World War 2 Rationing
Cooking on an enforced budget!

If you have just been reading my page on cooking on a budget, you may be interested in just how little people had to survive on when food was rationed during World War 2 and right up until 1954.

People back then could not afford to waste anything. It was all used. And what they could not buy, they grew in their own gardens or picked from the fields and hedgerows.

Did their health suffer from this hardship? No! Actually on the whole it improved! 

People were eating the right sort of foods to provide all the vitamins and minerals they needed, as directed by the government.

How would you cope?

How would you cope if the following amounts of basic food were all you were allowed for a week?

  • 4 ounces bacon or ham
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces tea
  • 2 ounces jam (jelly)
  • 2 ounces cheese
  • 8ounces of fat (only 2oz of which could be butter, the rest had to be margarine or lard)
  • 1 fresh egg
  • 3 pints of fresh milk (occasionally dropping to only two)
  • 1 packet of dried milk (every 4 weeks)
  • 1 packet of dried egg (every 4 weeks)
  • 1 loaf of National Wheatmeal bread (not to everyones taste as they were used to white bread)
  • 3 ounces of sweets or chocolate

The above list was supposed to feed one adult for a week. TheMinistry of Food published a number of leaflets with recipes to use. 

Some foods were not rationed such as parsnips, which would you believe, were used as a substitute for bananas!

Things may not be that bad nowadays, but prices of the staple foods are going up all the time and it can be difficult sometimes to make ends meet. We can learn a lot from the frugality of the war years.

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