I’ve written previously about how my grandparents and parents survived during the Great Depression. Although growing up with parents from the Depression had its drawbacks (those $5 tennis shoes are just as good as the $30 Vans shoes, I was told), I realize now that I actually learned quite a few survival skills from them.
Perhaps one of the biggest things I learned was to identify a “need” from a “want” Yes, I needed shoes, but I wanted Vans. My mother would often ask me: “What do you need it for?” If I couldn’t prove I needed it, I rarely got it.
In this article, I want to take a look at the things my parents, and others, simply did without during those difficult times – things our great-grandparents never had.
1. Cable television
Television can be cheap entertainment and a good place for news, weather and other important updates. However, one thing we could live without are cable channels. Putting an antenna on your roof will work just fine.
2. Disposable goods
Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten that disposables were meant to be used in emergency or only for travel. Plastic bags weren’t really even commonly used until the 1960s and no one “needs” disposable coffee cups, paper plates, plastic forks and one-time-use razors.