20 Best Frugal Living Tips From the Great Depression

by Simplify

Jennifer Cook loves to talk about frugal living and minimalism. And today, she’s sharing the best frugal living tips from the Great Depression. They’re so good, your grandparents would be proud of you for using them.

In fact, these frugal tips from the Great Depression have been specifically curated to help others like you live frugally now so that you can become financially free as soon as possible. Jennifer says implementing these frugal living habits even helped her get out of debt and work towards her ultimate goal of paying off her mortgage early.

Starting out her list of tips from the Great Depression is reusing aluminum foil. Next, is eating what’s on your plate or not eating at all. Then, turning off the lights when you’re not using them.

Turning off the lights when you're not using them

Other frugal living tips we can learn from our grandparents include cutting coupons, reusing glass jars for storage purposes, fixing items before replacing them, and always paying with cash. Additionally, you should keep a jar for loose change, reuse newspapers for cleaning mirrors or placing in the cat litter, mend clothes, use old toothbrushes for cleaning, pick up coins, and cook from scratch.

More ideas for frugal living we can learn from our grandparents include having yard sales, shopping with a grocery list, having a garden, maintaining items you own, and washing clothes less often.

Line drying clothes and only buying what you need are the last frugal living tips from the Great Depression Jennifer shares. However, she does say a bonus frugal living tip is to wear an apron because it stops you from ruining clothes with grease stains and food splatters.

Frugal living tips from the Great Depression

When it comes to using frugal living tips from the Great Depression, just keep your financial goals in mind, and these frugal living habits will come easily.

For more frugal living stories, discover this simple grocery hack that prevents food waste and these 10 zero-waste and sustainability tricks that can save you money.

To see more videos, check out the Jennifer Cook YouTube channel.

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4 of 18 comments
  • Skshort Skshort on Dec 01, 2022

    At 75, I still do all of the things you mentioned in this video, except I don't have a clothes line and desperately want one. I too loved the clean fresh smell of line-dried sheets and clothing. One that my mom always did was to save the little pieces of bath soap and put them all together into a jar for future use. I do the same, but use a net bag like you wash dainties in and hang it in the shower. That works well for me. Keep up the good work!

    • See 1 previous
    • Diane Diane on Dec 26, 2022

      I have this Brabantia clothesline and I love it! I throw washed pillows on top. It can be taken out of the ground and stored.


  • Jon65181666 Jon65181666 on Dec 07, 2022

    I'm 59 but learned all those from my grandmother who became a widow during the depression with a 4 year old. She kept those habits for the remainder of her life. She walked everywhere and lived very frugal.