Wednesday, 31 October 2012

£5 for 5 Days: Days 2-3

Day 2 starts with my usual porridge (40g of porridge and 240ml of milk), except without my customary syrup. No complaints there. At lunch time I attempt to fry bread (reasoning that the amount of oil I use must account for less than 1p). Slice 1 goes well, slice 2 less so and slice 3 soaks up way too much oil. Dinner is curry again, although I cook it slightly differently by boiling the veg in the curry sauce having already heated it in the steamer. A bourbon cream or two makes a nice pudding.

A spanner in the works though. I seem to have contracted some kind of infection or similar that has blocked my sinuses and given me a terrible cough. As a concession to health I have allowed tea, fruit squash and Vit. C tablets to enter my diet (3 different people's recommendations). To be fair I wasn't factoring in drink into this project anyway, but the Vit C tablets strike me as fitting in the "nutrition" department and I only take them reluctantly.

Day 3 and I have to run my girlfriend to the train station, so a quick breakfast of bread dipped in milk suffices. Lunch is porridge, because I have to have at least one bowl a day. A trip to town reveals a difficulty in this scheme. It's all very well having cheap food at home, but in town it's all expensive. So for two hours I'm staggering hungrily around Guildford, before getting home to fried bread and bourbon cream. Dinner is again curry and rice, although this time I throw in the kidney beans with the veg and curry. Also need to cook the rice less, as it is still going mushy. Half a tin of peach slices doesn't just suffice as pudding; it's amazing. I love peach slices. The cough persists, and stopped me sleeping last night. I hope the lack of protein doesn't fuel it... would hate to have to open that can of meat and render my entire endeavor null and void.

Monday, 29 October 2012

£5 for 5 days: Day 1

A long time ago I heard about the "Live Below the Line" challenge. People would live off £5 for 5 days and... and somehow that made money for charity. I'm sure they had a plan.

Not that I could ever do it at home, because dinner was always served and no one would understand me arbitrarily capping my consumption costs. Rightly so, because it is kind of stupid to do if not for charity.

So I'm Living Below the Line. And not for charity. Horray for Uni!

£5 can go pretty far still today, provided you don't care for variety. So I did one recon mission of Tesco's, jotting down every bargain I saw (tins and frozen food, basically), then let my current food stocks run out. Easier said than done; I compulsively hoard tins of stuff. I didn't even get halfway through my soups, so they are sitting on my shelf and must not be eaten! Bread went pretty quick, until I was using rashers of bacon to sandwich the cheese. (Note: Said combination is fucking delicious).

Then when I was reduced to what I considered a minimum, I set out to Tesco's! Now I already had porridge oats at home, so I simply took 55p off my budget (seemed a little silly to buy a bag. I have 1kg of the stuff!). In the end I came home with;

2x Tins of Kidney Beans; 36p.
Tinned Peaches; 29p
Tinned Mandarins, 19p
Chopped Ham; 67p
Bourbon Creams; 49p
Long Grain Rice, 1kg, 40p
Curry Sauce, 23p (That's not what it said on the shelf you liars!)
Bread, 47p,
Mixed Veg 75p
Fresh Milk, 100p.

Totaling that up it's... £4.85. Shit. 40p over budget when you consider the porridge oats. So that can of chopped ham I let myself indulge in must sit idly on the shelf. The extra 27p will go towards another jar of curry sauce if I run out (Or a slither of meat if I feel my sanity slipping from all the vegginess).

I decided to start tonight. My girlfriend was over so I cooked for her too ("You're feeding her with this shit!?" cried my flatmates).  So meal 1 was:

50g Rice, Handful of frozen veg (from an old bag, I noted how much was left and decreed not to drop below that amount with the new bag), a tbsp of kidney beans, and a bit of curry sauce for flavour. Per person, might I add. It wasn't half bad actually, with the curry sauce being surprisingly tasty for something that cost 23p (the shelf still said 20p!). As you may have noted from my list though, that's all the ingredients I have. So Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will ALSO be this meal. Unless I run out of curry sauce.

Pudding was two Bourbon creams. Living the high life there. Also not bad for cheap stuff.

In all a good start, even if I did turn the wrong hob on at one point. The curry sauce is already dangerously low, and my rice cooking technique could do with some refinement. Porridge without syrup tomorrow, first time in a month...

Here goes!