Book Review: Thrifty Tips From The War Years

This book wasn’t what I expected but I quite enjoyed it. I expected, like many of the books about frugality I’ve read lately, a list of handy-dandy tips that they used during World War 2. Instead I got a sort of history of the homefront in England with tips folded into the narrative. Janice Anderson, the author, takes the reader through several facets of wartime life under rationing – furniture, household repairs, food, clothing… She talks about the slogans used by the government to encourage gardening, saving, mending, making do, and many other homefront strategies. She discusses things like resewing sheets to get the worn middle out to the ends to extend the life of the sheet. She discusses the government made clothing and furniture which was well made and would last. She gives a few tips in the margins but much of the wisdom and motivation is in the story.

If you’re looking for specific tips on growing a Victory Garden, this isn’t the place. But if you are looking for motivation and stories of what can be done when needs must, this is your book. Overall, while I didn’t get many specific tips (there were some), what I got was a burst of motivation from reading about what can be done. I will likely never live in a way that makes many of these strategies necessary, but it certainly made me realize that I could easily be doing more.

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