Living on WW2 Rations Experiment: Free Download

Wow! It seems there are about 30 of us who would like to participate in the “Living on WW2 Rations Experiment” starting on Monday the 13th June! Whether you just want to try a day or a week or want to do the full month, I’ve created a booklet to help you get started. You can download it here!

The download is 11 pages long and includes a “Minimum Standard Allowance Ration” for one adult for one week including some details on the points system. I’ve also included a menu sheet and diary sheet if you wanted to print these off as well as some links that hopefully you will find useful. I will also be doing updates on YouTube as well as some recipes so please subscribe here to receive notifications.

I’ve also included some useful links to other countries information on rationing, unfortunately I just don’t have the time for the several hours needed to research these to include these in full too but hopefully the links I have enclosed will give you a good start.

I’ve already bought my loose tea and some other supplies and this week I will clear out my cupboards and set aside a shelf just for “rationing” so I stick to what I’ve got!

Thanks again for participating!

C xxx

Your questions…

32 thoughts on “Living on WW2 Rations Experiment: Free Download

  1. Thanks for that. I have just been out and done a little shopping. I live alone, so I am going to leave all the non-perishables on the worktop where I can see them, so that I know what I have. The maths required to convert grams to ounces, then work out prices for the rationed amount maybe beyond me, numbers have never been my strong point!
    I also thought that I would allow myself 2 eggs a week (but no powdered egg), for a couple of reasons, firstly the only time I looked for powdered eggs they were horrifically expensive and secondly half a dozen eggs would go off before I could eat them. It’s not ideal, but the best solution I can come up with in the circumstances.
    I am really looking forward to this, it’s a challenge, it’s something different and a learning experience too.

    • There’s roughly 29g in an ounce, but 30 is close enough and easier maths. 454g to one pound – if you call it 500g to a pound you’re getting just under 2 extra ounces.
      It’s the eggs that I shall miss most, one doesn’t seem very much at all, and can you imagine if you dropped it!

      • Thank you for that, but I can’t possibly allow myself a whole extra 2 ounces! That would be cheating.
        It’s the tea I’m going to struggle with, I already use loose leaf tea and I have just weighed out 2 ounces and it’s terrifying.

    • You may want to water glass some eggs if you can get your hands on fresh unwashed not refrigerated eggs. They will last 2 years.

      • We watched a video by Imstillworking, she researched egg preservation, have been following the one she recommends for years now and love it! Usually have 52 dozen eggs in storage (we use about a dozen a week) and rotate through them replacing what we use so always have a year supply.Store bought eggs or from Hutterite colony, would work for fresh as well as that’s what they had back then. Eggs are coated with mineral oil!

  2. I learned so much just by reading through your booklet. Thank you! The weekly allotments are sobering. I have another meal plan that I’m following this month, but I vow to incorporate bits from rationing.

  3. Thank you for the information packet! I am planning out my points already. 😀
    my victory garden isn’t ready to produce food yet, but I’m hoping for the end of the month!

    • Oooo victory garden!! I haven’t got a garden this year, just some garlic that didn’t grow properly. I do have lots of sage and some other herbs though, that’s something I guess 😀 Good luck Hannah! C xxx

  4. Brilliant! Will be putting the planner to good use and great info, thank
    you. My sister is now joining me too. Looking forward to this! Still anxious about the cheese thing 🙂 xx

  5. Oooh, great! I’m in! Can’t do it the full time (have to shuffle around some issues with hub’s health) but I’m definitely going to try a few days! Thanks so much!

  6. Hello Carolyn

    I have been following your “experiment” with interest and many memories!

    Born in 1942, I remember some of the recipes from childhood and I really wouldnt want to go back to those austere times. I do buy seasonal fruit and veg, but I enjoy being able to have strawberries in February!

    I would like to wish everyone who takes up your challenge much enjoyment and success.

    Best regards

    Franky Hindmarsh

    • Gosh yes, can’t even begin to understand how difficult it must have been for all those years of food rationing in addition to the war itself. It’s so important to try and never forget what our parents and grandparents had to endure. xx C

  7. Oooo looking forward to reading all these comments and having a conversation after I finish work for the day this evening!!! Just on my lunch break so thought I’d pop on C xxxxxx

  8. I’m so glad you are doing this and have taken the time to create a booklet to help with the project/experiment. About five years ago I followed the WWII rationing program and lost about 25 lbs without feeling deprived or hungry. I also saved money as I wasn’t stopping at a fast-food drive-thru on my way home from work or adding processed/packaged foods to my grocery cart. I’ve always had an interest in WWII and this helped me understand what sacrifices the public went through to help win the war. Again, thank you for spending your spare time doing this for us.

    • That is fantastic Nora, not an abundance of processed food available during WW2 so that must have helped in some ways with peoples general health, that and the Dig for Victory campaign! xxx C

  9. I’m excited to try this out Carolyn- thank you for posting! I think I will try a week at first and maybe plan for a whole month in a couple weeks time! It’s winter here in NZ so it will be interesting to see what local fruit and veg I will be able to find.
    I have been doing my research on ww2 rationing in New Zealand and it is surprising to see the differences between the two countries in allowances per week and how much they fluctuated over the years!
    Wishing you all the best and I’m looking forward to following alongside you!

    • It is fascinating to relive a little in some way what our grandmothers had to endure. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been to have your food rationed for so long ON TOP of dealing with the war xxxx Look forward to hearing about your New Zealand experiences during the week! xxx C

  10. Hi Carolyn, I’m not finding much about rationing in the U.S. It looks like sugar and meat were rationed and other things were on a complicated points system that I will not attempt to figure out. I think I will stick to UK rations.
    What will be hardest for me is the sugar and coffee/tea.
    The last time I tried this experiment I ran out of sugar on Day 3. I know I put too much in my hot drinks.
    I’m excited about doing this as a group experiment and look forward to reading about your experiences.

    • I think the UK rationing system seems one of the simpler ones and quite well documented historically xxx I’ve had to wean myself off coffee and switch over to tea for this experiment and like you am looking forward to doing this as a group xxx Good luck!

  11. Count me in! Thank you so much for taking the time to write the booklet, it was very helpful and I can’t wait to get started. Just one question – blue or green top milk?

  12. Hi Carol, I’m in the US also and also plan to do the UK system. From what I can gather from reading, not only was the US system very complicated, it changed over time, so it was even more complicated! I am glad there is enough jam. And enough sugar but not enough tea! I think I will have lots of lentils and veg. I do plan to attempt a Lord Woolton pie because that seems practically required. I look forward to reading everyone’s comments on your adventures. I plan to start next week. Best to all!

    • Hi Maggie, I’m planning on trying the Lord Woolton pie too. I rarely eat jam so maybe I’ll put in in my tea! I’m not sure if that sounds good or not….There’s not enough sugar for me.
      I read that coffee was not rationed in the UK. Is that because not many people drank it? I think I’m going to have to stick to coffee because, unlike tea, I can drink it with milk and no sugar. I’m vegan so I will be using non-dairy milk. I have a soy milk maker so if I make my own does that count toward my bean ration or milk ration? 😂
      I was looking at recipes for vegan cheese because most of those available in the market don’t have much protein. Some of the recipes contain ingredients, like cashews, that I doubt were available. I want to attempt to live on what was rationed and available.

      • Hi Carol, coffee wasn’t rationed in the UK but it was pretty scarce, the staple drink and the only beverage that was rationed (so you were guaranteed to get some each week was tea and milk for your tea). Loved reading your thoughts xxxxxx

      • Jam in tea? Not sure about that, but you could always use honey as your preserve ration, that would work better I think in tea.

      • Jam in tea? Nurse, the screens!!
        You could always melt some jam for a sweet sauce on puddings, or pour hot water on jam for a hot fruity drink instead of tea.
        There’s also Poor Knight’s Pudding. Most recipes include egg, but I’ve got an egg-free version. Basically, it’s a fried jam sandwich! I’ve tried it and it was quite a cheering dish – there was something rather naughty about it that cheered me up no end.

  13. I am interested in this. I am on vacation so I won’t begin yet. I have tried to figure it out but I get lost on the point system in the past. Also I know that often things were not available. Like rice was that available, it would be imported. I live in the USA so grams and recepice are difficult. I am a gardener, though I but it in late this year and it will be months before I see produce. But I have a cold storage full of produce I have canned. I have been struggling using some of it. I need a push squash, sour kraut, tomatoes the list goes on.

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