Free Ebook and Good Hints to Stretch Your Money

“Things Mother Used to Make” by Lydia Gurney, published in 1913, was comprised mostly of Imagerecipes, but also contained household hints in the appendix. Now available as a free ebook, you can download it on your computer or your reader. It is available for sale as a print version, but you could print it out from the PDF for yourself or as a gift.

When this book was written, many modern cleaning products had not been introduced yet and there were no fast-food products available. Unlike a lot of older cookbooks, the recipes are easy to understand and follow.

Some examples:

=Save potato water=

Pare potatoes before boiling, and then save the water, to mix your yeast bread with.

(I often make sourdough bread. See Sept. 27 post “Saving Money with Sourdough”. One of my sourdough starters uses potato flakes in the mix. I am going to try this next time I make sourdough bread – replacing plain tap water with potato water. Since my family loves and requests potato rolls for special occasions, I think this would make the sourdough bread even better.)

=A Use for the Vinegar Off Pickles-

When your pickles have been used from your glass jars, do not throw away the vinegar. Use it in your salad dressing. It is much better than plain vinegar because of the flavor.

=To Clean a Vinegar Cruet on the Inside-


Put into it shot, pebblestones, or beans. Fill it with a strong soap suds, and one teaspoonful of bread soda or ammonia. Let stand an hour, shake well and often. Rinse with clean water. (Beans would be the thing to use now!)

=When Using Currants and Raisins=

Mix a little dry flour with currants and raisins before adding them to cakes or puddings. It will keep them from

falling to the bottom.

=When Threading a Needle=

Place a piece of white paper under the eye. You will be surprised at the ease, with which you can thread it.

Inexpensive andinteresting recipes included:

  • squash pie (many people like pumpkin pie = which is a squash – but don’t consider making a pie from other squash).
  • poor man’s rice pudding
  • chocolate sauce
  • salad dressing
  • a breakfast dish (in miscellaneous)

Besides being an interesting read, many of the recipes and hints are not only practical, but also cost saving.

The pictures are from the collection of public domain images mentioned in this blog:

Mother and children came from the 1900’s fashion section. The lady with the hat came from a 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal and the one below from her clipart collection. Thanks, Karen, for the images.



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