Home grown headache

Thanks to the lovely Dc over at Frugal in Norfolk, I have gathered more accurate knowledge on the points system within rationing. It seems I was way off beforehand. I bought four cans of chopped tomatoes with 2 of my “points”, but in reality, just one can would be 6 points! Full details can be found on Frugal in Norfolk’s Rations page here. I shall be implementing proper points rationing on Monday, including soap rations. Yes, I’m committing to rationing 100 per cent. I still believe it will aid my quest to live frugally.

Another thing Dc made me think about was imported food. Bananas were removed from my shopping basket, as I know they were non-existent during the war years. But it led me to think about where the rest of my produce was coming from. After trying to decipher a few labels, I was very surprised to learn that my frozen bag of sweetcorn has come all the way from Hungary!

In a realm where “packaged in the UK” doesn’t necessarily mean “grown in the UK”, it’s a minefield. Not to mention the illusive definition of organic. One solution to this problem is to venture back to the farmer’s market. Hampshire Farmer’s Market is wonderful, as I have mentioned before. I can get the majority of my foodstuffs (including rationed goods) there, just using the supermarket from UK milk and sugar. This is a more time consuming way of doing groceries. But I think the benefits of supporting local business, as well as the environment, outweighs this. Plus, food that has travelled less tastes better, there’s no two ways about it.

However, I am conflicted because the whole exercise is to help me stick to a budget and spend less. Farmer’s markets are more expensive than popping in to the local supermarket. I think I will go to the market this weekend and see what I can get for the money I have. Original rationing was all about home grown and supporting British farming. I would like to repeat these values today. I’ll let you know how I get on next week. What do you think is best? Lots at the supermarket, or some at the farmer’s market? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

One thought on “Home grown headache

  1. It is a difficult choice isn’t it? If you have to spend more to eat only UK produce, or drive rather than walk, that isn’t always going to be very economic, nor always the correct thing to do if on a tight budget. Don’t forget, lots of people during the war came from working, middle and upper class backgrounds as well as thouse from the poorest of the poor. During the war, there were no supermarkets nor many of the things we have to day. Don’t try to bog yourself down too much. Buy British where possible (I wanted apples the other day and none in the shops were British!) We stopped eating things like banana’s and citrus fruit unless they were on special ration (orange’s occasionally came in before Christmas), others things that came in from asia etc. Things did get in from the USA but primarily tinned or packet goods. We found only eating in season a great help. Fats should be taken as they were rationed, as you couldn’t have margarine rather than butter etc. This was the most difficult thing for us to do and probably, along with cheese, really brought home the difficulties to us. We really, really enjoyed rationing our dried fruits, fats etc, in order to still have mincemeat, sausage rolls, Christmas cake etc.

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