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Thread: 12 Frugal Lessons From The Great Depression

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default 12 Frugal Lessons From The Great Depression

    Gaye Levy
    March 15 2016

    During the Great Depression, frugality was considered a virtue and the phrase “Use it up, Wear it out and Make it do” was the guiding principle in most households. Times were tough. This meant that everything from bits of strings to worn out clothing was saved and re-purposed in some other manner. Not only that, but every last bit of food from a can or bottle was swished out with a bit of water and used to flavor a soup or stew. Printed chicken feed sacks became skirts and flour sacks became underwear. Nothing was wasted.

    Read more: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/03/...epression.html

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 Frugal Lessons From The Great Depression

    These lessons in frugality seem so obvious to me. Perhaps this is because the family that had a major part in my upbringing were older people who were young adults during the 1930s, and who had endured their own upbringing in lower income families. Perhaps this is why I never have fit in with others of my own generation who were brought up to squander.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 Frugal Lessons From The Great Depression

    This is a topic close to my heart. I was brought up in a frugal household. I could write the book on frugality! I've lived by that rhyme (the author omitted the last line): "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Maybe she couldn't bear the thought of doing without something?

    Honestly, I am appalled when I look around at the lavish lifestyle of others. I've met women with closets so full of clothes that they could wear a different outfit to work every day for a month. A month! And women who get rid of articles of clothing if they haven't worn them for a year. Why buy it in the first place if you don't care for it enough to wear it occasionally? I never had an income so high that I could wantonly discard an article of clothing — especially if it's no longer "stylish." When I do shop, I buy classic clothes (often from secondhand shops like Goodwill) that will be stylish forever, like Oxford shirts and basic sweatshirts. I have a modest collection of silk shirts, long- and short-sleeved, picked up for $5 each. Yes, they have to be hand-washed and ironed, and I take pleasure in keeping my silk shirts pretty. Anything past all use was torn into rags. Hard to believe people actually buy rags!

    We were brought up to save for a major purchase; my family never bought anything on "credit." I think I had a savings account opened for me the day I was born. When I was old enough to be given an allowance, half of it (25¢) went into the bank. The same was true when I began my first job at the age of 12, stoop labor on a truck farm at 75¢/hour, wretched pay even back then. The savings account was my college fund, but once I was working, 10% of my paycheck was immediately deposited in savings. My first, second, third and possibly 4th cars were $300 VW Beetles. For much of my life I was the last owner of any car I owned...but I never made a car payment.

    Sure, I've had a credit card all my adult life. Never bought more than I could afford, paid the balance every month. Why accrue high interest for something you might have waited for, or simply could not afford? Gotta be realistic! And don't even get me started on food! I've no sympathy for people who live beyond their means, eat out or order in, never cook a meal. Too tired after work? Sorry, that won't fly. I've worked all my life, came home and cooked a meal for my family. Good grief, we had no spare change to throw away on a restaurant meal. My husband took me out to eat on Mother's Day and I felt guilty that what we spent on two simple entrées could have fed the family for a week.

    Well, I did say I could write a book! I'll stop now. I have a pair of jeans that needs patching.
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: 12 Frugal Lessons From The Great Depression

    I'm with you on this, as most of my childhood was spent in London during WW2.. We had no choice but to be frugal, and the habit continues. Though there are probably things I take for granted now that would have been luxuries then, like being able to buy as much food as I want. Rationing took care of that, as well as having little money. The only money I ever owed was a mortgage, which I finally paid off.

    I've never had a credit card, as I can use my debit card online if I can't pay with PayPal. I wonder about my granddaughter, who has always had everything she wanted, as soon as she wanted it. I think it will be hard for her to cope if things go sideways. I watched a TV show some time ago, where a family in the UK had to live a 1940's life, complete with rationing - it was very realistic. My DIL's reaction was "I can't imagine going to a shop and not getting everything I wanted". The adults found it hard, but the kids were OK with it. I have to say, frugal as I am, I wouldn't want to go through that again as an adult!

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