Here’s how people in the 50s stretched their food dollar

Here’s how people in the 50s stretched their food dollar

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When it comes to saving money on food, it’s hard to always get the most out of your food dollar.

Here’s a quiz from the fifties to see how budget-wise people were — and even though it’s old, most of it would still be helpful today to stretch your food dollar!

Saving money on food: Is penny-saving a game with you? (1950)

Woman’s Day – January 1950

There’s a real challenge in getting the most out of your food money. Here’s a penny-saver quiz so you can check yourself and see how many of these little economies you practice regularly.

There are 20 questions, to all of which the thrifty homemaker would answer “Yes.” If your score is 10, you’re doing pretty well, but some of these tips may help you.

With a score of 15, you’re actually saving money, and if you say “Yes” 20 times, you’re about perfect at this game!

On a budget Make saving money on your food and other groceries a game - 1950S

Saving money on food: In shopping, do you…

1. Buy brown or white eggs, whichever are cheaper? Brown and white of the same grade and size have the same nutrition value.

2. Buy in bulk such vegetables as carrots, turnips, beets, etc? They cost less this way than in fancy bunches.

3. Select the less expensive, smaller oranges to squeeze for juice?

4. Take advantage of the “easy” pennies saved by buying 2 or 3 items priced that way — for example, 3 cans of tomato sauce for 20 cents? This usually means a 1/3- or 1/2-cent saving on each item.

5. Buy grade B or C canned goods instead of grade A when they suit your needs just as well?

6. Read can and package labels and compare weights and costs? The larger the size, the less the price per ounce of the contents.

7. Pick up pennies by selecting bread and baked goods from day-old rack?

MORE: Inside vintage 1950s grocery stores & old-fashioned supermarkets

1950s woman in her kitchen - making salad

Saving money on food: In cooking, do you…

1. Use evaporated or dried skim milk instead of fresh?

2. Use lard instead of other shortenings in some baking and cooking?

3. Save eggs when you can? For instance, foods to be fried can be dipped in undiluted evaporated milk instead of egg.

4. Use bacon, ham or other drippings for frying, seasoning and some baking?

5. Reduce the heat of surface units of stove once the food has started cooking properly?

6. Save and make sure to use up extra egg whites or yolks, vegetable cooking water, outer leaves of greens, etc?

7. Make full use of your oven? Don’t bake one thing at a time.

8. Substitute grated orange or lemon rind for extracts in some recipes?

MORE: Hot stuff! Vintage 1950s saucepans & kitchenware in popular retro styles

1950s housewife with a full refrigerator in a vintage kitchen (1951)

Saving money on food: In storing food, do you…

1. Place newly-purchased canned and packaged goods behind those on hand so you’ll use older ones first and avoid deterioration and spoilage?

2. Store cereals, etc, in airtight containers, especially things you’ll use slowly? Weevils eat up money.

3. Keep your refrigerator at the right temperature (40-50 degrees, except freezing unit)? If it’s colder than this, you’re spending too much to run it; if it’s warmer, costly spoilage can take place.

4. Keep a close check on vegetables and fruits? Don’t let onions or potatoes sprout and spoil. If you don’t use them up promptly, buy smaller quantities.

5. Keep slowly used bread or baked goods in the refrigerator? Of course, dry out some stale bread and store crumbs — but only enough to use quickly.

ALSO SEE: Vintage Tupperware: See 100+ retro plastic container styles, from the ’50s to the ’80s

Shop with a plan for family food (from 1958)

The plan is to write out a week’s menus and make a shopping list from them. Once you know the time and money this can save you in food shopping and the freedom from worry about what to serve each day, we think you’ll never shop any other way. Don’t forget to check newspaper ads for specials as you make your menus.

Shop with a plan for family food (from 1958)

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