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Cooking During an Economic Depression

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posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 07:46 PM
During lean times food will be too expensive to waste or to buy unnecessary food items. Some people are going to have to change their eating habits in order to afford to eat at all. I'm included in that group!

People will live on very basic foods such as potatoes, pasta, and rice. For flavor your options are salt and pepper, and any herbs you may come across. Meat will be a rare treat, not a main course. This is how people fed themselves during the Great Depression.

A lady who was raised during the Great Depression has recorded on video some of her depression-era recipes that are both nutritious and cost-efficient.

Her website is Great Depression Cooking with Clara

She also has the videos up on YouTube: Clara's YouTube

This is great viewing for those who have not learned to cook, and those who want to eat for cheap!

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:09 PM
I watched this on GMA today. I can remember as a kid myself eating fried potatoes with hot dogs cut up into them. My grandparents were in the working poor class and my mom, aunts and uncles all learned the meaning of frugality concerning everything. I hadn't thought about eating that as a kid until I saw this morning's show. My mom and aunts still cook that way.

We're on a pretty tight budget ourselves and one of the meals I make is macaroni and cheese with little smokies or hot dogs. It's not fancy but it's filling and cheap. I have three kids to feed and sometimes a fourth when my oldest son comes home on leave and my husband, and they can put the food away. We grow a garden so that helps.

I think the lean times are already here. Food is expensive now. I started changing the way I buy groceries last year. I cut out a lot of junk and things that I could just as easily make at home. It trimmed down the bill some. Not as much as I would like but every little bit helps.

[edit on 2/27/2009 by soldiermom]

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:33 PM
I find spending the money on the meat, and cutting out all the tv dinners, junk food,and snacks works well.

Here is one meal plan, try it, it works:

Buy a buy one get one free roast. Take it broil it in a crock pot for 8 hours. Shred it, You now have tacos, meat to mix with eggs for omlettes, lunch meat, sheperds pie, Bbq beef sandwiches.

One roast will make us meals for four days. You get two roasts for $20.00.
There is usually always one store that has them buy one get one free.

The you buy butter, eggs, bread, noodles , potatoes, buns, and sauce. Cereal for breakfast, and some vegetables and milk.You will eat for the whole week for $50.00

Really does work, and you feel better that eating a bunch of junk.

This is for a family of three, but we used to spend $150 a week.

[edit on 27-2-2009 by amatrine]

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:41 PM
Hmmmm... I guess location plays a big part on your diet. Here, meat will allways be on the menu. Unless some rare/unknown disease swept through the local deer/pig/goat population, I can`t see any change to our feral population. Add to this, home grown veges/ fruit and we are (food wise)self sufficient.
However I do realise that basic items we take for granted, such as sugar, spices, cooking oil and salt for example, may be harder to get, or very expensive! OH! ........ forgot to add tea and coffee to that list

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by amatrine

Wow. I don't know what grocery store you go to but I wish we had one here. I've never seen a buy one get one free meat sale. That is a good idea for the menu though. I'll try it.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:06 PM
Plenty of pasta, rice, and potatoes where I come from. Also green leafy veggies. Cheap and go a long way. I remember going along the outskirts of town where there was lots of woods, and picking up bunches of dandelion leaves and wild gardoon. As well as blackberries and onion grass. Free produce can't be beat. Yes you can eat that stuff. Dandelion sells for 3.49lb. in grocery stores that have it. you almost cannot find Gardoon in any store. Goes great with potatoes and eggs by the way.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:42 PM
Hello there everyone!

Something that we have done in our family is when it comes to buying meat, to go to our local meat market. My mom buys hamburger meat in bulk and seperate it into seperate freezer bags or butcher paper at home. When they do it, they charge a little more. At least where we go, but I imagine it could be elsewhere as well. Also do the same with chickens.

For our no meat nights usually on friday, we do rice/beans/tortillas- all homemade, another thing we do for dinner that I actually enjoy is sometimes we have oatmeal or pancakes.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:54 PM
Frys is where they have it here quite often. Sometimes Safeway.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:56 PM

Originally posted by spaznational
During lean times food will be too expensive to waste or to buy unnecessary food items.

I wait for the week that the sales are on, and make a list of what's on where...then I go shopping. I call it looting, as I'll try to get everything on sale...not paying full price for anything. Mind you, we have 5 or so groceries in the vicinity.

Buy bulk, and freeze it in portions.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:56 PM
My boyfriend's family always goes to the Farmer's Market or the Amish store for their groceries. Where I live, the most expensive things are the meat and the veggies and fruits. So we will usually make a cooked meal, like brisket or chicken and veggies, and make a huge batch. Then we keep it in the freezer for whenever. Pancake mix, eggs, and pasta with a quick marinara sauce are typically pretty cheap, too. When it's on sale, we make fish.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 10:10 PM
It seems that it is getting harder for just about everyone!
We are doing ok as I go fishing and get all I can and with the limit.
I hunt every season so far get a dear.
That really helps. Just like the rest of you we just buy what we need. And make it go as far as we can. When you go to the store the cost of just about everything has gone up so far in just the last year that I find it hard to understand how they get away with it.

But it does no good to go on about it, We just do the best we can with what we have.
I am seeing more people in our area that just do not have the basics to eat now! And are having a hard time even feeding there kids.

I'm afraid it is going to get a lot harder before it gets better, as in our area there are almost no jobs . And I mean that. I have one kid out of school and a hard worker . Can not find a job at the local burger joint because they have men with degrees working making there food now!
Wow I really did see this coming. And tried to get as ready for it as I could. It is helping.
My family lost all there savings with all that went bust. And that has really made it hard for them . They do not have the time to recover from this even it if went back to normal in the morning.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 10:30 PM
In a huge gumbo pot combine 2 #10 cans of chili beans, a few #'s of ground beef, 4 large cans of stewed/chopped tomatoes, a chopped onion & green pepper, and a small bottle of chili powder.

I've made this for my family many times (actually doubled the recipe to the above quantities because it was such a hit) and they absolutely love it. It's more than enough for a VERY hefty meal (I'm the only female and my SO and my two sons can EAT). I still have plenty left over to store in glad bowls w/lids (approx 12-15) that I throw in the freezer. These frozen bowls of chili can last anywhere from 2 - 5 weeks (depending on who's home to get into it!)

I could see it lasting more than a month for one or two people and only costs about $25 to fix.

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 11:05 PM
I watched all 10 of the Cooking with Clara videos. What a great lady! And so spry at 93!

I wanted to add a recipe that is cheap to make and very good.

All you need is a head of cabbage shredded.
1 onion
2-3 shredded carrots
garlic powder or real garlic
Cooking oil
salt/pepper to taste

All you do is fry up the onion, cabbage and carrot and add some garlic to it. The cabbage will turn a bright green color. You can eat it just like that, or you can add some ground beef or some ground turkey, or even ground pork, but it's good meatless, and it's cheap and easy to make. It really does taste good and one head of cabbage makes a ton!

[edit on 27-2-2009 by virraszto]

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