Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services, or an artificial restriction of demand. Rationing controls the size of the ration, which is one’s allowed portion of the resources being distributed on a particular day or at a particular time.
Ration Stamps were often used. These were redeemable stamps or coupons used to purchase food. Every family was issued a set number of each kind of stamp based on the size of the family, ages of children and income.
American civilians first received ration books—War Ration Book Number One, or the “Sugar Book”—on 4 May 1942. Typewriters, gasoline, bicycles, footwear, silk, nylon, fuel oil, stoves, meat, lard, shortening and oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods (canned, bottled, and frozen), dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies and fruit butter were rationed by November 1943.
Having lived through the depression, many housewives already knew how to make food and household supplies last a little or a lot longer. During World War II, the United States went through rationing. There were very specific limits on most foods, especially meat and dairy.
Keeping track of all the ration coupons and changing availability of foods must have been a very complicated task. While government signs, booklets, and publications were aimed at helping people understand the ration and the changing availability of goods, there were a number of substitutions that stores and warehouses had to implement on a daily basis.
Here are some of the guidelines and suggestions provided to housewives in order to make the food that they received through the use of their Ration Stamps stretch a little farther.
What do you think is the best trick that house wives were advised to use to make their rations last longer? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
SHARE this amazing video with your friends and family on Facebook. This story is just too amazing to keep to yourself. Share it!