Gah why did I buy that awful pasta sauce? Oh I know. Because it was CHEAP. Urgh. Now I have two more meals to face with it, after lunch today finished my second portion. I really wished I'd thought more before making that purchase. Though to be fair, with a huge pile of pasta and the handful of salad leaves (friend's garden, accounted for in budget), it's not that bad. It's just so...um...glossy!
I am not hungry while doing this challenge, due to the pasta, rice and oats I have been filling up on, though I am craving the fresher food I normally stack my plate with. And also, I'm missing the freedom to eat with more variety in my day - already I have had this sauce and pasta twice in two days, and have to have it twice again. Usually, I eat what I fancy rather than to any rigid plan.
I have to admit, I didn't buy my full £5 of budget at the start and also full packets of food. I decided to aim more for focusing on a £1 a day allowance. This is mainly out of not wanting any food waste, since there were already food items I had in (that I would have bought) and needed using. It seemed nonsensical to not try and use up this food when part of the point of the Live Below the Line campaign is looking at the issue of food wastage. Also - as I'm on a budget (though nothing like as strict as this!), I didn't want to double-buy any foods.
Therefore, though I did go shopping in preparation and am mainly using those foods, I'm concentrating more on ensuring to stick within the £1 a day daily budget. If I ever do this challenge again, I will be more careful to let the contents of my fridge run down (hard when you have just had a party!) and not have so much other food stockpiled.
Still, as it is all in aid of a good cause, in my case being for Action Against Hunger, I doubt anyone is going to grumble at me! Also - had I been in a pool of people doing this together, we'd have been able to buy a selection of foods and people in groups therefore have an advantage. Doing it alone I think is more of a challenge, and it is supposed to be creative and enjoyable too.
What I'm quickly learning is how fast you stop taking for granted 'everyday items' such as tea, and how such items become a luxury when you're trying to maximise your food intake to get some reasonable nutrition and not be hungry. Since when was a big mug of well-brewed tea a luxury? It is now!
Today I decided to only have 50ml of soya milk on my porridge, and opt for black tea instead to save my budget. And the tea is so weak - stretching out my two teabags for a few mugs - that I don't really need the milk anyhow! Soya milk - again - was something I already had in, with a carton opened. So I suppose if I'd bought it in my total £5 allowance at the start, I'd be using it, whatever.
The sweet potatoes have proved to be a good buy, along with the lentil allowance I gave myself. With the other half of the lentil and sweet potato base I had made yesterday (76.5p worth), I have added 3 cups (750ml) of water, a teaspoon of cumin and a teaspoon of tumeric (as I buy my spices in bulk from the Indian grocery, I'm sure this amount of around 6 grams is not even 1p). This turned it into a simple dhaal soup, by blending with an immersion blender.
I'd probably add less water if I was making it again. But this will make at least 3 large bowls of soup, so dinner tonight has been that, along with a hunk of my home-made soda bread. I have eaten early, as I am going to yoga soon and am supposed to have eaten a couple of hours before the session, at least.
So when I looked at what I've consumed today so far, it hasn't added up yet to my £1 total. I think I will treat myself to a FULL banana when I get in from yoga later :)
Today adds up like this:
Half a banana 5p
50ml soya milk 3p
50g oats 4p
Aubergine, mushroom & sweetcorn sauce 35p
Spaghetti 100g 4p
Handful salad leaves (friend's garden) 1p
Lentil & sweet potato dhaal soup 26p
Bread piece 8p
2 x teabags 3p
= 89p (think will have a full banana for supper, which will bring it to 99p)
PLEASE sponsor me as I continue on my Live Below the Line challenge: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/chocolateandbeyond