Depression Thinking

Depression thinking? This article is about depression??? I’m pushing the back button as fast as I can. Nooo, WAIT….it’s not about THAT kind of depression.

Depression thinking
Depression…it’s not what you think!

Because my parents grew up during the Great Depression of the ’30’s, they saved EVERYTHING. Growing up, I was sooo embarrassed by their extremes of saving. Dad would go in a restaurant, eat, and come out with a handful of toothpicks, which were then saved in a large oatmeal can. After he died, I had no idea what to do with all those toothpicks.

The last of the toothpicks…37 years old!

One year our yard got rolled at Halloween. We were cleaning it up, and I was about to throw it away, and Mom said, “Oh no, we’re going to USE it!” Free toilet paper, right??

Mom would save scratch paper from junk mail, but it couldn’t be thrown away until written on BOTH sides. Christmas wrapping paper was reused until it was literally falling apart and only the teensiest bit of scotch tape could be applied to get the job done. Toothpaste tubes were smoothed out ’til every last bit came out.

Toothpaste & Lip Balm

Moldy cheese in our house was never thrown out. Oh no, cut off that mold & keep eating it. After all, mold is what they make medicines from, right?? It’s good for you!



Therefore,  you know the moral of this story, don’t you? I became my mother! Which is the origin of the label on my tagline…CHEAPSKATE! Now I feel guilty if I throw out paper not written on both sides! Do you KNOW how much good stuff is still left in lip balm after it’s “empty”?? Same with lipstick. And of course, I save everything…almost.

I guess it’s practically unheard of to be so frugal in our throw-away society today, but there are those of us who were brought up this way. And now, I just LOVE those estate sales where someone lived from the “Depression Thinking” era. They are FULL of treasures! But I still don’t want 5 large oatmeal cans of toothpicks!


Can anyone relate to this, or is it just me?? Please leave a comment!


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As an experienced online seller for 19 years, I've just begun to reveal some of my selling secrets. In my Vintage Finds posts, I show what I buy for resale, and sell for. Because many items are vintage and need TLC, I show these DIY's, and how I refurbish to sell. I love picking, junking, thrifting, and shabby chic style.

6 comments on Depression Thinking

  1. Florence, I lost my mother at a pretty young age. My grandmother stepped in to prepare me for the future,but she did not try to be my mother which I respected. I had so much TP to last me for 5 years for 4 of us! I still can, etc. and I still pinch every penny! Thank you for this as I talk to others who have no clue!

    1. Hi Lea! Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad to know there of others of us out there. You’re right, most of the world has no clue unless they lived during the Depression, or were brought up by parents who did. My brother and I do pinch pennies…he more than I b/c he’s older.

  2. Florence this is me. My parents also grew up in the 1930’s and they lived through the 2nd World War where they had nothing to eat. So yes our cupboards are always full. And even worst they get offended if you don’t eat all of the food on your place because there might be another world war tomorrow and you will starve…

    1. Haha Mary! I know exactly what you mean about eating all the food on your plate. The one I heard was “the starving children in China would be glad to have that.” Sounds like both our parents taught us the same thing!

  3. I totally get it. I think there are articles talking about millionaires, or self made millionaires, many of them think this way. Using things in a frugal way saves money. But I think I balk at using the toilet paper that was used to tp my house! LOL

    1. I had a chuckle over that one Nikki! Yes I remember thinking the same thing….USE this when it’s been up in the tree & down on the ground?? Ha! We did though.

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