Tuesday 20 November 2018

Eating and Shopping for £1 A Day for 28 Days OR £28 for 28 Days

So this is it the end of this particular Challenge and for the record it's time to show exactly what I have left.

In the fridge:

One tub of leftover pasta in sauce.
1/3 Jar of Marmalade
3/4 Bottle Tomato Ketchup
Virtually all of the Mayonnaise
A sprinkle of Violife cheese.

In the fridge drawer:

Most of a bunch of Celery
A handful of Homegrown Spinach Leaves
A packet of Beetroot
One and a half carrots.

In the freezer:

Two tubs of Homemade Soup
One crust of bread.

I still have a good proportion of my Basic Store cupboard items.

And when I add them to:

 half bag of SRFlour, 
 150g Red Lentils
Jar of Red Pesto Sauce
Approx. 450g Porridge Oats
900g Brown Rice
2/3 tub of Gravy Mix

I have a good basic larder to form the beginnings of another Challenge ... so that is exactly what they will become in a few weeks from now.

I also have the grand sum of 76p leftover.

I'm wondering what I should have spent it on?

Now the shelves and the drawers in the fridge have been cleared ready to be restocked, the food in cupboards is virtually all out of bounds and we are both at the start of a fresh new Challenge.

I'll post about it soon I promise.

But for now, what have I learnt from this Challenge?

That you can survive for 28 days on a budget of just one pound per day if:

You have a basic store cupboard of food.
A fridge.
A freezer.
A mindset that nothing gets thrown away or wasted.
A willingness to try basic label foods.
You notice paying with cash makes you less likely to want to part with your money.
You can spare a little bit of extra time to both shop around, and if necessary to prepare everything from scratch.

 I have also learnt that I'm pretty bloody rubbish at eating my five a day ... even when I do have the fruit and vegetables available.

It's been an interesting Challenge, we've discovered that we both like the Tesco Stockwell 20p gravy mix and the 38p Smartprice tomato ketchup, although we didn't like the mayonnaise at all.  Universal Seasoning from the World Foods aisle in Asda is a very good alternative to stock-cubes or the more expensive bouillons.  We've discovered a new to us Multigrain Loaf that we both love and that is 70p cheaper than our usual Warburtons regular purchase, and from now on this will be our new favourite.

A great BIG thank you to those of you who have read along, left comments, asked questions and been there to keep me on the straight and narrow, your interest has been really appreciated.

Now I have to go and eat a grapefruit ....



  1. I think you have done amazingly well and still enough left for a few snacks/meals.

    1. Thanks 😊

      If we hadn't been going straight into this new Challenge due to time constraints for Alan, I think I would have lived off my stores for a few days to see how long I could have managed.

  2. This is in no way a criticism, Sue, just an observation that I find quite surprising:-

    You're vegetarian/vegan but don't always manage your 5 a day. We're not vegetarian (although we have cut down our meat consumption by about 50% over the past few months, which is probably as low as we will go), and nearly always have more than 5 a day. Would you say your struggle with 5 a day was just down to this Challenge, or is it always, even when you're not doing a challenge?

    Well done, you've shown that it is possible to eat very cheaply, which is good to know if ever the s**t hits the fan. I'm interested to know what the next Challenge is.

    1. I have always had phases of eating, and it's at this time of year that I nearly always 'fall out' with vegetables. I guess it's a rebound from a Summer of lots of salads etc. I know I should make more of an effort, and even on this tight budget I could have done so much better. I'm bad ... I know 😉 🤣🤣

    2. Thanks Sue, I appreciate the answer. And yes you are bad....;-)

  3. Well done. I'm not sure I have the discipline to make £28 last for 28 days.
    Maybe I’ll try one month but keep it secret apart from OH who might just notice!
    Do you think you'd have had less of a problem eating 5 a day if the challenge were in the summer so that you could take your 3 for free in salad crops which are expensive to buy?
    Does it also highlight how comparatively expensive vegetables are? (I know you are not fond of fruit in general.)

    1. Thank you ☺

      See my reply to Sooze above, that pretty much explains me and vegetables. I could have made much better use of my 3 for free, but I chose not too as I simply didn't fancy anything else at the time and only picked minimal amounts. If I had to live on that amount of money for longer I feel I would have made much more of an effort ... I would have had to to remain healthy.

  4. REALLY looking frward to the next challenge now. :-)

  5. Glad that you've managed your £28 for 28 days challenge, I'm also please that you've found some foods that you like which is cheaper than your usual brand. Good luck with you new challenge and I'm looking forward to it xx

  6. Well done! I know your lessons sneak I to my habits a bit here and there, so thank you! Enjoy a little break before your next challenge.

    1. Thank you. Too late ... we are already on Day Two 😃

  7. I have really enjoyed reading your challenge diary, and I have started saving my peelings for soup. Have you ever read An everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler? I think you would really enjoy it. She suggestst things like freezing broccoli stalks for homemade pesto.

    1. No I haven't read that, I'll look out for it. Yes, I already save my broccoli stalks, usually for soups but I have made pesto a couple of times with them ☺

  8. You've done amazing, and I'm looking forward to your next challenge! It was interesting to read about your different menus and how you cut costs. The remaining 76 p...if that's about a dollar in the US, I would have spent it on a cheap 24 ounce beer to end the challenge.

    1. Thanks. I don't think I could have got a can of anything with 76p, but I should have looked ☺

  9. You've done brilliantly and I've loved reading your diary (I was late to the party but read your earlier posts). I'm looking forward to reading about your next challenge now. X

    1. Thank you. All will be revealed soon I promise.

  10. I admire your commitment and envy your discipline! I couldn't do the same - but I'm tempted to try something along the way...
    I have trouble having my 5 a day, might be just that I eat small portions, I can't fit loads to my plate or my stomack, and with only three meals a day it is a challenge. If only home grown potatoes would count...

    1. Perhaps that partly it with me too, I hate a full plate or being faced with lots of food as I have a small appetite. So once I've put on the main part of the meal I start to think that's enough for me. I think that's why I do well with smoothies and soups to get my fruit and veggies in me.

      If potatoes counted I would have done much better 😁

  11. I've been trying a similar challenge over the past week (see my blog for details). It's woken something in me that's been sleeping for a while - a real desire to find the "bottom line" - how little I can actually get by on healthily and happily. I don't know if it'll be quite as low as £1 a day long term, as I've been relying on my "stockpile", which would eventually dwindle if I kept to such a tight budget permanently. Still, the seed has been planted and it's a real joy finding others who share the same enthusiasm for this. You're doing great - keep it up! :)

    1. Thank you, and I did go over to yours for a read :-)


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