Learn from the past: 25 Ways people earned money during the Great Depression
12/15/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

If you're a prepper worried about your finances, you might learn a lot from how Americans earned money during the Great Depression.

During this time in American history, at least 25 percent of the total labor force was unemployed. But people found ways to earn money, even when the odds were against them. (h/t to TheSurvivalMom.com)

Preppers face similar challenges now, albeit to a lesser extent. If you are worried about unemployment or if you just want to earn extra cash, read on to learn how Americans made money during the Great Depression.

According to the book "We Had Everything But Money" by Deb Mulvey, here are 25 ways people earned money during the Great Depression:

  1. They caught and sold fish, clams and crabs.
  2. They made and sold homemade fudge.
  3. They started a lunch truck or wagon.
  4. They grew, picked and sold berries.
  5. Selling homemade baked goods, like bread or pies.
  6. Selling eggs for 25 cents a dozen.
  7. Selling apples.
  8. Selling homegrown produce.
  9. Buying produce and re-selling door-to-door
  10. They sold newspapers on the corner. Children were able to earn extra money if they got promoted to "Corner Captain," a Great Depression version of a multi-level marketing program where a child brought in other kids to sell papers and earned extra money for himself.
  11. Road work.
  12. Shoveling snow on roads.
  13. Having several part-time jobs, such as housecleaning.
  14. Chopping wood or harvesting driftwood.
  15. Making and selling handwoven baskets.
  16. Piecework sewing.
  17. Brighteon.TV

  18. Making and selling quilts.
  19. Mending or altering clothes
  20. Mowing lawns and other kinds of yard work.
  21. Door-to-door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions/accessories.
  22. Making deliveries to stores.
  23. Offering childcare services.
  24. Renting out rooms.
  25. Washing windows.
  26. Loading coal.

What can the modern prepper learn from this? (Related: Lessons from the past: 26 Great Depression recipes every prepper should know.)

Most of the time, people back then studied what products or services were in demand and offered them to earn money.

Practical skills of Depression-era Americans

People from that era had practical skills that many non-preppers don't have, so preppers have one advantage.

As a prepper, here are some skills that you should develop so you can earn extra money and save up before SHTF:

  • Foraging
  • Smoking meat, poultry and fish
  • Caring for livestock
  • Butchering different types of animals for meat and fur/leather
  • Rendering lard
  • Sewing by hand or with a non-electric sewing machine
  • Cultivating a home garden
  • Preserving food by home canning
  • Tinkering or knowing how to fix different tools and equipment

Tips for earning extra money as a modern prepper

If you have a home garden or know how to knit, you can use your skills to make some extra cash.

Here are some suggestions on how to earn extra money as a modern prepper:

  • Make and sell supplies like soap bars and candles, or infused oils using herbs and flowers from your garden.
  • Offer prepping classes and teach people your prepping skills.
  • Sell herbs, fruits and vegetables from your home garden.
  • Rent out equipment like gardening tools or tractor implements and attachments.
  • Sell knitted mittens, hats and other clothing items.
  • Sell home canned jams, jellies and pickled fruits and vegetables.

Learn from people who persevered during the Great Depression and use your prepper skills to earn extra money for your prepping projects.

Follow Preparedness.news for more tips on how to make the most of your prepping skills.

Watch the video below to know how to make home-canned pickled eggs.

This video is from the Alex Hammer channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Survival skills: Side jobs that will help you earn money after SHTF.

Financial preparedness: 13 Ways to prepare for hyperinflation.

Lessons from the past: Home remedies from the Great Depression.

Sources include:




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