Living on WW2 Rations, how did week 1 go?

It’s the final day of my first week on minimum UK WW2 rations. I’ve stuck 100% to what I’ve got in the cupboard and to what would have been allocated to me during the war. As a single woman, money would have been tight for me so I’ve made sure to stick with what I budgeted for although I did have to buy an extra cabbage and some carrots half-way through the week just so I had something to eat.

So at the end of 7 days what have I got left to eat?

By this morning I had used ALL 8 oz of fat allocated for the week (margarine, butter & cooking fat) and I had used ALL of my 4 oz of vegan cheese (I had a vegetarian ration so got 4 oz instead of 1 oz). This morning I still have a few teaspoons of loose tea left (I rationed myself to 2 teaspoons a day which made about a litre of tea a day plus and extra mug at the end of the day out of the old tea leaves in the pot) and only used less than half the sugar. I’m making my own oat milk and I didn’t buy an egg being vegan even though I could have had an extra one if I was vegetarian.

Things I noticed

I only bought one bread loaf for the week and it was a struggle to make that last. I found myself filling up on bread. Porridge oats I use every single day for making oat milk, adding to stews or WW2 dishes and also for breakfast at least 4 mornings in the first week. Oats are invaluable. Finally potatoes, every single day, lots of potatoes. The trilogy for me are bread, potatoes and rolled oats plus LOTS AND LOTS OF VEGETABLES!

What did I eat?

Some of the main meals I really enjoyed were, Lord Woolton Pie, Colcannon, Bubble & Squeak, Mock Black Pudding, and Vegetable stews. I had 3 desserts throughout the week. Duke Pudding and the Apple Crumble were delicious, the Beetroot Pudding not so much but you still eat it and enjoy it right? (the teaspoon of Golden Syrup over the top helped!)

How much did I spend?

In the end I spent around £12 something, just shy of £13. Everything lasted except I had to buy carrots (I was using up my guinea pigs snacks) and an extra cabbage. Today I have planned next weeks menu, bought my shopping and it will cost me £12.65 for all my food on rations in week 2 including making my own oat milk.

12 thoughts on “Living on WW2 Rations, how did week 1 go?

  1. I did eat out on Friday, a commitment I couldn’t really get out of, but I had a ham salad and called that my bacon/ham ration. Other than that I have stuck to things and have most of my sugar, margarine and butter rations left, all of my egg and cheese and a good amount of milk (I already use milk powder and measured put 3 pints worth at the beginning of the week). I can’t weigh anything because my scales have given up the ghost. I have used more of my porridge oats than I would have liked, but i have 2 points left that I haven’t used, so if I need I can have another pound of oats.
    But the tea… Oh dear me, I am reduced to reusing tea leaves and even then only one small pot a day, I have to say it’s nearly killing me. I have ended the week with 1 teaspoons of tea leaves left, so things aren’t going to improve.
    I did have to make soda bread as I have been completely unable to find an unsliced wholemeal loaf and believe me I have walked miles in search of one.
    I have eaten homegrown rhubarb and strawberries and am hoping my raspberries will ripen soon.
    Apart from the tea, I haven’t yet found it too difficult, but it has only been a week!

  2. Yes, I had several apples this week, some in pies and some fresh, ate strawberries my daughter was throwing away because one or two were a bit furry and my gooseberry bushes are just beginning to ripen so hopefully all is pretty good. I wouldn’t mind foraging for some blackberries but its finding the time and location that is the challenge right now xxx

    Loved reading your comment Janet, I always try and imagine peoples lives xxxxx Lovely visuals xxx

  3. You did amazingly well, apart from stealing from the guinea pigs … shame on you haha 😉

    Have you thought about maybe having two vegan sausages in place of the egg in your rations? It’s something that I’m considering. If you think about it one egg would be made into a whole meal with additional items for a single person, and in just the same way you could devise a recipe each week using two sausages. Either a simple sandwich for breakfast at the weekend, a fry up with your Mock Black Pudding or perhaps a Toad in the Hole for Sunday lunch.

    Just an idea, as you can see you have us all thinking about things.

  4. Dear Carolyn, Well done on week one. Could you get a bit more fresh fruit into your diet? English rhubarb, strawberries, early raspberries, gooseberries are in season, blackcurrants and cherries will be soon.

    Mum sprinkled fresh chopped parsley on cooked vegetables, to get more Vitamin C into us, another of her wartime cooking habits.

    I have just made a yellow split pea soup with (pork dripping,) onion and celery, black pepper, and a bay leaf (removed before blitzing,) for a cheap protein meal as change from lentils. Have you tried growing pea shoots with ordinary kitchen dried peas?

    We are keeping our food bills down by yellow sticker shopping, avoiding any waste, and using dried milk in cooking. Home bargains had Marvel 350g at £1, think National Dried Milk, the use by date can be ignored safely.

    We make our own wholemeal bread in the breadmaker instead of using the oven, and buy proper ingredients to cook from scratch. We have our few chickens in the garden for eggs, selling the surplus to buy their feed.

    We buy the cheapest strong cheddar and freeze it in weekly ration portions. It goes further if it is grated in sandwiches. Mum made cheese sauce on toast Welsh rarebit, using powdered milk and stork margarine, to make a little bit of cheese feed six.

    Keep well, Janet

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Pingback: £12.84 for all my vegan meals for 1 week on UK WW2 rations. - Happy Apples Recipes

  6. This is so great! I homeschool & was wanting to do a week of rations to show the kids what it was like. I have done some research but your menu is so helpful!!! Thank you! I’m going to start with that.

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