Thursday, 2 May 2013

Food on £1 a day- Shopping & Planning

Having read this article on the BBC on how to eat on £1 a day and this critique of the article I decided to have a try at how living on £1 of food a day in the real world would look. This came about as part of a campaign by the global poverty project. 1.4 Billion in extreme poverty live off the equivalent of £1 a day.

Criticisms of the BBC article included budgeting based on the price of a single item that would have to have been brought in bulk to be that price. In the real world you can't go out and buy a single lettuce leaf. If your on a budget then what you buy in bulk has to be eaten. Its also not feasible in the real world to go to several different supermarkets to get the best prices. Transport costs mean you might as well stick to the same place.

The Challenge 

Rather than look at each day and each individual person in my family as having £1 to spend (As the Global Poverty Project campaign did) I have set us a weekly budget of £28. That adds up to £1 each per day. My children are young (3yrs and 16months) so do eat less than us, but I have still allocated them the full £1.

£28 is going to provide us with:
  • 28 Breakfasts
  • 28 Tea's
  • 2 Nursery Packed Lunches
  • 4 Work Packed Lunches (Monday is bank holiday)
  • 22 Home Lunches
  • Snacks 
  • Drinks

We will only eat food purchased as part of this budget for 7 days. When the shopping arrives I will mark everything so I know it's part of the challenge and at the end of the week I'll note what's left and could be used next week. I won't be including the price of drinking water and if there are any "cheats" I will make sure they are recorded. I will record my reactions as main cook and that of my husband and children.

Shopping/ Menu

We do all our shopping online at Tesco. We pay for delivery in advance, so to qualify under this scheme the total cost of groceries needs to be greater than £40, so I'll be buying household goods with the same shop above the cost of the food.

We are already on a tight budget when it comes to grocery shopping but we have a bit of give and I usually buy bulk.In order to ensure we had enough to last the week I compiled a menu as we went along. It was very easy to over step the budget. Many things got added to the basket and then removed. I removed a bag of pasta and swapped it to a chip meal as the bag of chips would last for those meals and the bag os pasta was only being used for one meal. Protein wise most meals this week are going to be mince, eggs or lentils. I did have some white fish in but removed it and switch the meal to using a cheaper tin of baked beans and lentils. 

Snack wise I am going to be doing some baking and making sponge cakes and flap jacks. I intend to to this twice. I'm also going to be baking our bread with a bread maker (which we do anyway). I have attempted to buy enough fruit to last us the week which can be eaten as snacks and pudding and we also have some puddings for the children.

There was no way I could budget for a Fake-away and all meals seem pretty basic, midweek meal kinda things. 

The shopping is due to arrive tomorrow. I'm concerned it won't look like much! 

Would usually get bananas but these will last longer.

Whole Milk 6 Pints
We would usually get 4 pints of Whole and 4 pints of semi-skimmed. And usually get filtered milk as it lasts longer.

Value Soft Spread 1kg
Cooking margarine, but it will have to also be used for spreading.

2x Value Apples min 4 pack


Value baby tomatoes


Value Carrots 1.5kg
Going to have to use as a salad vegetable as well as a cooking vegetable.

Value Onions 1kg


Value Eggs box of 15


Value Frozen Peas 900g


Value Mince 1kg
We would usually get fresh and freeze.

Value 3 way cook chips 1.5kg

Value 10 Fish Fingers

10 Fish Fingers will feed Husband and children. I’ll just be having the chips on this day.

Red Split Lentils


Cheese Savoury snacks


Granulated Sugar
We would usually use sweeteners in drinks, caster sugar for cooking and granulated on cereal. This will need to last for all 3.

Value Golden Syrup

For making flap jacks and maybe to make porridge more interesting.
Value Salmon Paste

For Sandwiches for the week.
Value Ham and Beef Paste

Value Chicken Paste

Value Oats 1kg

For breakfast and flap jacks
Value Cornflakes 500g

The children prefer cheerio’s and I’m not sure how keen they will be on cornflakes every day. I think they will probably opt for porridge.  
Value Tinned Chopped Tomatoes


Value Rich Tea Biscuits


Value Strawberry Jam

For middle of cakes.
X2 Value Baked Beans


Value Self Raising Flour 1.5kg

Instead of cake mix and batter mix. Cakes will be easy from scratch, not so sure about Yorkshire puddings though.

Value Gravy Granules

We usually get bisto. I’m a little worried about how this will go down.

X2 Value Tinned Rice Pudding


Value Tinned Custard


Value Coffee Granules

We usually get pretty decent coffee, a little worried about this. I didn’t have enough for coffee and tea. 

Value Orange Squash


Value Lemon Squash


Value Blackcurrant and Apple Squash


Strong White Bread Flour £1.5kg




Total Cost: £27.93



Meat paste Sandwiches
Cheese Savoury snacks

Or left over from day before


Tinned spaghetti,
Cake x3
Flap Jacks


Mince, potato, veg, Yorkshires

Lentil soup
(Lentils, carrots, potato, onion, peas)


Chips mince, veg

Lentil + bean Rice dish

Fish Fingers, Chips and Peas

Baked bean and mince chilli with rice.

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