Frugal and Filling Depression Era Breakfast Recipes (2024)

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These hearty depression era breakfast recipes are filling and budget friendly.

Frugal and Filling Depression Era Breakfast Recipes (1)

When you think about the depression era and what people ate, you probably think about the most filling meal of the day and that’s dinner. Food was something that was hard for many people to afford and hunger was a very real issue for many American families at the time. Breakfast was often skipped to save money on supplies for a dinner at the end of the day when everyone was tired and hungry. However, this doesn’t mean that many families didn’t eat breakfast before going about their days.

Depression era breakfast were often in the form of very cheap foodslike breads or corn. Cornwas often used as cornmeal or polenta. People would drink coffee and tea as part of breakfast or the only thing in the morning. Families had to be frugal and this lead to a lot of repeat breakfasts without luxuries like meat. If you would like to take a nod from the depression era and make cheap but filling depression era breakfasts for your family, here are some great Frugal and Filling Depression Era Breakfasts.

Frugal and Filling Depression Era Breakfast Recipes

Egg in a Hole or One Eyes Sams were a great filling meal because they were fun for kids and gave a bit of carbs for energy as well as protein to stay full. Check out this recipe for Eggs in a Hole from Kitch Me.

Because cornmeal was easy to get and make, many people enjoyed Southern Johnny Cakes like this recipe from Grandbaby Cakes.

Mr Breakfast has a great recipe for a classic depression era recipe of Milk Toast.

Creamed Eggs on Toast was another filling breakfast that contained a good amount of protein. This recipe is from My Cup is Full.

Fried Mush was another classic meal for mornings. It was sometimes eaten as a dessert but often breakfast, too. Check out the recipe on Our Simple Farm.

This Poor Man’s Sausage by From the Chuck Wagon is actually made from black eyed peas and was a substitute for sausage for many southern households.

Many families ate biscuits in the morning and this Biscuit Bread recipe from Deep South Dish is a good example of how it was in the day.

American Poverty Pudding by is made from corn flakes. If you were lucky it contained also contained berries.

This Depression Era Cheese Souffle by Eating Out Loud was probably something you would find in better off households as dairy and cheese were a treat and luxury, but it’s from the era nonetheless.

Families often canned produce because they couldn’t let things go to waste so they made jams and jellies out of fruit they were able to harvest. This Pectin-Free Raspberry Jam would have tasted great on Homemade Basic White Bread.

More Depression Era Recipes and Money Saving Tips:

12 Decadent Depression Era Desserts

Vanilla Depression Cake

Frugal Depression Era Gardening Tips

Depression Era Tips to Stretch your Food Budget

8 Depression Era Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips from the Depression Era


  1. Donald LaFrance says

    When I was about 5 or 6 (1936-1937) I remember a breakfast of broken pieces of bread in a bowl of milk with sugar.

    I also remember a sandwich of fried peppers with ketchup on Italian bread.

    My parents would on occasion take us to the beach with a picnic sandwich of fresh tomatoe slices on buttered italian bread with salt and pepper.


  2. Cheryl says

    Anyone have a receipe for a scrambled egg dish that used chopped bacon and chopped up fresh bread called “kedjurrie” (sp?) ?


    • phishstyx says

      Kedgeree is not a bread dish. It is a mixture of rice and smoked fish, flavored with curry spices, herbs and lemon juice; and garnished with boiled egg. I’ve seen it with dried fruit (usually golden raisins), and once with fresh fruit (chopped apples & apricots). It was invented by Indians trying to cook something for British overlords during the colonial period.
      I guess your kedjurrie might be a take on this, with bread and bacon ???, instead of rice & fish ???
      Both kedgeree & your sought-after dish sound like experiments, so why don’t you just try to recreate your taste memory? You might invent something great.



  3. lac says

    My parents grew p in the Great Depression. we had many of these depression meals ourselves growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember hamburger SOS and we had it over potatoes or rice. It is actually very good. I serve this as well as other depression type meals tha I grew up with.


  4. Angela @ Setting My Intention says

    We were just recently introduced to depression cake and we love it! We make it when we’re meal planning from the pantry and running out of some staples – usually at the end of the month.We’ll have to check out these recipes. Thanks!


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