Friday, December 12, 2014

Living On $900 a Year

Royal Baking Powder Ad 1934

Ok, I know you're reading the title of this post and thinking "Has he lost his mind?"  Well to be honest, I think I lost it years ago but I digress, the title has everything to do with the Ad above from 1934.  In that year, America was still in the grip of a devastating Depression and Americans were looking for more ways to save money.  Manufacturers took advantage of this trend to stress the quality of their products over the competition. 

The ad above features Mrs. Walter Speck of New Brunswick, NJ (incidentally my father's hometown and where I was born).  She is extolling the virtues of Royal Baking powder and it's quality compared to the leading brands.  Today we focus more on the use of coupons and shows like "Extreme Couponing" are showing Americans how to save money by combining coupons with sales.  This was an option that was not really open to Americans during the last Great Depression and certainly gives us the opportunity to save some money at the grocery.

Another option that has become more mainstream over the last few years is online coupons where we simply print out the coupon and take it to the store.  If you like to shop online, these same websites can oftentimes provide you with promo codes that you enter in while going through the checkout process.  I have many times taken advantage of these offers to get special discounts or even free shipping.  So while we may laugh at the fact that anyone can feed a family with $900 a year, we are forced ourselves to live within the means of our budgets.  Who knows, maybe future generations will, through the tiresome march of inflation, be laughing at us trying to live off of $40,000 a year.


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