Tips and tricks that were used to help families survive the great depression can certainly be useful during today’s economic crisis. They might need a little . . .updating but I feel there is something to learn from how people sacrificed and came together to help each other.
Growing your own food: This is an obvious one. People back then, grew their own food, traded and sold it to friends and neighbors, much like a co-op. A lot of people still do this today. Even if you don’t have the property for crops or the room in your yard for a full garden, there are things you can do help reduce what you do pay for at the grocery store.
Container gardening: Plant an herb arranged, stacked, and placed together in a sunny corner. Save space by growing plants in tipsy pots.
Food storage: When fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak, check your area for a farm and get the bushel price. When the strawberry stands start popping up, stock up and freeze or can for future use. When green beans go dirt cheap buy a ton, just wash and freeze. Corn on the cob freezes wonderfully in brown paper bags with the husks left on.
Wholesale shopping: Want to get the case price for ground beef but can’t handle 80 lbs. at one time? Find a few of friends and split it. While your at it go ahead and get the case price on chicken breasts. Maybe buy the great big bag of potatoes and split it with a friend. Not all things are cheaper when purchased in bulk so be sure to use your head and pay attention.
Stretching meals: Here’s a big one, we all should be doing. Think side dishes; add a salad to the meal even if you have a vegetable already. When you serve tacos, make rice, bean, and salad to go with. You’ll be surprised at the amount of leftover taco meat you’ll have that can be rolled over into another meal, or will allow you to start cooking less because you don’t need to cook so much meat to feed everyone.
Repair or re-purpose it: Don’t throw it out and buy a new one just because it broke. Whatever the item might be try to see if it can be repaired reasonably or re purposed for another use. For example old clothes can be turned into cleaning rags, or possible saved to make other items, like making pillows or blankets from all those sweatshirts and t/shirts you’ve been collecting from events.
Use the public library: How to books for everything you ever imagined. Get lost in a good book instead of paying to go out to the movies. You can also rent books and audio books digitally to your devices. Dvd’s can also be check out from the library. Start a book or movie swap with your friends.
Necessity vs. want: Here’s a good rule of thumb, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. There is nothing wrong with going without for a few weeks to help stretch the family budget and pay down debt or work towards an actual family need. And I’m speaking about those new shoes, or the new movie that just came out you want to go see.
Don’t waste anything!
What are your favorite tips for surviving tough economic times?
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