5 Ways You Can Fight The Recession

by Ron Haynes

Hard times all around are causing those who still have a job to rethink everything from their vacation plans to their restaurant choices to their “must have” clothes. At the same time, those who have lost their job or have had their income severely reduced are learning to revive the lost skills of their grandparents. Maybe we should all learn some of that old grandparent know-how to save money and make extra money as well.

Those old skills are valuable assets that can help you fight your way through this recession and come out on the other side a wiser, more independent person.

Stow Aways!

More than just buying and storing extra cans of SpaghettiOs, effectively stockpiling food and supplies means knowing how long a product can last under different conditions. Whether that product is rice, canned food, or emergency supplies, squirreling away some supplies makes sense regardless of the economy. Just a reminder: you can also stockpile cash in a savings account!

Sew Whatcha Gonna Wear

One valuable skill that can last a lifetime is the ability to create clothing. It’s more than just stitching two pieces of cloth together, sewing can mean the ability to mend anything from socks to dresses. Back in 1983 I spent a summer in Guatemala and was amazed at the villagers ability to reweave my clothes that had holes in them from working in the jungle.

More Than Just Flowers

When one small plot of land and a few seeds can produce meal after meal for a family, is it any wonder that people learn to garden in a recession? Even just a few tomato plants, a couple of bell peppers, some herbs, potatoes, onions, garlic, and cucumbers can be planted in some pots on your porch or deck. Those few plants can significantly offset your grocery bill even if you don’t have much land to garden on.

Canning and Preserving Food

I don’t personally know a lot about canning, but my mother and my relatives used to can vegetables and soup every summer, then we would eat all winter! Many local community colleges offer classes on canning if you don’t have a relative or friend to teach you. Be sure and use good hygiene and follow all safety directions with canning.

Go Where the Jobs Are

Just like the pioneers of old, some folks are learning that moving to another area with better opportunities and less expense is a way to survive touch economic times. This is a HUGE decision and not one that should be made without a lot of research and advice. But, there are still some areas with job opportunities here in the US. Be sure and take into consideration things like moving expenses, utilities, cost of living, and other family considerations.

This recession is causing everyone to reassess their priorities and make every effort to become more self sufficient, and that isn’t a bad thing.

How have you become more self sufficient?

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Tammy Brackett

LOVED the Sew Whatcha Gonna Wear section of this post! I routinely repair clothing and not only is it economical is is soul satisfying! I don’t have a sewing machine but manage to patch, hem, darn and repair clothing just fine.
I agree sewing is such a valuable skill.
Thanks for the uplifting content this morning!


Sewing clothes is way more expensive than buying them at the thrift shop. I just bought a nice pair of Lands End shorts for $1.50. It would cost more than that for fabric to sew my own pair.


Great find on those shorts!
But not everyone lives near a decent thrift store (like me for one!) We had one back home where you could find items on the rack with the price tags still on them.


Love this piece. My fondest memories are when I canned and froze food that we had planted in a roadbed one time, long ago. It was hard as, well….. as a road. :) But we got more food on that plot of land than you can imagine. There was a storm one night and our corn, with the pole beans running up the stalks, fell over. My sweet husband and I got out there and propped up those stalks of corn, and they stayed there until the corn and beans were ready for picking. In that garden, we grew brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, onions, carrots, beans and peas, corn, tomatoes, 3 kinds of squash, lots of different peppers, potatoes and many herbs. I’m sure I have forgotten some things too. But, I also learned to have our boys to plant things they wanted to eat. Plus, it teaches them responsibility. It also is a great discipline to tend to your garden. And, a great way to get the kids to eat veggies and fruits too. The money we saved on gardening allowed us to buy one of our most favorite homes.


I’m fighting this recession all the way! My wife has been using some programs offered by Walgreens and CVS to stockpile health and beauty aids like toothpaste, pain reliever, shampoo, liquid soap, etc. She has saved us a ton of money off our grocery bill. We aren’t doing it because we think these items will become scarce, she does it to take advantage of some fantastic deals!

Positively Present

Excellent ideas here! I read on other blog today (so sorry, I forget which one!) that a good way to save money is to think about what really makes you happy and spend money on that, rather than things you don’t care much about. I think this is great advice!


Have you priced the cost of material lately?

While I completely agree that repairing clothes will save you money, the cost of making your own clothes is way ahead of what our grandparents paid.

If you are handy with a needle, you can often make better clothes than what you will find in the stores, but if your only sew-sew with a needle you might be better off buying. By the time you purchase the material, often more than you would spend on a finished garmet, and the time in processing the material you have stripped any savings that you could have had. This is a great oppurtunity for those that already like to sew and do projects, but frustrating for those that don’t.

That said, there are ways of saving even in this area. I check for material whenever I’m in a thrift store. I have found outstanding bargains on quality material that would have cost 5 times the amount I paid in a fabric store. If the thrift store is near a retirement community, they usually have an excellent supply.


Yeah but like you said, there are opportunities to buy discounted fabrics! Plus our grandparents would take the scrap material and make napkins, quilts, and other things. Plus, it’s pretty satisfying (even for a guy) to make something. If that keeps you from developing a more expensive hobby, you’re way ahead of the game!


Though I love to sew, its rarely cost effective. I do it for the love of fashion, not because it saves money. Though I do occasionally score a good deal on fabric, I have gotten clothes (sometimes luxury labels) for far less.

Doing my own repairs is a great deal though. I also like making napkins, pillow cases, and other misc. household goods.

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