Great Depression Meals

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Great Depression Meals-Are We Eating The Same Meals Today? I asked a question on Food Storage Moms Facebook page to see what people are doing to save money on groceries. Oh my goodness, the prices just keep escalating at the grocery stores. How can families feed themselves? I am sharing responses on this post from real people just like you and me on how they are trying to cut food costs.

Here’s the deal, most of us are struggling to feed our families. This is the question I posted on Facebook to my readers: I need some help here if you are willing to share some ideas. I shared a post from my friend, Lisa Bedford from The Survival Mom about eating depression meals. It has had over 12K page views in less than three days.

My Facebook question: Please share any ideas about what you are eating or serving your family to save money. I don’t need recipes. Just ideas like…I feed my family rice and beans to save money. I buy a sack of potatoes and stretch it to make meals, etc. We are all trying to feed our families on a shoestring. Let’s share ideas with each other. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for any and all ideas. I don’t think those meals are great depression meals anymore. They are today’s meals. What do you think? People made comments that they are eating many of those meals today. I am too.

First of all, I am going to share some meals my husband and I grew up on and some we still eat today.

Creamed chip beef on toast, tomato sandwiches (I never knew this was a depression meal), fried cheese, fried Spam, beef tongue, chicken livers with onions, beef liver and onions, lettuce sandwiches, onion sandwiches, milk and bread, sugar sandwiches, rice with milk, biscuits and gravy (sometimes we had sausage in it), potato soup with water, mayonnaise sandwiches, corned beef hash, soup, beans and rice, cucumber sandwiches, pancakes rolled with butter and sugar inside, Norwegian lefse, canned peaches with bread, tomato soup with crackers, Ramen with peas, Ramen with hamburger and peas, canned tomatoes with milk added, tuna casserole, creamed tuna on toast and fried canned salmon patties. Now let’s check out these great ideas:

Great Depression Meals or Ways To Save $ on Groceries:

1. We buy ground turkey at our local Aldi when we are out of meat. We buy a hog and a 1/4 beef with our income tax return and stretch it along with the turkey and only buy chicken at .99 a lb. For snacks, because we have grown children that are grazers we eat a ton of popcorn. I make noodles as a side dish often.

Great Depression Meals-Meatless

2.  I try to save money by throwing in some meatless meals during the week, like potato soup or minestrone. I also make sure to add beans to taco meat to stretch it.

Great Depression Meals-Ramen-Beans-Lentils-Rice

3. Ramen noodles 6 pk for $1.00 is a great soup starter. Add your frozen mixed veggies and some bean for protein and you have a big pot of soup for $3-4.

4. Use lentils or split peas when making hamburger dishes like spaghetti. (Half beans to amount of meat, can always add more beans). Red beans and rice with half a lb. of sausage add a few spices costs about 6 bucks and feeds my family for 2 days. Split pea soup and lentil soups are all super cheap.

5. We also add beans or lentils to taco meat, eat lentil soup (lately with brown rice thrown in to make a complete protein), and rely on popcorn and bananas for snacks – also lots of carrots! But I think what helps the most is buying in bulk and avoiding the grocery store as much as possible. For us, that means buying beef by the 1/4 or 1/2, ordering from Zaycon Foods, using Bountiful Baskets-Co-op, grinding our own grains, and making yogurt when I remember to, and then remembering to freeze or eat leftovers so we aren’t throwing food away.

Great Depression Meals-Porridge-Oatmeal

6.  Porridge for breakfast – oats go a long way!

7. A fun and cheap meal are diced potatoes topped with onions, garlic, bacon bits, and cheese! My friend made it yesterday, I’m making it for dinner tonight!  And honestly, I use turkey bacon because it’s cheaper! My family hasn’t noticed. 🙂

Great Depression Meals-Marked Down Meat

8. Buy meat first thing in the morning – That’s when they put out the stuff that needs to be sold before it expires. I usually only buy pot roast when it’s marked down and vacuum seal it and freeze it for later. Also, if I don’t see any marked down meat, I go to the meat counter and ask if they have any marked-down meat or “yesterday’s grind” hamburger. That saves a lot, and it never hurts to ask!

9. This is great if you’re not buying from Zaycon Foods, of course!

10.  Pasta is always our cheap go to meal. Meat just costs far too much and pasta is filling. A little olive oil and garlic over the pasta toss together, it’s healthy and filling.

Great Depression Meals-Goulash

11.  My sweetie’s standby recipe he calls “goulash” – just elbow macaroni, seasoned hamburger, onion, and tomatoes. Tastes ever so good as leftovers too.

Great Depression Meals-Learn To Garden

12. Grow everything you possibly can each and every season. Learn to preserve what you grow. Learn to prepare what you grow. Learn to eat what you grow. Learn to love what you grow.

13. We are trying to use our leftovers before they have to be thrown out.

14.  I buy organic veggies but don’t peel them….when I am low on cash we don’t do organic but still don’t peel them. Carrots are the same. You throw away a lot of food in peels! To stop eating out, we take cheese and crackers or sandwich makings. Popcorn replaces chips. Corn tortillas fried for corn chips. Chile over baked potatoes is a favorite and the meat isn’t missed. Meat mixed in gravy makes it go farther than chunks of roast for everyone. Serving fresh bread and pickles with meals used to be very common. We just started doing fruit smoothies for afternoon snacks…azurestandard.com has frozen berries cheap.

Great Depression Meals-Go Meatless A Few Days A Week

15. We have started trying to go meatless a few days a week. I also use the big oven app, it has a search function that allows you to put in an ingredient then it will pull recipes with that item. It helps me repurpose my leftovers into other meals.

Great Depression Meals-Participate In Food Co-ops

16. I participate in a food co-op for fruits and veggies, buy canned items in case lot sales, pack lunches for my husband to take to work, eat lots of leftovers, and most importantly, never go grocery shopping while hungry.

17. Chicken leg quarters are a good way to have meat at a reasonable price. Use the legs to fry, etc and thighs have a lot of meat to use in noodles, yellow rice, dumplings, shred for BBQ sandwiches. I t only takes a couple to go a long way. Pasta and rice are great for stretching anything at meal time.

Great Depression Meals With Veggies

18. Okay, let’s see… I do peel some veggies, but I use those peels to make my broth taste better (ie broth is made of carcass and onion skins and potato skins and carrot skins, etc, giving it a HUGE nutritional punch). Anytime we’re making something with ground meat in it, I substitute half the meat with TVP (I get Bob’s Red Mill organic). We bought a commercial quality food sealer and use it daily to seal up leftovers, both for freezing and just for in the fridge, to cut down on waste (and it’s REALLY worked well). We buy wheat berries rather than flour and grind our own. While we do sometimes buy bread, I make our buns and sweet bread. We cook things from scratch about 90% of the time, rather than using packaged stuff. When I buy meat, I buy it only on sale, and I buy enough for several meals and then freeze either portions or leftovers.

19. When we make tacos we add a few eggs to the ground meat and you honestly can’t tell the difference, then just cook them into the already cooked ground meat and season to taste, it changes the texture a tiny bit but after you add rice and beans to your tacos/burritos, you can’t tell anymore at all, this really stretches a meal!.

20.  A 74-year-old Army veteran told me that when he was growing up in the Carolinas they were dirt poor, so his mother in the morning would mix flour into the eggs to make enough to go around. Said it tasted like eggs so they ate it.

Great Depression Meals-We Need Seasonal Recipes

21.  I would like to see someone (who has the time) to create recipes that are seasonal so that I am not constantly going to the store to find ingredients to make X, right now we should be eating squash, potatoes, dried beans, etc. I think that I spend too much in search of ingredients……

22.  I buy 1/2 cow and a 1/2 pig from a local farmer the freezer was worth the investment yes it’s expensive up front but does the math it’s cheaper the long run and its local fresh and so much cheaper than the store in the long run. I would advise anyone to buy an upright freezer and shop in bulk or even better contact a local farmer.

23. When money is short I make corn meal with sugar and pour cold milk over it. It’s filling, cheap and kids love it. Also cook oatmeal, cream of wheat and if I get chicken I shred it to make it last. I make chicken soup, tacos, and rice with it. Cheap and healthy meals.

Great Depression Meals-Stock Your Pantry With Bargains

24. Saving for us has more to do with how we shop than how we cook. I keep a well-stocked pantry of dry and canned goods. When I shop, I look for bargains. When I find a good one I buy a case or two of that item. Then I have a nice hedge on inflation, plus I don’t have to purchase that product again until it goes on sale. We buy meat in bulk, so most of my purchases are for perishables only. I also do a lot of my shopping at Aldi or the Amish bents and broken store. We eat what we want most of the time because we shop strategically.

25. You can add oatmeal to hamburger meat, then cook it. It stretches the meat, plus oatmeal is good for you! Also, you can use half ground chicken or turkey with hamburger meat in foods that call for some hamburger. Mixing them then cooking means it all tastes like hamburger.

26. I also make hamburger casserole. Hamburger, mixed with oats, onion, tomatoes, rice, small can tomatoes paste, an equal amount of BBQ sauce. Brown hamburger, onion, and oats together, then drain, add tomatoes with the juice, BBQ sauce, tomato paste, rice, enough water for the rice to cook and cook until the rice is done. Can top with cheese.

27. I just watched Food Inc. on Netflix. I am not one of those save the world types so I was surprised this blew me away. Although I do not think gardening your own saves any money I now feel its at least a better option, healthier food, teaching my kids where food comes from, some to put up in storage, etc. they say healthier eating equates to less money spent on medical needs, so I am hoping there is truth to that.

Great Depression Meals-Eraser Gravy

28.  I fry ground beef, use the grease to make a gravy and serve on toast. We call it Eraser Gravy. ***** You can make a white sauce with water (to save on milk), once you have a white sauce you can add any seasonings to add flavor and then add something like chipped beef, chopped left over bacon from breakfast, canned chicken, left over roast…. or just the sauce over rice. ****** Top ramen omelet. Stretches the noodles and the eggs. ****** Simple baked potatoes with butter and salt and pepper are filling and cheap****** I add wheat berries (homemade) to my spaghetti sauce and then cut the meat in 1/2 and no one notices. Hope this helps!

29.  Also, I do one month worth of grocery shopping at a time. Then I don’t go back to the store and get caught in ‘oh this is a good deal.’ ***** Another favorite is a piece of toast, fried egg on top and hot milk poured on top. Yummy! ******* soups are always good because they are so filling, homemade tomato with saltines.

30. PS. Our parents use to use their ‘green stamp books’ to save. I remember how important putting those stamps in the book was and how exciting to see it fill up. These days, I do not make a purchase where I do not stand at the register with my smart phone and come up with a coupon for an item or % discount. I never pay full price, I don’t care if I stand there for 10 minutes with the line piling up, I am determined to find a coupon that works. Just the other day, I got $10.00 off a new suit for my 7-year-old because I diligently stood at the register until I found a coupon code she would accept. Hey, $10.00 bucks is a savings gold mine!

31. We buy food at a scratch and dent store. Prices are half and more off. I have bought a half gallon of OJ there for 50 cents and a FLAT of strawberries with nothing wrong with them for 2$ (0.25 a quart). The place I go is American Discount Foods and they have saved our budget!

Great Depression Meals-Hunters like my nephew, Collin

32. We are hunters. Free meals. We also raise chickens, free eggs.

33.  I was just talking to my cousin about this today. We actually ate a lot of beans when I was a kid because they were cheap. I still make a lot of beans because they are high in fiber and protein and depending on how you make them, low in fat. I buy the dry beans and cook 2 lbs at a time in the slow cooker. Then I freeze several containers for later meals. I serve them like my mom did, with fried potatoes and corn bread. I can also mash pinto beans for refried beans with Mexican food.

34. When I was going thru hard times I did a lot of beans and rice different ways ..rice cooked in beans rice underneath beans with spices beans with tomatoes …

35. Twice a year we go to an Amish bulk supply store and buy the basics. This means that I have gf flours and supplies on hand to make bread, pancakes and other cheap basics to eat.

Great Depression Meals-Eat Leftovers

36. I didn’t read the other post, but planning for leftovers is a huge $ saver. It doesn’t have to be that you’re eating the exact same meal (e.g. does making more of X become a key ingredient for a meal days or weeks later). The other is learning what ingredients can be frozen so you can minimize waste (my niece learned tons just looking through our freezer)

37. Eat a lot of casseroles because it doesn’t require as much meat. Also eat a lot of beans, rice, eggs, and pasta.

38. My grandmother made Top Ramen once a week for dinner with sliced boiled eggs. A side salad and some saltines.

39. Venison stew with garden frozen veggies

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40.  I’m grateful that we have an Aldi USA in our area. However!!! We also CAN our own garden that we grow! I take advantage of the Meijer buy 10 get the 11th one free offers…PASTA!!! We stretch stretch stretch!! I cook some chicken. Add in mash potatoes. Ok. THEN, left over chicken gets turned into a chicken and rice soup! Which THEN gets turned into Chicken Pot Pie w/ home made pie crust! THREE meals out of ONE chicken! Talk abou a stretch! I’ve learned how to cook. Because I needed to! Make EVERY meal count. Pinterest is AWESOME for helping with recipes!

41. We have a 50 by 50 foot garden and plant what we can and then can it, the beginning costs may be high but you reuse most of it for years. We also shop aldis, just be careful and know your prices at other stores. Eggs and milk (hormone free) are less at aldis! We use turkey burger from aldis instead of hamburger not much of a taste difference in our minds. This year we bought 1/2 a cow which ended up being about $4 a pound but that includes so much that would cost more then that at the store. We use tons of beans too. Also buy meat on sale, we bought 4 turkey s at Thanksgiving. Found whole chickens for 88 cents a pound and looked up how too cut them up ourselves. We hope to get laying chickens this spring, hubby is building a coop fit for queens lol! Gosh I think I could go on….

Great Depression Meals-Creamed Tuna On Toast

42. Creamed tuna on toast!

43. We are eating a ton of chicken and pork, can’t afford beef much…I got a 3-4 lb pork loin on sale and got like 10 meals out of it (it’s just 2 of us) cut into chops and a small roast…found an organic whole chicken cheaper than the ‘regular’, several meals and bone broth from that…eating a lot more eggs…finding creative ways to stretch out pasta, rice, and potatoes. Working to ‘teach’ DH that leftovers are eaten not thrown out. Getting creative in that area too. Also trying to get him over his meat eating mentality. We do utilize an area butcher, buying packages from them periodically so we don’t need to pay the higher prices at the local grocery. I ALWAYS go first to the manager’s specials at grocery.

44. Hashes, stir fry’s

45. I add rice and refried beans to taco meat to stretch it further! It’s really good, especially with a little shredded cheese thrown in!

46. I make my own spaghetti sauce with canned tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes and seasonings. It’s quite a bit cheaper.

47. Save all your vegetable scraps to make a good stock base for any soup or stew.

48. I use chicken leg quarters in foil packs with potatoes, carrots onions and fresh green beans. It is a complete meal and easy clean up.

49. We process the meat ourselves. This year, I canned (in mason jars) 61 pint size jars of deer meat, about 40 jars of pork (wild hogs) and a few jars of chicken broth. Processing meat is really not that hard to do. We use to skin the animal outside, quarter it up and bring it inside to finish the process, grind, cut up or whatever we need done. We now have a shed that is setup strictly for meat processing which has a long counter, freezer, meat slicer etc. Here in the south, we have to deal with hurricanes which will result in a loss of electricity which means loss of all refrigerated and freezer foods. Therefore most of our meats, fruits and veggies are canned in jars.

50. When we lost our food budget for two months, I turned to boiling a whole chicken and shredding the meat to use in many meals. I think I could get 5 meals at least for our family of four (although eating is more like 2 1/2 people). I was really skimpy on the meat, but I’ve always liked that ratio better. I did more casseroles and found a cream of chicken substitute I had all the ingredients for. That and shredded chicken meant lots of casseroles. I also found a different bread recipe that used fewer ingredients so we could have bread. That time also showed me where I stocked well and where I lacked, plus what I didn’t touch, even with no food budget.

Great Depression Meals-Fried Rice

51. Fried rice (leftover rice cooked in bacon drippings with whatever veggies need using up). Mini pies (masa/corn flour mixed with water or broth, pushed into muffin tins, filled with whatever.. leftovers and some cheese work well). Lentil patties (lentils cooked until tender, mash up with seasoning and onion, shape and fry or bake.. Tastes like a burger patty somewhat). Fish patties (salmon or tuna, bread crumbs, lemon juice, mustard, onion, egg. Shape and fry up). Meatballs (ground meat, bread crumbs, egg, ground up veggies, leftover cheerios or other low sugar cereal.. I use 1 part meat, 1 part bread type stuff, 1 part vegetables. shape, BOIL. Freeze for later use.. fry up when needed. The water you boiled it in is now a quick broth.. use for soup). Potato salad, I can get 10 lbs of potatoes for $2-3 at Aldi.  I buy most meat marked down. Or frozen tubes of ground turkey/beef. Canned fish is pretty cheap. Aldi is great for low prices on produce. We don’t eat a lot of meat… we eat 3 eggs a day, we have our own chickens. I pay $25 in feed a month, which gives us on average 250 eggs a month. Old, injured or male birds are dinner.

Great Depression Meals-Cut Back On Protein-Use Coupons

52. Buying cheap and using coupons. Cooking with potatoes, pasta grains and beans. Cut back on animal protein and we have a big garden. I love to cook and can make something out of nothing and it’s almost always pretty damn good…

53. Soup can always make a little meat go a long way. We live in Idaho and many farmers will let you go through and pick the fields after they’ve harvested.

54.  I try to make from scratch all our snack foods like: crackers, granola bars, granola, fruit leather(when I find a great deal on fruit), bagels, bread, yogurt,etc. It saves a lot of money when I’m not buying prepackaged food.

55. Check out some of the seventh day Adventist meals.. They do meatless recipes.. I was just reading one for oatmeal patties. I used to have one of their old recipe books had a lot of recipes for fake meat product, I think they use a lot of TVP now, it made for interesting reading..sdawomen.org

Great Depression Meals-Most Meals Are Meatless-Mom was awesome

56. My mom raised us on very little money . Most our meals were meatless. We ate our share of lettuce sandwiches with miracle whip. My sisters and I would let the flour tortillas sit out and get hard . Then we would pour Karo syrup over them in order to have something sweet. We ate lots of beans and Mexican rice. Potatoes , tomatoes , garlic , onion and cumin to flavor . Mom was awesome is all I can say. She could get hot dogs and slice them up and add garlic , tomato sauce and water and make the most awesome casserole ever.

57. Everything I cook is served over either rice or potatoes to stretch it. Made stew? Over rice. Taco meat? Over rice. I can almost triple how long something will stretch with rice.

58. There is only 2 of us but we do buy flour bulk due to baking. We make from scratch as much as time allows. We buy and plan for leftovers and we pride ourselves on getting larger cuts cheaper and getting many meals from it. We eat baked potatoes at least twice a week and have several go to cheap filling meals…

Great Depression Meals-Cook From Scratch and Spend Less-Eat More Veggies

59. I think the best way to save is to make more to spend less. I know this sounds crazy, but we all need to rethink what we think a meal is. Too many of us have gotten used to meat potatoes and a veggie. You almost need to take out a loan to buy meat for a family of 5 anymore. Lets face it those big servings of meat were never good for us any way. So how do we serve a good meal and save? Our great grandparents had the solution. They took a small amount of the meat they were serving for supper and made a nice soup. Everyone got a bowl of soup. This could be served with a small roll or a half of slice of bread. Than serve a small salad about a cups worth. Doesn’t have to be fancy and expensive. A Little greens, slice of cucumber, few chopped onions, a small grape tomato, and a few carrot curls. Guess you can see how you could make a few salad fixings go all week. Next serve a small portion of meat, not the large ones we have grown accustom to. A small potato or other starch and a generous veggie portion. If you have the time and want to really make your family feel special you could make a little jello and top it off with a small teaspoon of cool whip. I should also mention that the soup does not have to be piled with veggies etc. A hand full of mixed veggies from the freezer and some seasoning along with some onion and a small part of meat is good, or you can add noodles or barley. I know you are most likely saying this take a lot of time. We have one thing grandma never had though, a slow cooker. You can always slow cook enough soup for a couple of days. Salad can be made night Your family will think they are living large and you will cut your grocery money down. The idea is how to fill everyone up and save money on the most expensive part meat which we all need more veggies and less meat any way.

60. I roasted a turkey breast. It made sandwiches for my husband’s lunch all week, then I made broth and turned that into noodle soup. The turkey was on sale and they are cheap to begin with this time of year.

Great Depression Meals-Veggie Soups

61.  Here is another saver. When we have leftover veggies of any kind, if it is not enough for another meal, I freeze them, then add to a bag of other frozen veggies. When the bag is full, veggies soup! You can add meat, or not. Chicken for chicken veggie soup, beef for beef veggie. Add your broth, and simmer til done. Also lots of peels or ends of veggies can be frozen until you have enough to make a veggie stock with them.

62.  I just retired, so there is only two of us, but minus my pay is a big deal. I decided that as I get my Social Security check once a month, I’d shop only once a month (excluding fresh veggies and fruit). I sat down and made a menu up for a whole month (every Wednesday is fish, every Friday is pizza!), then went and did the shopping. I spent just about $300 for the month of February, which comes to $10.71 per day. This included all my paper goods, so it doesn’t represent food only. The great thing about doing it this way is the weekends. This week I have leftover stew and pasta sauce with meatballs. Saturday we’ll have the stew, Sunday, pasta with meatballs. No cooking, just reheating! I freeze everything I can, including bread, milk, pizza dough …. Last night I made a lemon pound cake to have on hand from ingredients I had in the house. Next week I’ll bake cookies. We’ll see how this all works out. The best part I discovered is all I do is look at the menu in the morning to see what is on tap for dinner that night. No more stressing about “what can I make”, and, the same menu can be used month after month because it’s so varied by the time the meal comes around again you haven’t had it for four weeks!

Great Depression Meals-Oxtail Soup

63.  During the depression, my elders on both sides made oxtail soup because it was the cheapest part of the cow. Back then they could get it free or for .10. They didn’t sell it in the stores and you had to ask for it. We make it once a month in a huge stock pot. Invite the family over. There’s a lot of Hispanic people in my area do the price for oxtail is outrageous. I work in Wyoming once in awhile where there aren’t many and I can find them for $3 /lb. Still pricey but so much better. It’s easy to freeze. Lasts a long time and feeds many. ** Oxtail: It’s the bone of the tail and very tender meat.

64.  I know, and prices just keep going up. I grew up not poor, but not middle class, either. My mom had to be inventive to feed all five of us. I can’t remember as a child ever going out to a restaurant. No money for luxuries. One thing I recommend, if it is affordable, is to buy a small freezer. It’s amazing how much can be saved by shopping the sales and freezing items. For instance, I have to eat a particular brand of bread for a health problem I have. It’s normally $3.57 per loaf. One week it was a dollar off. I picked up 4 loaves and froze them. $4.00 savings! Also, I drink lactose-free milk. If I buy the name brand it’s a dollar more than the store brand and even less at WalMart. Again, I make my WalMart run and freeze the milk. Not only saves me money, but also gas money for my car. You always have to be on your toes, checking prices, making good choices. It can be done, but it’s hard work …

65. We had 3 very large gardens last year so I canned & froze everything I could.  Two freezers and over 500 quarts  (I stopped counting) we eat a lot of veggies so stir fry is big on the list.

66.  I am working on a post to get 4 meals from a roasted chicken: dinner with potatoes, then make broth for soup, sandwiches or wraps for school lunches, and I usually have some leftover to do tacos, enchiladas, or a chicken pasta. Now, this is a roast chicken you make from scratch, not the store bought pre-cooked ones (which tend to be small).

67. Save the chicken bones and boil them up to make soup stock. it tastes awesome with some spices (especially turmeric) and a little salt (sea salt, pink salt) and maybe a few veggies and chicken meat scraps, noodles or rice.

68. Peanut/almond butter and jelly on toasted Dave’s Killer Blue Seed Bread makes an awesome lunch!

69. Soups, stews, and chili are cheap, healthy and belly-filling. I make huge batches and freeze the extra.

70. Sorry, it took me so long to post but I’ve been getting in at near midnight all week long. And today was spent gathering groceries and supplies for my water line expansion. I’ve got a family of 5 ranging from a 17 down to 6 and two working adults. We put all sorts of methods into practice to save money some already mentioned others a little specific to our unique situation.
One practice that is unique to us but is not out of reach of anyone. We are our own meat processors. From deer to rabbits and all manner of fish and fowl. Some are wild others we raise ourselves or purchase from local farms or auctions…. Now the key to getting the most for your money is to look for deals at auction or someone selling of whole flocks or cull from herds of smaller livestock. I buy rabbits in summer at auction sometimes low as $2 a piece full grown. From these, I substitute for chicken in many recipes. I’ve even made sausage by mixing ground rabbit and pork trimmings which I get from a local butcher for little to nothing price. Those same trimmings go into my deer and goat burger to make a great hamburger for Chili, meatloaf, and spaghetti. When we butcher goats hogs etc. I have a big cast iron pot I keep on the fire full of boiling water nearby all the guts and oral gets boiled and fed to my chickens as added protein which helps egg production, Same with fish guts and heads. Waste nothing. Learning to do your own butchering/processing will save you a lot of money.

71. If I go to my grocery store before noon they put all the products in a cart that is ready to expire. It is labeled a dollar each. Find people that have Sunday newspapers that don’t use their coupons. Ask if you can have them. If not, it is worth it to purchase several Sunday papers for the coupons. You can stock and it will take a little time. But, once you stock you then only purchase items when they are on sale. You will notice that you begin to have extra money. There are a lot of free things out there also to help. Companies give away free things like deodorant. That saves your own money. The other day I reused an 8×10 manilla envelope. Hey! It worked. Talk about thrifty. This is a tip I got from someone else-at Halloween. Get clearance on pumpkins or neighbors pumpkins and make bread from them then freeze it. In the stores, the cosmetic counters normally have samples of things. Nice sized ones. Ask. All they can do is say, “no.” Plastic baggies can be washed and re-used instead of thrown out. If you save in all the other ways, then if you have to purchase meat or whatever at the store, you have the money to do it.

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72. My dad was born in 1918 and my mom in 1927, when I was a kid they ate tomato sandwiches, homemade bread, bread torn and put in a glass then added milk. My dad loved bologna and fried spam. Lots of eggs either fried or scrambled and Dad made CORN pancakes which I HATED- he would make the pancake batter drain a can of corn and add it. My mom loved sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper as a meal.
Frankly, I never was able to eat those- the spam and bologna and homemade bread sure but the rest have never appealed to me. My Grandmothers died when I was 15 and the other at 16 so I never got to ask them about the depression. But, I know that I was taught a lot of frugal things and how to work HARD, and be an ANT, not a GRASSHOPPER!

73. Excellent article. Loved reading how others save money on food. My sister does something a bit unique. She shops at Walmart and they price match any advertised price. So before she goes grocery shopping, she spends about 20 minutes online and writes down advertised sale prices on items she needs. * * Here’s the unique thing – she Googled for names of ALL the grocery stores in her area, even very tiny or ethnic ones. She finds amazing deals at some of these different stores. I alway thought it had to be a large chain to price match but it doesn’t! And you don’t have to have a paper flyer or ad to prove the sale price! She’ll tell the Walmart checker, that’s priced $1.99 for a gallon of milk, etc. and Walmart accepts it. If they ask what store, she refers to her list but they usually don’t ask. As each item rings up she’ll tell the checker the adjusted price, the checker keys it in, no big deal, takes hardly any extra time in line. She saves a fortune this way!

Linda, a follow-up about Walmart’s price matching: Their price matching policy is online and they are very specific about some things. Also, we’ve found that some Walmart checkers don’t really know how the policy works and may say no to price matching some items that should be OK. Shoppers may want to study the price matching policy or even print it out before shopping. Usually just quoting the policy is sufficient to get the item price matched. If not ask for a manager.

74. Linda, it has been great reading this post. Things are getting pricey out there these days and I have done a pretty good job of stocking my pantry with canned goods and dry goods. I make my own bread (usually making two loaves at a time freezing the 2nd). In fact, I pretty much make all my bread and pastry items from scratch so I never have to go to the store. I started growing my own vegetables, spices, and fruits (strawberries, raspberries and I will be adding elderberries this year) two years ago and this will be my 3rd year. I can tomatoes, pickles, applesauce, etc. Instead of ordering out for pizza I make my own pizza dough (making 2 doughs and freezing the 2nd for later), make my own pizza sauce and taco sauce.
I have also gone as far as making my own personal care products (shampoo, deodorant, lotion bars, soap), laundry soap, dishwasher soap, house cleaners (all natural).
The one thing I will tell people who want to start growing their own garden is to start small and grow what your family likes to eat. Don’t go overboard crazy and plant a lot of items they won’t eat. Start with tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, radishes, carrots and green onions. These are pretty much the easiest items to grow.

75. Ramen noodle packages are not considered food in my house. I make soup stock out of the icky bits of meat, pan juices, and vegetable cooking water and add some Chinese noodles that only take 2 minutes to cook. If I make a huge pot of stock I freeze it in ice cube trays then pack them in plastic bags. You can have a cup of soup, or soup for a group quickly. A package of noodles that would probably equal about 15 to 20 ramen packages is $1.99 at a nearby store. You can control the salt and other ingredients when you make your own. You can also make your own noodles quite easily. I shop early and get a lot of 50% or 30% off items. If they expire that day or are pre-frozen I cook them and then freeze. 50% off yogurt makes nice frozen treats that we would not have otherwise. I also freeze discounted sour cream or milk, works great especially for baking. I bake most of my bread and found some great no knead recipes at https://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/.

76. Our local fruit and vegetable store has bagged produce for $1. I got 10 apples in one bag the other day and only had to cut off a tiny bit of bruising. The best ones went for dehydrating and the rest for apple sauce.
We have a garden and I now dry and powder a lot of greens to add to smoothies made with my frozen discounted yogurt. I dehydrated my whole garlic crop in slices (other than the ones for replanting) and can use as is or grind up

77. To save money while feeding 11 people we make chicken and noodles using turkey instead of chicken. It is cheaper by the pound. The turkey we roast the day before also to make stuffing using dried out buns and heals.

78. I thought all those simple meals and sandwiches with just onions or tomatoes was something my family did – just because. I didn’t realize others did the same thing and they came from the depression. my parents were born in 1920 and grew up very differently – daddy was a rich boy with no problems but my mom grew up in the country with a garden and my grand doing handy work for people who needed his skills. he was mostly paid for food, eggs, a turkey, whatever they had to give him. I learned a lot from both my mama and gram about frugal living and wish they were still around to thank them. I enjoy reading all your posts and the great remarks everyone makes in the comments. I’m also learning something. thanks.

79. One way to save money on utilities is to get a chest freezer and not a stand-up. Cold air sinks, so every time you open that door, your freezer has to work that much harder to reestablish the temperature. Have you ever seen that fog that rolls down and out when you open the door? Yes, that’s money escaping. I know a chest freezer is harder to organize and dig through, but if you’re really trying to save money, the stand-up freezer is a major money waster.

80. Great ideas. We do a lot of these including using beans. Love butter bean soup.https://www.homeecathome.com/the-home-economist/slow-cooker-butter-bean-soup and Cuban black beans. You can make this without the chorizo to save money. Honestly, I like it best without chorizo. https://www.homeecathome.com/the-home-economist/slow-cooker-cuban-black-beans

81. My mother told us about depression meals she remembered and enjoyed growing up.
Baked bean sandwich. Just what it sounds like. Hot or cold baked beans on bread or toast. My mom took this in her school lunch every day and liked it then her classmates started juggling for the option to trade their sandwich for hers each lunch. We liked it too.
Beet greens. My grandmother was able to get the Beet greens that grocers would twist off for their customers before they weighed the beets for purchase. Grandma created a great meal with these beet tops. We really enjoyed this when my mom fixed this dish too, not really sure of the recipe but it was prepared in the frying pan and had garlic.
Fried egg sandwich. Again just like it sounds like. As kids, we asked for this for dinner – and could not get it often enough. I still fix this today as a special treat. Toast with mayo, sliced onion, pepper, and fried egg over medium. Oh yum – I must make this sandwich now. Salivating. Good memories.

82. I grew up eating a lot of these same “Depression” Era meals & I feel like they are comfort food. For those who think the Spam is too expensive, Check your local Dollar store for “Treat” It should be right next to the Spam & I can’t tell the difference. (Some of my family & friends Swear by one or the other) Today I went to Sam’s with a friend & picked up some good deals on meat. So tonight I made 2 round steaks for dinner. We ate most of 1 tonight, the left overs & the some of the other Steak will be made into beef stroganoff tomorrow, the rest will be frozen (in broth) for later use. I make lots of Fry bread & salads to go with meals. I make sure no one goes to bed hungry!

My family & I not only raise chickens, rabbits & a garden here at home, but we have helped set up what we all a “Poor man’s Co-op”. We have a few families, each with a small amount of land & one person with a lot of land. We each work together on the large plot of land raising veggies to can & sale (Christmas money), We all raise various animals & share the meat/milk. So if you live in an area that that is possible & have a few like minded families, sit down & work out the details. Those who don’t have the cash up front to fund the operation, or have the land to do so, can put in work hours to cover your share of the $. Besides, working in the garden or feeding & watering etc. goes much faster if you have someone there to keep you company. We also get together & clip coupons, make candles & teach each other different skills, like sewing & tanning hides.

83. I guess we are fortunate.We have a half acre garden and I garden year around. We keep 40 to 50 hens all the time and have eggs aplenty year around. I for a big feed and grain company and get screening free so I raise a couple or 3 hogs a year for nothing. We have one butchered professionally for all the different cuts and I butcher one or 2 for sausage and make bacon myself. I raise a steer a year. It does cost some, but the last one we still got almost 500 pounds of meat and soup bones for about a dollar less a pound than ground beef. This included all the steaks and roasts. We raise all we can. Then we eat all we can and can or freeze the rest. Even so, we eat a lot of beans and rice, goulash, and stuff that don’t require a lot of meat. Feeding 5 here.

Great Depression Meals for Diabetics:

84. I cannot remember the last time we had ground beef. I buy large cuts of pork from Cash N Carry for less than $1.50 a pound, take it home and grind it myself. It makes a pretty good taco, etc. Some of it I freeze, some I can. A couple of weeks ago, I took one of those large cuts and made pozole and Chile Verde and canned them- ended up with 24 pints of pozole and 18 pints of  Chile Verde. I buy whole chickens and turkeys and cut them up myself, then freeze or can them.I’m diabetic, so I can’t fill up my meals with lots of rice or pasta. Instead, I make “cauliflower rice” by grating cauliflower (which I buy on sale) and freeze it in meal size portions. We fill up on salads and 2-3 vegetable sides.
Did you know you can make your own cheese using dry powdered milk?When butter is on sale, I buy a case of it, then make ghee and can it. It stays good for months.’

85. Robyn: 1. Red beans and rice. If I have it in the freezer, a small section of andouille sausage chopped up. Walmart sells a package of 5 for $4 and they are really good! I freeze each one separately so I can use just one at a time. Bag of beans, rice, onions, tomatoes, sausage. An amazing meal for about $5 with plenty of left overs for the next day. 2. Very similar… navy beans, a little bit of ham (or even better a leftover ham bone), some onions, celery, carrots. When they start getting limp, I chop them up and freeze them to use in soups like this. A nice piece of cornbread on the side. If you’re really splurging, fried potatoes and onions. 3. Hamburger soup… a package of frozen mixed veggies, some elbow noodles, about 1/2 pound of cooked ground hamburger. Season with a beef bullion cube, garlic powder, tomato paste, salt & pepper. Serve with a side of cornbread.

{Linda} I really want to thank every one of you for helping me with food saving tips available for the world to see how to save money on groceries! Now let’s save some money! Blessings to all of you!

Food storage by Linda

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54 thoughts on “Great Depression Meals

  • February 9, 2015 at 7:29 am
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    If I go to my grocery store before noon they put all the produce in a cart that is ready to expire. It is labeled a dollar each. Find people that have Sunday newspapers that don’t use their coupons. Ask if you can have them. If not, it is worth it to purchase several Sunday papers for the coupons. You can stock and it will take a little time. But, once you stock you then only purchase items when they are on sale. You will notice that you begin to have extra money. There are a lot of free things out there also to help. Companies give away free things like deodorant. That saves your own money. The other day I reused an 8×10 manilla envelope. Hey! It worked. Talk about thrifty. This is a tip I got from someone else-at Halloween. Get clearance on pumpkins or neighbors pumpkins and make bread from them then freeze it. In the stores, the cosmetic counters normally have samples of things. Nice sized ones. Ask. All they can do is say, “no.” Plastic baggies can be washed and re-used instead of thrown out. If you save in all the other ways, then if you have to purchase meat or whatever at the store, you have the money to do it.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 7:58 am
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      Jennifer, thank you so much for these tips. I am adding your comments to my post! Blessings, Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 9:01 am
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    I think what we are doing now is trying to get by.
    I have not seen chicken at 99 Cents a pound in a long time.

    We do pancakes and one tube of sausage for 3.99 for dinner.
    We do potato soup with sausage and dill and thyme. It is a Pioneer Woman recipe and is great. Again only 3.99 for the sausage.
    We don’t do Spam often as its over 4.50 for a can of spam, and 5 people eating here at dinner.
    Stew with hamburger (4.99 a pound here) with a lot of carrots,potatoes, parsnips, onions.
    So many things with less meat now.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 9:38 am
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      Hi Laura, thanks so much for your comments. I am adding this to the post. Blessings, Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 9:02 am
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    My dad was born in 1918 and my mom in 1927, when I was a kid they ate tomato sandwiches, homemade bread, bread torn and put in a glass then added milk. My dad loved bologna and fried spam. Lots of eggs either fried or scrambled and Dad made CORN pancakes which I HATED- he would make the pancake batter drain a can of corn and add it. My mom loved sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper as a meal.
    Frankly I never was able to eat those- the spam and bologna and homemade bread sure but the rest never have appealed to me. My Grandmothers died when I was 15 and the other at 16 so I never got to ask them about the depression. But, I know that I was taught a lot of frugal things and how to work HARD, and be an ANT not a GRASSHOPPER!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 9:39 am
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      Hi Gwen, I had to laugh over the corn pancake batter! Isn;t it funny how we remember those foods that we HATED! Thanks for sharing. I am adding this to my post! Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 9:54 am
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    Ramen noodle packages aren’t considered food in my house. I make soup stock out of the icky bits of meat, pan juices and vegetable cooking water and add some Chinese noodles that only take 2 minutes to cook. If I make a huge pot of stock I freeze it in ice cube trays then pack them in plastic bags. You can have a cup of soup, or soup for a group quickly. A package of noodles that would probably equal about 15 to 20 ramen packages is $1.99 at a nearby store. You can control the salt and other ingredients when you make your own. You can also make your own noodles quite easily. I shop early and get a lot of 50% or 30% off items. If they expire that day or are pre-frozen I cook them and then freeze. 50% off yoghurt makes nice frozen treats that we wouldn’t have otherwise. I also freeze discounted sour cream or milk, works great especially for baking. I bake most of my bread and found some great no knead recipes at https://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/.

    Our local fruit and vegetable store has bagged produce for $1. I got 10 apples in one bag the other day and only had to cut off a tiny bit of bruising. The best ones went for dehydrating and the rest for apple sauce.
    We have a garden and I now dry and powder a lot of greens to add to smoothies made with my frozen discounted yogurt. I dehydrated my whole garlic crop in slices (other than the ones for replanting) and can use as is or grind up.

    Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 10:03 am
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    Linda I am sorry but I had to write again. This post really bothered me. Whether you print it or not is up to you. There is an old saying, “it is not how much money you make, but how you spend it.” Now if both husband and wife are out of work things can be really difficult, I agree. But if there are incomes or income coming in then you can manage it. We are so use to having things as soon as they come on the market or the way we want to spend our money or being brand loyal that money is getting tight and people can’t buy food. There are many things you can do to help yourself and your family. But, I ask the question. How bad do you want to do it? Are you willing to cut back on things, cable, cell phone, car expenses, buying needlessly? I have been through a few things in my life so I have learned. Let me talk a little about it even though I don’t like to do that. I was single, no children at home. I got fired, another story and not really my fault. If Linda wants to publish it for you then I will tell the story. But, basically the department store I worked at was taking employees money and I stood up for the people and got fired. Later, I went to work for a family member. I was unemployed again due to lack of business. I lost my house, car and everything I had except for minimal items. While they were forclosing on my house I of course, had no electricity, food, phone or anything else. It was winter and 26 degrees. I stayed in my house and slept with a coat and any blankets I had. I had a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup that I opened. I ate a half of can (cold.) At night I had candles burning (a lot of them.) I put them on a mirror to give me extra light. I caught rain water to wash myself and it was cold also. When I say that, “I had no help that is exactly the way it was.” Let me tell you it was bad. That is why I use coupons, re-use manilla envelopes and plastic baggies and do everything I can to help myself. I don’t want to ever be in that situation again. Now for those who do not believe in God or don’t want to hear it, you don’t have to believe this. A Godly man told me, “I would hit bottom but hold on to God because He would pull me up real fast.” So I held on. It took one year and one month. A job came to my mother’s phone from someone I knew years ago but had no contact with. They hunted me down and told me about a job that they had already spoken for me. I got the job. I worked it five years and retired. God pulled me back up. Most of what I lost was restored. Now, let me change the subject. Do you know how many bread makers are sitting in Goodwill right now? People got them as gifts and people don’t make bread they buy it. Times are getting tougher. You may need a bread maker one day. According to the Bible, it will take a day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread. Just because you buy clothes at sale prices, Goodwill or yard sales does not mean the value is diminished. Let someone else that wants to spend their money pay the cost. You can cut cable by getting a Roku and watch about anything. There are so many websites to help people now. All the prepping sites with canning and storage. All the coupon sites. There are women that write a blog on cheap or free. Try to buy things that are at least half off then you get a deal. I worked in several lines of major cosmetics for years. I stocked when we got free things. Now many times I buy mine at the Dollar Tree. Let me tell you, there is not a noticeable difference. Instead of expensive toner’s you can buy Witch Hazel (with or without alcohol.) You may have to take a little bit of your time to do some things but they will pay in the end. Do what you can now, don’t wait. There may come a day when money is worthless, or the grid goes down or major storms. I think Linda needs to post a challenge for people to write in ways that they discovered they could save money and stock up. You can garden even in an apartment. Enter contest, there are websites. I won an I pad, $250 gift card at Pep Boys and I got my tires. I won $500 in costume jewelry, a grilling set with spices, a Black and White clothing store gift card for $50, a pair of suede boots, an Estee Lauder cosmetic bag with cosmetics and much more. So, where can you cut cost? What are you going to change? What were you able to stock up on? What did you find that you could do without to save more money to buy groceries? Thanks Linda.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 1:53 pm
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      Jennifer, we need to all learn to live on less. I wish people would buy those bread machines….everyone in the world need to learn to make bread to survive. Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm
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    Excellent article. Loved reading how others save money on food. My sister does something a bit unique. She shops at Walmart and they price match any advertised price. So before she goes grocery shopping, she spends about 20 minutes online and writes down advertised sale prices on items she needs. * * Here’s the unique thing – she Googled for names of ALL the grocery stores in her area, even very tiny or ethnic ones. She finds amazing deals at some of these different stores. I alway thought it had to be a large chain to price match but it doesn’t! And you don’t have to have a paper flyer or ad to prove the sale price! She’ll tell the Walmart checker, that’s priced $1.99 for a gallon of milk, etc. and Walmart accepts it. If they ask what store, she refers to her list but they usually don’t ask. As each item rings up she’ll tell the checker the adjusted price, the checker keys it in, no big deal, takes hardly any extra time in line. She saves a fortune this way!

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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      Kay, oh my gosh, I did know know this! I am putting this comment on my post! Thanks you! Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 1:33 pm
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    Linda it has been great reading this post. Things are getting pricey out there these days and I’ve done a pretty good job of stocking my pantry with canned goods and dry goods. I make my own bread (usually making two loaves at a time freezing the 2nd). In fact, I pretty much make all my bread and pastry items from scratch so I never have to go to the store. I started growing my own vegetables, spices and fruits (strawberries, raspberries and I’m adding elderberries this year) two years ago and this will be my 3rd year. I can tomatoes, pickles, applesauce, etc. Instead of ordering out for pizza I make my own pizza dough (making 2 doughs and freezing the 2nd for later), make my own pizza sauce and taco sauce.
    I’ve also gone as far as making my own personal care products (shampoo, deodorant, lotion bars, soap), laundry soap, dishwasher soap, house cleaners (all natural).
    The one thing I will tell people who want to start growing their own garden is to start small and grow what your family likes to eat. Don’t go overboard crazy and plant a lot of items they won’t eat. Start with tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, radishes, carrots and green onions. These are pretty much the easiest items to grow.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm
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      Hi Krist, what a great comment. I keep hearing about elderberries. I love making homemade pizza dough too! Great tips on starting a garden slowly with a few plants. My readers will love your ideas. Thank you,Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 3:47 pm
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    To save money while feeding 11 people we make chicken and noodles using turkey instead of chicken. It is cheeper by the pound. The turkey we roast the day before also to make stuffing using dryed out buns and heals.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 5:40 pm
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      Hi Debbie, I am going to add this to my post. My goodness a bowl of this sounds yummy! Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm
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    I thought all those simple meals and sandwiches with just onions or tomatoes was something my family did – just because. I didn’t realize others did the same thing and they came from the depression. my parents were born in 1920 and grew up very differently – daddy was a rich boy with no problems but my mom grew up in the country with a garden and my grand doing handywork for people who needed his skills. he was mostly paid with food, eggs, a turkey, whatever they had to give him. I learned a lot from both my mama and gram about frugal living and wish they were still around to thank them.
    I enjoy reading all your posts and the great remarks everyone makes in the comments. im also learning something. thanks.

    Reply
    • February 9, 2015 at 5:42 pm
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      Hi Maggi, thanks so so much for sharing your tips. I never knew a tomato sandwich was a depression meal either! It was dinner to me! Blessings, Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 6:30 pm
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    Linda, a follow-up about Walmart’s price matching: Their price matching policy is online and they are very specific about some things. Also, we’ve found that some Walmart checkers don’t really know how the policy works and may say no to price matching some items that should be OK. Shoppers may want to study the price matching policy or even print it out before shopping. Usually just quoting the policy is sufficient to get the item price matched. If not ask for a manager.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2015 at 7:42 am
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      Hi Faith, these sound fabulous! Adding this to the post! Thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • February 9, 2015 at 9:46 pm
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    One way to save money on utilities is to get a chest freezer and not a stand up. Cold air sinks, so every time you open that door, your freezer has to work that much harder to reestablish the temperature. Have you ever seen that fog that rolls down and out when you open the door? Yes, that’s money escaping. I know a chest freezer is harder to organize and dig through, but if you’re really trying to save money, the stand up freezer is a major money waster.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2015 at 7:46 am
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      Penny, I could not get by without my freezer. I bought an energy saver one but not sure how much money in electricity it saves. Good point about the chest freezer. Linda

      Reply
  • February 12, 2015 at 9:15 pm
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    Linda, I am 21 years old and just graduated from college. I work two part time jobs to pay for rent and to put some money into savings. I absolutely adore your blog and look forward to every post. This one had so many cheap and healthy recipes and I look forward to bargain shopping for the ingredients! I have so many cans of chili in my pantry and I was so excited when I realized that I could buy baked potatoes and shredded cheese and make a great meal out of it. Thank you for all of your great articles!

    Reply
    • February 13, 2015 at 5:39 am
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      Hi Lindsay, first of all I must tip my hat to you that you work two jobs and just graduated from college. Congratulations! Plus you put money into savings! You rock! Somehow we need to teach others to do what you have accomplished in your 21 years! You are amazing. I love chili in my pantry too! Keep up the good work! Show the world how it can be done girl! Linda

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 2:55 pm
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    I make my own hamburger helper, much better than the boxed. But sometimes I can’t afford the meat, so we eat rice with mushroom soup over it. My kids and I aren’t too crazy about beans so we don’t eat a lot of that. I love buttered toast in a bowl of milk, very filling. My kids don’t like soups or stews much, but I make them anyway, usually with turkey or chicken. Beef is not a staple around here.

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    • February 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm
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      Hi Marquita, I can;t afford meat either. I am starting to wonder if I will become a vegetarian out of necessity! Beef prices are out of site right now. I don not know how families feed themselves. It breaks my heart to see how much groceries cost! Thanks for stopping by! Linda

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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    Dad was a meat and potatoes man. He hated rice, and we might have pasta twice a year. But we always had a big garden, and mom canned and froze like mad. We had 13 cows, and mom made butter. About once a week, we had pancakes for supper, with all different toppings: applesauce, peanut butter and jelly, salt pork gravy, etc. (one topping per meal) Another thing we did was have popcorn for supper Sunday night, while we watched the Ed Sullivan show on that newfangled tv thing. We got the meat from deer, our chickens, and a cow about every other year. We grew our potatoes and onions. Oh, and those 10 lbs of red hot dogs mom bought once a month (ugh)

    Reply
    • February 13, 2015 at 4:59 pm
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      Hi Melody, my husband grew up a meat and potatoes guy! He had to learn a different way of eating! We have pancakes once a week for dinner now! I remember the box of ten pounds of hot dogs in my family! Oh the memories! You are awesome to share! Linda

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 6:18 pm
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    Hey, I had a recipe handed down from my Great Grandmother, it’s some kind of stew they use to make, it takes a little in terms of ingredients but makes a lot. If you want it just shoot me an email.

    Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    My mother told us about depression meals she remembered and enjoyed growing up.
    Baked bean sandwich. Just what it sounds like. Hot or cold baked beans on bread or toast. My mom took this in her school lunch everyday and liked it then her classmates started juggling for the option to trade their sandwich for hers each lunch..We liked it too.
    Beet greens. My grandmother was able to get the beet greens that grocers would twist off for their customers before they weighed the beets for purchase. Grandma created a great meal with these beet tops. We really enjoyed this when my mom fixed this dish too, not really sure of the recipe but it was prepared in the fry pan and had garlic.
    Fried egg sandwich. Again just like it sounds like. As kids we asked for this for dinner – and could not get it often enough. I still fix this today as a special treat. Toast with mayo, sliced onion, pepper, and fried egg over medium. Oh yum – I must make this sandwich now. Salivating. Good memories.

    Reply
    • February 14, 2015 at 6:46 am
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      I still eat fried egg sandwiches! I recently heard about the baked bean or smashed beans sandwiches! I am adding your comments to my post right now! Thank you so much!Linda

      Reply
  • February 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm
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    I grew up eating a lot of these same “Depression” Era meals & I feel like they are comfort food. For those who think the Spam is too expensive, Check your local Dollar store for “Treat” It should be right next to the Spam & I cant tell the difference. (Some of my family & friends Swear by on or the other) Today I went to Sam’s with a friend & picked up some good deals on meat. So tonight I made 2 round steaks for dinner. We ate most of 1 tonight, the left overs & the some of the other Steak will be made into beef stroganoff tomorrow, the rest will be frozen (in broth) for later use. I make lots of Fry breads & salads to go with meals. I make sure no one goes to bed hungry!

    My family & I not only raise chickens, rabbits & a garden here at home, but we have helped set up what we all a “Poor man’s Co-op”. We have a few families, each with a small amount of land & one person with a lot of land. We each work together on the large plot of land raising veggies to can & sale (Christmas money), We all raise various animals & share the meat/milk. So if you live in an area that that is possible & have a few like minded families, sit down & work out the details. Those who dont have the cash up front to fund the operation, or have the land to do so, can put in work hours to cover your share of the $. Besides, working in the garden or feeding & watering etc. goes much faster if you have someone there to keep you company. We also get together & clip coupons, make candles & teach each other different skills, like sewing & tanning hides.

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    • February 14, 2015 at 6:55 am
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      Hi Joanna, you and your neighbors or friends are an inspiration to me! I wish more families would work together and do what you are doing! The world would be a better place to live in. I am learning about raising rabbits right now. I live in a very small home with a very small yard. It also has an HOA that won’t allow us to do any rabbit or chicken cages. When we bought the house the economy was not as bad as it now. You were smart to find a house with land and wonderful neighbors. Thanks again for the tips on saving money. I just added you comment to my post. Blessings to you, Linda

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  • February 14, 2015 at 7:22 pm
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    I guess we are fortunate.We have a half acre garden and I garden year around.

    We keep 40 to 50 hens all the time and have eggs aplenty year around.

    I for for a big feed and grain company and get screening free so I raise a couple or 3 hogs a year for nothing. We have one butchered professionally for all the different cuts and I butcher one or 2 for sausage and make bacon myself.

    I raise a steer a year. It does cost some, but the last one we still got almost 500 pounds of meat and soup bones for about a dollar less a pound than ground beef. This included all the steaks and roasts.

    We raise all we can. Then we eat all we can and can or freeze the rest. Even so, we eat a lot of beans and rice, goulash, and stuff that dont require a lot of meat.

    Feeding 5 here.

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    • February 15, 2015 at 8:49 am
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      Hi Bobby, it sounds like you have a great hens! I really wish I had a place to raise a steer. You rock by feeding a family of five! Adding this to my post! Thank, you! Linda

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  • February 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm
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    I can’t remember the last time we had ground beef. I buy large cuts of pork from Cash N Carry for less than $1.50 a pound, take it home and grind it myself. It makes a pretty good taco, etc. Some of it I freeze, some I can. A couple of weeks ago, I took one of those large cuts and made pozole and chile verde and canned them- ended up with 24 pints of pozole and 18 pints of chile verde.
    I buy whole chickens and turkeys and cut them up myself, then freeze or can them.
    I’m diabetic, so I can’t fill up my meals with lots of rice or pasta. Instead, I make “cauliflower rice” by grating cauliflower (which I buy on sale) and freeze it in meal size portions. We fill up on salads and 2-3 vegetable sides.
    Did you know you can make your own cheese using dry powdered milk?
    When butter is on sale, I buy a case of it, then make ghee and can it. It stays good for months.’

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    • February 15, 2015 at 8:57 am
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      Hi Muriel, thanks for the tips on saving money. I posted yours with Diabetic above it. This will really help people! Thank you so much! Linda

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  • December 8, 2015 at 6:12 pm
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    As a grateful grandchild of a depression Era bride I learned early on her mantra of” waste not want not, child. Make the most of what you have today as tomorrow is not promised.” Truer words have never been spoken. She has been gone for 17 years now but she still influences me every day. one of MANY things she instilled in me was that tiny little bits of things can make a marvelous whole. Case in point: I keep a gallon zip bag in my freezer. At the end of every meal if there is a tiny bit of meat, cheese, gravy or veggies leftover that is too small to make as leftovers for another meal I add it to the bag in the freezer. Also fresh herbs or anything else in the fridge that looks like it will spoil before we can use it. After a month or so I empty the bag into my soup pot. Add stock, seasonings to taste, simmer & tah dah! You have a fabulous soup from ingredients that typically would have been tossed out. To take it one step further, I have even been known to pressure can the soup for future meals.

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    • December 8, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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      HI BB, you rock! I do something very similar with an old Tupperware container. We need to teach the world how to do this to save money and not waste anything! Thanks so much for commenting, it means a lot to me that I am not the only one trying to waste not want not. God bless you, Linda

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  • December 9, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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    Linda,
    You are too kind! I have another tip to share. During winter months here in the south citrus becomes plentiful & relatively cheap. My favorites are navel oranges & Meyer lemons. I buy a 25 lb box of navel oranges when i find them on sale. I make marmalade out of half the box.The other half I zest, freezing the zest in snack size ziplocs. (Or run thru my dehydrater & vacuum seal in a jar) i then juice the oranges, putting juice into ice cube trays & freeze accordingly. Pop em out & store in gallon ziploc. Do the same with Meyer lemons. Now when I feel the urge to make muffins, pound cake, pancakes or whatever I already have perfectly portioned zest & juice. Best part, nothing goes to waste! Like gran said ” waste not want not!” Stay safe everyone! There are crazies out there!

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  • January 12, 2016 at 10:24 am
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    I like to whip an egg into instant ramen before serving to bump up the nutrition. This also gives the broth a nice, rich flavor. I also add an extra cup of water to reduce the sodium concentration and give the egg more liquid to be whisked into. My aunt always adds an egg to her mashed potatoes, too. Good protein bump!

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    • January 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm
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      Hi Josey, I like your tips on using instant ramen! I like to add an egg as well! I never thought about adding an egg to my mashed potatoes! I love it! Linda

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  • July 24, 2017 at 3:23 pm
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    My Aunt Polly had 6 children and me most of the time ,I remember her cooking and have had to use it many times,She would make mash potatoes and cut up hot dogs in it it was so good .She used can milk in coffee and our oatmeal not sure how she made it so good.My Gram and Aunt Bertha picked berries my favorite was chokecherry .I use most of their recipes it sure help to learn to process and grow your own food

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    • July 25, 2017 at 7:14 am
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      Hi Vicky, oh my gosh, I love your comment. My favorite cousin was named Polly! My kids grew up on cut up hot dogs, macaroni, and cheese with green beans we grew and pressure canned together. This is funny my mom always had canned Carnation milk in the cupboard/pantry. I have a can or two of it myself. My husband’s aunt made the best chokecherry cake with whipped cream for family reunions. I loved reading your comment! Hugs! Linda

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  • September 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm
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    You can make corn meal mush and put it in a loaf pan to chill overnight. Next a.m. slice it and fry it. Serve with butter/syrup or sausage style gravy. You can season it with spices for sweet or savory meal also. Budget 101 has an outstanding collection of inexpensive ramen noodle recipes. Also you mentioned going meatless several meals a week. We never have meat (vegans) and I’d suggest finding some good vegan blogs for recipes. Some are so good you’ll not miss the meat. Use lentils instead of meat for taco filling. A nice pasta dish that is simple is cooked spagetti (4-6 servings) mixed with a half pint jar of classic pesto. Sometimes I add cooked frozen peas. Sprinkle a little parmesan on top. Good stuff!

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    • September 3, 2017 at 9:13 am
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      Hi JoEllen, oh my gosh I love hearing you are Vegan. I have been working on being total vegan after reading several books. I have read the China Study like five times! I feel so much healthier. I eat a lot of beans and quinoa. I am going to try the lentils in my tacos. I’m going to check on that Budget 101 book. Groceries keep going up, I do not know how people feed their families if they do not use beans, rice, quinoa or lentils. Great tip on the corn meal much! Linda

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  • January 2, 2018 at 5:18 am
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    mom used to cook macaroni in just enough water to cover. When it were done, she would add milk and a can of diced tomatoes without draining the water. A pat of butter topped off each bowl. With the leftovers, she would add some cheddar cheese maybe a little more milk and bake it in a greased casserole dish.

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    • January 4, 2018 at 6:50 am
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      Hi, Kathy, this is exactly how my mom cooked meals for us. I really hope that some of the younger generations learn to cook from scratch because I believe we will all be eating these types of meals. I’m still alive and I grew up on slim picking meals. Life is good living on less and cooking from scratch. Great comment! Linda

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  • February 8, 2018 at 9:02 am
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    Oh what a wonderful walk thru the days gone by.. I still love tomato sandwiches and also bean sandwiches and my favorite as a kid was creamed corn sandwiches on buttered bread…. I got to thinking and remembered about 60 years ago when first coming to the desert, left my 4 bd, 2 story home to a one room cabin, no elect, running water or heat… got a little round wood burner and finally got a water tank and had kerosene lanterns.. Yes, this was in 1960, and I wanted the kids to be safe from the neighborhood my place had become… The kids loved it, vacation all year round, and they got to go to school but the home life was great, we read stories, looked up into the sky at night, became so close as a family and many other folks came to visit from their cabins… meals had to be unique as I had an ice box that would keep the ice for at the most 3 days so milk, meat,and left overs had to be used quick.. sometimes we would invite a neighbor and kids for dinner and they would have us to their place often too… One lady could make the greatest tacos, so good, finally gave me the recipe, she used grated carrots and potatoes in with a small amount of hamburger.. made a big pot of seasoned filling and we never guessed it… Oh so good, and by the time it all cooked and the seasoning added, no one could tell… We need to be inventive, and save without loosing the flavor and so many on this site can sure do that, I will go over it and write as much as I can to save…. thanks again for allowing me to be here, Love all the suggestions and many are just what I want… now to get to the kitchen and start planning some good OLD meals….

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    • February 8, 2018 at 10:40 am
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      Oh, Jeanne, what a wonderful life you had for your family! I always added potatoes to the hamburger to stretch the taco meat. I never thought of carrots, great tip! My family used to have pancakes on Sunday night with other families, life was so good! Hugs, Linda

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  • May 31, 2018 at 12:45 am
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    I don’t think I ever had a Turkey at Thanksgiving until I was in high school. There were 7 in my family and my dad was a minister so money was in short supply. My mom would boil a hen and shred the meat. She mixed up cornbread dressing and added the chicken in with it and used the stock to moisten it, then baked it all together. I actually preferred it this way. We lived in the south so we were lucky enough that many of the parishioners were farmers and provided us with lots of fruits and vegetables. Great memories.

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    • May 31, 2018 at 7:39 am
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      Hi, Kim, what a great story, thanks for sharing. That actually sounds very yummy to me! I love hearing you had parishioners that were farmers and shared lots of fruits and vegetables. Linda

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