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Emergency Shop, c.1940. A converted van used to serve customers when bomb damage made usual trade impossible.

Making A Meal Of It

Sainsbury’s has a long tradition of helping people make their food go further, by producing helpful meal planning tips and ideas.

During the Second World War, households were asked to cut back on certain foods, or go without. Sugar, bacon, butter - everything had to be stretched due to rationing. And Sainsbury’s was on-hand to offer people advice on how to make the most of their limited provisions. New recipes were created and alternatives to traditional dishes were suggested to help people make the most out of their meals.

The Ministry of Food was already providing the public with information about meals and how to get creative with rations. And Sainsbury’s was busy providing people with the goods to make this happen, often through temporary and emergency shops (set up in churches, vans and any space available) when the company’s premises were destroyed in air raids.  

Sainsbury’s also released leaflets post-war (as can be seen in the slideshow below) to help build on the good work of the Ministry of Food. We printed recipes and food tips, providing ideas for children’s parties, dinner parties and more.

Many people at this time only had access to limited cooking, storage and refrigeration facilities and Sainsbury’s was sympathetic to this. We published useful information that catered for people in this situation, like the Chicken in One Pan leaflet, which included recipes like fried chicken (“with all the trimmings!”) and chicken with wine sauce.


Today, although the economic reasons causing people to stretch their budgets and their food further have changed, Sainsbury’s is still providing families with hints and tips on how to make the most out of their meals.

Campaigns like ‘Love Your Leftovers’, ‘Feed Your Family For A Fiver’ and ‘Make Your Roast Go Further’ supply Sainsbury’s customers with affordable, healthy meal ideas through magazines, recipe cards and online content.

The ‘Five Meals for Under £20’ and ‘Feed Your Family for £50’ campaigns offered something more - step-by-step guides for a week’s worth of nutritious, tasty meals that cater to people on varying budgets and those who want to cut their food bill.   

Sainsbury’s is still encouraging people not to ditch their leftovers and instead turn them into Caribbean pork stews, vegetable rostis, orange bread and butter puddings and all manner of other delicious meals.


  • Sainsbury's 'Live Well For Less' Magazine cover, Issue 01, 2013

  • 'Honey-roasted veg risotto' recipe card (front), from 'Feed Your Family For A Fiver', 2009

  • Sainsbury's 'Live Well For Less' recipe card, Caribbean Pork Stew, 2012

  • ‘Five For Under £20’ (front), 2011

  • ‘Feed Your Family for £50’ meal planner, 2011

  • Love Your Leftovers meal wheel, letting customers find meal ideas for the most common leftover ingredients, 2010

  • 'Green cuisine' from Sainsbury's 'Live Well For Less' Magazine, 2011