What Lessons Can We Learn from the Depression Era?

Through the years, you've often heard me say that if our ancestors from the 1800s returned today, they'd be better prepared for a blackout than we are. They did everything they needed to do without electricity. Many people today freak out if they lose power for a few hours.

But we don't have to look as far back as the 1800s to learn lessons from our predecessors. Some of us may be old enough to remember the Great Depression, while others have heard shocking, first-hand stories about it from grandparents or parents. 

From 1929 to 1941, economic hardship in the U.S. was as bad as it ever was before or has been since. The stock market crash, failing banks, the collapse of the monetary system, and massive job losses put the vast majority of Americans in a very precarious spot. 

In 2023, we're dealing with a difficult economic climate. It's not the Great Depression, but nobody knows how much worse things will get. We'll all be better prepared for whatever is headed our way if we follow the example of those who lived through the Great Depression. 

Today I want to look at some very specific ways those proud Americans survived rough times and suggest we learn from them. Then I'm going to let you in on a way to save nearly $700 on two of the most important survival gear items we offer.

Grow food in a garden

These 7 tips are in no particular order, other than this first one. And that's because you need to get started on it now during the spring.

In the past couple of years, we've seen some very scary supply chain problems, food shortages, and skyrocketing food prices. We've all been affected by them.

But growing your own vegetables and fruits in your backyard garden will go a long way to making sure you're not affected if the situation does not improve or worsens.

This is exactly what many folks did during the Great Depression and it paid off for them. And those who couldn't grow their own food benefited from community gardens. This is probably the single best way for you to become self-sufficient. 

Repurpose your stuff

Americans throw away billions of tons of trash every year. But not everything that looks like trash really is.

If it's an item that can be used for something beyond its original purpose, it's valuable. And it means keeping money in your bank account.

Here are some examples of how folks who survived the Great Depression repurposed their "trash." Instead of throwing out old t-shirts, they saved them and used them for cleaning windows.

They also saved scraps from meals to use in soups, casseroles, and hashes. They saved cardboard and other packaging for writing notes. They even washed and reused their aluminum foil.

Conserve everything

The great thing about getting on a conservation kick is that you can do it with just about everything you use. Including food, water, and power. 

How do you conserve food? Only buy and cook what you will eat. Then eat leftovers the next day. How about water? Take shorter showers. Energy? Turn the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer.

Make sure lights are off in rooms you're not using. Walk or ride a bike on your errands if that's an option. Replace single-use items with those that can be reused or repurposed.

Over time, you will notice that your bills are lower than they were. Including grocery bills, water bills, and energy bills. That's how they did it during the Great Depression, and that's how we should be doing it today.

Stock up on food 

Realizing that store shelves would probably be empty soon, Americans acquired as much long-lasting food as they could find during the Great Depression.

They stockpiled it in their cupboards and wherever else it would fit that was not subject to extreme temperatures.

And that's exactly what we should be doing with water and shelf-stable food. It's worth it to pay a little more for food that will be there when you need it.

Then, rotate that food as necessary to make sure nothing expires before you've had a chance to enjoy it. If you have survival food good for 25 years, you probably will never have to worry about that.

Spend wisely and save 

The amount of money we spend is just as important as the amount of money we earn. We have to learn to live on what we bring in.

Look for deals on everything you purchase. Including food, clothing, transportation, and everyday items you need for upkeep to your home.

People surviving the Great Depression didn't care if they were seen wearing old clothes, driving old cars, and using old tools. And when they did have to replace something, they chose practical over shiny. We should develop that same mindset.

For many of us, saving a lot of money right now is not an option. But saving a little bit of money each month is. And if we stick with it and stay disciplined, it will add up.

Develop your skills

Depending on how bad our economy gets, do-it-yourselfers are going to thrive far better than those who are dependent on others for everything.

That's certainly the way it was during the Great Depression. People taught themselves a number of self-reliant skills to save money and time.

They included vehicle maintenance, gardening, carpentry, electronics repairs, sewing, first-aid, and home medicine.

We have a big advantage here, thanks to the Internet. It provides a quick way to educate us on a wide variety of DIY projects. And who knows? Maybe something you now consider a hobby could become an income source when others suddenly need your expertise.

Be prepared to barter

The recent collapse of banks in the U.S. got a lot of people thinking about what would happen if they couldn't withdraw their cash.

When this happened on a much larger scale during the Great Depression, people without cash were forced to use other items to gain what they needed. Sometimes they paid for goods and services with the produce they grew in gardens. Or with milk from their cows. 

Even if you don't have a garden and don't expect to ever own a cow, you can prepare for bartering by gaining as many items as possible that you think people will want in the event of a financial crisis. 

That could include alcohol, cigarettes, paper products including toilet paper, and a wide variety of medicines. 

An incredible survival bundle

As promised, here's how you can acquire two key survival products providing power and food while saving nearly $700.

For a very limited time, 4Patriots is offering the Patriot Power Generator 1800 and our 3-Month Survival Food Kit in a bundle which will save you $695. In other words, for the price of the generator, you'll get 688 servings of survival food FREE of charge.

Our fume-free, silent, and safe solar generator allows you to cycle your fridge or freezer and keep your CPAP and oxygen machines going during a power outage. 

It also enables you to turn on lights for comfort and safety, charge your cellphones and laptops, and run your TV for important news. And it comes with a FREE 100-Watt Solar Panel.

Your 3-Month Survival Food Kit provides you with delicious, homemade-tasting food designed to last 25 years under proper storage conditions. And it comes in disaster-resistant packaging and water-resistant totes. 

The 24 recipes in this emergency food kit include Buttermilk Pancake Mix and Grammy's Sweet Oatmeal, Fireside Stew and Cowboy Rice & Beans, and Hearty Stroganoff and Nonna's Secret Recipe Spaghetti. Plus desserts and beverages.

I'm getting hungry just thinking about all this great food, so I'm going to sign off and enjoy some of it. But not from your emergency food supply. That's reserved for you. As is your easy payment plan, if you're interested. Here's how to claim your survival bundle… 


  • Diana trott - April 19, 2023

    Frank…. Loved your blog message. It was great to hear how our parents and grandparents survived The Great Depression using skills of repurpose, conservation and innovation. Since I was raised by them, I grew up with many of the suggestions you made.

    I recently lost the shingles off my roof in a Midwest storm with over 60mph winds. The rain poured through the seams in the ceiling and I had a mess. I was very happy I had old towels and large containers, including my 4 Patriots bucket from my outdoor water filtration system. The 4 Patriots flashlight, Side-Kick generator, and even my water pitcher are being put to good use right now as the little old farmhouse I live in is under construction for major repair. Thanks for all you offer at 4 Patriots. Your company and expertise are greatly appreciated especially at times when you need it most.

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