Friday, 20 March 2009


There's been a rationing system for quite some time now. Not sure if you’ve got something similar in 2009, but it’s a big part of our life here. It’s hard figuring out how to keep varied meals on the table, but we can rise to the challenge!

Most adults get this much each week (soldiers and their families get more):
  • Bacon and ham: 4ozs (100g)
  • Meat to the value of 1s.2d (I gather that’s £1.50 in your day). Sausages and offal aren’t included in the ration, but they are difficult to obtain.
  • Butter: 2ozs (50g)
  • Cheese: 2ozs (50g)
  • Margarine: 4ozs (100g)
  • Cooking fat: 4ozs (100g). Sometimes this goes down to 2ozs, though.
  • Milk: 3 pints, sometimes dropping to 2 pints. You can get dried milk as well, though.
  • Sugar: 8ozs (225g)
  • Preserves: 1lb (450g) every two months
  • Tea: 2ozs (50g)
  • Eggs: 1 egg a week, but sometimes there’s a shortage. We get one packet of dried eggs every four weeks.
  • Sweets: 12ozs (350g) every four weeks
It’s amazing what you take for granted until you can’t have as much as you want. Fortunately, the Ministry of Information has created a book called Wise Eating in Wartime which helps us make the most of things.

We’re all short of food, so most people look for other ways to bring in more. I’ve already mentioned an allotment, that’s one good way. There’s a healthy black market and barter system (a not-quite-legal way of getting round rationing!). And Doris, who lives on my street, works at a local restaurant and has been known to smuggle salmon home in her underwear! Honestly, the lengths some people go to...

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