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.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Starting To Ration

Well this adventure has started.... and I am starting to understand what women went through when they had to learn and understand what rationing meant.

I started Thursday, September 1, and I plan to go all the way through to August 31. I knew that the rationing was going to start - so I ate my fill of my favorite candy ... I have to mention that I was finishing my ordination exams at the same time - so I blame it partly on stress!

Learning Points
On Thursday - I started my new Job at the Mayo hospitals - and like all good house wives who didn't have time to study the ration books - I packed a lunch of PB & J, carrots, a tomato from the garden, and some fruit. That worked great! On Friday - I sat down and made a menu of what I could pack for lunches and went shopping....

Each week I get 12 points (or 48 points for the whole month) to spend on canned or processed food. I didn't think this would be a problem... I would just buy frozen vegetables. I was very surprised that when I got home and counted up the points I used up on a bag of frozen peas and one bag of mixed vegetables - I had used up 22 points! frozen vegetables were cheaper on points then canned - but they were still 9 points a piece! (I also bought a box of raises for 4 points.

I don't know how single women were able to eat!!!

I also get 16 points a week (or 64 points each month) to spend on meat, butter, cheese, sugar and all types of oil. Due to having to set up home I bought shortening (5 points), cottage cheese (5pts), and a frozen chicken (my meat for the next two weeks). I have had a hard time finding the point value of the chicken but I did find this from a "cooking for victory" cook book,

"pultry contains practically the same nourishment as meat. It is likely to be plentiful, it has always been raised by women and is not easily shipped... Make soup stock from poultry feet or carcass of roast fowl. Combine poultry meat with vegetables, rice, hominy or noodles in scalloped dishes and stews."

Maby chickens were not considered meat? If anyone knows the answer to this I would love to know. I am counting the chicken as the end of my ration points for this week. To supplement my protein, I will be trying a recipe from a WWII cookbook that is a bean spread for sandwiches. I will let you know how it tastes.

Changing Thoughts
As I was making coffee, my heart skipped a beat to see the amount of beans that was used to make one pot. I have a pound of beans that need to last me 5 weeks! I am very conscious at how I now use the coffee.

I also realized that I used a lot of gas to drive to the grocery store. In one trip - I used up all my gas for the week! How did women do it? Today - I rode my bike today - and got caught in a downpour that killed my phone! Biking this week was not as helpful! There is a definite change of mind that happens when you know there is not a lot of resources for the week.

I will continue to keep you updated....


  1. Chickens were not mass produced and so you couldn't typically get them from the butchers (or if you could, they were expensive -much much more expensive than beef), so people did not eat them often. Chicken wasn't rationed during WWII for this reason.

    I love this experiment! I've been planning a rationing experiment, too.

  2. R- Thanks for the info... I have looked into raising rabbits or chickens for eggs and meat - but not sure how to do this in a studio apartment. I will look into places I can buy direct from a farmer for this...

    It is interesting that in the Good house keeping book 1944- they work hard to convince people to eat poultry and fish. They were starting a trend :)

    Thanks again-