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Can you live on £10 a week?

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Michelle Dignan | 14:47 UK time, Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Coins

So my challenge was to live on £10 for a working week. Thanks for all the suggestions as to what I could buy and cook on a small budget. As I reached the end of the week I certainly didn’t feel hungry; in fact I had food left over!

However, I did become a bit bored with the food I was eating. My breakfast every day was porridge and my lunches were two pieces of wholemeal bread with a slice of ham. The most exciting eating time was my evening meal, but because I was making my whole chicken last in various ways, I ate it on so many occasions that I thought I might turn into one by the end.

I discovered, as you’d expect, that it's much cheaper to buy in bulk. I think I would have found varying food easier if I had done this over a longer period of time; meat can be bought and frozen, as can bread. I hadn’t frozen milk before until that week, but everyone was right: it was perfectly fine.

If you go to the reduced section at supermarkets at the right time of the day then you can get some real bargains. Usually, when I’m doing my food shop, this is my favourite place. Sometimes you can be really lucky and get an amazing deal. But other times there’s nothing but a mouldy piece of posh cheese for 50p. During my week on the tenner I wasn’t the luckiest with the reduced section. On one day there was a fantastic-looking meat feast pizza for only 40p – but then part of the challenge was to make it a healthy diet, and we all know pizza isn’t the best thing for you.

My local supermarket is Aldi and I know that the prices for fruit and veg are cheaper there than anywhere else locally. However, even using the cheapest place to get fruit and veg, I still struggled to get my ‘5-a-day’.

Many meals can be made on the £10 budget. The suggestions on the blog and Facebook proved that, but to get some kind of variety then items would have to be bought in bulk and possibly frozen and used throughout the month. Although I must admit that I’m not convinced that a good amount of fruit and veg can be eaten on such a small budget.

I also have to confess that I missed the little luxuries; cups of tea, biscuits, and a glass of wine on a Friday night.

The challenge has made me appreciate that I can once again have those little luxuries, and my pile of recipe ideas has certainly grown thanks to you, so I appreciate that.

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