What does ‘rationing like the 40’s’ mean to a modern family like ours?

December 2012

Noooo we’re not banishing the TV, throwing out the washing machine and swapping our flushing toilet for a bucket in the garden.

We’re not building an Anderson shelter in the back yard and we wont be rigging up an air raid siren recording to go off at random.

As far as rationing is concerned we plan eat according to the rations available and set out for families in WW2 [ click here for what food an adult/ child would have received on ration]. Hopefully we’ll grow our own, and this will help us not only get a more authentic idea of how hard/ easy it was… but cut down on costs, which, hopefully we’ll keep low, creative and frugal.

This will no doubt be an adjustment at first, even with a history of frugal feeding/ saving. The rations were notoriously hard and stories about living on them in wartime can be very 50/50. Inner city families often did not have the resources of their country cousins and so would most likely not have as fond a memory of the experience.

Like families in the 40’s we will have to rely on what’s available locally or, at very least, produce that originates from within the UK… as imports ground to a virtual halt in wartime.

I’m looking forward to paying less for our groceries and the cut in waste… I’m also looking forward to being creative with ingredients and trying out some innovative/ interesting recipes.


I’m hoping the children can cope with no modern day junk food and crisps/ sweets on tap… even the weeks sweets will be strictly rationed… and this, we fear, could be a sore point with our 3 sweet toothed offspring.

We’ll have to get over rushing out to the shop a few times a day every time we want something… Shopping will be done once a week with the only top ups being milk and vegetables (if available).

Shopping locally and in season is going to be a shock as well… as this means there will be certain items we just wont be able to eat…. like apples in summer and berries in winter. Fruit in general wont have as much variety as most of the fruit (or for that matter veg) in the shops come from either the continent or south america.

August 2013

As we’ve really enjoyed the experiment so far and are getting to grips with the rations and recipes, we’ve decided to move the experiment on a bit.

Growing vegetables in our own back garden has proved to be problematic due to soil quality, so after so negotiations we’ll be growing some veg in MrC’s Mam & Dads garden.

So far MrC has experimented with potatoes and this seemed to work quite well… so we plan to do it again… and not JUST with potatoes. As we do we will document or trials and findings AND seek out not only the best way to cut down you grocery bills by growing your own but how it would have been done in wartime without all our modern day conveniences.

In the distant future we hope to do more on non-food items that were rationed like soap, clothing, material and fuel… but that’s for another time.


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