Depression tips

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Many homemade cleaners work just as well as storebought but cost a fraction. Diluting white vinegar in a spray bottle is a healthy produce wash and general cleaner. Considering that a bottle of eco-friendly store-bought cleaner can be over $5 a bottle, you can make MANY bottles of cleaner using a $1 gallon jug of white vinegar.

  • For bathroom tile, sprinkle baking soda and then spritz with the vinegar spray for some foaming action.
  • Keep the modern convenience of dishwasher tablets with an easy DIY recipe.
  • Making your own products can be expanded to outdoor use. This 3-ingredient cleaner is a natural way to kill weeds without all the potentially harmful chemicals.

Repair Damaged Items

In our grandparent’s upbringing, if something broke or wore out, you’d find a way to fix it. Items were built for quality and fast fashion wasn’t even an idea. If your chair broke, you’d fix it. Clothing would be mended and patches added. Learning to sew and general this time. One of my favorite garage sale finds old cast iron. Typically the pans are neglected and rusty. With a little TLC, the cast iron is easily brought back to its former glory. Since they were “ugly” and rusted, you can usually negotiate the price down.

Complete Tasks Yourself

Instead of hiring out, learn how to do tasks around the house for yourself such as painting and other maintenance tasks. Sources such as YouTube are great to learn how to fix a leaking sink or change your car’s burnt-out headlight. Many of the tasks we outsource can be done by us with only a little bit of forethought.

Save On Utilities

It’s no secret that turning off a light when you leave a room and not leaving water running saves money. Perhaps start thinking even more frugally. In the Depression Era, single household laundry rooms with washers and dryers were only a dream. Your options were washboard or be dirty. Drying clothes was done outside in the sun or indoors during bad weather. I’m not suggesting we abandon our electric washers, only pointing out that d our clothes quickly is optional. During nice weather, instead of running your dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry. Here are guides for building your own clothesline and repurposing an old pair of khakis into a clothespin bag.

Make Your Gifts

Who doesn’t love a homemade gift? I’m not talking about macaroni picture frames. Although if that’s your thing, go for it. Today’s society is very . So much so that has lost some of its specialness. Items are mass-produced and available for purchase 24 hrs a day. Homemade gifts are the way to go if you want to save money gift giving. Handmade gifts are also more special since the gift giver spent their time creating it. Some popular gift suggestions are to make your own soaps and jellies.

Don’t Waste

Purposefully wasting something was unheard up in our grandparent’s time. Take a page from their book and reduce your waste. Before you’re about to throw something away, think of whether the items can be used in a different way instead of filling up a landfill.

  • Make sure to use all of a product up before tossing it. This tool is perfect for getting every last bit.
  • Use less product than you think you need. Often times, your hair would be equally as clean had you used half the amount of shampoo.
  • Vegetable scraps can be saved for making broth.
  • Table scraps can be composted or vermicomposted.
  • Extra produce/herbs can be saved and stored for later use.

Purchase Reusable Products

Why waste your money on an item you’re going to throw away? Instead, invest in cloth napkins for mealtime and washable rags for cleaning tasks around the house. This easy to make linen bread bag prevents your fresh loaves from going moldy. Reusable grocery and produce bags keep you from having to use plastic bags the store. Another plus is that reusable items are great for the environment.

Opt For Free Entertainment

Every weekend doesn’t need to be filled with expensive outings.  Some budget-friendly options include hiking, bird watching, visiting the beach or lake, board games, and local festivals. Chances are, your friends are ALSO looking for fun things to do that don’t cost money. It’s a great way to take advantage of what your local community has to offer. Related: For free (or super cheap) date night ideas, check out this list.

Determine If You Need It

Is this a fleeting want or something you can’t do without? Do you want it because you NEED it or is it because someone you know has the item? In the Depression Era, they didn’t buy new clothes as a source of entertainment. They bought new clothes because the old ones were so worn out they couldn’t be mended any more. Training yourself to reflect upon the reasons WHY you want an item, is a way to make your spending more conscious. It’s easier to say no this way as well. Saying “no” allows you to live within your means and not rack up debt. Nothing is further from your frugal grandparents than debt. They paid for things in cash. If they didn’t have the cash, then they didn’t get the item.

Repurpose And Upcycle Items

Every person produces an estimated 4.4 lbs of solid waste EVERY DAY! Instead of tossing something away, it may be easily repurposed for something else. There are some very creative ideas out there and you’re limited only by your imagination.

  • Instead of buying new furniture, try to reupholster it yourself. Dining room chairs are an easy starter project with now sewing involved.
  • If you have a lot of t-shirts lying around, they could be cut into strips and made into a unique area rug. Thrift stores and flea markets are the perfect locations to find items that can be good as new with a little care.