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Could you cope with rationing?

(97 Posts)
effalump Sat 23-Apr-22 13:46:54

Most countries around the world appear to be bankrupt or very nearly bankrupt, and wars/sanctions are threatening the food supplies. If rationing was introduced, how would you cope? During WWII one person's weekly rations were, eg:-
113g bacon/ham (4 thin slices), 227g minced beef, 57g butter, 57g cheese, 113g margarine, 3pts milk, 227g sugar, 57g tea and 1 egg. With today's food choices I would expect some would be different to then but could you come up with meals that you and your family could eat?

You probably think this is a silly idea but, in my lifetime, this is the first time, realistically, that famine/starvation is just around the corner. If you only listen to MSM you probably aren't aware the problems we may be facing for the next couple of years or more. It might be worth looking into it, just in case.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 23-Apr-22 13:58:04

I very much doubt it would come to that in the UK, though it’s likely that some items will be rationed as in the first lockdown to prevent panic buying. Wheat and cooking oil are going to be in shorter supply and that will affect many products and cause shortages and price rises.
I’m full of admiration for those who managed to feed their families on wartime rations. We are used to being able to buy whatever we want and can afford. How on earth I would manage on those rations I can’t imagine. It would certainly be good for the figure!

Rosalyn69 Sat 23-Apr-22 13:59:12

If I had to I would somehow. I would prefer not to though. grin

SueDonim Sat 23-Apr-22 14:01:47

I’d get advice from my old mum, who is a whizz at making things stretch, both food and money. She grew up in wartime so is very waste not want not. She told me that at least with rationing you knew exactly what you would receive and her parents would then top it up with whatever else was available. They were fortunate to have access to plenty of vegetables.

I’ve also lived in developing world countries where many of the foodstuffs we take for granted in the UK are simply not available. I remember being overjoyed to find eggs! It’s amazing how adaptable we can be when it’s needed so I hope I’d cope.

Sara1954 Sat 23-Apr-22 14:06:19

I too am full of admiration for those who fed their families through rationing.
I think we would find it much harder, we have lost the skills our grandmothers had for making something out of nothing, and every family had a garden full of veg, how many of us can say that now.
Then you would get a generation of children whinging because they couldn’t have their favourite snacks.
So I sincerely hope we don’t see rationing, but if we do, like everything else, we’ll just get on with it.

timetogo2016 Sat 23-Apr-22 14:09:35

We would just have to deal with it, and we would.

Blondiescot Sat 23-Apr-22 14:09:49

I think I probably could cope if I had to. We do grow a lot of our own veg, and food waste is a particular pet hate of mine, so I've always been quite good at coming up with ways to use every last bit of things. I'm sure there would be a lot of items which we take for granted which we would probably miss - but if push came to shove, I think I'd be able to do it. Probably helps that both my mother and mother-in-law lived through rationing, so I've picked up a lot of tips from them over the years about how to make meals go as far as possible.

Shandy57 Sat 23-Apr-22 14:10:58

I would like an allotment, but there is a very long waiting list here. I do have a small veg patch in the back garden.

My aunt said without their allotment during the war she thinks they would have gone hungry but they had both root vegetables, rhubarb - loads of it! - and eggs from the chickens. I see there are several community gardens springing up in different areas, hopefully they will help.

Doodledog Sat 23-Apr-22 14:16:47

On what sort of media are the messages coming that this is round the corner? Why would they be more reliable than so-called ‘mainstream’ sources?

I think we are a very long way from rationing and even further from starvation, although we might have to be more imaginative with what we can get - Sainsbury’s is already saying that product lines that use sunflower oil are being adapted to other recipes, and clearly buying the oil is going to become more difficult.

I wouldn’t like rationing, as I feel more comfortable with full cupboards, and tend not to use something unless there is a replacement already there. On the other hand, I can get several meals from a chicken, and am used to cooking from scratch, so could probably rustle up some sort of sustenance from most selections of foodstuffs. I would hate to have to eat offal, though, and Mr Dog would have to change his diet completely, as he is vegetarian. If you could swap meat rations for vegetable ones, I would probably do better than most, as I’ve cooked veggie meals for decades and have plenty of recipes under my belt.

LtEve Sat 23-Apr-22 15:27:10

I would probably be ok. My Nan ran a bakery/caterer during WW2 and I have all her hand written recipe books. My Mum was an adult during the war so taught me all the tricks to use less sugar like using grated carrot in steamed puddings. A chicken lasted 5 of us at least 3 days and we would eat a lot of fruit like blackberries in season.

kircubbin2000 Sat 23-Apr-22 15:45:30

We seemed to manage ok in the 40s.No electric or water supply but parents grew veg and kept chickens. They shot the odd rabbit too.Everything was preserved or made into jam and chutney.

MerylStreep Sat 23-Apr-22 15:49:40

We eat a lot of fish but I think it would be mainly fish if this situation were to come about.
Fortunately we know a few fishermen and have several friends with boats.
Also, we know a small foreshore in Essex where we could forage mussels and oysters, sometimes a few clams.
Btw these aren’t licensed oyster beds.
We know a good place to get free Samphire ?

Pepper59 Sat 23-Apr-22 15:50:35

We would cope if we had to and would just need to get on with things like our mothers/grandmothers/aunts did.

M0nica Sat 23-Apr-22 15:57:55

As Pepper59 says, if we had to we would, people always do. Those of us in the country usually grow vegetables and fruit and forage. In towns parks and commons could be ploughed up to provide allotments for people during the worst years.

Knowledgeable allotmenteers could be organised to provide help and advice to those neww to vegetable growing, there could be a community tool resource for spades, forks, strimmers and the like.

It could be great fun and good for many communities in every way.

Sara1954 Sat 23-Apr-22 16:18:24

It might actually do us the world of good

Kalu Sat 23-Apr-22 16:29:00

I share the attitude, if I had to, I would just get on with it.

Doodledog Sat 23-Apr-22 17:13:18

At least we have freezers and microwaves now. Not being able to keep leftovers in good condition, or to warm them up without their being spoilt must have made things more difficult in wartime.

volver Sat 23-Apr-22 17:19:26

Like Doodledog, I'd like to know where the idea is coming from that famine and starvation is just around the corner. confused

Digging up parks and commons to feed ourselves would not be "great fun" and it wouldn't do us any good at all.

AGAA4 Sat 23-Apr-22 17:22:32

I quite like a challenge so would do my best with what little was available. Only a small amount of sugar wouldn't do me any harm.

catladyuk Sat 23-Apr-22 17:57:22


It might actually do us the world of good

i agree sara. when you see supermarket trolleys filled up with ready meals and junk food, i think many people just can't be bothered to cook. also, you only have to look at the vast amounts of food waste to realise that something needs to be done and people need to be educated how to make good healthy meals cheaply and easily.
i learnt how to cook from watching my grandmother and mother, and i think it was a sad day when cookery was removed from the school curriculum.
many people nowadays have no idea how to cook the most basic food, so yes, it might well do us a lot of good

Doodledog Sat 23-Apr-22 18:12:17

Surely it’s only ‘good’ to cook from scratch if you enjoy it, or if your budget is tight and you have no choice but to spend it on ready cooked food because you don’t know how to cook?

Not being bothered doesn’t necessarily mean ‘bad’, does it? I do enjoy cooking, but there are other things I can’t be bothered to do, and you know what? I don’t do them. I don’t think that it would do me the world of good to dig the garden, for instance. It might mean that I could grow carrots cheaply and easily, but I prefer to buy mine from the shop. So I do.

I do get fed up with moralising and people thinking that their way is the only way.

aonk Sat 23-Apr-22 18:14:12

I’m sure I would end up managing probably after a shaky start. I hope the list would be different as I don’t eat ham or bacon and only eat eggs as an ingredient (eg in cakes)

Rosie51 Sat 23-Apr-22 18:36:57

I can cook from scratch, and am not bad at it, but I do not particularly enjoy cooking and can think of better more enjoyable ways to employ my time. I do it because I like to eat grin So we do have pre-prepared meals some of the time. I don't see that as any different to eating out at a restaurant in terms of quality or nutrition.

If there was to be rationing, which I doubt on any extensive level, I know I could cope and adapt. I'm a meat eater but can easily do without, cook vegetarian dishes and sometimes choose the vegetarian option when eating out.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 23-Apr-22 18:40:10

The biggest difference to rationing nowadays is that there are far fewer people who grow their own veg and as more people work, no one has the time to spend most of the day in a queue for groceries. I can’t see how the large supermarkets would allow everyone to get their fair share of rationed foods.

If we had to do it, we will have to, but I haven’t seen or heard of any signs of it, a few shortages maybe, but not rationing.
Although there are plenty of survivalist groups ( mostly in the USA) who would have us thinking that ‘it’s all about to kick off’ whatever that means.

Oldnproud Sat 23-Apr-22 18:45:49

I am confident that as long as enough food was available to avoid starvation, I would manage quite well.
Even though I wasn't born until the start of the 1960s, I picked up on my grandparents careful ways, and can make a little go a very long way, and I have always hated seeing foot wastage - like my late MiL throwing out the remains of the Christmas turkey when I could still have fed our family from it for another couple of days!