My husband’s grandfather has a saying that goes “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” As someone who lived through the great depression my husband’s grandfather knew what it was like to make do with what he had.

Today we are facing another depression. The unemployment rate is higher than it’s been in previous decades, and many are feeling the stretch of a down economy. And yet, people are still spending, with money they don’t have.

The difference between today and the 1930’s is that there is an issue of what is really ‘needed’. Some would say a cell phone, cable, and an internet connection are necessities for a basic everyday life. Back in the great depression, you where lucky if you got a ration of sugar.

Our needs have been blown way out of proportion compared to the past, and that is going to make the economy worse , because the entire country is going to drown in sea of debt. So what can be done to be more frugal? Here are a few suggestions —


Don’t be Afraid to Bargain Shop

You’ll be surprised at what you find in a second-hand store. They burn anything that has holes or stains so you can sure the clothing is still in working order. That doesn’t say much for the styles, but there are a few gems. Especially for kids. My kids grow out of shoe sizes in what seems like every six months. I can’t afford to buy them brand new shoes every time, even from Wal-Mart.

The shoes I get from the second-hand store are often the latest style and in good condition. That’s not to say that you need to buy everything second-hand (there are stores that sell new things for good deals, if you keep your eyes open) but you shouldn’t be shopping at Buckle if you don’t have a job.


Learn How to Fix Things

The internet has a wealth of information, so much so that you could learn a new trade just by studying. Of course, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet, but there are great tutorials out there on how to fix things. Whatever it is that needs fixing, just look it up and watch how to fix it on You Tube. You may have to watch the video a few times, but you will have saved yourself some money by fixing it rather than buying something brand new.


Shop Smarter, and Cook From Home

One good thing that is happening these days is that people are using coupons more and more. I’m not big into couponing, but I will use a good deal when I see one. I like to eat a lot of fresh food and rarely are there coupons for the produce aisle, which is the only reason I don’t coupon more. But I do look for the best deal. Wal-Mart accepts price matches on any advertisement from anywhere in the country. As long as it is the exact same product, they will accept the cheaper price.

Every Tuesday I get ads in the mail and I always search the produce sections for the best deals. I’ve saved quite a bit of money by taking a little time each week to do this. And I don’t eat out either. I’ve found recipes for my favorite dishes online, and you know what? I often prefer my own cooking to the heavily oiled and butter stuff I find in Restaurants.  It’s a good habit to pick up.


It never hurt anyone to sacrifice a little to save big. It’s time for this generation to start saying “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

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