Remember When: Rationing

A woman is shown buying goods with ration book. This practice was common during World War II as everything from gas to nylon to food was rationed to focus production of commodities on military efforts.

Editor’s note: Selma’s Maxine Clark continues sharing memories from decades gone by in the ongoing “Remember When” column. If you’d like to share your memories of childhood, email a letter to editor@selmaenterprise.com. Include any related photos.

SELMA – Gasoline was rationed during World War II to save it for military needs. Drivers received stickers to put on their windshields – A or B or C, and a book of coupons.

A “C” sticker allowed you to drive close to home.

A “B” sticker gave you more space, like driving a long distance to work every day.

With an “A” sticker, you could buy unlimited amounts of gas. It was for emergency vehicles, doctors, and people who used their own car in their jobs. My father had an “A” sticker because he delivered mail with his own car.

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Sugar was also rationed. Blue sugar stamps came in a little book. We learned to substitute honey for sugar in our tea. My mother canned peaches without sugar. Our aunt who had diabetes shared some of her sugar stamps with us.

Small red discs were good for meat. Each disc allowed one or two pounds of fresh meat. I don’t remember if tuna and other canned meats were rationed. Tuesdays we were supposed to not eat any meat. Stores would not sell meat on Tuesdays.

Our gardens were called Victory Gardens, because we were eating our own produce and saving the market produce for the military.

All this was done for the sake of helping in the war effort.

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