Could you feed your family for £2 a day?

So I was set the £2 Challenge. Feed your family for £2 per person per day.

Initially I thought this was crazy! £56 for a weekly shop was barely going to cover my cereal habit! (Those who know me will know I eat a LOT of cereal!)

Currently we are averaging £140 a week on food shopping. This seems obscene! I love food. I bake a lot and enjoy cooking new meals so food is important to me. But wine, beer or cider can also be found in our trolley most weeks, along with a lot of other non-essentials. I thought I was really going to struggle.

Wine
What do you mean, no wine wednesday?!

So firstly I set about this by understanding that I could never include toiletries, kitchen supplies like bin liners/tin foil/washing up liquid/washing powder, or nappies, wipes and cat food in this budget – it would be dead in the water.
These would have to come under some other budget. Cheating? Maybe. But I set about it as if I had nothing else food wise in the kitchen, so I included salt and pepper, oil and teabags, sugar and so on in my budget. I set out a list of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that could be made cheaply and still try to include as varied and nutritious a diet as possible. It actually wasn’t so tough!

The final menu plan was pretty impressive and I even managed to fit in a few treats and baking ingredients!
On closer inspection I found the meals were actually better than some we have been having lately as I had had to really think about the ingredients. I also found that people who think it’s cheaper to eat unhealthy food are uninformed. The price of vegetables is really low and if you shop smart you can make use of the big bags of cheap root veg. Like a kg of carrots for under 50p!

Meal plan
It inspired us to be much more creative with our meals.

It is not something I would feel would be manageable (or enjoyable) for us on a weekly basis, but it has definitely given us all food for thought. We are obviously spending far too much some weeks and although we waste very little, I think we are guilty of over indulging a bit too frequently.

Also who wouldn’t love to be saving £84 a week. We figure that even doing a ‘cheap week’ once a month would be beneficial and would give us an extra £1000 over the course of 12 months! Don’t know about you but that kind of cash would come in very handy!

piggybank-2913293_1280

So I set off to the supermarket – oh wait, no I didn’t because I’m a lazy cow who does it online! So I logged on. It took me 27 minutes from start to finish – I did it while watching the telly after dinner!

I wrote out a list of dinners I knew I could make from scratch, and a simple selection of breakfasts and lunches.
Of course I looked to the budget brands to keep costs down and also went for frozen vegetables and meats which we’ve never used in the past. This time I got frozen sliced peppers and these were something I’d never thought of – amazing idea. Also frozen cooked chicken, so cheap and a great time saver!

The frozen sausages are something I would have walked right past.  I buy Richmond sausages most weeks so I decided to have a gander at the figures. In just one Richmond sausage there is a whopping 20% saturated fat and 18% salt! But in the cheaper Everyday Value Tesco sausage there was 15% saturated fat – in TWO sausages and 17% salt – in TWO sausages. The meat quantity was the same which I was shocked at. So it is now a no brainer to buy the cheaper frozen ones for stuff like sausage casserole or pasta bakes. The flavour isn’t as good so I wouldn’t want them for a sausage bap but when you’re adding them to sauces you can’t taste the difference. Price wise it’s a home run for the frozen at £1.29 for 20 thats just 6p per sausage, compared to Richmond at 25p per sausage!!!Shopping

If you are anything like me then you head for the same brands week in, week out. But have you stopped to consider the alternatives? Things like tea bags and beans have taken great strides in quality and some folk would be hard pushed to tell the difference in a blind tasting. Also watch the fruit and veg aisle. The loose bananas can be cheaper than the pre packaged ones and there was differences of over a pound between brands of peppers and grapes. I wouldn’t notice the difference in taste.

The stuff that is on offer in the supermarkets is not always the cheapest either, have a look along the shelf and you will be suprised by the contradictory pricing. Two for £2 might seem amazing but if you only needed one and it cost £1.10 them you are spending 90p more than you need to. I also found a lot of big packs of things that cost more than two smaller packs. Do a bit of browsing.

20170726_191931
A family friendly chilli con carne

I did the shop online with our usual supermarket Tesco – as working 48 hours a week leaves me not wanting to waste any family time in a supermarket! But I could have done this challenge a lot better if I had gone to Aldi or Lidl.

I will give a breakdown of my meal plan for the week.

Our budget meal plan!

Breakfasts

•Cornflakes (twice)
•Porridge (twice)
•Pancakes (made from flour, eggs and milk)
•Scrambled egg
•Toast and jam

Lunches

•Ham sandwiches
•Tuna sandwiches
•Homemade soup and pitta
•Cheese toastie
•Omelette
•Cream cheese and Ham on toast
•French toast and beans

Dinner

•Pitta Pizza
•Chicken Casserole
•Mac and Cheese
•Sausage Casserole
•Ham and Cheese Ommellete
•Chicken fried rice
•Sausage and Veg Pasta Bake

Puddings

•Swiss roll and custard
•Ice lollies
•Yogurts

Snacks

Sultanas, cheese cubes, crackers and cream cheese, apples, bananas, strawberries, grapes and carrots.

Treats

Fruit scones and Crispie cakes – made with the ingredients I ordered. Cornflakes and melted chocolate – boom! Flour, sugar, butter, egg, sultanas and milk – hello lovely fresh scones!

To drink

Milk, water, diluting juice and tea

From this menu you would never even believe we were budgeting. Infact it is not so far from some normal weeks menu plans!

Fresh scones
Freshly made scones are always a winner and so easy to whip up

I was able to buy all my ingredients for £56.60 bringing my per person daily budget in at £2.02!
Did we notice? I’d be lying if I said we didn’t. There were no tasty biscuits. No cold glass of beer after work. I couldn’t just whip up whatever I liked I had to stick to the meal plan. But was it a sucess. Damn right! We all agreed that the meals were tatsy and that there was more than enough food in the fridge and cupboards for the whole week so we never felt like we were hungry. The sultana scones and crispy cakes could be made from the ingredients we had bought and they were a winner.

I will include a complete breakdown of my shopping at the bottom of the page for you.

What it has taught me …
That I buy – and we eat – far too much rubbish. I love cooking and food is a passion of mine but we really don’t need luxury dinners every week. We also dont need all the trimming everytime we have curry or a roast chicken. In fact, if we saved the extra touches they would seem more special when we did have them – my waistline would also thank me greatly.
We also drink far more than we used to. We’ve started having a bottle of wine through the week for no reason when it used to be saved for an occassion. Now, some days I do love a glass of Sauvignon to unwind so won’t be jacking it in altogether! But it’s definitely made me reconsider our intake.
It’s made me take a hard look at brands. There are certain ones I won’t stop buying because I enjoy them, there are ones I will buy because the quality is better such as the chicken, the frozen stuff is so handy but the taste cant match good quality chicken, also cheap cornflakes, jam and spread really aren’t great! I’ll stick to my Kellogs, Lurpack and nice preserves!
But this has made me really appreciate our spending and eating habits.

Shopping list 12018-02-18 15.58.15

Shopping list

What do you think?
Could you manage this challenge?
If you have a go let me know how you get on and any tips you have for shopping on a  budget!

If you would like any of the recipes mentioned above then please comment below and I can stick a post up!

Pam xxx

Mum Muddling Through

28 comments

  1. This post couldn’t have come at a better time. We really need to budget especially food shopping, the husband gets carried away and brings a lot of junk food home that we don’t even need. I’d happily take on this challenge!

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me know how you get on! Our biggest fail is doing a weekly shop then a few days later fancying something different for dinner so popping into the supermarket and spending a fortune on stuff! Need more willpower! Thanks for reading x

      Like

  2. I think I’m going to have to give this a go! I do spend more than I need to food shopping. The sausage thing was a real surprise!!! Frozen peppers though I discovered recently and are a total game changer!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s funny how when you remove the extra items it becomes a healthy menu. It’s hard to cut things like Chocolate out. Scones are a great idea because it would make enough for days and you can freeze them too 🙂 inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant challenge! I use a budgeting tool so I know exactly how much we spend on EVERYTHING! There are definitely areas we could do a lot better but having the knowledge is power! January worked out at £2.71 per person per day using online shop and local butcher. I know an average month is nearer £3.30. We also eat out/take out which adds to the per person food value significantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for such a detailed post- really impressive! I always shop at Aldi but still seem to run out of food by the weekend (I go on a Monday) so spend too much in a week. I think it is the lack of meal plans that scuppers our money saving. I do the shopping and my husband does the cooking so we don’t really know what the other wants! Ha! #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We plan meals but extras sneak in and that’s where the money goes. I think we could manage £2 a day, but we’d have to be very disciplined and use more frozen and tinned items. And we’d have to exclude the cat! Well done for doing it and I think it would be worth sticking the recipes up. I’m always looking out for cheap, but nutritious dinners

    Like

  7. I’m so going to use your meal list for ideas, could you write me one every week please lol lol!!! Thing over in my house is not so much that I waste money buying food, as I’m pretty good with it and ever since I discovered Costco I have saved a fortune, its the fact my kids don’t eat half of it so it ends up wasted!!! They want it then when its ready they turn their nose up grrrrrrr! By the way your scones look delicious. I love articles like this 🙂 #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such an interesting post to read! As a student, this is definitely inspiring as I spend probably just over £20 a week for one person, it’s actually shocking. This post has given me a bit of a challenge, as I want to give something like this a go and see if I can do it.

    – Chloe
    xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My initial thought was absolutely no way but thinking about it I probably could just about manage it. My son has breakfast at school and that costs £2 a day on it’s own so that would cause a bit of an issue but if I ignore that fact and focus on the rest and don’t include any cleaning products etc then it might just be possible! #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sticking to a budget is definitely do-able, preparation and meal planning are key. We were managing to stick to around £40-50 a week… until my husband decided to start eating tons of meat! Meat-free days definitely save money! Good luck going forward! #coolmumclub

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think shopping in the cheaper budget supermarkets helps because they’ve got a limited range as well and so you’re not tempted by lots of posh things! Well done on your £2 challenge you did really well!

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the #BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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