ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Book Review - The Old-Time Art of Thrift

Updated on October 18, 2008

I was wandering around the internet a couple of weeks ago and someone mentioned the book The Old-Time Art of Thrift edited by Ken Tate. This sounded like a pretty good book to read and I am always looking for new ideas, so I borrowed it from my library. It was a very good book that talked about what things were like in the good old days.

The Old-Time Art of Thrift is loosely divided into five categories - using it up, hand-me-downs, stretching the menu, pinching pennies, and making our own fun. Within each category are a dozen or so articles, each written by a different person, typically one that had lived during the depression, when times were really, really tough. I have to say that these people really knew the art of frugal living. Except to them it was the only way to live, there wasn't an option of living frugally or not. If you wanted to survive, then you lived this way.

Each article is written as a story and they are very interesting and funny, with great ideas within them. Many ideas people talk about doing today - buying in bulk, handing down clothing, storing food for the winter, making do with what you have on hand and not running out for new, recycling (except it wasn't called recycling back then), cheap foods to feed many, and making your own toys.

I found the article on ration stamps very interesting as I really didn't know anything about them prior to reading this book. What a blessing it is to be able to go to the grocery store and get whatever we need, whenever we want it. Can you imagine only having one pair of shoes to last you the whole year? Can you imagine if you had to make your underwear out of flour sacks? Can you imagine having nothing but corn bread and baked beans to eat - meal after meal?

This book is filled with heart warming stories and great ideas and information about the way things used to be. When being thrifty was the only way to do things. In all the stories the authors look back on the tough times of the 1930's with fondness and even a little sadness at how things have changed. As if it was so much better to live back then than it is to live now.

In a way I kind of agree with them. There are so many options now, too many to choose from sometimes. There are also all kinds of pressures that go along with today's society, pressures that I don't think they felt back then. Decades ago the only pressure was to keep the small mortgage paid up and keep food on the table. Most food was home grown and what grew in the summer you made sure to save for the winter, when food wouldn't grow.

Reading The Old-Time Art of Thrift makes me wish I lived back then. But then again I frequently feel as if I were born in the wrong century. If you are looking for a book filled with ideas, but in an easy story telling format, this is the book for you. Enjoy!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I found this book at of all things, a THRIFT store! I paid .50 and it was in brand new condition. I'm loving reading the little stories and am taking my time so I can enjoy it thoroughly - it definitely makes you think about the true necessities of life!

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 

      10 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      Sounds quite interesting. Good review. It makes me want to go out and find it. I love reading those types of stories

    • Dottie1 profile image


      10 years ago from MA, USA

      Hi Jennifer....this sounds like a really interesting book and one that I would enjoy reading. Thanks for sharing.

    • LouiseKnittel profile image


      10 years ago from Ohio

      I have often wonder how it would be to live back then. I think that I would have loved it!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)