Life in 1970s and 80s

(37 Posts)
MrGruWeLoveYou Tue 15-Dec-20 20:32:27

Evening all.

I wondered if anyone had any views on life in the 1970s and 80s in so far as food stockpiling or prepping. I've realised that my mother kept in large amounts of tinned and long life food, we had an outhouse that was used and was always very well stocked. Probably more than just the odd spare can, I remember rows and rows of shelves. In recent years I have wondered what reasons my mother may have had for doing this. She was born in 1948 and I grew up in the early 1980s. Sadly I cannot ask her as she has passed away. Is anyone aware of what prepper type thinking was at that time?

OP’s posts: |
BestZebbie Tue 15-Dec-20 20:36:11

My parents always had candles, matches and some food that could be eaten without cooking in stock because of 1970s power cuts (and still do). Not tins particularly though.

MrGruWeLoveYou Tue 15-Dec-20 20:36:56

Ah yes of course, we had a gas burner thing and candles and matches. I remember several power cuts. Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
MarshmallowManiac Tue 15-Dec-20 20:46:41

I remember my family always having extra tins etc in the cupboards as I think they remember how hard times were in and after the war, and rationing etc. I just think they always had some stuff in just in case they needed it because of sickness/redundancy/ big bills. Bit like prepping today. Prepare for the worst and hope (and prepare) for the best. smile

katy1213 Tue 15-Dec-20 20:55:57

There were power cuts and I also remember sugar and potato shortages in the early 70s. Not that I cared!

RedskyAtnight Tue 15-Dec-20 20:58:25

Opposite here. My parents shopped once a week (with mid-week top up for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and bread) and by the end of the week, there was basically nothing left in the cupboards. They were sufficiently well off that they could have bought more (i.e. it wasn't a case that the budget wouldn't stretch any further).

Theforest Tue 15-Dec-20 21:02:18

I quite enjoyed the 70s power cuts. It was fun as a kid

HuggedTheRedwoods Tue 15-Dec-20 21:36:47

Wasn't there also a worry about nuclear threats in the 70s/early80s? Your Mum could have been prepping for the possible impacts of that.

Phyzzy Tue 15-Dec-20 21:43:35

Have you heard of Greenham common, CND and the cold war?
I was a teenager in the 70s. We were all convinced there would be nuclear armaggeddon. The government gave out leaflets telling us what to do in the event of all out nuclear war.

redastherose Tue 15-Dec-20 21:52:22

I remember my parents always having candles in and the ability to make food in a power cut. My mum has a coal fired stove to this day and always had a coal fire wherever we lived as she was the only one in our street in the 70's who could still cook during the power cuts and talks of having all the neighbouring mums fetch their pots of stew to cook. She was always very good at having plenty of meals you could make from a tin too, she was born in 1945 so rationing was a thing for her when she was little and post war food shortages.

Afishcalledwonderful Tue 15-Dec-20 22:22:54

There were a lot of power cuts in the 70s and I remember the boxes of candles in the cupboard. My grandpa (generation before) had his loft full of tinned green giant sweet corn and Fray Bentos pies! The threat of nuclear war was quite scary - I remember the advert with the little boy looking out of the window singing twinkle twinkle little star, watching a bright light get closer and closer before exploding - was frightening. Also a TV drama called Threads. Anyway, gone off topic but yes, we had stashes of tinned food and packets of smash 'just in case'!

Pipandmum Tue 15-Dec-20 22:38:54

The energy crisis. But my mother always had lemons because they weren't any in the war years (she was born in the 1925, me in the 1960s). Also some canned food was a way of getting more exotic foods, I remember there were more tinned stuff then than I have now as we can get so much more fresh.

movingonup20 Tue 15-Dec-20 22:46:46

There were lots of power cuts so we always had candles and a camping stove handy plus tins you could just heat eg canned mince and veg plus instant mash. At one point it was at least once a week

MrGruWeLoveYou Tue 15-Dec-20 23:22:27

So interesting thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

I also remember some power cuts and also thought they were quite exciting! That's a really interesting comment about tinned foods allowing more exotic foods, thank you. I wonder if it was also learnt from growing up with rationing and perhaps copying her own mother.

OP’s posts: |
DoubleGloucester Wed 16-Dec-20 20:13:52

Watching the episode of the Crown that dealt with the 70s power cuts was quite eye opening for me!

Imsayingnothing Wed 16-Dec-20 22:31:35

😂 government's don't change much over time do they! Fear is a great motivator and all that!

Your mum probably still had to endure rationing into the 1950s and that might have had an impact on her and might have been the reason for stocking up.

Watched a documentary once about Russia and the people who survived the gulags, one woman remembered starvation being so bad that every day she still went out and bought at least 10 loaves of bread, this was decades later, she knew she couldn't eat them all but just never got over the horrors of starvation.

showmethegin Wed 16-Dec-20 23:55:26

I was born in 1988 and remember having power cuts quite regularly and that must have been only in the early 90s! We had candles on hand for just this purpose. I always found it really exciting as a kid

BlackeyedSusan Thu 17-Dec-20 13:51:43

by the 90s electricty was more reliable in cities, but elsewhere there were still cuts. we still had some in our suburbs though.

I clearly remember the early seventies powercuts. especially the one in teh middle of Magic Roundabout. you only got about five minutes of programmes before bed in those day plus an earlier programme about 4, one at lunch time too and maybe playschool at some point.

the fear of nuclear war was there in the 80s.

I was brought up by paretns who were born prewar so rationing was still a thing for them and me too as they rationed food. they always had a big cupboard of food. I have food issues as I was given sufficient food but never anything extra. eg only allowed one cup of milk and that was only allowed at bedtime.

InconvenientPeg Sat 19-Dec-20 09:31:07

My parents had a stash through the 80s. It was my job to rotate the tins when we'd been shopping.

We lived in the country and we were cut off for a few days with no power a couple of times, plus my dad was often away and my mum didn't drive so I think it was driven by that.

rorosemary Sat 19-Dec-20 11:51:53

We lived in Eastern Europe at the time of Chernobyl and the shops ran out of drinking water. People didn't trust the tap water anymore so only used bought water, only there wasn't enough for such a rush of course. My mum was pretty proud of her stash of water at the time.

ProfYaffle Mon 21-Dec-20 17:59:29

My Mum didn't stockpile, she couldn't have afforded it. Precisely enough food for the week was bought and planned for. I don't recall anyone else stocking up either.

TreacleHart Mon 21-Dec-20 18:03:49

Power cuts and various shortages. Bread , toilet rolls (!)
People stocked up on Candles , tins , flour , yeast for bread making and paraffin for heating .

HilaryThorpe Mon 21-Dec-20 18:13:56

I am the same age as your Mum and no we didn't do huge amounts of prepping. People always talk as if power cuts and shortages lasted the whole decade, but it really wasn't like that. We did have good local shops and in the baker's strike the grocer kept flour back for DH as they knew he did all the baking in our house. My children were babies and I shopped most days and loaded up the pram. I went back to work full time when the youngest was six months old and then we kept a bit more in stock and did batch cooking at the weekend, but no serious prepping. We both shopped and cooked - I was pretty active in the feminist movement. 😊

Iwasonceabrownie Mon 21-Dec-20 18:19:34

I don't remember stockpiling in the 70s. My daughter was a baby then. The only things I had a few of were candles, we shopped more or less every day then, no freezers.

Scarby9 Mon 21-Dec-20 18:26:47

We had candles and a small calor gas single ring thing but no stockpiling of food.

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