Monday, December 27, 2021

Great Depression Era Grocery List and Prepper Pantry


The Great Depression Grocery List (see below). I  wanted to include the reality of Rations and Victory Gardens as well. For families this meant cooking from scratch. Alot of the ingredient's used were grown, canned, preserved, dried, bartered, and bought (with limits).

Self sufficiency was a necessity. Many grew Victory Gardens.

These gardens would carry families through the year. Their efforts to grow vegetables, fruit, and herbs would allow them to preserve fruit/vegetables (canned or dried), and add herbs to their meals. Any surplus was never wasted. Bartering among neighbors after having a successful Victory Garden Harvest was common. 

Here is the Great Depression Era Grocery List:

Rice: this stretched out alot of meals from pasta, meat loafs and everything in between.

Beans/Legumes: used a bulk for meals and to stretch them with larger families


Peanut Butter & Jelly


Mayonnaise: used in many odd recipes and sandwiches during that time

Macaroni and Cheese/Pasta: Surprisingly Macaroni and Cheese became very popular for a advertised 9 minute meal to feed a family of four. It sold for 19 cents a box.

Powdered Milk 

Cured Meats Spam/Hot Dogs: I must expand on this one.

Hot Dogs were a common street food and bought for only a nickel/5 cents. This was promoted for as alternative to meats that were difficult to obtain for meals. 


Canned Vegetables

Flour: biscuits/cakes/bread (no egg or milk cakes)

they had to be very creative. Since eggs and milk were rationed.

Corn Meal

Dried Fruits

Baking Powder/Yeast: place yeast in refrigerator it will last longer. They made biscuits/breads/and bread crumbs. Breads used in meals and stretched meat loafs. 



Lard: nothing was wasted from cooking this included lard from meals to be used again.


Spices and Salt

Preservation: drying herbs, homemade jellies, homemade jerky, salad dressing, dried fruits, mayonnaise and more.                        

This is a line for Sugar Rations. Could you imagine the hours spent standing in line just to get your ration and hope they don't run out before your turn. 

Other Rationed Items:

Sugar      Coffee     Butter      Fish       Eggs   

Canned Goods       Cheese     Shoes    Rubber 

Gasoline     Tea

Many people see similarities to what is happening now with food shortages, limitations on food and products and price increases. We should all take a active stance and look at our pantry's. See what maybe missing that can carry our families during these uncertain times. Get those shelves stocked up.


  1. Thank you so much, Anna! This was so interesting Love the graphics, especially the hot dogs in the can!

  2. Thank you for this post Ana. I am growing amuch larger garden than usual this year & I plan to can, dry & freeze the produce.

  3. Thank you for sharing. Good information