Over the duration of the war some rationed became stricter… which means for example a previous ration of 16 oz of sugar per week dipped down to 8oz and so on. This is also why when you search online for amounts you get a variety of different answers.
We eat most of our rations at minimum level, and we do just fine. Its more than adequate. This experiment is really just to see whether or not this way of living is possible/ viable in the modern day.
- Bacon & Ham 4 oz (113 grams) at minimum level (8oz at max) <— thats NOT each, bacon and ham formed that entire ration. We half and half it. The bacon is eternally useful to add to more uninteresting vegetable dishes…. and if there any left over at the end of the week…. a bacon sandwich for MrC.
- Meat to the value of 1 shilling and two which bought 1lb 3oz meat (540g) This initially did NOT include things like offal and sausages, however, sausages would have required some of the meat ration and so when available, usually contain ALLOT of bread. <— obviously unless you go to a butcher youre not going to get this weird amount (540g) …. In red meats case we round down to a pack of 500g.
I, admittingly, underestimated our amount of red meat per week…. which means since December we’ve been eating about half our ration. OOOPS! MrC and Master N will be glad about this :D…… still theres no reason to go overboard. We’ve done really well on half the amount, so really… do we need double?
- Butter 2 oz (56 grams) at minimum level (8oz at max)
- Cheese 1 oz (23 grams) at minimum level (8oz at maximum level) (although we take it at 2oz, that equals about 1 250g block of cheddar for the family each week)<—-Although something like cottage cheese is a cheese and so logically would have been on this ration… Government cheddar was what was available at the time…. none of this new fangled stuff. lol.
- Margarine 4 oz (113 grams) minimum level (12oz max level)
- Cooking fat ie Lard 2 oz (23 grams) at minimum level (3oz at max)
margarine and Lard are both fats and so were also interchangeable on the ration books. Another handy swap as margarine for baking gets used up far quicker than cooking lard, which we only use a little of at a time.
- Milk 3 pints per week per adult & children under 5; under 18’s got 3.5 Pints per week. Each consumer would have also received 1 tin of powdered milk (8 pints worth) every 8 weeks.
- Sugar 8 oz (226 grams) minimum level (16 oz at max) <— we’ve accumulated a bit of a store of sugar… as it isnt berry season yet here we havent made in jams or preserves…. this ration will be put under more strain in the summer so a little stock piling isnt a bad thing.
- Preserves 1 lb every 2 months (453 grams) at max level (80z pre month min level) <— like jams and honey
This preserve (jam) ration could be swapped for 1lb of sugar to make your own.
- Tea 2 oz (56 grams) <— works out at about 16 tea bags per adult per week…. yes i really say there and worked that out lol. Coffee wasnt rationed, but few drank it… cant blame them, it was mostly chicory YUCK!
- Eggs 1 fresh egg per week per adult, up to 3 per week per child (under 5) when available, 2 to expectant mothers. <— we would be entitled to 5 – 7 eggs per week… so we take an average 6 and buy a box of Large organic eggs per week.
- Sweets/Candy 8oz per month minimum 16 oz maximum (12 oz every 4 weeks (340 grams) per person per month in april 1945)
As well as the above children under 5 and nursing/ expectant mothers would have received a vitamin enriched cordial (mostly orange) and, when available, and actual orange per week.
I buy a no sugar added blackcurrant cordial for the kids. Seeing as we have almost unlimited access to allot of vegetables (living almost rurally as well as near a larger city) vitamins arent a problem. Obviously people living rurally generally did better on and off rations than those in a larger town or city. Access to fresh vegetables, meat weather legitimately or black market would have been far better out here in our part of Yorkshire than in the middle of London.
In addition to this a points system was put in place which limited your purchase of tinned or imported goods.
16 points (24 at its peak) were available in your ration book every 4 weeks for tinned & dried foods …. that 16 points would enable you to purchase for instance, 1 can of tinned fish or 2lbs of dried fruit or 8 lbs of split peas.
NEWLY ADDED JUNE 10th 2012 – Reguarding points rationing
A blunder on our part (well spotted Pamela) on how many rationing points we can actually have for a family of 5 means a reduction in tinned, boxed and packed goods. With what we thought were our points was a box of cereal, 2 to 3 tins of baked beans a tin of corned beef and a packet of raisins every 2 weeks or so. WHOOPS!
The points rationing system initially governed tinned meats and dried fruit and went on to incorporate most tinned goods and cereals (not including oats). Each person (including children) received 16 points per person per month (so 4 points a week in theory).
This means obviously, as a family of five, that we get 5 x 16 points = 80 points per month or 20 points per week. Now from research we know that most tinned meats, dried fruit and tinned fish would have equalled your whole months ration of 16 points… but not every item used up all 16 points…. beans were classed as essential food so would they have ‘cost’ a whole months ration for 1 tin??? Unfortunately I cannot find the points ‘price’ for the 4 items we seem to buy regularly on points (but if i ever buy condensed milk I know it cost 10 points per tin).
So… because we have no accurate idea exactly how many points cereals etc would have cost we’re going to assume each item costs one unit of 16 points per item….. therefore we’re restricting our tin/ box/ dried fruit intake to 5 items per month….MATHS: 16 points per month x 5 people = 5 items per month…. or an item per week.
/// On an non-food related note… each person would have received four coupons each month for soap… 1 coupon could buy:
- 4 oz (113 g) bar hard soap (used for everything from laundry to dishes)
- 3 oz (85 g) bar toilet soap (regular soap you wash yourselves with)
- 1⁄2 oz (14 g) No. 1 liquid soap (like washing up liquid, dish detergent)
- 6 oz (170 g) soft soap
- 3 oz (85 g) soap flakes (laundry)
- 6 oz (170 g) soap powder (laundry)
I wince at the thought of choosing between washing my hair, my body or my clothes…. Im very glad modern conveniences and low priced soap means we dont HAVE TO chose.