Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sound Advice for Hard Times

Got an email the other day from my friend and ex-neighbor, Lloyd. A joke I found absolutely hilarious. And I'll tell you why just as soon as I share it with you:

If you had purchased $1,000 of AIG stock one year ago, you would have $42 left. With Lehman, you would have $6.60 left. With Fannie or Freddie, you would have less than $5 left. But if you had purchased$1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. It's called the 401-Keg!

Now, I come from a stiff Baptist heritage and in no way condone or advocate the drinking of beer or other alcohol. To borrow a line from Larry the Cable guy, "I don't care who you are, that's funny!"

It appeals to me because I have known so many po' boys who would collect, scrape and save every can they could to haul in when the price was up. I have also know the pressed suit types that would sneer at the thought of such a thing. Now, comes full circle around in the joke that the best and wisest investment they could of made was collecting and hauling! I don't know that it actually all works out financially or not, but it is poetic.

Are we headed for a real depression along the lines of the Great Depression? I can't say. But I can pass on some tips I picked up from living with a mama who had survived it and the rationing of WWII.

Here's few to get you started as the finances begin to choke-hold:

  • Mold isn't necessarily the end of it. If bread has the white mold, pinch it off and toast the bread. If cheese has some of that whitish or bluish stuff, simply cut it off and proceed.

  • Substitute hamburger everywhere you possibly can for other cuts of beef and use tuna instead of salmon.

  • Always save leftovers! If they won't eat them, stop cooking. When they get hungry enough they will.

  • Stale cereal? Place on cookie sheet and toast in oven just a little to give it back it's crunch.

  • Save every bread sack, twisty tie and rubber band that ever comes your way. Cuts down on the number of baggies you have to buy.

  • Soap never gets too small. Save pieces and then get them all wet and mushy when you have a handful and press together. Voila! A new bar.

  • Out of buttermilk? Use sweet milk with a tablespoon of vinegar added to curdle it to substitute in recipes.

  • Stock up on staples like baking soda, flour, meal and such and make things from scratch.

  • Strain and save all grease.

  • Don't forget about evaporated milk! Richer flavor to recipes and can dilute with half water.

Well, that should get you started and thinking in the right vein. Until next time, God bless and keep you.



  1. My mother was 20 when the depression hit. She still saves all plastic bread bags, saves and reuses all her tin foil. We all laugh at her but sure might be getting back to living that way. HUGS

  2. all good advice in these hard economic times;thanks for sharing them :)


  3. LOL...those are good tricks of the trade...I was born toward the end of the "depression" so to speak...but my sisters and brothers told me stories that gave me chills...and it doesn't surprise me they all turned out the way they did...??? I am gonna be a follower there...hugs..and God Bless...Ora

  4. thanks for the tips and dog food is real cheap too!

  5. Hi Barbara- I'm pretty much doing most of this already (Except the buttermilk part yuck) AND yes, we do recycle our cans! Mostly Dr. Pepper lol, but it's nice to get a bit of pocket money! It's funny, most of the things I've done for years like shopping at goodwill, wallyworld and stuff, growing my own veggies and gathering eggs- did you ever believe we'd become fashionable?!! What a riot. Actually, not so good, now prices are going up at goodwill and all teh classy people are keeping their clothes! God Blss you Barbara~ Have a great week! Love Carolyn

  6. How wonderful - I remember my youth (Ford's were always on strike - we were always poor) and these tips got shared around. After a few years of being resonably well off I have had to start shopping in Charity shops again.
    i don't know I think it makes you more thankful in the long run. Money isn't everything.

  7. I can't say we won't have a depression but I'm not worried. All of your advice is good stuff no matter what the economy is doing!

  8. Oh dear, I don't like evaporated milk...
    Jenny <><

  9. Hi! Thanks so much for accepting my request! As has been the case for a'm in a rush to race through mail (still no pc worries). Hope to see you all very soon. ;) C.

    ***Sorry if this is doubled. I've just tried to post this account and it looks as though it didn't post.***

  10. I do or have done several of those. I guess being raised by depression-era parents comes in handy. I loved that joke! And you're right, funny is funny.

  11. Lots of wisdom there Barbara.
    By the way, one of the Greyhound drivers that retired before I did, told us one day about having a little income from selling empty beer cans.
    I asked him about the proceedure because driving a car along would negate any profit of beer cans.
    I asked him if he pushed a cart along and watch for beer cans. I intended to retire soon and wanted to make a little extra money too.
    NO, George said, I get some spending money from selling the cans that I drink the beer from.

  12. I am the planet's worst recycler. I just have never been a leftover/recycle kinda girl. But times are certainly changing and with that, it makes me want to find better ways to save and even *gasp* recycle. I think we even have a recycle service in our city. I am going to give them a call today.

  13. Hey Barbara, Glad to see you here and enjoyed the post immensely. Could you forward those tips to me, I'd like to share with my family? Also, have to tease you - you are 48 and have been married to Pete for 48 years??? Recheck your profile. WOW! :-) Love ya! LOL

  14. wow my name is in print and it doesn't involve 'The Police News'
    thanks Barbara
    Lloyd. Silsbee

  15. I just posted that smae 401 keg story on my blog a few days ago - it is funny!
    Welcome to the new neighborhood!

  16. Ken got that from a friend the other day--like you said, it's just plain funny!

    Oh my many of the tips you gave are things that I remember my Mom doing! Her and Dad grew up during the Depression (I'm happy to say they're alive and well and doing just fine), and I get my "stocking up" tendencies from them.

    I still save twisty-ties!

    All my best,

  17. I'm not too good to pick up cans. Heck I even bend over to pick up a penny. lol Paula

  18. Got you now. I am back.a little worn and ready to blog again.

  19. Great entry with the tips for saving. I've been saving cans for about the past year or so. I take them in, get the money and put it in a savings account for Rylie. She's 4 and now has over $150 in her account.

    Here's a question for anyone who saves the grease for cooking: Do I need to save it seperately? For example, can I save bacon grease in the same container as hamburg grease, etc? Or would that be cross contamination? And, is it best to save it in plastic or glass, or what?

    I know, silly questions, but these are the weird things that go through my mind.

  20. Good post Barbara! My parents were depression era folks and they said that 'The Depression' didn't hit Houston too hard, but anyway, we counted every penny, ate leftovers, rode the bus (.$10 each then) then WWII came along and things got better!

  21. Great tips, Barbara! Some I knew, some are new. :-) Thanks for sharing.



  22. Those are all very good tips, thanks for posting them Barbara. :) That was funny! We got a man down the road, he saves and saves cans in a wire barrel. Sometimes you will see them all out on the front yard smashed flat, guess that helps make room for more. Have a nice Sunday. :) Kelly


So glad you stopped by! Come 'round any time. ~ Barbara

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