Developing a World War Two mentality

imageI heard a very interesting radio programme on Radio 4 recently, the Food Programme (always good and looks at so many topics around food) and I have been mulling it over ever since. This particular episode looked at a woman who, in the interests of health and frugality, had decided to follow a ration book diet. She blogged about it here:

I have heard that we were healthier than we have ever been during the war. Because of rationing, we ate lots of fruit and vegetables, but very little meat, sugar and fat. We appreciated every mouthful of what we ate and we wasted nothing. In fact, it was illegal to waste food – I wish that was the case today!! I think it is disgraceful that we waste so much of everything when there are so many people in the world with nothing.

Part of my natural frugality is deeply ingrained. My parents were wartime children and weren’t wasteful. We had sweets once a week and didn’t know what junk food was. It wasn’t weird or a fad for them to grow vegetables in the garden, as I do now.

The culture has changed and my own daughters think nothing of buying a burger if they feel like it. They don’t eat whatever I put in front of them with no complaints as I did as a child. However, there are glimpses of my influence: they all like fruit and vegetables; they understand the value of money and shop around; they are avid car boot customers and gleefully run for the charity shops when they go to town. They would never throw an item away if it had any life left in it and someone else might use it.

There is hope for my children, but the world is a horribly wasteful place. Check out this post on the Life after Money blog if you don’t believe me: (Sorry, can’t work out how to make this a link on my phone!!) A skip full of really good quality items that a charity shop or needy family would have loved to receive. This made me turn briefly into the grumpy Victor Meldrew! ‘I don’t believe it!’

So, it is up to us frugalistas to change attitudes and bring back a bit of war time mentality towards waste!

5 thoughts on “Developing a World War Two mentality

  1. Very interesting, and I remember my mother having some of the ration books at one time. I have no idea what happened to them. It is a changing world for sure, and our country has suffered some very traumatic times. Our generation has been pretty blessed as a whole, but I am also concerned for my children and grandchildren.

  2. I’ve thought about doing this as well. My grandmother (maternal) is the one who truly influenced my cooking, and she often mentioned the ration books. There’s too much waste today… it’s sinful. Over the weekend I packed up another box of clothing for charity. We’ve been trying to do that once a month to clear out all the things we don’t use. Little by little I’ve de-cluttered the kitchen, our bookshelves, the home office and several closets. Also, we’ve tried to make a habit of when something new comes into the house, something old goes out.

  3. I mentioned this on my blog when the programme went out, as you say it’s interesting to know people ate better then. Dc at Frugal in Norfolk has lots about the years they lived on rations on her blog

  4. I’ll enjoy listening to that later, thank you for the link. I agree that we are terrifyingly wasteful. I once found myself standing on a landfill and the scale (and stench) winded me. I don’t know that it will ever change until we have burned up every last resource we have. Even during this recession, the deepest on record, we have consumed with gay abandon.

    Still, we can do our bit. I want to take on a ww2 clothing ration this year. I have limited money and limited cupboard space; and need almost an entire new wardrobe, so thought this would be a good way to go.

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