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


  1. I really do admire the research that you do for these challenges. I do want to simplify things this year but I freely admit that I'd never be able to follow this so strictly. I do think that families had an advantage with being able to pool their rations to some extent - for singles it must have been even more difficult with so little to work with.
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks, hopefully I will find it easier once I get used to it. 😀

  2. I found it very exciting most of the time. Others attitudes could be annoying at times. Clothes Points wise, mine would have used up just in knickers! You can see why jumble sales were so good. Even in the early sixties I remember my mum and nana unpicking jumpers to reknit.

    1. Yes, I remember helping my Nana and Mum undoing jumpers, holding my hands out while the wool was wound between them so that the wool could be washed, reused and a jumper made with a couple of extra different coloured stripes added so my 'new' jumper would fit me again.

  3. Have you seen Frugal in Norfolk blog? They lived on rations for about six for financial reasons. The darybof those tears is still available. She is a mine if upj formation including veggie allowances. Makes a fascinating

    1. Yes, we are blogging buddies and have been for years, her comment is above yours 😃. And her blog is on my sidebar.

  4. All sounds really interesting, Sue. I'm going to be doing some serious cost cutting and saving from now on, so might be joining you!

    1. You would most likely do well to quietly squirrel away a bit of money, both in your bank account and some cash. You never know it could come in handy. Xx

  5. The research you are sharing is absolutely fascinating Sue. I'm just quietly praying that a combination of Brexit and the Bug don't put us all in a similar situation at some point in the future . . . (miserable bugger, aren't I? 🤣 🤣 🤣 )

    1. Haha ... yes you are 🤣🤣

      I might be ahead of the game here, what with Brexit, Covid and shortages in the shops!!

  6. Ah, coupons. I remember my sister's Scotch kilt being passed down to me, then on to two cousins and after that being cut up to make a scarf. Clothing coupons were closely guarded and we really did make do and mend, so that knitting wool could be bought for winter jumpers.

    1. Ooh now there's an idea ... Alan's kilt would make me a lovely couple of skirts and matching scarves 😄

    2. Excellent idea, but there are some traditionalists who do not believe we wear kilts, but that when a woman wears her tartan it is in the form of a sash. Maybe it's true and that is why some say women wear the trousers {giggling - no, I have not been at the single malt!)

    3. At the last wedding I went to all the men were in kilts except one chap who had on some very natty tartan trousers, now I would have loved a pair of those 😄🤣

  7. I think your challenge will teach us all a,thing or too. I/we take do much for granted these days.


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