Families living frugally on tight budgets are calling for a return to the old days when people really knew how to do it tough.
With news electricity prices are hurting pensioners and people on low-incomes, and the cost of living high in general, people are returning to old tips and tricks to get them through.
They said the younger generations of today would not know anything about using candlelight to keep electricity costs down, too focused on the flashlights on their iPhones.
Others are trying to instil the tricks passed down to them from their parents, grandparents or generations well before them, kept in secret books passed along through families such as making Vegemite soup and meals from bones to last the week.
An Australian pensioner who posted to a popular Facebook group this week said she was disappointed to see people complaining that the bacon bones they had been given for free had no meat on them.
“We have become a generation of self absorbed entitled people,” she said.
“We have no idea what our grandparents and great grandparents had to scrape by on during WWI and WWII.
“There was no such thing as Centrelink benefits, rent assistance, and child support only started when I was little and it was 50c per month.
“My sister and I had to walk the farming land around us (about 5km from home) searching for mushrooms in season, to sell to the local grocer. We hunted for rabbits, which we traded to the butcher for sausages.
“My mother would unravel old knitted jumpers and reknit them into new ones. I can remember her making me a new dress from one of her old ones.”
The post was flooded with people sharing tips — old ideas that had again returned — to get by during tough times.
From cutting up sheets and stitching them back together to get a longer life, or using old towels for dish cloths or face washers, many still do the things their mum had taught them.
“I unpick pillow slips — they fit exactly on the worn out parts of the bottom sheet, then I sew them on the sheet and it doubles the life of the sheets,” said one woman.
While Vegemite soup was an old tradition — a spoonful of Vegemite in hot water — some said they still brought it back out on the odd occasion, especially during winter.
Others shared how their 40-year-old friends hardly know how to cook, sew a button and constantly relied on their credit card to get them by.
“People these days have forgotten or not known what it’s like to struggle as many have never really known true hardship unlike those back during the depression and war years,” said one.
“My mum used to set a two minute egg timer for showers and have a bucket in the shower to use on the garden.”
People shared how their mum made singlets for the children from their husband’s old shirts, and put a wet sheet in front of the fan in summer.
With the current plastic bag ban debacle, some said they washed and reused their plastics, knitted dishcloths, bleached them in the sink and carefully unwrapped gifts to reuse the wrapping paper.
Those who weren’t as quick to jump on the bandwagon said it was not possible in today’s society to live by such means.
“All of this was done a long time ago,” they said.
“Rent, food and electricity were a lot lower then as was the price of purchasing a house.
“As for food hunting can you tell me where someone who lives in Redfern would go to hunt rabbits or search for mushrooms? How would they get them home on the train?”