Depression Era living or doing things like our great grandmothers.

I have pulled out my treasured books on the Depression Era, Spanish Flu, Dust Bowl and both WW’s. These books are a comfort and a warning. Our great grandmothers and grandmothers have seen hard times like we have never known. With modern medicine, sanitations, refrigeration, and government assistance and programs we will probably never suffer as people did during these times.

Right now the stocks are up and down, but up in a way that seems odd for all the people out of work and business’s going under. The housing market is up 21%, also odd with so many out of work and I felt like housing and rent was already beyond normal for any income to take on.

I’m no financial guru or Dave Ramsey, however, in my simple housewife head, I’m thinking we are headed for a disaster that keeps being held at bay with some gum and wire. Stimulas checks, increased employment amounts, moritoriums for renters for almost a year when it ends…but no moritoriums for landlords. I am all for keeping people sheltered but landlords can’t pay banks and mortgages if the rent isn’t paid.

It feels like things are halfway thought out these days. It also feels like fear drives some as with the housing market. Many are trying to flee the cities and paying whatever they must to move to the country.

Things may or may not get tough for a while but then we will turn to green energies, sustainability, and simpler lives and life will brighten up again.

But let’s get to it with the simple, greener living why don’t we? Let’s look to our elders for lessons in thrift, frugality and green living. The great grandmother was an expert at making things last and making do. She was a pro at recycling and repurposing. A dynamo at frugality and the enterprising spirit of growing food and selling her skills to make extra money for the family. These women and men worked hard, hard, hard.

And most things were done by hand. Let us all take a moment to thank our washing machine and vacuum….amen.

I made a Depression Era cake last night with frosting. Here is the link:

I did use oat milk instead of water and it made a big difference. I also made some powdered sugar out of two cups of turbinado sugar and 2 TBSP cornstarch. It turned out powdery and lovely.

I wrote out our budget in my fat notebook, copied the recipe to the cake, and started the process of refinancing both houses before everything goes South.

What does cake have to do with a budget and refinancing Kate? Well, as we talked about in our frugal journey, everything connects and if you want to live well, I mean really well, on a small paycheck and get ahead or at least get things paid effortlessly, you do everything you can to save a penny here, a dollar there and so on.

If we can get both houses refinanced while rates are low it means we can cut the mortgage to 15 years and be done by the ripe age of 65 instead of 80 years old. If I know our budget then I know what we can afford in a mortgage. If I start cooking the simple foods of the Depression Era, I will have even more cash available at the end of the month.

I have a long way to go but the journey is fun and interesting. I study gardening, go to the local nursery, and watch gardening videos. By next year the garden will be something else and every year it will get better and more abundant. Hopefully, my canning skills will improve. This year canning was a 0.

Maybe this will be me next year?


  1. Anita ,your state may have food and health cooperative education that offers lots of gardening, canning information. Ours will test your pressure canner to make sure it is safe. I used to water bath can. Pressure canning is faster. I will do veggies and fruit. Meat makes me nervous.

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  2. We have an amazing community and the blog and channel belongs to all of you. Let’s just ignore the other stuff. It will go off to find fresh blood elsewhere or devour itself. I’m having a great time this round with the new channel and blog and I just keep focusing on the strong, empowered, and wise women and men that come here.

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  3. Kate, there is A YouTube channel called preppier potpourri. She has some great videos on canning for beginners. That’s what gave me the courage to start canning and now I love it. Homestead tessie has a video or two about canning Dry beans . That’s SUPER easy to do. Start there! You guys eat a lot of beans and it’s nice to have cooked food you don’t have to freeze. Doing the beans will give you confidence. It’s fun!

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  4. Yes Kate, I was a wreck. I have a gas stove . It wasn’t bad after I got going. Then, I just went to it . I did 40 quarts today. I love taking care of my little family. Tomorrow, I need to do the beets, spagetti squash,and stewed zuccuhni. I am reading a cabin full of food right now.

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  5. Hi Kate. I’m a finance nerd and I have a suggestion for you. If you are going to refinance, maybe consider going into a 30-year fixed. You can always pay more each month and finish faster. But if times go south, you can go to the smaller payment without any stress.

    Can’t wait to try out the chocolate cake recipe,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My great grandmother thrived during the depression with 7 children because they had a farm in a fertile area and my grandfather was a wood cutter. I feel so blessed that I lived with her as a young child and spent every summer. The lessons, freedoms she gave me have carried me through motherhood.

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  7. I get them for free with my Amazon Prime Membership ($12.99 + tax per month). You can do a search for them by name and then watch them. Tonight I’m watching ‘Stella Dallas’, a 1937 movie starring Barbara Stanwyck. Bette Midler did a remake of it BUT the original is always the best.

    Happy viewing.
    They just don’t write story lines like this anymore. The scripts were written by real people, from real experiences. Not the computer driven slop we get today. ENJOY!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. What a good idea to watch all those old movies. I had totally forgotten that option. I dislike tv and today’s movies. But the oldies….. yes please! Thanks for the reminder!

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  9. Anne, you can do so much vegetables. I found plant based and nothing processed out of a box ended my migraine cycles. One of my kids had gut issues that cleared up. I still use olive oil. We are now at 90 percent of growing all of our produce. My family still eats chicken and eggs. There are so recipes that delicious plant based and easy to make.

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  10. Kate, I would take several days to can in small batches. I have 100 quarts of of tomatoes done, I roasted 10 squashes to freeze, I made 12 quarts of a stewed zucchini. 2 gallons of veggie stock. I am taking a break and I will do the zucchini bread. My kitchen is wrecked.

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  11. My sister and her husband went vegan upon retirement for health reasons. Both dropped blood pressure levels, cholesterol levels, AND rediscovered their love for each other as they tried new recipes! A two-for-the-price-of-one bargain, don’t you think?!?

    For preparedness reasons, vegetarianism at minimum, and veganism at best, allows me to store foods that will provide life-giving nutrients to my family and any others that God may send my way…I love that!

    So thankful you’re back,Kate😍


  12. Canning will be better next year. I was really impressed with your garden this year. Next year your soil will be built up better. You all worked really hard to get the garden going and the fruit trees planted at your new home. I am sure next year will be better.

    I know people who are not paying their electric bill or their rent, but they have money. It amazes me. They got their stimulus checks and extra unemployment but wasted it. What are they going to do when their electric is shut off. I just shake my head in disbelief.


  13. My goodness people……we are a Weston Price family and I love watching/reading about Kate’s vegan and vegetarian cooking, take what you like and leave the rest 😉


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