The Things They Did To Survive the Depression

Folks did whatever they could to make ends meet.

During the Great Depression, folks did whatever they could to survive. People who were once middle class suddenly found themselves with no money at all after the stock market crashed and banks collapsed. Creative housekeeping, neighborly love, and careful allocation of resources are what kept people going day after day. Here are 10 of the things that folks did to stay afloat during the Depression.

10) Foraged for Food

When there was nothing else to eat, some wives canned tumbleweed or other foraged foods, like wild asparagus.

Via/ Library of Congress

9) Used What’s on Hand

Sometimes tire rubber or cardboard was used to patch holes in the soles on their shoes.

Via/ Library of Congress

8) Stashed Cash

If any money was earned it went in the sock drawer or the coffee can- not the bank! Many folks were completely skeptical of banks after they lost their money. Checks were promptly cashed, not deposited.

Via/ Library of Congress

7) Not Too Proud

Most people took any job to earn money, be it a day job or a traveling salesman or handy man. Many professionals were peddlers during the ’30s.

Via/ Library of Congress

6) Creative Small Business

Resourceful people sold what items could be foraged (wood, food, flowers, scrap metal).

Via/ Library of Congress

Click “Next Page” for more of these survival strategies from the Depression.