This book was owned and used by Nellie Jacques of Farncombe and it was issued in 1943.
The British Government introduced food rationing in 1940. Around 70 percent of the nation's food was imported at that time and ships carrying supplies were regularly being sunk by German U - Boats. Rationing food meant that everyone got their fair share - although that share could be considered meagre by today's standards ( a typical allowance of butter or cheese per person might be two ounces each week). Initially, a small number of foods was rationed, but the range increased during the course of the war. Nellie Jacques' book for July 1943 contains coupons for meat, cheese, bacon, fats (butter, margarine, cooking), sugar and tea. The book would be presented to shopkeepers who would cut out the required number of coupons for the customer's purchases and stamp a counterfoil.
Eating was not the only part of people's lives controlled by rationing for much of the Second World War - clothing and fuel came under similar regulations.
In spite of great efforts to increase home food production, rationing had to be maintained until well after the end of the war, finally ending in 1954. The Museum has a collection of Nellie Jacques' books spanning the entire rationing period.