Monday, August 05, 2013

More in Store

Firstly, let me make it clear that this challenge is purely to explain how to buy enough to 'eat to live' on £10 a week, and at the same time build up a store cupboard. It's not expecting anyone to eat as they used to - three good meals a day etc. Suffice to say that - at least for me - I would be prepared to live on a bowl of porridge for breakfast (maybe alternating with either beans on toast or egg on toast), perhaps a sandwich or soup for lunch, and a 'main meal' (spag bol, fish cakes, cottage pie, salad and omelette, more spag bol, more cottage pie, vegetable soup...) just for this first week. No tea, no coffee, just drink water.... At the end of this first week (with 10p still unspent) I would expect to have AT LEAST half the eggs, spaghetti, passata, mayo, oats, yogurt, onions, carrots, white cabbage, and hopefully some potatoes left to use the second week. Leaving just milk, baked beans, Beanfeast, and tuna to replace. Once these replacements had been bought, this should leave me £6.26p to spend (10p was left over from the previous week). With this I would purchase a pack of 1kg frozen chicken portions (£2.50),a 1.5kg bag of flour(45p), 1 kg bag sugar (99p) 1kg bag long grain rice (40p), a 500g tub of 'soft spread', a pack of 'strawberry whip' (15p) and a blog of cheap chocolate (30p). Total £5.14 (leaving 12p left over). All but the 'strawberry whip' would be enough to use only half that week, thus adding the remaining half to the store cupboard. Having the chicken will enable me to poach some with carrots and onions, to give me cooked chicken to use in a couple or so dishes, at the same time making chicken stock. The 'soft spread' can be used for sarnies, also for frying and baking. Having flour and sugar means cakes, biscuits, pancakes, pastry can be added to the week's 'eats', and perfectly possible to have 'treats' such as making profiteroles, fileld with 'strawberry whip' then the top dipped in melted chocolate. Well, it's a thought! All the food items bought have been the cheapest - the 'Value' range from Tesco. Only the Beanfeast had to be bought elsewhere (Morrison's). Obviously there could be other costs such as transport, and glaring omissions from the 'stores' such as tea/coffee (but beggars can't be choosers). The idea is that within a month we would all be able to afford to have these, plus condiments, sauces, and ESPECIALLY cheese and celery in our larder. Also herbs and spices. Begin very frugally, and slowly we should be able - even with a £10 budget - be able to build up a good selection of 'dry goods' and long-shelf-life cans and vegetables that will last us more than one week, often a month without needing to be replaced. I'm not giving recipes for any of the above (as these almost certainly have been given before, but can do so if required. The challenge is only to prove what can be bought and what can be stored within the limitations of the budget.... Although I've estimated that there is enough (and plenty to feed one person for the week, obvioulsy - with some foods left over - there would be enough to feed two. Not at the level that many are accustomed to, but again I stress that this is purely to show that we can build up a store cupboard if we don't just 'buy one carrot, one onion' but think of the wider picture. ....There are many other foods that I'd got on my 'to buy a.s.a.p' list such as Chicken Livers (50p), canned tomatoes, pearl barley, pasta penne, oil, raising agents, lentils, risotto rice, canned red kidney beans, dried fruits...not all at the same time, but over the weeks. This is how I've built up the stores I have now (and believe me I have quite a few!!) Do hope this prints out as easy to read. Am happy to answer any questions. Pam, the prices shown are the very cheapest, normally I would expect to pay more for better quality (but as I said, beggars....!). Rachel, I would mop up spills using newspaper, or a kitchen towel. Kitchen paper is a luxury!! Muslin normally used to strain yogurt, but if none (or kitchen roll), then just use a fine mesh strainer on its own (pref a plastic one). Tricia, the lemon tree was grown from just one pip, planted into soil in a small pot, covered with half a plastic bottle (or use a poly-bag) and kept warm. Remove the plastic once the shoot has appeared, but still keep warm. No Les, I don't turn 'everything' off at night. The fridge/freezer needs to be switched on. I have to keep the comp on 'stand-by' at the moment as then the 'warming up time' is reduced by about an hour! Thanks to others for comments, and really do hope that soon I'll be able to begin writing the blog again to make it more easily readable. The weather has suddenly turned wet and almost back to normal. I will really miss sitting out in the sun, but we have been very fortunate now we have had a few weeks or 'real summer'. The weather is expected to improve again later this week. Can't wait. Hoping to be back blogging again later this week (may manage tomorrow, but not Wednesday, so it could be Thursday before my next 'chat'). Please send in any queries re the £10 challenge, but remember this has been how I would do it - you, of course,could do it differently and make a better job of it. I do tend to get stuck in a bit of a rut at times..