Throughout history, people have always found ways to save money and resources in hard times, while managing to somehow still keep their homes in order. We have so many conveniences today that most folks don’t even realize how much scrimping and creativity went into keeping house during periods of scarcity. Have a look below at 7 ways people were surprisingly frugal in past generations.

Via/ Library of Congress

7) Soap Savers

Back in the days before dishwashing liquids and special detergents for different uses, a soap saverwould come in very handy. Once a bar of soap was nearing its end it wasn’t simply thrown out. Slivers of homemade soap, Ivory or Fels Naptha were put into a soap saver and then it was swished around in the sink for dishes or in the basin for clothes to get the water soapy. A little contraption like this meant that no piece of soap, no matter how small, went to waste.

Via/ eBay

6) Grow Your Own Scrubbers

Today we use them in the bath, but the pioneers (and even folks during the Great Depression) used to grow loofah gourds so that they would always have something to scrub their tables and dishes with. For only the cost of growing and drying them, you could yield enough for the whole for year nearly free. A type of gourd, these plants were sometimes called “dishrag gourds” because they served that purpose so well.

Via/ Wiki Commons

5) Grow Your Own Ladles

Another type of gourd was often called the “dipper gourd” for its long handle. These reusable ladles served well when metal or wooden ones could not be acquired. Many pioneer families used these gourds for cooking and drinking with.

Via/ Wiki Commons

Click the “Next Page” button to see the rest of these frugal tricks!