Yesterday evening while finishing a tube of toothpaste, I was reminded that my mother was not satisfied to just squeeze the tube empty. When it reached the point shown above, she would get out a pair of scissors, cut off the bottom, and then reach into the tube with her toothbrush, retrieving enough material for another couple brushings. (I've tried that on occasion, and it does work)
One of my cousins told me that her mom (my mom's sister) did the same thing. Both those ladies grew up on a Norwegian family farm, coming of age during the Great Depression of the 1930s. On the farm they had no problems with food security, and even offered meals to passing hobos, but my mom explained that they often lacked for "ready cash." They would take a can of milk to town to the creamery to get spending money or swap eggs for goods at the local store.
What's interesting is that both my mom and her sister carried that ultrathrifty toothpaste habit well into a comfortable middle-class adulthood. It makes me wonder what habits the coronavirus pandemic will instill into young adults, and how long those new financial and social patterns will persist.
Addendum: Apparently in response to this blog post, The Atlantic published an article today with the lengthy title "How the Pandemic Has Changed Us Already. The Great Depression permanently altered many people’s behavior. Could COVID-19 do the same?" The article mentions handwashing, caution re strangers, household chores for children, personal hygiene, clothing choices (bras, leggings, jammies), use of alcohol, hobbies, etc. They note that the Great Depression had a greater effect on people's behavior than the 1918 flu pandemic because it lasted for several years. The current pandemic is having an effect; the question is how long those behavioral changes will persist.