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10 Vital Great Depression Survival Tips Still Useful Today

Many people are struggling financially these days and are looking for ways to cut costs and save money. While the current economic situation is not quite as dire as the Great Depression, there are still some valuable lessons to be learned from that period in history.

During the Great Depression, people supported each other through tough times. Neighbors would look out for each other and help where they could. While we may not be able to rely on our neighbors as much these days, there are still plenty of ways to show support for those who are going through a tough time. Whether it’s lending a listening ear or offering practical help, we can all do our bit to help those who are struggling.

The Great Depression was a tough time for everyone. But there are some things people did back then to get by that we can still use today.

Here are 10 tips for surviving hard times that we can learn from the Great Depression.

1) Young Adults and Even Married Couples Moved to Their Parent’s Home

The Great Depression was a time of great economic hardship, and many families found themselves struggling to make ends meet. One way that families saved money was by moving in with their parents. This allowed adults to pool their resources and share expenses, such as food and rent.

It’s no secret that the economy has been tough over the last few years. As a result, many young adults have found themselves unemployed or underemployed, struggling to make ends meet. As a result, an increasing number of young adults are moving back in with their parents in order to save money. In fact, this trend is not limited to young adults; even married couples are finding that it makes financial sense to live with their parents rather than maintaining two separate households.

Of course, living with your parents can be challenging, even if you get along well. It can be hard to adjust to living in close quarters again, and there can be conflicts over household rules and chores. However, for many people, the financial savings are worth the inconvenience. And who knows? Maybe living with your parents again will help you appreciate them more than ever.

2) They Shared Food with Neighbors to Make Meals

During the Great Depression, food was scarce, and families had to be creative in order to make their meals go further. One way that people stretched their food budget was by sharing with their neighbors.

This could involve trading goods, such as eggs for flour or simply giving and receiving food as needed. Sharing food with neighbors is still a great way to save money and stretch your budget. If you have extra food, consider giving it to a neighbor or family member who could use it.

In return, they may be willing to do the same for you when they have extras. You can also look for opportunities to trade goods with neighbors; this is a great way to get the items you need without having to spend any money.

3) They Turned Their Yard into a Garden

Growing your own food is a great way to save money, and it’s something that people did during the Great Depression. Many families turned their yards into gardens in order to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. If you have the space, consider starting your own garden.

Even a small plot of land can yield a surprising amount of produce. If you don’t have a yard, you can still grow some plants in pots on your porch or balcony. Tomatoes, peppers, and herbs are all great options for container gardening.

Not only will growing your own food saves you money, but it will also give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are eating healthy, homegrown produce. Plus, it’s a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.

4) People Had Essential Skills That Didn’t Rely Too Much on Tech, and They Could Use it to Barter.

Throughout the history of civilization, there have been periods of great economic upheaval. Sometimes these crises are caused by external factors, such as war or natural disaster, while other times, they are the result of internal problems, such as corruption or mismanagement. During these times of hardship, people have often turned to bartering in order to get the goods and services they need.

The Great Depression was a difficult time for everyone, especially the lower and middle classes. Many people lost their jobs, their homes, and their way of life. However, during this time, people also developed essential skills that didn’t rely too much on technology. These skills can still be useful today and can even be used to barter, like during the Great Depression. Let’s take a look at some of these skills.

  • Woodworking: Woodworking was a popular hobby during the Great Depression. People would make furniture, toys, and other household items out of wood. This skill can still be useful today. If you know how to work with wood, you can make your own furniture or fix existing pieces. You can also use woodworking to create art pieces and sell them online or at local craft fairs.
  • Mechanical: During the Great Depression, many people had to learn how to fix their own cars and appliances because they couldn’t afford to take them to a professional. While getting your car serviced by a mechanic is usually cheaper than fixing it yourself, knowing how to do basic mechanical work can still be useful. For example, if you know how to change your own oil, you can save money on oil changes. And if your washing machine breaks down, you may be able to repair it yourself instead of having to buy a new one.
  • Plumbing: Plumbing was another essential skill during the Great Depression. People had to learn how to fix leaky pipes and clogged toilets because they couldn’t afford to hire a plumber. While most people now have running water and indoor plumbing, there are still times when knowing how to do basic plumbing can come in handy. For example, if your toilet gets clogged, you may be able to fix it yourself instead of having to call a plumber. 
  • Everything DIY: One of the best ways to save money is by doing things yourself. During the Great Depression, people had to learn how to do everything from sewing their own clothes to growing their own food. While many people now buy their clothes and food from stores, there are still some things that you can save money on by doing yourself. For example, if you know how to sew, you can make your own clothes or repairs instead of buying new clothes or taking them to a tailor. And if you have a green thumb, you can grow your own fruits and vegetables instead of buying them from the store.

The Great Depression was a difficult time for everyone involved. However, out of necessity, people developed essential skills that didn’t rely too much on technology. These skills can still be useful today and can even be used to barter. So next time you find yourself in need of a skill that you don’t have, why not try learning one from the Great Depression era? You may be surprised at how useful it is in today’s world.

5) Repairing Your Tools, Clothes, and Home Became Essential

As anyone who has ever been through a tough economic time knows, every penny counts. During the Great Depression, repairing clothes and tools was essential in order to make them last as long as possible. Even something as simple as patching a hole in a pair of pants could mean the difference between having a usable piece of clothing and being forced to go without.

The same was true for tools – a well-maintained tool could be used for years, while a broken one would have to be replaced. And, of course, repairing your home was crucial in order to keep it from falling into disrepair. While we may not be facing the same economic hardships as our grandparents did during the Great Depression, repairing instead of replacing can still be a wise financial decision.

By taking the time to repair our belongings, we can save money and extend their lifespan. What’s more, many of us take satisfaction in knowing that we can fix our own things – something that can come in handy when faced with unexpected repairs.

So whether you’re mending a hole in your jeans or fixing a loose doorknob, remember that you’re not only saving money – you’re also keeping alive a valuable skill from the past.

6) Cooking, Hunting, and Fishing Was Very Important to Put Food on the Table

During the Great Depression, many people lost their jobs and couldn’t afford to buy food. So, they had to learn how to cook, hunt, and fish to put food on the table. This was a necessary skill for many people during that time, and it’s still a useful skill today.

If you know how to cook, you can save money by eating at home instead of going out to eat. And if you know how to hunt or fish, you can get your own food instead of having to buy it from the store. These skills can be great for saving money and being self-sufficient.

7) People Bought Stuff They Really Needed and Only When They Had the Cash to Pay For It

During the Great Depression, people didn’t have credit cards or loans to help them buy things. So, they had to save up their money and only buy what they really needed. This was a great way to keep from going into debt, and it’s still an excellent rule to live by today.

If you want to save money, only buy what you really need and make sure you have the cash to pay for it upfront. This will help you stay out of debt and prevent you from spending more than you can afford.

8) People Were Grateful and Diligent When They Got a Job Whatever it Was the Job They Wanted or Not

Unemployment was high during the Great Depression, so people were grateful to have a job no matter what it was. They worked hard and were diligent in their work. And while it may not have been the job they wanted, they did their best to make the most of it.

This is still a good attitude to have today. If you’re unemployed, don’t be picky about the jobs you apply for. And if you do get a job, be grateful for it and work hard to show your employer that you’re worth keeping around.

9)  People Were More Willing to Work Together to Overcome the Hard Situations

The Great Depression was one of the most difficult times in American history. Millions of people lost their jobs, homes, and savings, and the future looked bleak. Yet, in the face of this adversity, people were forced to come together and support each other in order to survive.

Neighbors helped each other out, sharing what little they had. People banded together to form soup kitchens and provide other essential services. This cooperation was essential in helping people get through the Great Depression. Although the situation today is not as dire, we can still learn from the example set during that time.

In our own lives, we can reach out to our neighbors and offer them support. We can volunteer our time to help those in need. We can make a difference in our community by coming together and working for the common good.

10) They Reused Everything They Had

Until It Was Absolutely UnusableIn the Great Depression, people didn’t have the money to buy new things, so they had to reuse everything they had. This meant patching up clothes, using old furniture, and even using newspapers as insulation.

Nothing was wasted because everything had value. While most people now have the money to replace their belongings, there’s still value in reuse. Repairing your clothes or furniture can save you money, and it’s also good for the environment. And if you’re creative, you can find new ways to use old things instead of throwing them away.


These are just a few of the lessons we can learn from the Great Depression. Despite being one of the darkest times in American history, there are still many things we can take away from that time. By understanding the past, we can be better prepared for the future.

There are plenty of other lessons to be learned from the Great Depression, but these ten are some of the most important. So if you take anything away from this article, let it be these ten tips. They could very well help you or someone you know survives a financial crisis.

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