7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (2024)

Food » Entrees » 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression

Posted: | Last updated: by Erin K. Browne 15 Comments
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PHOTO CREDITS:All credit for photos included in this round-up goes to the original bloggers who created these incredible recipes.No recipes have been reproduced here.Please click through to the awesome blogs who shared these posts andleave them some love in the commentsif you try their recipes or if you just love their ideas!

During the late 1920's and early 1930's when funds were tight and food was expensive, families had to get a little creative and a lot more frugal when it came to making meals to feed their families. Many of those recipes have continued to be passed down to current generations, and here's a list of the few of the more prolific meals that were made during that time. Have you tried any of these?

7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (1)

Image and recipe link from The Baltimore Snacker

Hey, if we had fallen on hard times, I'd feel totally fine feeding this simple dish to my family. Onions and potatoes get cooked together and mixed with chopped up hot dogs. Nothin' wrong with that. You've got the fat from the cooking oil, the protein in the hot dogs, and the carbs in the potatoes - the gang's all here. For the remaining oil from your recipes, you can store them and do a bulk cooking oil recycling pick up once in a while.

7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (2)

Image and recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Though my parents are too young to have lived during the Depression, my mom used to make this all the time when I was a kid. And I hated it. As an adult I can see the appeal and I'd like to give it another goal, but there was just something about the texture and the combo of the gravy and the dried beef that just didn't sit well with the kid version of myself.

7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (3)

Image and recipe from Crazy Simple kitchen

Did you know you can make a loaf of bread using as little as 3 simple ingredients? I can imagine Depression-era families would spend lots of time in the kitchen preparing many loaves of this basic staple to last the week.

7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (4)

Image and recipe by The Kitchen Magpie

Also known as Crazy Cake or Wacky Cake, this recipe is still popular today because of its sheer simplicity. The lack of eggs, milk, and butter is what makes this cake so unique, as such items were in short supply during the Depression. Some recipes call for lemon juice instead of vanilla extract, if it wasn't available.

7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (5)

Image and recipe by My Turn For Us

I totally still make this recipe (though I use salt pork) on the regular, and it's amazing. I just made it this past weekend with a big ole cast iron skillet of cornbread, in fact! It's easy, inexpensive, and I can see why it was a popular dinner choice when funds were tight.

Potatoes are cheap and easy to store, so it's no surprise they showed up on menu home meal plans during the Depression. This recipe jazzes them up a little bit.

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Image and recipe by 12 Tomatoes

This is the classic whatever-is-in-the-fridge-and-pantry stew. While 12 Tomatoes has refined it to an actual recipe you can follow, the stew whipped up during The Depression contained literally whatever was available - vegetables, any kind of meat, onions or other spices, etc.

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7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (9)

About Erin K. Browne

Erin is a mom of two human babies and a sweet kitty named Biscuit Fingers. She loves comfy clothes, eats too much peanut butter, and watches excessive amounts of Netflix. Make her day and toss her a like on Facebook or follow her on Instagram. Post may contain affiliate links including those via the Amazon Associates program

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Comments

  1. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (10)Diana

    How do I get the bread recipe? It doesn't want to open to the recipe from the link.

    Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (11)Beverly

      I can’t pull it up either. Where do we go to get it?

      Reply

  2. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (12)Noniblue6

    I grew up eating all of these foods. My Grandmother was a depression era newlywed and grew up with 7 siblings and my grandfather raised himself from 14 yrs of age due to the death of his father on a cattle drive. My mom was a very functional cook and could make something out of nothing. She made mulligan stew often but called it clean out the refrigerator soup. My mother in law introduced me to chipped beef on toast, I loved it! She was an army wife with 9 children .Travel all over USA and Europe. Giving birth where ever they were stationed. Very frugal cook, but a very good cook. She made the best fried chicken. I went in to home economics and learned all the tricks from my teachers. I married at 17.5 and can cook almost anything.

    Reply

  3. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (13)Elbert

    I prefer using lean ground beef to make chipped beef. you could also add uncooked rice to the ground beef. Make meat balls with it. cook them. Then add white sauce. You can also use ground turkey.

    Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (14)Erin

      Yum! Love those ideas!

      Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (15)Tamara Jones

      Very interesting! Is it possible to share the recipe for the rice meatballs? Your tips are great! Thank you. ?

      Reply

  4. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (16)Deb

    Love these easy and inexpensive recipes! Use half with my family. Will be trying the other half thank you!!

    Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (17)Erin

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing, Deb!

      Reply

  5. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (18)Esilot

    My family loves fried hot dogs, potatoes, and onions. I use bacon grease instead of vegetable oil. We call it redneck hash.

    Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (19)Erin

      Sounds delish!

      Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (20)Sandy

      My family used Italian sausage and hot dogs we called it depression dinner

      Reply

  6. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (21)Leslie

    I grew up with every one of these meals and more. I never realized until I was an adult that they were very frugal meals and depression meals. I love potato soup and SOS and still make many of these. Soup is a great frugal meal in it's many forms.

    Reply

  7. 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (22)Kim

    I love cheap and easy meals they now a days it's worth it.

    Reply

    • 7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (23)Erin

      I know! When I created this post, I had no idea it'd actually serve a real purpose due to current events. Sheesh! Hope you and yours are doing well in these weird times!

      Reply

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7 Cheap Recipes Straight From The Great Depression (2024)

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