Resourceful Tips 1940s Housewives

By Goodness M

The 1940s taught people to be resourceful. The second World War forced housewives to be economical because food and other supplies were diverted to soldiers in war zones abroad. This article will enlighten you on just how economic and resourceful the people of the 1940s were.

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Add Chicory to Coffee

Drinking coffee was part of the American lifestyle. However, with the outbreak of WWII, everything changed as rationing laws reduced coffee amounts to half of the usual consumption. As a result, people resorted to adding chicory to coffee so that their supply lasted longer. Chicory is a woody herb that has no caffeine but tastes like coffee. If you are on a tight budget, try this at home, and your coffee will last longer.

Grow A Victory Garden

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These were planted during WWII to provide Americans with fresh fruits and vegetables. People started these gardens in private homes and public parks to help decrease the cost of vegetables. The First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt even started one on the White House grounds. In the present day, planting a victory garden can help you save money and improve the environment.

Natural Hair Treatments

The war created many hurdles, such as shortages of ingredients commonly found in beauty products and cosmetics. Women had to resort to natural alternatives in their beauty therapy. To brighten their hair color, women with blonde hair used lemon juice. Vegetable dyes like henna or rhubarb were used on brown hair. Rinse the hair with chamomile flowers, beer, or vinegar if you want to add shine to any hair color.


Aluminum was used to build ships and aircrafts during the war. To collect lots of aluminum, recycling of tin foils was launched. People were given incentives for the supply of recycled aluminum. Housewives of the 1940s also re-used the tin foils to create pot scrubbers. Today if you want to avoid buying a steel wool pad, you can re-use the aluminum foil. This saves money in the process.