Sunday, 27 January 2013

£1 A Day Challenge - The Food

Before I started the £1 a day challenge, I actually expected it to be relatively easy. We tend to spend about £25 - £30 per week on food for the two of us, so £7 a week is about half of my share.

When you think about it though, we don't replenish our entire food stores for the week on £30. A big bag of oats lasts more than a week, you can get a lot of meals out of 1kg of lentils, and we only have to buy a massive bag of tea once a month!

Unfortunately, the rules of this challenge state that EVERYTHING you consume must be bought with the £7 (except tap water, toiletries and toilet paper). I can't rely on the canned goods in the cupboard or even the half bottle of oil next to the cooker. Don't worry, the food we already have won't be wasted because The Boyfriend has refused the invitation to join in the challenge. I think he despairs of me at times! :)

My food for the week!

So what can £7 get you?

  • Value skimmed UHT milk (1 litre) – 53p
  • 2 x Value tinned new potatoes (15p each) – 30p
  • 10 Value stock cubes – 10p
  • Value chopped tomatoes – 31p
  • 2 x Value red kidney beans (18p each) – 36p
  • Tesco Scottish porridge oats (500g) – 65p
  • 500g red lentils - £1.09
  • Value carrots (1.5kg) – 89p
  • Value onions (1kg) – 63p
  • A parsnip – 42p
  • Value bread – 50p
  • Baking fat (250g) – 55p
  • Value rice (1kg) – 40p
  • Value chocolate and vanilla swiss roll – 25p

Total cost: £6.98


  • In some cases, the unit cost of the food would have been cheaper in a bigger pack (for example, you can get a whole bag of parsnips for twice what I paid for a single one), however I bought the least amount that I needed for the week to fit within the tight budget.
  • The most expensive thing I bought was the pack of red lentils, however I will be getting a lot of my protein and vitamins from these!
  • I got a swiss roll as a cheap motivational tool! Keep on track and earn a tiny chunk of swiss roll! I might regret this.
  • Value carrots are just as good as any other carrots, except that they are snapped, small or misshapen. I am proud to buy them regularly to stop supermarkets from rejecting foods they think that customers will be too fussy to buy!

So now you've seen what I'll be eating this week, what do you think? I am planning on eating porridge made with 50% milk, 50% water, with lentil soup and bread (buttered with baking fat if possible) for lunches and dinners will be stews, beans and vegetables with rice, and lentil and vegetable pilaf (but unfortunately without the coconut milk and curry spices!). Any suggestions are welcome though!

Please note: I will only be getting ~3 instead of 5-a-day and will not eat enough dairy products or calories. This is NOT recommended as nutritious or healthy and I normally eat a much more varied and balanced diet.


cumbrian said...

Looks strange without any meat or fish.

I might have tried to squeeze half a dozen eggs in, and possibly dried chick peas.

Bryallen said...

I am a vegetarian, so no meat here! (Luckily, as it's very expensive).

I just went for the cheapest protein available with as many nutrients as possible, so milk, red kidney beans and lentils.


You could try making some simple oat cakes to have (like chappaties ) with your rice or Lentils (hummus).
Oat cakes.. blitz your oats to make a bit finer (oatmeal) .. melt a knob of fat in warm water mix to a stiff dough... roll out circles and dry fry ...keep moving in pan/skillet.

Best of luck

Vicky x

gillibob said...

Ok i would have been tempted to buy flour and eggs to make things as well as yeast. Could the challenge not be spread out over 4 weeks and so you would have £28 to play with? You can get a lot for that and menu plan a little bit better.

saving for travel said...

Good luck with this Bryallen.

I will be following your week with interest.

I think you have shopped really well.

Sft x

rivulet said...

wow that is not very much food for a week. Have fun :)

Wean said...

I think this is do-able, but agree with gillibob, £28 to spend would have given you more choice and protein and perhaps a littl fruit. I make lentil and/or bean based 'meat' loaves that last one person for 4 servings, something to consider ? Looking foward to seeing how you get on.
My biggest outlay is without a doubt, catfood !

skipandscatter said...

The Swiss roll made me smile. :)