The Social Experiment

This blog is about understanding and exploring what my Grandmothers experienced by living on the home front during World War II. I am going to be living, as best as I can, to the US rationing standards of 1945. This is a social experiment, not only to connect to my families past, but to explore new way to live environmentally and socially responsible. I hope to show, that by living as our grandparents did, we can reduce the amount of waste that our society throws out and live healthier and more simple lives.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Setting the Rules

Like all good experiments - there needs to be perimeters. most of the perimeters that I will be living by have been found through lots of research into how the US did rationing during WWII.

Rationing was introduced in the US in 1942 starting with restricting the amount of sugar for each household and went through 1945-1946 with a restriction in Gas for cars, tires, clothing, shoes, and processed foods. Each member of the family was given ration books that contained their amount of items for that month or quarter of the year.

The amounts of Items for each member of the family was constantly changing and there were lists up in each store to help explain to the shoppers what the limits were. the amounts were based on how much was produced and what was needed for the military/ war effort.

Due to this constant changing, I am going to be basing my food rationing on the following system.

.. point values for food are based of a Des Moises news paper from 1943 found at and

... I will be using 48 points for processed foods and 68 points for meat, fish, and dairy.
... Gas was rationed to two gallons a week for most people which I will be tempting to follow.
(I could cheat and get the unlimited rations for clergy due to being a Chaplain)

... And I will be following the basic rationing of not buying new unless I absolutely can not due without (mending and remaking clothes, or buying secondhand, only allowing one new pair of shoes for the year (so keeping them patched) and being creative in reusing things I have.)

the few things I will not be following, is the rationing on nylons (due to being a part of my dress code at work) and possibly looking at how much gas I use above the ration for traveling home (a two hour drive) for Holidays.

So join me in exploring what life was like for our greatest generation and feel free to post questions and comments about this experience. I will be starting September 1, 2011 ...