Thursday, August 11, 2016

WWII Rations

I have always loved history ~ and I especially love historic cookbooks, diaries, etc. of housewives from different times.  Its fascinating to me to see how folks used to live, how they made do with what they had, how they coped with emergencies, etc. 

I borrowed a book of Amazon Prime this week entitled "World War II Christmas Cookbook" by Megan Rogers.  I believe it was published in England.  It was a quick cookbook to read and contained many "mock" type recipes for when the real thing wasn't available.  What really caught my attention was the list of ration items that each person was allotted in England during the 2nd World War.

This list is taken from the back of the book ~ it is for 1 adult per week ~ each child would receive half the adult amount

bacon & ham (3-4 slices/rashers)
other meats ~ 2 small chops
butter 2 oz.
cheese 2 oz.
margarine 4 oz.
cooking fat 4 oz.
milk 3 pints
1 packet dried milk per month
sugar 8 oz.
preserves 1 lb. every 2 months
tea 2 oz.
Egg 1 (a single egg)
+ 1 packet dried egg per month
sweets 12 oz.
You could get canned meat, fish, rice, canned fruit, condensed milk, breakfast cereals, biscuits, and vegetables in limited quantities on a point system. An adults monthly allowance might get you a tin of salmon or fruit, and 1/2 pound of dried fruit.  read flour, fish, game, sauces, and pickles were not rationed, but not always available.

This is not a lot of food.  Just think about what is in your grocery cart every week.  The above would all fit in a handbasket.

Then I started researching if the American Ration Equivilents were the same as England ~ and they were not.  But keep in mind also,  the War was raging in an around England for years.  The US came in later after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour. 

I found these 2 sites which has tons of information about the subject. ~ and and my favorite because of the graphics

Here are some pictures I found on Pinterest ~

Rationing in WW II. England. How greedy  wouldn't our later generations sound to an elderly person who's been through this? With  today's diets, when we take everything - luxurious food items or not - for granted?:

Rationing chart for 1940-1942 showing types of food and amounts allowed  Please remember that the amount actually available did not match this poster.:
I should put this in my kitchen: WWII ration poster... sounds a lot like Michael Pollan's food rules.:

Make this Pledge. Vintage WWII poster. #vintage #ration #wwii

Memory Lane: Make Do and Mend — Magic Jelly:

Thankful for ~

learning to be prepared
great reading
retro pictures
the bounty we enjoy now


  1. Have you ever watched "Foyle's War"? It's a detective series set in southern England during the Second World War. The BBC went to a lot of effort to make it historically accurate. One of the constant themes in it is the privations caused by rationing, and the criminal world that grew up around the black market. It's REALLY good.

    On the theme of WW2 and food generally, one of my cousins was with the Australia's 7th Infantry in New Guinea when the United States sent troops to that theatre. He remembered being with American troops at one stage and heard them grumbling about their food supplies: "What?! Ham AGAIN?!?". He was stunned... He hadn't seen ham in over a year!

  2. Thanks for your comments Stephen ~ yes, we watch "Foyle's War". My husband and I really like that show. We found a new one this weekend ~ at least new to us....Home Fires. Its on the Public Broadcasting station here in the states. I love the story about your cousin ~ the American GI should have shared with him!

    1. Afraid I haven't seen 'Home Fires' - if its new from the bbc we might not get it for a full year 😯 I was actually inspired by your post to do a post on the food cooking recommended for refugees in the 1960s, if a nuclear war broke out. If you're interedted, it's at ☺

    2. I forgot to add... There's an old story from world war one about a group of Australian soldiers being chewed out by their sergeant, who demanded to know "Who called the cook a bastard?". Legendarily someone in the back replied "who called the bastard a cook?".

  3. Thanks for the links....I can't wait to check them out!


Welcome to the farm ~ we are a blended family with 7 children (3 are married), 4 grandsons, 5 dogs, 3 rabbits, and 15 chickens living on 3 acres in Georgia. I love crafting, sewing, cooking & canning, recipes of all kinds, reading, playing with my little buddies, family time, travel, pinterest and most of all the Lord.