Sunday was shopping day. Ellis was very excited about buying in the rations and helping me weigh them all out. He was considerably less excited about not being allowed tinned fruit or spaghetti hoops.
Rationing, based on two adults and two children (each child receiving a half ration, and no tea ration)
Bacon – 300g
Cheese – 225g
Margarine (substituted for Vitalite as ‘proper’ margarine is no longer sold in the UK) – 300g
Lard – 300g
Sugar – 675g (more may have been available during preserving time)
Tea – 100g (children did not receive a tea ration)
Eggs – 3
Milk – 6 pints
Meat – calculated by price. 1 shilling and 2p per person (equates to roughly £2.50) – £7.50 (did not include offal or sausages. Chicken and fish were not rationed, but extremely hard to obtain. Rabbit was not rationed)
Other things such as sweets, jam, powdered eggs and powdered milks were rationed on a monthly basis; other goods such as dried fruit, canned meat and fish, breakfast cereals could be bought with coupons, of which adults received 16 per week. It is really hard to find a definitive list of ‘coupon values’, presumably because the values fluctuated so much, so we included one box of cereal, one tin of corned beef and a bag of oatmeal in the shopping; hoping that would be equivalent to our combined weekly coupons.
Now, I am a creature of habit. I like to be organised. I like to make detailed menu plans each week before heading out shopping to avoid any waste. Cooking on rations almost turns that whole idea on its head, as you would be expected to make the most of your leftovers, although of course you wouldn’t be sure exactly what you might have left. I wrote a menu, as normal, but fought my inner control-freak and made allowances that things may well change as the week progressed. They did.