smart spending

5 frugal lessons from the Depression

Save money on energy-efficient appliances
Next
4 of 7
Back
Save money on energy-efficient appliances

Then: Ads from the era appeal to customers' sense of frugality. Newfangled electric ranges, refrigerators and oil furnaces became popular and were seen as a modern-day advance over wood- or coal-burning equipment. Devices also were depicted as labor-saving and time-saving, says Kreshel.

Fireproof, weather-resistant asbestos siding and roofing materials promised to cut costs and repel cold winds. Such ads dovetailed with the 1930s-era Rural Electrification Administration's program, which put almost everyone in the U.S. on the power grid.

"A lot of the New Deal programs helped Americans and expanded the market for private business to sell things to more people," McElvaine says. For instance, many new electricity customers had a need for electric appliances.

Now: Appliances rated with the EnergyStar seal -- a government standard for energy efficient appliances -- and modern-day insulation without asbestos can save money by siphoning less from the power grid.


 

 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed 4.19%  0.05 4.24%
15 year fixed 3.27%  0.09 3.18%
5/1 ARM 3.38%  0.06 3.32%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.29%  0.01 4.28%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.04%  0.01 4.03%
100K FICO-based HELOC 3.89%  0.01 3.88%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.79% --0.00 2.79%
48 month used car loan 2.98% --0.00 2.98%
60 month new car loan 3.24% --0.00 3.24%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.95%  0.04 0.91%
2 Year CD 1.15%  0.04 1.11%
5 Year CD 1.75% --0.00 1.75%
 
View Rates in your area Next
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.77% --0.00 15.77%
Cash Back Cards 16.48% --0.00 16.48%
Low Interest Cards 10.96% --0.00 10.96%
 
Next
advertisement
FRUGAL NEWSLETTER

Discover new ways to cut costs and save more every day. Reduce your spending, not life’s pleasures. Delivered weekly.

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us