The WWII Ration Diet

From the National Archives

From the National Archives

In honor of Veteran’s Day this week, I have several acquaintances who are cooking only from the WW II Ration Plan.

Now, let me say that they live in Australia and England, and as I look at their food allotments, it has to be a real challenge to make meals.

WW2 Rations : Each person: Per Week United Kingdom

Butter: 1/4 Cup
Bacon or ham:  about 4 pieces
Margarine: 1/4 Cup
Cooking fat/lard: 1/2 Cup
Sugar: 1 Cup
Meat: 3/4 pound      <—THIS IS PER PERSON PER WEEK
Cheese: 1/4 cup
Eggs: one per week; supplement with dried eggs
Tea: A couple ounces of leaves per week.
Jam: two ounces a week…think in terms of a DAB on your toast
Sweets & Chocolate: 3 ounces a week.  (HINT:  A Hershey bar is 1.5 oz)


So let’s see what we could buy in the U.S for canned goods:

From Ames History Organization

From Ames History Organization

We have 48 points per month.I’d be tempted to blow it on 2 cans of pineapple, but that’s it for the month. I couldn’t buy any other canned food, but other family members could use their points.

As you can see, it would be better to have 3 cans of corn than 2 cans of grapefruit juice to live on for the month.

Some years ago, when I interviewed my grandmother about rationing, she was quick to point out that folks who lived on a farm …even a poor one…were used to doing without.

(Keep in mind they were just getting over the starvation of the Dust Bowl.)

“ANd we  grew our  own vegetables, skinny hogs and cattle. It was fuel and sugar that had us worried.”

With the problem of obesity so rampant, perhaps we should go back to this stricter food choice. We’d have:

  • No Starbucks
    No Fast Burgers or Pizza
    More Meatless Meals
    No food wasted. Instead we’d throw it in a pot and cook it as stew each week

I was admiring and  thinking about copying the WarTime Woman for just a week and eating according to

From the Wartime Woman: Beetroot Sandwiches

her rationing plans, but she lost me at BEETROOT sandwiches.

Hip hop on over and checkout her experiment.

You’ll look at food differently.

In the meantime, Let us count our blessings. Thanks to both the veterans and civilians who help ensure that we eat in a time of peace.



4 thoughts on “The WWII Ration Diet

  1. I was born in 1942, and rationing in the US lasted until well after the War was over. There was no “I don’t like it” – you ate what was put in front of you because you quite literally didn’t know where your next meal was coming from. Even if your mum had the points, there was no guarantee the grocer would have things in stock. The really odd thing, I think, is that chicken was not rationed – because nobody liked it! If you took chicken off the market today, the entire population of the United States would probably starve to death.

    I would go to the feed store to help my grandfather pick out sacks of mash for the chickens; my grandmother could make me a dress from two feed sacks. Plastic didn’t yet exist, and hemp was used for rope for the Armed Forces, rather than burlap, so cheap calico was used for the bags. My late husband was laid off from Glenn L. Martin the day I found out I was pregnant with my first child; my grandmother rooted around in the attic and came down with two feed sacks so I could make myself a maternity top.

  2. Can you imagine how rationing would be received today? Goodbye Government I suspect.
    My mother moved to Australia from the UK after the war (early 50s). When my she and my brothers landed in Perth they were blown away. My brothers had NEVER seen a fruit stall. Fruit was a precious rarity which was kept under the counter for special customers, not something piled up for all to see…

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