in frugality. And as I was curious to know more survival stories from the great depression, I found that people used to opt for recycling. People were using old papers and magazines to make crafts.

They were preparing mops from an old scrap of clothes. As a youngster, I feel that even if you are having more resources with you today then also you should explore frugal tips. Frugal living can not be adopted in a single day. It is an art of living. So make sure you will be ready to face the days when it becomes rainy.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

15. Know the value of a drop and a pinch, don’t waste anything

During the great depression time, people were not even wasting a single drop. They were using even the feathers of a chicken to make something like rugs. And they were not throwing bones of meat. They were making soup of it.

This was all about economic living. I feel that now also youngsters should learn to live economically like the people used to live during those days. So try not to waste anything from now onwards.

16. Practice innovation and prepare cleaning products at your home with fewer resources

I found that people made their lifestyle so simple during the time of the great depression. They were not even spending money on cleaning products.

They were preparing their own cleaning products kit. They were using baking soda, vinegar to prepare the sanitizer spray. So you can also try all these things at home. There are many cleaning hacks are available on YouTube. So watch those and try them out.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

17. Adapt to the barter system wherever possible

A barter system is the oldest system. But in the 1930s people again started to follow the barter system even though money was in circulation as there was a great depression.

Now in 2020 as COVID-19 hitting hard to the economy people are once again opting for the barter system. You can just use social media to exchange goods with people. Even you can exchange goods with your friends, neighbors and relatives.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

18. Know easy tips to preserve food at home WITHOUT A COSTLY REFRIGERATOR

During the great depression of all people could not afford a refrigerator and they were also saving money on electricity. So they were following smart techniques to preserve food. Even I’ve come across some old smart techniques to preserve food during this lockdown 2020 due to COVID-19.

So you should also try all such techniques to preserve food for a longer time. Even I’m curious to learn some new techniques to learn from you. So drop in the comment section about the food preserving techniques that you follow at your home.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

19. Figure out side hustles to make extra income

Nowadays you have so many passive income opportunities.  But in the past people lost their jobs in the great depression era. The challenge was not about how to live frugally with one income. In fact, the challenge was how to live frugally without any income.

So to get at least some income people started to rent out the part of their houses like one room or one corner.These types of frugal tips are very effective still today. And now you can use the internet to rent out the things and crack good deals.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

20. Try out layered clothing in the cold climate to save money on the costly room heater

Instead of using room heaters people were using layered clothing in the cold climate. Their main motive was to save every single dollar from here and there to survive the great depression.

You can also realize that how simplified life helped them to overcome those days. And again the economical conditions of an individual comes to normal after decades of years. So you can also follow this type of frugality to reach a better financial place in the near future.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

21. Use the things which nature gives you for FREE

Air, sunlight all these things are available for you for free. All these things are very valuable which nature is providing you. So use those things instead of paying for such things.

In the past, people used to dry the clothes under sunlight instead of using a dryer. And instead of using AC or fan, they used to breathe in the natural air. Well, I’m not against comforts, but you should use all these technologies less. Natural things are always better and they are free.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

22. Know which type of kitchen tools help you to save money

Manual kitchen tools were part of the cooking in old times. Now you may easily get electronic kitchen equipment, but the manual kitten tools save more money.

You can try a vegetable cutter or chopper instead of using electronic equipment. You can use a wooden coconut scrapper instead of using a grinding machine. All these frugal tips are easy to implement even today if you are ready to adopt frugality.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

23. Go for fishing in your weekends to have a fresh fish without paying for it

As people lost their jobs they were not even having money to buy food. People started to do fishing for food. This was a life skill that helped them to survive.

During your weekend try fishing and enjoy weekends. This will be fun and you will save money on meat along with learning a life hack. In some counties, you should take a license to go fishing by paying reasonable charges. So check which type of rules you should follow for fishing in your county and enjoy it.

Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression

The Second Great Depression is Starting- BE PREPARED for 2020

You can learn so many things from the survival stories of the great depression era. A huge salute to those people who survived those phases by adopting frugality.

Now again due to COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 you and I witnessing economical changes. Many people are losing their jobs. People are struggling to pay monthly house rent. So this is the call that we should start to live frugally from now.

Frugal living tips from the great depression are the life lessons. One should not forget these frugal living tips which helped our great-grandparents to overcome hard times. So start to live frugally. I say- the right time is now, start now.

Ankita Kamat

I'm Ankita Kamat, the creator of Frugal Beat, a blog dedicated to frugal living. Join me in exploring practical ways to save money, reduce waste and live a purposeful life. Let's embrace frugality as a lifestyle together.