20 Tips From Grandma to Survive A Depression

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Today, I have 20 tips from grandma to survive a depression. We need to be ready, my friends. Have you ever sat down with your grandparents and listened to their story on how they survived the ‘Great Depression?’

If you have, you’ve probably learned many ways of coping if a certain financial catastrophe were to happen again.

Maybe you don’t have family surviving that went through tough times and no knowledge on even knowing where to start. Here are 20 tips from grandma to survive a depression. She would share these tips with you on how her family survived the darkest of times. 

Survive A Depression

1. Use Every Resource

Our grandparents that survived the depression found ways of using every resource available. Today, when an old pair of sneakers are worn out, we think nothing of it and throw them out.

During an economic collapse, you might not have that option. You may find yourself preserving resources by repairing them, instead of buying new. 

2. Steer Clear from Debt

Those that went through the recession would advise you to stay out of debt. If you are already in over your head in debt, get out as quickly as you can. While the banks currently might be more lenient, when the economy takes a hit, they’ll be less forgiving.  

3. Start Saving Now

Having money tucked away in an emergency for an extended amount of time will be huge. Start saving any money that you can now so you’re better prepared when a crisis hits. 

4. Learn to Improvise 

During the ‘Great Depression,’ many Americans had to learn how to adapt; and quickly I might add. You can’t keep pretending life is going to run the same or as smoothly as it once did. Being able to improvise any way you can be huge for your success story during tough times. 

5. Build a Community

Don’t try and do things on your own when the whole world comes crashing down. If you don’t have people in your life that can pick you up and get you back on your feet, it’s time to break out of your bubble and get a move on.

Having a community of family and friends that share a common goal of encouraging and helping others will have a huge impact on morale.  You will need family members to help you make it through a depression era.

Read More of My Articles  Shortages: Are They Similar to the Great Depression?

6. Go to Wherever the Opportunity is

When the collapse happened, people were willing to travel to wherever the opportunity was. This goes along with improvising that was mentioned earlier.

If you’ve lost your job and can’t afford your home, and you hear there’s work in Chattanooga, then, by George, you better be willing to go. 

7. Different Sources of Income

Depending on one source of income during economic uncertainty might not be enough. Americans had to take on several part-time jobs to keep food on the table. 

8. Know Survival Skills 

You can’t rely on a trade smith during a collapse. You also won’t be able to rely solely on the supermarkets providing meat on your table.

Learn how to fix your own clothing by sewing and putting the meat back on the menu through hunting. Learn basic survival skills

9. Learn to Barter 

When the money’s gone, you’ll have to turn to your possessions to barter. If you have valuable basic necessities that people need to survive, that’s a huge bargaining chip that’s in your favor. 

10. Waste Nothing

Have you noticed that grandma and grandpa hardly waste anything? They learned how to do without, so when they had a little of something, they made sure to put it to good use. 

11. Stretch you Meals

A secret to stretch out your meals is by adding cheap protein to your diet. Eggs, beans, and rice are cheap solutions that you can add to your meals to make them more filling. You can even preserve dozens of meals to have just in case we end up living through the Great Depression again.

12. Stock up on Supplies

Have you noticed how grandma has a stockpile of toothpaste or toilet paper? She does this for good reason. Stocking up on supplies while there’s a good deal will help you be better prepared for a crisis, and not having to do without. 

13. Supplement Your Diet through Gardening

Having a garden through an economy-dry spell will go a long way in providing another source for getting your next meal.  Farm work has always been a way of life, even for our great grandparents. We may need to rely on that way of life again.

14. Preserve your Food

Preserving food through canning is something that is dying out today. With the right preservatives and canning supplies, build stock for your family to fall back on when purchasing canned goods at the grocery store is no longer an option. 

Read More of My Articles  Prepping for Beginners: A Guide to Get You Started

15. Search for Different Methods of Transportation 

Gasoline might become too expensive or hard to come by during a collapse. Being able to take your bike to work might be the only way you can afford getting there. 

16. Everyone in the Family Worked 

The ‘Great Depression’ was not friendly on who was affected. It put young and old alike to work. That means kids found ways of making money to help support their families, and the old did not get to retire. They simply worked until they were not able. 

17. Keeping Your Dignity in Lowly Jobs

People also kept their dignity by working the jobs that nobody would want to do. They didn’t care about what others thought of them in their occupation.

That might mean swallowing your pride and working at a fast-food restaurant or getting dirty picking up trash. There is no right or wrong way to earn money, in my opinion.

18. Enjoy a Simple Life

The men and women of the 1930s that survived the economic collapse, were given a new perspective on life. People learned how to enjoy life even when they had to go without. 

19. Keep Morale High

Many lives tragically ended when things got too hard for many. You have to find ways of keeping each other’s morale high in any way you can. 

20. Remember to Live

If a crisis like an economic collapse were to happen again, it would be hard not putting all your worries and effort into simply surviving day-to-day. Somehow, through it all, you would have to find and remember how to live.

Laughing, crying, dancing with your spouse or playing with your children can never be taken from you. Only if you allow it. Just because the value of the dollar has died,  doesn’t mean that your family’s lives should die with it.  

Final Word

These are 20 tips that grandma would share with you for you to cope with an economic collapse. These survival tips worked during The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl and they will work again.

What other bits of advice would she share for those willing to listen? Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

Paper Towels vs Hand Towels by Linda

Hand Towel Diapers

Copyright Image: Depositphotos_137857822_s-2019

12 thoughts on “20 Tips From Grandma to Survive A Depression

  • October 5, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Linda ~
    I had to chuckle when I saw the post title!! I was very young when my grandmothers died BUT, both of my parents went through the depression and I learned a ton from them as I was growing up.

    We raised our own meat: beef, chicken, pork, rabbit and my brother hunted and fished; we grew a huge garden and I learned from a very early age (standing on a chair) how to preserve the garden bounty as well as the meats; we couldn’t grow fruit where our ranch was so we did have to purchase that but we canned a LOT!; we also learned to make do or do without! everything was used to the absolute end of its life cycle!

    • October 5, 2019 at 11:36 am

      HI Leanne, you were so lucky to learn how to do all of this as a young child! I know you can survive anything with your childhood skills and your camping skills. I love hearing these stories. They never get old, thank you, my friend! Linda

  • October 5, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    My interest in survival has shown me that those who obsess over technology and convenience in pursuit of career and money would probably not cope well with an economic crisis where they’d have to live without all the services and convenience of modern life.

    I recall people who always placed greater value of time saving conveniences and working. Mundane chores where deemed a waste of their time that could be spent working or making money and going out. They’d rather work and pay for everything than do anything themselves.

    Understanding and placing value on old technology is what will save us. And the spirit of self-reliance will see us through anything.

    • October 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm

      Hi, Frank, I totally agree with you. You are so wise and totally get what people need to do and be prepared for, and I love it. I sometimes wonder why people don’t want to learn how to make bread for instance. Do they not know how much healthier it is? Do they not want to save money on groceries? I have made bread for over 50 years and it’s an inexpensive hobby and skill. I’m very concerned with a few people I know that will not survive. Money is great but it will not help you survive when you need too. So few people are self-reliant where I live, holy smokes, they do not get it? I keep writing and learning from my readers just like you, we keep each other going. May God bless this world, Frank. Linda

  • October 5, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    M y mom said that my grandma use to “cream” everything to make the meal go farther. I love
    fresh pea’s that have been creamed. But she added it to everything, including soup of course
    now we pay high prices for cream soup.
    Your part about everyone works, to me to many kids in todays world think things should
    be handed to them. I was at work this morning and a customer said he had to come to our store to get
    one of his kids our Biscuits and gravy and then go to McDonald’s to pick up breakfast for the other
    kid. WHAT??????? No cook for them. Who taught them this????? We also have young employees come and go at this job. The ones that can be counted on is us older employees and we are all getting in
    bad shape but we continue to work. You know I have to agree with you about working at a fast
    food place, you know someone has to do it or they would all close. A job is a JOB. I have been a
    cook most of my life and it has paid my bills.
    Stocking up on items at a great price is the way to go, I’m sure people might look at your
    100 roll of toilet paper and laugh until they run out. We don’t have the old Sears catalog to use
    anymore and corn cobs are a little rough so stock up while you can on everything.

    • October 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm

      Hi June, oh my gosh, this is the best comment ever!! I had to read it to my husband!! WHAT???? I got the giggles because I feel the same way!! The toilet paper, I have to stock toilet paper!! Lots of it!! A job is a job! Great comment, Linda

  • October 6, 2019 at 6:03 pm

    My mother’s mother died in childbirth in 1928 on a cotton farm in Arkansas, leaving my mother at 10 years old to mother the other 5 children. Her daddy started drinking, it was the beginning of the depression/dust bowl/boll weevil infestation, and life was hell. At 17 my mother went to work as a companion for a wealthy aunt in Little Rock who helped my mother gain an education, learn to dress well, set a proper table, speak correctly, etc. My mother went on to make a very good living & retired comfortably but she never got over the fear of being poor. If there was a tablespoon of peas left over at dinner they went into the fridge for the next day. She bought nice things but she took care of them for years of service. I wish I had understood her better when I was young but there is no one in the world I respect more. And kudos to Aunt Ethel for the gift of self improvement she gave my mom.

    • October 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Linda, thank you for sharing your story. Wow, kudos for sure to Aunt Ethel. I can’t imagine being 10 years old and having to raise 5 siblings. Anf through the depression, dust bowl, and weevil infestation. WOW! This is an amazing story, thank you, Linda

  • October 13, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Unfortunately there are many people that have been raised on the welfare for generations and thier “grandmother” spent her money on tatooes, and fake fingernails. They wouldn;t know what to do with flour, yeast and other basic food items. Google “food stamp malfunction in Louisiana ” You better be able to protect yourself from these hungry mobs as they will hit the streets very fast depending on the situation. Anyone reading this page will be ok but those that don;t have a clue will be a problem.

    • October 14, 2019 at 7:01 am

      Hi Charlie, you are so right about the families raised on welfare for generations. I got the giggles over the tattoos and fake fingernails because you are so right. I’m extremely concerned over the EBT card people who abuse the system and it’s rampant. They will not know what to do when the card isn’t refilled. I keep writing posts to show people how to make the basics like bread, tortillas, biscuits, etc. May God bless those that know how to work. Great comment, Linda

  • April 4, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    This post is scarily appropriate for current times, especially considering it was written months ago. There are some really great tips here, thanks for sharing!

    • April 5, 2020 at 5:46 am

      Hi Natalie, thank you for your kind words. Life going forward is going to be a challenge for some people. Hopefully, they can cook from scratch. We can learn a lot from our grandparents. Stay well, Linda


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