The beginning of Lent, the time to give something up or to do something good until Easter.
For many people, it is just seen as Pancake Tuesday, the pancake race in Olney. But the more historic reasons are that in days gone by, now was when fresh foodstuffs were getting scarce and the time when new growing foodstuffs has yet to happen. So today the last of the good things were used up in one last good meal before the people had more meagre rations to last them for a few weeks.
Many people today especially with the cutbacks, and with foodstuffs costing more, don't have a choice. Having to have less than they would choose and yet needing to make it go further. Bread, fuel, milk is all costing more and wages are not increasing to match the increased food prices. There is an increase in purchasing cheaper food stuffs, the value labels and cheaper cuts of meat, even less meat than normal.
This of course hits on the food producers too as they face increasing costs for foodstuffs for their animals but the big supermarkets are keeping prices down for the meat.. no easy answers then.
Perhaps we can learn from history, adapt and survive on less.. use more vegetables to bulk out the meals.. and be creative about recipes.. I am going to dig out my recipe books including the war-time ones to see if these help out with the food costs.
I know I am baking more cakes, bars etc.. as it is cheaper than buying from a shop and contains less preservatives but for Lent this year, I am giving up chocolate, I have done it before and it is incredibly difficult but not impossible.