Rationing in Today’s Economy

Friday, I had a pink envelope in my mailbox which is unusual to begin with. It isn’t close to my birthday but it was greeting card size. Christmas cards aren’t sent in pink envelopes as a general rule and with my bah! humbug attitude about Christmas before Thanksgiving, I certainly hoped someone hadn’t already gotten a jump on the season. No, none of that. My niece had been going through some “squirreled away papers”. She found a ration book that had belonged to my father and thought I’d like to have it. She was right and it was very thoughtful of her to send it to me.

My mother had a large velvet pouch she kept important papers in. It hung on a hanger in the closet and I loved to prowl its contents when I was a child. This may have come from that collection. I know there was a sugar ration book with my name on it (World War II was over when I was a year old but sugar rationing continued for some time after that). I have no idea what happened to my book but I have my father’s.

The front had all the information needed for that and subsequent offerings plus warnings and the threat of stiff fines for any violations:


Inside were the stamps. I haven’t done enough research to know what these stamps allowed my father to buy. Anyone out there who can help me out?


On the back are detailed instructions on how to use the book. There were strict guidelines and, if they weren’t adhered to, the buyer might be up a creek without a paddle.


Now, you might be thinking it’s strange to post about a ration book that is older than I am. It was printed a couple of years before I was born. However, it was when I was reading through the instructions that it hit me the rule at the bottom of the page is one we should all live by now. I have a hard time with it, myself, but I’m going to have to learn to and it should be sooner than later.

When I was googling ration book, I found sites that are promoting living as if we are being rationed. That might not be a bad idea.

The rule at the bottom of the page is one to be remembered:

“If you don’t need it, DON’T BUY IT!”

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