Eating on the Ration – How we did eating like it was 1942


In June, H and I agreed to eat like it was 1942 and live on rations.  Here is a look at how we kept ourselves feed.  

H keep to the ration, “about 90% of the time.”  One of her most memorable meals was “an Irish Stew Meat, potatoes, carrots, parsnip and peas. Lots of war time veggies!” She did admit to using Stevia to sweeten her coffee and tea.  We decided that since we are living in 2018 like it’s 1942, she was saving on her sugar ration, as a patriotic housewife should.

She really took the War on Waste seriously.  For example, she is not a fan of leftover porridge.  Instead of composting- or worse – throwing out her leftover porridge, she found a recipe and made Leftover Oatmeal Bread. She tells me that the bread did not trigger her allergies and her family loved it.

I really like the fact that this challenge made me more mindful of what I was eating. I also really like that I lost 6 pounds as a result of eating like it was 1942.  This was on purpose. I limited myself to about 1/2 of the 3000 calories consumed during the war.  Both the wartime recipes I used and my increased consumption of vegetables meant that I never really felt hungry. I am tempted to repeat my rationing experiment in the future.

So what did we learn for this experience?

  • H said that she found our rationing experiment beneficial as it helped her identify an intolerance for dairy and it “reset” her taste for sugar. I also found that living on the ration reduced my need for sugar.  I proved to myself that I do perfectly well eating less sugar as I didn’t even use most of my sugar ration.
  • Now that the war has ended, I will continue to use several  wartime recipes as they use less sugar and much less (expensive) fat to make lovely delicious desserts.
  • Leftover mashed potatoes are a thing of beauty and have so many uses.

To us here in 2018, the limits imposed by rationing seem harsh but rationing helped save the British population from being included in the estimated 20 million people who died from  starvation and related diseases.  Instead:

The result of these efforts was that, despite the deprivation, the British population actually ended the war tremendously fit and healthy: healthier than they had been before, or have been since. Children in general were even taller and heavier than those before the war. Infant mortality rates went down; average age of death from natural causes increased, meaning civilians just plain lived longer.


Eating on the Ration was not our only challenge this month.  Women on the homefront faced multiple challenges ever single day.  To experience a little of what they went through, we have incorporated additional monthly challenges based on the challenges from previous months.

Dig for Victory

The first part of June’s Dig for Victory challenge was to continue nurturing our gardens.  This is what our gardens look like now.

My Garden

My garden. I’ve had a few successes and a few failures.

H’s Garden

Blueberries are growing in the pots. I’m a little envious of her tomatoes. Mine didn’t make it.

The second part of June’s Dig for Victory challenge was to include foraged foods in our diet.  Every summer I pick as many wild berries as I can. I have also turned dandelions into jelly.  This time I tried nettles and elderflowers. The nettles I made into a tasty bright green soup.

So green!

I also made Elderflower fritters.  Heavenly!

Elderflower Fritters
Amazing! I will be making these again.

I’m glad I pushed myself to try eating both nettles and elderflowers as both foods are fairly plentiful (and free) in my area.  I have found other recipes  using these resources and I am looking forwards to discovering new favorites.

Fashion on the Ration

I started June with 43 clothing ration coupons.   H started the month with 27 coupons.  H didn’t buy herself any new clothing and I bought myself a new tshirt to wear to work.  Here is our tally for this month:

H Clothing Coupons

Hip roof barn Clothing Coupons

Opening Total (June 1) 27 Opening Total (June 1) 43
No purchase 0 Tshirt 4
Total coupons spent (June) 0 Total coupons spent (June)
Coupons Left 27 Coupons Left 39

We have both been working on our Make Do and Mend projects. H has made some progress on the rug she is knitting using yarn made from old tshirts.

H’s tshirt rug.

I decided to use a different pattern to crochet myself a sweater using wool recycled from a thrifted sweater.  I am making good progress.  I might even have it done before winter sets in.

The front and back panels of my Make do and Mend sweater.

 The Battle for Fuel

We were challenged to start walking or riding our bikes to conserve fuel.  I failed this one as I did not go for one walk and my bike is still hanging up in the tool shed with two flat tires. However, now that fuel is almost $1.50/liter in my neck of the woods, we are taking a seriously look at reducing travel.   So far, as the result of May’s composting challenge, we found a way to reduce our trips to the landfill to almost none.  In June, we looked at how we could use our banks mobile app to reduce our twice monthly trips into town to deposit my paycheque. I am waiting for the bank to confirm that they will not hold my paycheque before relying exclusively on this deposit method.  I may have failed this challenge but we did succeed at reducing our fuel consumption and doing our bit for the war on expensive gas.

If you Ate on the Ration this month, leave a comment and tell us all about it or post a picture of your accomplishments on the hip roof barn facebook page or on instagram with the hashtag #strivingforvictory.

If you want to join in, please do! We would love to hear about your experiences. If you have a wartime story to tell, please leave a comment. Stories are an important way to keep the memories of our mothers and grandmothers alive. And one more request, if you enjoy or find value in any of our posts, please consider making a donation to Sheepdog Lodge to support those for whom the horrors of war are not in the past.

  • Our Pintrest board

If you have any other resources we can tap into, please include them in the comments.



  1. Well done for persevering with it! And speaking of tomatoes, I had a look in the garden this morning and the biggest tomato plant now sports two flowers! ❤


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