Thursday, December 31, 2020

Getting Ready


While I set to and sort out my foods ready for starting my Year of Modern Rationing here is a little film for you to watch.


Sue xx

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Points System


On top of the food rations mentioned in yesterdays post, during the war years everyone received a Points Allowance varying between 16 and 24 points per month.  These points could be spent outside of the shop you were registered at and used for things like cereals, pulses and tinned goods.  

The points value of these foodstuffs went up and down according to availability and demand, controlled by Government directives.  For the purposes of this year I have decided to keep my points at 20 per month and the value of each item fixed.  There is lots of mixed information about the values of all foodstuffs so I have taken an average in some cases, not I hasten to add to make things easier for me but just to try and keep things on an even keel.

 To keep it just like it would have been during the war I will get a new allocation of points at the beginning of each month,   My points, the same as in the war years cannot be saved up and carried forward and must be used within the month of issue, although they do not necessarily need to be used all in one go.

Foodstuffs and their Points Value per lb of weight

Rice - 2

Dried Pulses - 4

Pasta - 2

Tinned Tomatoes - 6

Baked Beans - 2

Oats - 2

Breakfast Cereals - 4 per pack

Biscuits - 2

Dried Fruit - 16

If I find any more food that can be bought on points I will add them to this list, but these are all I have found up to now, ignoring the meat and fish items that I won't be consuming and that used up an extraordinarily high amount of points, at times up to 32 for a small tin of salmon for instance.  Not a problem if you were a large family and wanted a fishy treat but no good for a single person who would never have been able to acquire enough points.

It was not just food that was rationed during the war years, things like clothes and household goods were also rationed and only available on points or coupons.  I will not include any furniture items I need to buy for my new flat on my rations because I am mainly going down the Facebook Marketplace route (apart from my new bed), but I am going to try and follow the soap rationing guidelines and also the clothes rationing.

Each person got four Soap Coupons per Week 

1 small bar of soap = 1 coupon

Large Bar - 2 Coupons

Soap Powder - Small = 1, Large = 2 

Household Soap - 2 (I will class this as Washing Up Liquid)

I will also give Fabric Conditioner, shampoo and bubble bath a one coupon each value

Also each person got 24 Clothing Coupons per Six Months 

Big coat 18, Suit 26
Shoes 7, Overcoat 16
Vest 3, Mackintosh 16
Knickers 3, Jacket 13
Petticoat 3, Trousers 8
Corsets 3, Shoes 9
2 pr. Stockings 3, Slippers 7

1 pr. stockings 2, Vest with short sleeves 7
Dress 7, Singlet 3
Gloves 2 ,Underpants 4
Scarf 1, Shirt 5
4 Handkerchiefs 1, 2 Handkerchiefs 1
Nightdress 6 Collar 1

Pyjamas 8, Pyjamas 8
Slippers 5, Tie 1
1 pr. Socks 1
Hats NIL, but very expensive.

I think I'll do without replacing my corset for the year, and I will wonder about the differing values given for stockings when the need arises!!

Although this years Challenge is to be mainly focused on the food side of things to try to bring my normal day to day diet into a simple and healthy way of life, I do think it might be interesting to see how the other rationed items might fit into my year.  So with the soap and clothes I will most likely start off with good intentions and see how things work out.

Although I have already done a lot of reading and quite a bit of research online some things may change slightly over the course of this year as I learn more and adapt things to fit in with what I learn, so nothing is written in stone.

That's it for today, there's lots to think about there and now I think it's time to get together the food I need to start this Challenge and get my Year of Modern Rationing underway.  For the first few weeks of this Challenge I will be shopping from my own supplies before heading off to the shops with my ration books but always keeping in line with the amounts I am allowed to have each week or month.

It's going to be so interesting and I am really looking forward to this ... which is not something you would have heard said during those terrible war years.  

Finally ...I really want to re-iterate here loud and clear that I am in no way making fun of or belittling the hardships that people went through during the Second World War.  I am of a generation that has heard first hand experiences from both my parents and my grandmothers of what they went through during this time.  I have nothing but pure admiration for each and every person that came through this dreadful period of our country's history in whatever way it happened for them.

This year long Challenge is dedicated to them and all that they have taught us.

Sue xx

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My Modern Rations


Food Rationing During the Second World War

This post is basically my lists and amounts, both of rationed goods, items available via the points system and a few other things.  I hope you find it interesting and it will help you to see the background work that I have been doing to try and understand the rationing system as it was during the Second World War here in the UK and adapt it where necessary to my Year of Modern Rationing in 2021.

It looks a bit bitty and I apologise for that but copy and pasting tables and other information makes for different type faces and different sizes.

Wartime Rations

My Modern Rations





Weekly Ration



4oz Ham or Bacon

4oz Meat Substitute

ie. Veggie mince, burger OR legumes




4oz Margarine

4oz Dairy Free Spread

Flora or Pure etc

2oz Butter

2oz Oil


2oz Lard

2oz Vegan Alternative

ie. Trex or Suet

3 pints of Milk

1 Carton Dairy Free Milk

Almond, Oat or Soya

3oz Cheese

3oz Dairy Free Cheese

Violife/Applewood etc

8oz Sugar

8oz Sugar


2oz Tea

2oz Nescafe Coffee

I cannot drink tea.

1 egg

2oz Flaxseeds

Egg replacer

1 Sausage

1 Vegan Sausage


2oz Fish

1 Vegan Sausage

Or perhaps vegan Fish Alternative

3oz Sweets

3oz Sweets

Any type




Meat to the Value of 1s 2d

Extras to the Value of £2.96

1942 = modern day equivalent




Monthly Ration



1 Bottle Camp Coffee

4oz Nescafe Coffee


1 Pkt Dried Milk

1 Extra Carton Dairy Free Milk


1 Pkt Dried Eggs

I Pkt Vegan Egg Mix


½ lb Onions

½ lb Onions





Bi-Monthly Rations



1 Tub Cocoa

1 Tub Cocoa


1lb Jam or Marmalade

1lb Jam or Marmalade





My Off-Rations Shopping List






Additional Seasonal Vegetables including Onions and Fruit

To reflect shortages my onions and fruit must be purchased from my £2.96 weekly allowance.

Brown Bread



One modern 'Sanity Saver' per week.

This is to be one item, at first to be taken from my 'pre-ration' store-cupboard of supplies and then later in the year when stores run out may be bought from any shop.

*** *** ***

So these are my basic rations for the year.  During the war years there was one more thing to get your head around ... the Points System.  I'll be back tomorrow with my plans for this.

Sue xx

Monday, December 28, 2020

My Food ... Taking Liberties?


Some may say that I have taken liberties with the rations, but no, this is my Challenge, my rules and my food.  I have decided that my Year of Modern Rationing is just that, modern ... in some ways.

The reasons for my choices:

I am vegan - there were very few vegans during WW2, lots of vegetarians who switched to mostly cheese instead of the meat ration, but few vegans.  

I cannot just abandon how I eat as I am dairy intolerant to quite an alarming degree now and even minute traces of dairy cause me problems.  

I wouldn't start to eat animal flesh just for the sake of a Challenge even if it were tolerable by me, I have standards for myself that I will always maintain, so I have had to run my rules to fit my own perimeters.  

Of course if it were a war and rationing really did break out I would have to go along with things to the best of my ability, but never touching animal products along the way.  

But this is not a war and I am in no way playing at it being so ... it is a Challenge, so I have the luxury of setting myself rules and allowables.  So what I have done is go carefully through the amounts allowed of each of the rationed foods allowing myself the same weights, measures and values as allowed during the wartime years.  Taking an average instead of chopping and changing as the actual amounts did on occasion during the war years will hopefully help me to stick with this throughout the whole of this Year of Modern Rationing.

So basically I am eating a vegan diet with fixed amounts of foods to fit in with the wartime rations, ignoring the vegetarian slant and instead substituting vegan sausages for meat sausages etc.  Instead of the 1s2d allowable of meat per week I will be using the modern equivalent of £2.96 to buy either meat replacements or fruit, or a mixture of the two.  This has been decided on after much deliberation for health reasons, because I am always aware of my dismal failure in sometimes reaching even the minimum recommended five a day.  

I reached this figure using the Historic Inflation Calculator, taking the year 1942 as my fixed wartime point of reference.  To make the calculator work first add the year then put in your monetary amount and voila.  Fascinatingly £100 in todays money would have been around £2 in 1942!!

Back tomorrow with my rations and my shopping list of unrationed foods.

Sue xx

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Rules for the Year


This is the build up to my Year of Modern Rationing.  What does that mean exactly you are no doubt thinking ... well it's taken me some time to work out the basics of what I intend to do.  

In the past I have had a month of  wartime rations, using virtually all of the rationed foods that were available to the people of the Great Britain throughout the war years.  It's hard to set things in stone for one month let alone one year, as throughout the Second World War the food rations varied from year to year, month to month and in some cases week to week.

As an island nation the foodstuffs could get through the blockades to our shores was reliant on the ships of the Merchant Navy with their holds filled with supplies from overseas and the brave souls that manned them, and of course the Royal Navy ships and the Royal Air Force pilots that protected them and hopefully ensured safe passage.  

We relied on what could be grown by farmers, their families and the girls of the Land Army on farms all over the British Isles, as well as what could be grown closer to home in the back and occasionally front gardens or yards that once may have held flowers and lawns, but which were quickly dug up and then contained rows of potatoes, vegetables and in many cases a pen of chickens.  Food was also grown by families on allotments that were both pre-existing and the land that had been voluntarily offered up or commandeered in parks and countryside spaces. 

With all that in mind and after reading about fluctuations in supplies etc to pick a single year of the wartime is a bit hit and miss, and in doing a Challenge for a full year I therefore had to make myself a set of rules.  My first thought was to pick a single year of the war and just run with that, and indeed for most of the weights and measures I have done just that, but to make this sustainable, achievable and give it a vegan and modern slant and make it healthy and interesting for both me and my readers I decided after much deliberation on a set of rules that I will stay with, hopefully for the full year.

The first stage of rationing was to register with your local grocer and butcher.  Once chosen unless something drastic happened you stayed with them throughout the years of the war.  You bought your vegetables and limited fruit, when any was available, from the greengrocers and also when available your sweet treats from the newsagents or confectioners.  

You could shop at markets for what was available ... but the black market was frowned upon!!

The shop I have chosen for my main shopping after much deliberation is Booths.

Why not Aldi or Sainsbury's I hear you asking?  Well I decided that between Booths and the weekly street market I should be able to provide for myself for the full year.  It's not the cheapest of supermarkets, but it is within walking distance and does sell a good mix of the foods that I eat and the  widest range of the vegetables that I will need and that I can buy not wrapped in plastic.

So that's my shop chosen ... I wonder what they will say when I turn up with my Ration Book 😀

The next step is to work out the foods that I will be buying from it and how often, and most importantly the amounts that they would come in per week, per month and in a couple of cases bi-monthly.

Sue xx

Monday, December 21, 2020

Plotting and Planning


I'm just out with the girls, plotting and planning.

Just recently I've been wondering if a challenge of going back to wartime eating for a year would make me healthier, get me back to seeing food in a different light.  There's been far too much of  'ooh look a vegan sausage roll, a curry recipe with a million and one ingredients ... I must have a go at that'  for my liking over the past year.

I crave simplicity, I crave simple home cooked foods, walking to the shops, paying with cash and limiting myself in some ways.   Choice is not always a good thing, we become overwhelmed, swamped with new this and new that and no matter how much we try to ignore it, advertisers get into our heads and under our skins.

I'll be along soon when I have made some plans, even simplicity can take some planning, taking such a huge step for such a long time takes even more.

In the meantime I'll just leave you with this photo of me and the girls out for a night on the town, we have a laugh ... really we do  😉