Make Do and Mend – The Great Depression Philosophy

If you talk about frugality and saving money for any amount of time, you will eventually wind up talking about the Great Depression.  It has become an iconic sign of a generation of people who were thrust into frugality by dire necessity rather than by choice.


Many of the lessons they learned we would do well to listen to and emulate.  The philosophy at the time was very much one of making do with what you had since most everyone was broke and credit as we know it today didn’t exist.  There is a famous saying that sums it up:


Make Do and Mend Quote


While I might not save every piece of twine in case I need it later (although I may have a large number of washed out glass jars and empty coffee cans in the basement) I do like to keep this general Great Depression philosophy in mind as I live my life.


Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do. . . or do without.


The whole thing is just so counter to our consumer society isn’t it?  The culture today seems to insist we need to buy the newest model, and to say that once an item starts looking worn or outdated it should be replaced–even if it is perfectly serviceable.  Every problem seems to be solved through a purchase–frequently of shoddily made or one time use items.


Now I’m all for buying something if it’s really needed, and buying quality at that (since I prefer one purchase of a better made item over multiple purchases over time of low quality goods that need frequent replacement). . . but I feel that a person should really consider the purchase first, and make sure it honestly is needed and fits in with their family’s goals.


All this is to say I’m going back to my frugal blogging roots here on Frugal Upstate.  In the last few years I haven’t spent as much time talking about all the little frugal things I do–even thought I continue to live my life frugally (as well as incorporating more and more sustainability and preparedness).


I’m making a commitment to share more little stories of all the ways I use things up, keep using them till they are worn out, get creative to make something I already have keep working or work to solve a problem. . . or just how I skip something all together.  And just for fun, in each post I’ll use the graphic above–but highlighted to show which part of the quote I am acting on.  Like this:


Wear it Out


So I hope you enjoy my future posts on how we “Make Do & Mend” here at the Frugal Upstate Village Homestead.




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