A Year of Rationing: Day 1

Victory! Only another 364 days to go but my first full day of rationing has been successfully completed. I’m not too hungry, and I’m on my 2nd flask of tea made out of 5 teaspoons of loose tea so I can’t complain at all. Ask me again in a few weeks….

I’ve kept it really simple today and I’ve decided going forward that during the week I will make quick recipes such as stew that I can throw into one pot and enjoy with bread and weekends will be for baking pies and puddings and trying out new recipes.

Today I had porridge made with water and oat milk for breakfast, I had two slices of bread with margarine, a tiny sprinkling of cheese, and some salad leaves made into a sandwich and had an apple and a carrot on the side for lunch. This evening I had a huge vegetable stew (two bowlfuls) with leek, onion, carrot, courgette, 1 large potato, celery, cauliflower, and some lentils and split peas. to this I added lots of seasoning and some dried herbs and thickened the stew with good old-fashioned Bisto powder. I also had a slice of bread with butter.

Breaking the ingredients down todays food cost me around about £1. Not bad…

Talking about cost, I started logging all my unbudgeted for expenses today. I carry around a simple expenses book with me now (which I put together myself and is available on Amazon – shameless plug there) and anything I spend above and beyond my monthly bills, direct debits and grocery allowance etc, I am now writing it down. Today for instance, because of the weight I have put on and the side effects of it right now, I had to drive to work and park which was £3.30. I’m hoping that in a week or two of rationing, my weight will begin to drop and my back pain will start to ease and I can start walking the mile to work and the mile back from work again. The pain is horrible, all my own doing of course. I’ve had enough.

This year “bare bones spending” and “making do and mending” are something I want to achieve so I may want to lose 100 lbs in a year but I also want to gain £100 a month and top up my emergency or “rainy day” fund again so I feel “safe”.

I’m not sure what I’m going to have tomorrow. The day will likely start off with porridge again and maybe even another salad sandwich with fruit and veg on the side for lunch but I’ve seen a WW2 recipe called “Lobscouse” that looks simple and fairly quick so I may try that out tomorrow night.

Much love and good luck to all, C xxxxx

21 thoughts on “A Year of Rationing: Day 1

    • aww thank you, I do work hard out of my full-time day job to keep a little extra here and there coming in. At the moment I am paying for weekly therapy for my youngest, if I didn’t do 2nd and 3rd jobs I guess I couldn’t do that so £30 here and £40 there adds a little extra to the kitty and a bit more safety. The thought of being so dangerously broke again as I was my last two years in Canada makes me so worried that I’m always trying to not go to that place again xxx Hugs and thanks xxxx

    • Nope unfortunately. I’m only a mile from work and was walking it all the time until a few weeks ago. I’ve got a spinal compression pain going on which is fine for about 5 minutes when walking but then it’s pretty severe. I am aiming to be back to walking there and back again in a couple of weeks though! It should just be a little uncomfortable after some strict rationing and then it will be completely gone again once I reach 270 ish xxxxx

  1. Cycling to and from work might be an idea if or when the health/pain issues have abated (assuming you’ve got a bike of course).

    Upon the outset of rationing, petrol was unsurprisingly one of the first things to be restricted, and unless you were on military duties, a GP/country vet, or on government business, petrol coupons were like gold dust apparently. So a lot of people took to their bikes for the duration.

  2. Breakfast like a king,
    Lunch like a Prince,
    Dinner like a pauper.
    That’s the old rhyme about eating to use your calories to the max …we are busiest during the day, that’s when we need calories.
    At night we rest, fewer calories needed.
    I wonder Carolyn if you had more calories earlier, would it help with hunger?
    Perhaps leftover stew for lunch?
    Ann s

  3. It was a great first day!
    And I think you will love Lobscouse. I made it the last time I did the wartime diet. And I did it the old way which was as a continual stew. So each time I had some I just topped up with a few more veg, stopping at shop on way home I grabbed one or two clearance veg items and just added those, occasionally adding a touch more stock. It was really fun, and the taste kept changing due to the differing veg added each time.

  4. Carolyn,
    This is an interesting experiment.
    I am in the U S. Work in a store, there are lots of folks fighting the grocery budget wars. In Minnesota, we need 3 sets of clothes for the very cold, average, and very warm weather. I wear through a pair of shoe soles inside of 3 months, so consider you brave to try such an experiment. Can you knit or darn? I learned both in school up north in my 20s.
    Anyway, I am learning a lot from your posts. My dad remembers the rationing. Americans used to trade stuff. (Heck, we are always trading stuff). Can you make tomato soup cake? Did the Brits have molasses or beets or maple syrup to use? Do you have chicory for coffee? Did you save bacon fat or was that just for munitions here?
    Good luck.
    I am trying to get to $10,000 saved and maybe drop 25 pounds this year. Difficult when one uses butter and eggs, milk and sugar.
    I talked the greens guy into giving me a bunch of carrot tops. Then attempted a recipe for them. It was inedible as seaweed for a land dweller. Beet greens, however, are delicious! And spinach greens will grow of you have a thaw (takes about a 2 weeks span). Maybe work in a window box?

    • If carrot tops didn’t work for you as a basic form of greens, try making a pesto using them (along with a few baby spinach leaves).

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