Monday, June 14, 2010

Frugal Tips from the Great Depression

My grandma lived through this period as a young housewife with several kids to support. By the time I came along, some thirty or forty years later, she was still doing some of the things that had kept her going through that period, including:

*Don't throw any scrap of fabric away. If you can't repair the clothing, cut out the less-worn areas, and make quilts. (Or braid or crochet rugs.)

*Grow a big garden. Now can and freeze everything possible from it. (I never saw Grandma dry veggies or fruit, though it's helpful to know -- and do.) 

*Pick it yourself. (I remember Grandma picking blueberries into her apron, looking like a German peasant. I was picking berries, too -- straight into my mouth!) Make friends with the farmer, and glean fruit, potatoes and such when the regular work is done. Or go to a pick-your-own place.

*Sell some of your extra for cash money. Grandma would get up early and take garden produce, as well as eggs from her flourishing henyard, and go to her stand at a farmer's market in Grand Rapids. People vied for her stuff, including bouquets of Queen Anne's Lace and chicory that she harvested from the ditches and fields around her place.

Grandma died in 1972 -- I miss her. But I still use many of her precepts today.

Here's another grandmother's tips, learned well from hard times.

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