Monday, January 11, 2010

Don't Throw It Out: Advice From Frugal Forties Housewives

A Vintage Guide To Thrifty Living
This is another installment of sage advice from the 1940's housewife on how to run a thrifty household.


1. Old Flannel Pajamas: when they are ready to toss....cut them up into squares, bind several squares together and use as potholders.

2. Odds and ends from old dresses while really old , look new when made into hats, purses, scarves, etc.

3. Old plastic shower curtains can be converted to aprons. Or use them to cover porch pillows.

4. Old cotton stockings can be ripped down the seem and used as dust cloths.

5. Worn out blankets...try taking two or three worn out blankets and stitch them together covered with a cotton print. Now you have a warm comforter.

6.Old linoleum can be cut into small pieces and made into placemats.

7. A Retired curtain rod makes a handy shoe rack. Just tack it on the closet door, and hang the shoes by their heels on it.

8. Old but laundered socks, pulled over shoes not in use, or when they are packed for travel will keep them like new and separated from other packed items.

9. Old paint brushes become pliable when soaked in hot vinegar.

10. Leaky vases can be stopped by melting paraffin over the leaky spot and let it harden.

Source "1003 Household Hints", 1947 Edited by Michael Gore

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

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  1. Diane, I love those suggestions because they are so quaint! Imagine using old linoleum as placemats. Maybe as an appetite suppressant.....

  2. Still applicable today. I do Numbers 1, 2 and 5 on a regular basis. No leaky vases here, luckily. -amy

  3. Mitzi.... I suppose eating on linoleum placemats is like "eating off the floor" lol....Dianne

  4. Dianne, This reminds me of my beautiful and frugal mother, who was a child in the Depression and a young bride in the late 1940s ... and really knew how to recycle! Today when I cut an old sheet into pieces to use as a dust rag, I felt her smiling at me - she would have been proud. :-) Margot