Monday, 1 October 2012

Food Challenge: Week 1

Following the examples of Sue over at The Quince Tree and Thrifty Household, I have set myself the challenge of living on a food and drink budget of £52 per week.  This is apparently the equivalent to the value of  food stamps the US government pays to people on a low income.  My figure is calculated by multiplying the daily rate of £2.50 by 3 (the number in our household) and then again by 7 to reach the weekly figure.

Now I'm not on a low income and can afford to spend more that £52 per week on food but, like many others it appears, I have developed the habit of buying more and more food when my fridge/freezer and cupboards are already stocked with more than enough to feed us for some time.

Yesterday I reached the end of my first week and calculate that I spent £51.11, just short of my my target.  I was greatly helped by the donation of almost half a chicken and a huge bowlful of boiled new potatoes, left over from the church's harvest supper and dinner with friends one evening.  They provided one dinner and a couple of packed lunches.

Apart from that I raided the freezer for tortillas when bread ran low, we ate our way through our organic vegetable box and made inroads into our stockpile of beans and pasta.

In addition to the vegetable box I did buy mince and chicken and bacon, and added on what we spend on our milk delivery.  I even included the money I spent on a pot of tea and a cold drink after our walk through the woods on Sunday.  I could have done it for less if we'd gone veggie or delved deeper into the freezer but   the constraints of time and a carnivorous daughter precluded any further savings this week.

I love a challenge and this one has been such fun that I'm going to carry on with it for at least another week and, who knows, possibly even longer.  


  1. I'm not likely to try exactly that challenge, but making a more conscious effort rouse up some of our stocks seems very sensible!

  2. Hello dottycookie. The challenge itself is short term but I'm hoping that keeping on top of my stash of food will go the distance. It's part of my ongoing struggle to downsize and simplify my life. Easier said than done, but I'm persisting.

  3. I'm another one making an effort to cook from the store cupboard and freezer and reduce the amount of stuff I throw away. My dad used to be brilliant at producing something tasty from very little. Not sure I've inherited his skills!

  4. That's interesting, lovethosecupcakes, my dad was good with bits and pieces too, as is my other half.

    Thanks for popping over and leaving a comment. I've had a quick look at your blog and will be back for more.

  5. I do love this challenge, though to be honest my storecupboard is never that great because of space. I always distrust these magazine articles saying you can save money by using up the things in your freezer. That can only last a week or two - the challenge is to keep a lid on food spending week after week.

  6. Welcome Coffee Lady. I agree that using up food in your freezer doesn't always save you money, especially when you end up buying more ingredients to make a meal of a single item. However if it's properly managed (which mine rarely is!) there are economies of scale and time. My worst freezer habit, apart from not labeling, is to use it to get rid of bit and pieces I don't know what to do with but can't bear to throw away, which doesn't really solver the problem. Hey ho!