Live Below The Line-Prep

This weekend saw us shopping in preparation for our 5 days Living Below the Line.

This meant we had £20 (four people, on a £1 a day, for five days) to spend.

In my last Live Below The Line post, I had done a basic meal plan, and a shopping list of sorts. Hubby had spent Friday evening visiting the various supermarkets in our local town and doing a bit of a price comparison (we know how to have fun…) so armed with this knowledge, and our shopping list clutched in our slightly sweaty anxious paws, we set off.

First stop was Lidl:

  • Bag of frozen mixed veg-£0.89
  • 2L semi-skimmed milk-£1.00
  • 2L whole milk-£1
  • 2x250g British butter-£1.96
  • 500g pot natural yoghurt-#0.55
  • 1.5kg white bread flour £0.79
  • 10 medium eggs-£0.89 NB. hubby was berated at this point as he failed to buy free-range eggs…
  • 2x400g tins red kidney beans-£0.42
  • 1x400g tin chickpeas-£0.69
  • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes-£0.31
    Total spend in Lidl £8.50

Next we popped into Morrisons:

  • 500g pack Morrisons Savers pasta-£0.30
  • 1kg Morrisons Savers porridge oats-£0.75
  • 425g tin Morrisons Savers pineapple chunks
  • 1 bag Morrisons Savers apples (7 apples)-£0.82
  • 500g bag Morrisons Savers raisins-£1.19
  • 350g Morrisons Irish Cheddar-£1.70
  • 1 bag Morrisons Savers onions (10 onions)-£0.50
  • 12 Morrisons chicken stock cubs £0.99
  • 1kg caster sugar-£1.09
    Total spend in Morriosns £7.54

Then on to the local greengrocers:

  • Bowl of bananas (13 bananas)-£0.50
  • Bowl of carrots (25 carrots)-£0.50
  • Bowl of potatoes-£0.50
    Total spend in greengrocers £1.50

Total spend: £17.54

LBTL1Phew! In under budget, and a bit of wriggle room for the rest of the week…

This afternoon, I did a bit of prep:

  • Made a bread mix using 1kg flour (53p) 20g salt (1p), 10g yeast (9p) (both from stock) and water. Total cost 63p. From this, I will hopefully make 12 rolls, and 1 loaf of bread.
    So rolls should work out at 3.5p each, and the loaf of bread is 21p
  • I am a bit worried about snacks for the Smalls, as I usually have a stash of cheesy feet and hot cross buns in the freezer to grab when we are going out. I found this great recipe for ‘Sunshine Buns’ on the fantabulous blog A Girl Called Jack, so promptly made some. They worked out at 4p each.
  • I made a batch of 24 Hobnobs-they worked out at 6p each
  • And I have a bowl of porridge oats soaking in some milk in the fridge to try and mean that making the porridge in the morning is a bit quicker (we are always in a rush…!) I used 150g porridge oats, 350ml milk, 350ml water and 50g raisins, and I am hoping this will do the 4 of us (maybe with a chopped up banana or 2). This should work out at about 10p/serving
  • We went to visit my mum and dad today, and my Dad had been down to do a bit of work at their allotment, and came back bearing a bagful of rhubarb. It seemed churlish to turn it down, so we bought it home and I have stewed it with a bit of sugar, and will add it to the natural yoghurt for puddings in the week.

So, I think we are as ready as we will ever be…

Wish us luck!

37 thoughts on “Live Below The Line-Prep

  1. Well I think you’ve done amazingly well so far. Your meal planning and your purchasing of food under budget is great. I wish you the best of luck for the next five days. I really look forward to hearing how you get on. I’d be really worried about trying this sort of experiement. Especially with smalls that need feeding and the fact that hubby isn’t really on board with this idea at all….

    • Hubby is coming round Heather-he helped with the shopping! I am very aware that the Smalls really shouldn’t be affected by this, so I know that ultimately if anyone has to go hungry for the next 5 days, it will be me…

  2. Good luck! Wow. Can’t wait to see how you get on. There’s always bread and butter pudding, my nan swore by it during the war, the cheapest pudding and very filling.

  3. Impressive planning, you should make it alive :p Seriously though, this is an inspirational challenge, even if it does mean you buy the non-free range eggs.

  4. You could have got a lemon to flavour your water to drink hot or cold but well done buying normal priced food instead of reduced stuff like me. My latest haul were all marked down to 10p…3 packs of 6 wholemeal breadrolls, 2 packets of 2 cheesy bakes (like pasties but bigger) & a Hotcross Bun Loaf … total cost 60p :o))

    • Great bargains! We did contemplate having a trawl round at 3.30pm this afternoon, but I am a bit of a control freak, and wanted to know that we had everything in place!

  5. You’ve made good plans and done sensible shopping so I’m sure you will manage the next five days. Best wishes and good luck.

  6. Great going Jen and I think I will be joining you, for 5 days that is. Now seeing as I live in Ireland it will be interesting to see if I can bring a 5 day food shop in under budget I will have to convert what £20 is in € and do it off this. I am also in need of a little weight loss and detox so this could kill a multitude of birds with one stone! I also want to do this because I am reducing my paid work hours and I need to reign my already frugal spending back and this is an excellent way of doing so. 😉

  7. Good luck – my only suggestion would be to use dried beans and soak overnight – cheaper and you could have more tinned tomatoes or better still more fresh greens. Fanny

  8. I’m not taking part in the challenge this year myself but I just wanted to pop over and say good luck for the week ahead! It sounds like you’re prepared for your £1 a day week!

  9. Well done! I’ll be popping back to see how you get on. Having spent six months of last year on a meagre freelancing pay check (under £600 a month), whilst my boyfriend was unemployed I know I can do this challenge for a couple with bells and whistles on!! I found the key was to shop at my local greengrocer and cook large pots of stuff like soup/Chilli/stew etc however; you are the first I have seen try it with kids! I wish you luck and hope you find it fun- as I finally did- because I am sure it made me eat healthier 🙂 xxx

    • Thanks for the good wishes. There is something quite rewarding about having to be so frugal, but I am sure that that would soon wear very thin. Well done you for toughing out a rough patch-hope things have improved.

      • Improved immensely thanks! I came to quite enjoy it, the thing I learned after a while was to reward us every now and again with something ‘extravagant’ like a take out otherwise it can become very depressing. Also I found I was constantly cooking so the rest was nice!! Good luck xxx

  10. Excellent – v interested to hear how it all goes. When I first met my husband and had no money we always had a max sum of money we could spend on shopping each week. I think it is time it was re-introduced. I also think it is great for your 2 Smalls – help them to appreciate food and money.

  11. Pingback: Thrifty Thursday | My Make Do and Mend Year

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