Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression – EP 301

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Ready to learn some money-saving tricks that stood the test of time? Look no further than the frugal living tips from the Great Depression. We don’t have to live in the great depression or go through great extremes to be frugal, but the principles from the generations before us can greatly help us in these trying times. Hop in as we bring back some awesome and helpful frugal tips from the great depression!

Frugality’s purpose is more than financial practices. It’s about what it gets you and being able to afford more of what money can’t buy.


  • Google searching. Did you know that when you type “Frugal” into Google, #rhymes, “Frugal Living Tips From The Great Depression” is one of the top searches that comes up? Try it. We’re not cool with that. We don’t think you have to live like you’re in the great depression to be frugal! Don’t believe us? We have 300 episodes trying to convince you. BUT you don’t have to listen to any of them if you head to our YouTube channel and watch just Season 1 of Debt Free Stories. We’ve got 10 interviews with listeners just like you who’ve taken the principles we talk about on the show and used them to pay off over $800,000 of debt combined. Head to to be inspired to make the most of frugality without all the depression.

7 Best Money Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

The great depression did challenge many to create financial solutions that we can still learn from. Everything Abode presented 7 money lessons that were said to have been learned from the Great Depression. 

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jill reminds everyone that we have the power of the internet to look up anything and learn from scratch with ease! This will also help with value budgeting such as creating a spending plan, knowing where your money moves and goes, diversifying your budget, creating different investment and banking accounts, and spending less than you earn. 

Meanwhile, Jen reminds us that being frugal is more than financial practices; it’s about what the financial practices get you–it’s about being able to afford more of what money can’t buy. Value saving up for retirement and keeping emergency funds. Lastly, there is a great lesson that we got from the great depression that for sure we’ve forgotten: eat at home.

8 Money-Saving Frugality Tips From the Great Depression Era

Money Crashers prepared 8 helpful frugality tips from the Great Depression Era that we may have forgotten today. The lessons this era has taught us are still as timely as ever. 

What Jen + Jill have to say:

In all caps, Jill yells, “USE WHAT YOU HAVE,” This includes exploring substitutions in cooking, cooking, and just anything we already have and still need. Try researching for depression-era recipes, which may sound a little odd, but these are often made with inexpensive ingredients and just maximize the plethora of resources you already have. Many do not require meat or any animal product in their recipe. Start making your own cleaning products, beauty products, kombucha, canned food, and more! Be creative! 

Jen hates food waste, and one tip she would significantly agree with is avoiding food waste. Try repurposing leftovers or extra food you couldn’t finish during lunch. You can also use less electricity by turning the lights off during the daytime, opening the window instead of the AC, or simply going outside! While doing so, don’t forget to focus on one main task! 

What "depression era" tricks did your parents or grandparents teach you that you're still doing today?

Jill learned a lot from Gimba, her grandmother, that she still proudly does today, such as keeping and reusing tissue paper for gifts, sewing/mending, and buying second-hand.

While Jen’s grandma did not come from the depression era, she acquired this trick wherein she has a gift bag cabinet or her packet drawer where there are a ton of gift bags, tissue paper, and blank cards where she could reuse them. 

Bill of The Week

Thank you Kim for sharing your bill about a 6% raise you got and how you are utilizing it to send your doggie to obedience school

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening! Many of you know we have a private community where we do monthly money challenges and offer accountability groups. We want to congratulate one of our members for a big win:

I was in bed and picked up my phone to mindlessly scroll.

I saw an ad for a face product that caught my attention. I got as far as the check-out process before I caught myself and deleted my cart. I decided then and there that

I will no longer make any online purchases without being fully awake (out of bed), and checking in with my spending plan first. This is a big step in cutting back on impulse purchases!

Congrats! Thanks for listening and if you want to check out our monthly challenge community head to to see what challenge we have coming up next.

Keep leaving us reviews on iTunes or Stitcher, and sending the screenshot to And don’t forget to share your favorite quote from the episode by using the hashtag #FrugalFriendsNote. 😉

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