Wartime Week of Rations

I’ve just been down to the supermarket to collect the rations for my week of eating wartime food – starting Monday morning – and here they are!


Bacon – 4 oz

Meat – 8oz

Butter – 20z

Margarine –  8oz.  (It was supposed to be 4 oz each of marg and lard but I couldn’t find lard.)

Cheese  – 2oz.

Milk – 3 pints

Sugar – 8oz

Jam – 2oz

Tea – 2oz (I read somewhere it was 15 teabags, but I measured out 23!!)

Eggs: 1

I haven’t been able to pick up any dried eggs yet… and I’m going to hold back my sweet ration (3oz) till the weekend.

My aunt reminded me that I can only eat UK veggies and fruit in season.  I am so out of touch with seasonal foods that I had to go online to check what they are for May.

Veg: Asparagus, Cauliflower, Beetroot, Cucumber, New Potatoes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Radishes, Spinach, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onion, Watercress and Lettuce.

Fruit: Rhubarb, Gooseberries (Yuck!!), Strawberries.

Carrots, onions and apples don’t appear to be in season, but I’m going to be adding them to my list, otherwise I’d be stuck!  Also, I can eat as much bread (brown) as I want, although it must be at least one day old. (Apparently fresh bread encourages one to eat immoderately!)

To bring a slice of authenticity to this experiment, here are some wartime memories from my Auntie Anne who grew up in Glasgow during WW2.

Civilians were, on the whole, pretty good about food shortages, feeling that it was more important for the soldiers and sailors to get enough to stay fit and fight on, but home fare was pretty drab and monotonous.  Dad, taking on two allotments at the age of 70+ was a hero really, since there were always fresh veggies on the table, and later he also kept a few rabbits – I’m not sure about chickens, but I think so: my memory is a bit hazy.  And I think he enjoyed it in many ways, not just that he was doing his bit, but for the satisfaction when he brought home his produce.  He had to carry his tools to the tramstop, both ways, every time he went, but later put up a small shed – NOTE THAT nothing was ever stolen – neither tools nor mature veg: they were more honest times.

So now I’m ready to go.  Roll on Monday morning.  I’ll publish a post tomorrow evening to let you know how I fared on Day 1.


2 thoughts on “Wartime Week of Rations

  1. I love this idea! What a great experiment! And, I enjoy your excerpts from your aunt! I have a partially used Canadian ration book from my grandmother. Rationing, I think, really speaks to the hugely important role women had in their homes during that era – where everything had to be so carefully controlled and planned. I am so glad I don’t have to be that organized!

    (Oh, and I always have a challenge finding the lard too – it used to be in the cooler with the butter but I think it is often stored in the aisle by the oils now.)

    • My aunt has some amazing stories and there are quite a few still to come. I’m trying to talk her into starting her own blog, so we’ll see. And thanks for the tip on the lard. I’ll have to pick some up tomorrow morning.

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