Rations and Points Shopping List and Cost: Week 1

With a day off work today it’s given me time to write down my shopping list and break down the cost for 1 week on WW2 rations starting next week. I am absolutely treating this as at the beginning of rationing so I can try and experience what it was like to eventually run out of foods I had stashed away (as people were encouraged to do in 1939, a little extra here and there in preparation for war). So to start with, rather than waste good food, I will continue to use my open “Heinz Salad Cream” and “Bag of Icing Sugar” but once they are gone, they are GONE!

Full article above can be found on the BBC website HERE

I’m still going to use modern conveniences of life such as the microwave and fridge but pretty much everything will be cooked from scratch. What about coffee? I’ve been reading through “The Peoples War” on the BBC website and prior to the war people had ground coffee and one particular memory was of a mother stashing away cans of ground coffee prior to rationing being implemented. Coffee was never rationed of course but it became very scarce. Coffee is like life to me, it’s bad enough I am having to give up my avocados and bananas SO I really do believe I would have done the same as this mother did! Instead I am going to not buy any more ground coffee, I think I have a couple of small bags and I also have a large bag of coffee beans. I guess what I’m trying to say is I may have one mug of coffee a day or instead have a “coffee day” on a Sunday until it runs out. I will have to be very careful with it indeed.

During the week I have decided that most of my meals will be quick and can be prepared in advance or prepared quickly after a day at work so lots of stews, potatoes and anything that keeps well and is easy to reheat. At weekends I will have meals that take me longer to prepare such as pies and puddings and also will be an opportunity to try 1940s ration book recipes that I have not tried before. I’ll be making Oat milk from my oats and sometimes buying it so when I do you will see that on my shopping list.

I’m really looking forward to reading about other people’s experiences. I have just looked in the comments section just now to read a very interesting comment from DJ which goes one step further and can’t wait to hear more about that. I may have done the same myself if I lived on my own, sounds fascinating!

Good Luck all xxxx C

22 thoughts on “Rations and Points Shopping List and Cost: Week 1

  1. Interesting you opted for spring onions over the ordinary humble onion.

    Something I didn’t realise for many years, was the majority of onions up to the outbreak of war were actually imported into the UK from France, Spain, and the Channel Islands. And as a result, although not rationed, they were quite often in rather short supply. Little wonder housewives of the day simply joined a queue when one appeared, and then asked what people were actually queuing for!

    I would imagine the Dig for Victory campaign encouraged participants to put onions on the list alongside the more regular root veg.

    • To be honest I didn’t give that any thought, I had them on my order already and of course they wouldn’t even be in season but won’t be wasting them! I have onions already bought a couple of weeks back so don’t need any of them right now, yep there was a scarcity of normal onions for a season or two during WW2 as of course as you say most were imported. I would imagine a lot of people started growing them!!! xx

    • My grandad (a keen gardener when not working as a shot firer down the pit!) grew onions from seed even before the war. My nan would help out others when she could but with 8 children (my mum was the eldest but didn’t join the army until 1941) it was a hard time. She taught me so much, as did my grandad. I am forever grateful to them

  2. Carolyn, will this give you enough protein, do you eat eggs? Maybe you have some at home. I always worry about restricted diets giving complete body needs. I was happy to see you buying lots of fresh veggies! Ann lee s

    • Hi Ann, Yes I’ve worked out protein, plant based meats have loads as they ate soy based as do lentils and beans and pulses which I’ll be using quite a lot of. I don’t eat eggs, fish, dairy or meat but I do have an annual blood test to make sure my protein, vit B12 and vit D are all good xxxx hugs xxx Yess love my veggies xxx C

    • I made myself a thermal cooking bag from an old feather pillow and it works really well. 10 minutes of cooking a stew then into the thermal bag where it sits until dinner time, by which time it is totally cooked. I have slow cookers too but they torment my husband (who works from home) with the smell of food from lunchtime onwards 😂
      Looking forward to seeing everyones cooking. We aren’t going to be strictly on rations (husband won’t buy into that) but we are making from scratch and focussing on seasonal food so it’s a small first step.

      • LOL!!

        That’s spot-on when it comes to slow cookers keeping the place full of nice cooking smells!!

  3. Assuming you have one (though they’re as cheap as chips in Asda), using a Slow Cooker (I believe the Americans call it a Crock Pot) might suit the frugal regime this year.

    Although hardly Second World War kit, nevertheless they use about as much electricity as an old fashioned standard light bulb (compare that to using a modern hob or oven!), and would possibly suit many of the wartime recipes posted on the site.

    Just a thought…

    • It was about three pints a week, although this varied according to age (kids and the vulnerable received more), and powdered milk was also available.

      According to the Home Front Handbook…

      “Milk was supplied at 3 pints each week with priority for expectant mothers and children under 5, 3.5pints for those under 18, 5 pints for children unable to attend school, and up to 14 pints for certain invalids.

      Each person also received one tin of milk powder (equivalent to 8 pints) every eight weeks.”

  4. Wow! Would you mind including the URL for the quote you used? I had somehow never thought about prepping for “The Invasion” – what a chilling thought!
    Also – wow! Prices are much cheaper in the UK, even accounting for the exchange rate. At rough count, it looks like about 1/3 of our price in Washington state.

  5. With the exception of the tea, I have my ration amounts. As you can’t buy a single egg I’ve pickled the other five. Got oats, beans and a tin of prunes. For fresh fruit and vegetables I used the Vegetarian Society’s guide for what is in season by month, so bought:

    Fruit: Apples & pears

    Vegetables: Brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, leeks, onions, parsnips, red cabbage and swede

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