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  Economy Campaign 1917


Although rationing existed for much of the Second World War and several years afterwards, during the First World War the Government left Local Committees to try to encourage people to be economical. It was only near the end of the war that rationing was introduced nationally, for example, sugar from 31 December 1917 to 29 November 1920, butter from 14 July 1918 to 30 May 1920, margarine 14 July 1918 to 16 February 1919, jam from 2 November 1918 to 15 April 1919, and uncooked meat from butchers from 7 April 1918 to 15 December 1919. Thanks to Miss Maud Ashmore, we now have a copy of a leaflet published by Tickhill’s Local Food Control Committee listing economy measures and dated 1 November 1917. Here are its recommendations.



There is a world shortage of Foodstuffs owing to difficulties of transport, shortage of labour, sinking of merchant ships, etc. It is the duty of every loyal Briton to make the available supplies go as far as possible. Failure to perform this duty will certainly result in compulsory rationing – with all its inconvenience and discomforts.


            Limit your purchases to your immediate requirements.

            Buy Foods most likely to maintain health and strength.

            Make full use of what you grow in your gardens.

Avoid all waste by saving and using up all fats, burning up all cinders, making use of

all scraps of soap, cooking potatoes in their skins., etc., etc.

Get used to doing without luxuries.

Some things, such as tea, have to come a long sea voyage to Britain. Let us

try and use less of such things. Drink tea at one meal only, and have cocoa or coffee at the other meals.  

Bacon is very scarce and very expensive.

Won’t corn beef do you for a breakfast dish?

Honey or golden syrup will help the bread down quite as well as butter.

Bones are cheap and make splendid broth.

Vegetable pies will satisfy you almost as well as meat pies, and cost less than half.

Fish is excellent food when you can get it.

Wooden clogs are far better than bad boots for children. They are also cheaper and

last longer.

If you can save any money lend it to your country through the War Savings

Association. It will help the war, and will buy more comforts in a few years

than you can possibly purchase now.


From today make it a rule to buy your sugar from the tradesman who has your sugar


This will ensure a more equal distribution of sugar.

Try and make all your purchases at one time.

Take your goods home with you if possible, and don’t insist on them all being

wrapped in paper. Paper is very scarce.


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