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

A Year of WW2 Rationing Weigh-In Start

Well here it is folks. In all my 299 lb (21st 3lbs) of glory. Determined and at last ready to give this another go. I bought this dress several years ago, it’s never fit me properly but it’s just stretched beyond belief in this video. I so want to wear it this a 40’s event of sorts but want to feel comfortable and it to fit properly.

Just thought I’d be brave and share the video.

Much love, C xxxx

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

Diary Entry: January 6th, 2023

It’s true. I’m actually a bit disappointed in myself. we have just been through two years of uncertainty and now it looks like 2023 will be the most uncertain year of all for the whole of Europe. If ever there was a good time to rein things in, tighten my belt (metaphorically, I always wear stretchy leggings!) and knuckle down and save more money, 2023 is it…

I just wish I’d done it with more effort, sooner.

Much love, C xxxx

PS: I’m also working on my ration book recipe books which will be a combination of some the authentic recipes I’ve already recreated on my blog, some new ones and some wartime tips to assist with the “Cost of Living”. I am HOPING the first volume will be ready in early spring and the 2nd volume late spring. They will of course be listed here on my blog and be on Amazon and listed on my Authors page HERE


Diary Entry: January 1st, 2023.

I’m going to improve my writing so I don’t have to type it out but for now I will, or maybe I WILL type it out too. Regardless, I will share some of my diary entries throughout the coming year as I attempt once again, to live on wartime rations for a full year.

The reasoning for this is mostly twofold

  1. Eat simply, become healthier, reduce obesity
  2. Make Do & Mend: A bare bones year for spending, keep a daily spending log to offset the current high cost of living

My year of rationing and spending less begins on Monday January 9th

Good luck to everyone making similar changes. C xxx

January 1st, 2023.

Poised with a 5 pack of 3XL M&S knickers and a 44GG “boulder holder”, I made a promise to myself that 2023 would be the year that I spend little and eat little (or at least not as much as I have been doing for the last 30 years of my life).

My foray into a 1940’s life of ration book recipes and making do and mending starts on January 9th, a day after my birthday and a day after rationing started in the UK in 1940.

By the way it cost me £25 for the big knickers and bra but they were a very necessary spend prior to D-Day on January 9th. Literally all my bras are broken or ill fitting, and the less spoken about that state of my current knickers collection, the better!

C xxxx

Free Download Rationing Meal Planner Page

Dear all, I created this “Rationing Meal Planner” page in anticipation of starting my year on WW2 rations on January 9th and including a link to it here if you fancy downloading it and using it to scribble your planned meals down on?

You can download the PDF or print it off here

Much love, C xxxx

New Years Giveaway – Three 1940sExperiment Journals

URGENT: If you bought a copy of this notebook, I received a copy and noticed that there was a typo and I thought the cover could be improved. I’ve rectified the typo and uploaded the new cover and that should be LIVE with the new updates in 48 hrs. Please let me know if you bought a copy of the older one in the last few days, drop me a message (1940sexperiment@gmail.com ) with a screenshot of your purchase, and I will send you a new version for free when I purchase some authors copies. Thank you xxxx Sorry! C xxxxx

So I designed a little journal which is for sale on Amazon and thought it might be nice to give a few away on my blog as I know there are quite a few of us that are embracing the new year with a step back in time to follow a WW2 rationing diet.

I’m going to be using my copies every day to make notes and record my thoughts and feelings during the year and I know any old notebook will do BUT I love design and something a little special specifically for the task in hand so thought a little daily diary would be fun!

For me I’m going to be using it like a “Mass Observation Diary” like Nella Last herself.

Anyway, I digress. For the next week I’m going to be giving three of these journals away HERE on my blog and two on our Facebook group HERE (in a day or two as Julie Andres is currently giving away a fantastic vintage Stork Wartime Cookery Book!). These will be two separate draws so feel free to enter either or both!

All you have to do is leave a comment below saying YES or a comment on our Facebook group saying YES (or both for an extra chance!) On my birthday, January the 8th, I will put your names into an online spinning wheel and draw the winners at random LIVE!

Good luck! C xxxx

Oh here are the links to (thanks DJ!)

My Notebooks on Amazon UK

My Notebooks on Amazon US

PS: if you’ve never seen “Housewife, 49” based on Nella Lasts “Mass Observations Diaries” I’ve embedded it below!

Countdown to Rationing For a Full Year.

Happy New Year! A fresh start, a year full of hope, plans and promises!

My promise to myself in 2023 is to get my health (obesity) sorted out once and for all and in addition to therapy to address my need to overeat, return to a year on WW2 rationing. I have found it in my past, a fascinating social experiment and gives me a platform to share authentic meals and provide information for schools and people interested in history. Rationing during WW2 started on January the 8th 1940 so it seems right that I start my year the very next day especially as my birthday is on the 8th and my daughter is treating me to a takeaway!

While there will be plenty of time during this year to talk about rationing during WW2 in depth, today I just thought I would share with you how I’m going to initially start my first weeks off. I’ve made a decision to use plant based alternatives to meat as this will allow me to still recreate a lot of the recipes that call for bacon/meat/sausages and for me, recreating WW2 recipes is something I really enjoy. For minced meat I am using soya mince which although processed delivers high-quality nutrition on par with minimally processed animal-based counterparts, it also stores well, is high in protein and is very economical. Ultimately I want to move away fully from processed foods but for now these will assist me in the short term, in this endeavour.

PS: Using the points system (will talk about that properly another time) I’ll be filling up with dried beans and pulses. There will be a return to lots of porridge and my favourite potatoes and of course lots of vegetables!

I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in this challenge once again and getting back to it.

What regular weekly rations look like for an adult during WW2 (it varied)

  • Bacon & Ham 4 oz (114g)
  • Meat to the value of 1 shilling and sixpence (around about 1 lb minced beef or 2 large chops)
  • Butter 2 oz (57g)
  • Cheese 2 oz (57g)
  • Margarine 4 oz (114g)
  • Cooking fat 4 oz (114g)
  • Milk 3 pints (1.7 litres)
  • Sugar 8 oz (227g)
  • Preserves 1 lb (454g) every 2 months
  • Tea 2 oz (about 18 tea bags in modern day if you don’t have loose tea)
  • Eggs 1 fresh egg per week or 1 packet of egg powder per month (12 eggs) or vegetarians 2 fresh eggs
  • Sweets/Candy 12 oz every 4 weeks (3 oz or 85g per week)

*grams rounded up

What my rations will look like as a vegan in modern times

  • Bacon and Ham: Will use meat-free bacon
  • Meat: Soy mince (6 oz/170g) dry and 4 small meat-free sausages
  • Butter: Flora vegan butter
  • Cheese: Violife dairy free
  • Margarine: Flora dairy Free
  • Cooking fat: Flora Plant margarine or vegan lard
  • Milk: Oat milk made myself or bought
  • Sugar: regular sugar
  • Preserves: 1 large jar a month (I still have some I made 2 years ago)
  • Tea: 2 oz of loose leaf but will use up what I’ve got first (about 18 tea bags per week)
  • Eggs: Not taking the ration
  • Sweets: Probably mints!