5 Depression Era Hacks From a 100 Year Old Grandma

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[Note from Frolic: Our very own Sarah Penna is sharing some tips from her grandma that might help you out this week! Take it away, Sarah and Sarah’s grandma!]

My grandma was born in 1920 and is turning 100 this year. She has seen a LOT in her 100 years–The Depression, WWII (she was a flight nurse stationed in Karachi), Vietnam War, Women’s Liberation Movement, the advent of the internet and cell phones, 9/11, and so on and so on. I knew that her long life and all the things she’s been through have shaped her deeply as a person. Ever since I was little, I marveled and giggled at some of her more over the top quirks (Exhibit A: she bought her house in 1963 and the previous occupants left their kitchen trash can, she STILL uses that same trash can). But now? I get it. I find the things I used to scoff at suddenly make sense and I find myself adopting and using in my own home. So today, I’m bringing you 5 of her best life hacks. Below are a few ideas from someone who used to call a freezer an “ice box” and now has a Gmail account. 

1. Buy a dozen bagels, slice them in half and put them in the freezer. They keep way longer and they’re ready to just pop into the toaster without having to defrost them first! 

2. Buy a “last drop” bottle scraper (true story: when I got laid off in the 2008 financial crisis my grandma bought me one of these as a present….) It helps you get the very last little bit out of the bottom of the jar/bottle 

3. Keep every leftover container from delivery. Ever (seriously she has some from 1995) They make amazing Tupperware for other leftovers (or, if you have little kids at home, you can use them as paint containers or other recycled crafting)  

4. Ginger or Garlic going bad? Crush it up, put it in an ice cube tray and freeze it. It will pop out in perfect amounts and will last a long time! 

5. If you have the space, make sure you always have a month of paper products on hand. I know, I know, everyone is giving this advice now hence the toilet paper shortage, but my grandma was way ahead of the game. Ever since I was little, one entire wall of my grandma’s garage is stacked with toilet paper, paper towels and napkins. Never understood it until now! 

So, in conclusion-when in doubt, freeze EVERYTHING. I hope my grandma’s quirks brought a smile to your face and you learned some simple tricks to stretch your supplies. I’m personally looking forward to 2084 when I can say “back in the pandemic times….” 

 
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3 thoughts on “5 Depression Era Hacks From a 100 Year Old Grandma”

  1. This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself and your wonderful Grandma. We could learn so much from those who have seen and been through so much, we just need to be willing to listen with not only our ears but our hearts too. Wishing you Happy Mothers Day and thank you. Stay safe.

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