Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Doing Your Share

My parents lived through the depression and World War II and it's from them I get my frugal (read cheap) ways.  They didn't need a booklet like this one to tell them how to conserve their food and stretch their budget; they learned it from their parents and were already living under rationing by necessity before the war started.  But I think it's worth a read for comparison and contrast to how most of us live now.

"Your Share" was a pamphlet published by Betty Crocker in 1943 with recipes and hints to help stretch your ration points and feed your family on less.  I found it in a bunch of other various booklets I picked up at an estate sale last Friday.

Betty Crocker would like a word with you ladies on the homefront.  Wow, she's really giving them a stern glare.

They actually sold Grade C meat?  The butcher is pulling the old "thumb on the scale" routine, but this homefront housewife is a little too smart for him.

Wow, chasing the calf  and catching it by the tail so you can hit it over the head with a frying pan.  That woman is deperate for some meat!  The look of sheer terror on the calf's face is downright disturbing.

I'm wondering why that guy in the upper left is still home eating this fine meal of Grade C meat instead of K-rations on the frontlines.  4-F?  Politician's son?  AWOL?  I need answers!

That chicken has the look of, "Don't ask me where it came from lady."

I tried to think of something to say about the cat chasing the mouse chasing the anthropomorphic cheese, but I think it stands on its own.  Look at it.  LOOK AT IT!!!

There was a time when the picture at the top of this page didn't disturb people.  That time has passed.

Again, father is sitting pretty at the table instead of knocking on Schicklgruber's door with the butt of his M-1 Garand.  Well, at least he's spreading his butter thin.  I'm sure that makes it all right with Willie and Joe.

Easy, Gramps.  A few pilfered apples aren't going to kill you.  In a few years Uncle Sam will be shipping those boys off and you'll probably be in the grave.  How do you like them apples?!

Well, I hope you're all proud of yourselves.  You made the bread cry.

Spare the Sweets and spoil the sailor? Easy with the sugar there, Mom.

Stretching meat, stretching time.  Is there anything these ladies don't stretch?

I love the pledge at the bottom of page 37.

"Short-notice weddings" doesn't mean what you think.  It meant their boyfriend was being shipped off to some God-forsaken rock and would probably never come home.

The kid at the lunch table reminds me of "Skeezix" from Gasoline Alley.  And that's your obscure comic strip character reference for the day.

The ad above reminded me that "Cheerios" were once known as "Cheerieoats".  Making their debut under that name in 1941, "Cheerioats" became "Cheerios" in 1945 to stem the threat of a lawsuit by a competitor who was already using the word "oats" in a breakfast cereal.

I can't believe there's not a food group for Lard and Fats.


  1. as you know, i'm deeply saturated in the depression-era and WW2 frugality mindset, too. my grandmother, my mom, my aunt and uncle... they all did this kind of stuff as a matter of course, and i heard no end of stories about how hard the times were and the things people had to do to get by. some of it still makes perfect sense to me, but others i'm slowly letting go. i do still get ribbed for, say, reusing (or even washing out, gasp!) a good plastic bag to save for another purpose, or other things in the same vein. BUT HEY -- you are right on topic. i just ran across this video a couple hours ago, and it horrified me:

  2. >reusing (or even washing out, gasp!) a good plastic bag
    My mom was a big fan of that too. I don't go as far as washing them out, but I will reuse them if something dry (chips or cookies) was stored in them.

    >i just ran across this video a couple hours ago
    I loved it! Even the kids watched it with me. We might have to watch a few more of their episodes.

    1. generally, i like the "kids react" videos, but sometimes they are overacting, or over-emoting, and it makes me roll my eyes. but it's fun when they give genuine reactions. the technology stuff is great... it really underlines just how quickly and dramatically things have changed since, say, the 80s when they can't even identify a walkman or a tape player, or even a floppy disc.


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