One week into the live on £53 a week challenge

After no shopping at all on Monday, which helped to balance the spendy weekend, basics were needed today.

Air freshner  £          2.39
Stain remover  £          2.49
Toilet roll x 6  £          3.50
Cat food  £          2.39
Sausages  £          1.99
Cheese  £          2.29
bread  £          0.99
pizza  £          0.99
Cereal  £          1.09
olive oil  £          2.19
butter  £          0.98
milk  £          2.00
 £        23.29

I have made a mousakka using up the onions and aubergines I got at the market on Saturday and some lamb from the freezer. All other ingredients such as garlic, cinnamon, flour, eggs and milk I already had. I have enough of the the meat mixture for a meal another day and found a pack of puff pastry in the freezer which had been reduced from £1.64 to 41p so it will be Greek pie for supper another day. The total for the ingredients for two suppers feeding 3 adults came to just under £6, factoring in that the eggs are from the chickens I keep. The DS doesn’t like mousakka (sigh) so the sausages are for him, to be served with mash and veg left over from the weekend, all ingredients are including in the costing.


Today I have eaten one egg, and drank only water. I am still ill hence the small appetite. That will change I am sure but I am enjoying the weight loss, and I am really not hungry. Left over pasta and home made soup has sustained the rest of the family. Foodwise it has been quite a cheap day. I did not have to shop at all to feed us today, just utilised left overs, storecupboard and fridge staples and delved into the freezer. With supper and lunches and breakfast it has cost about £5.50 to feed us all, which is £1.83 per person.


Cooking mousakka brings back happy memories: of the prize I won, cooking with James Martin for blogging about my favourite holiday food, and my first trip as a student to Greek Islands discovering new food. You never forget your first mousakka. I use  a Delia Smith recipe, which is wonderful, always salting then rinsing the aubergine which removes all bitterness, and gallons of olive oil to cook them in, of course.

It did occur to me today that maybe we are not eating enough fruit and veg. The bananas have gone a bit brown so I will make a cake with those tomorrow.This seems to happen all the time, even though I always buy them as green as I can. I read a tip to stop this happening, which is to put cling film over the stalk bit, to make them last longer. And while we have lots of veg on Sunday, mostly I seem to eat onions, peppers and tinned tomatoes.

I have set myself two targets this week, incorporate more fruit and veg into the diet and workout how much our bills are weekly. I love spreadsheets so this isn’t a chore and I already have a monthly budget plan listing all our expenditure. I just don’t look at it enough and this exercise has made me think I really need to. Eating more fruit and veg may be a bit more of a challenge!

Any tips to incorporate more healthy options for a family that doesn’t like many vegetables and some veggie recipes that carnivores may like are, as ever, very welcome.

This entry was posted in Food, Health and Wellbeing, Iain Duncan Smith, Life, Live Below the Line and tagged , by Travelling Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

About Travelling Coral

I started blogging in 2011 to record some of the highlights of the round the world trip I made with my husband Phil. On the 5 month trip we visited California, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand. We met some fantastic people, saw amazing things and ate some lovely food. Yet while enjoying these new experiences I became acutely aware of the inequality in both first and third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor on the streets of LA and KL was the same. On my return home, I realised that this inequality existed in the UK. I had to leave the country to see it for what it was. Food banks were opening in every town and city. I read the now famous blog, A Girl Called Jack and got more interested in how food poverty impacts the lives of so many people in my home country. And I got angry. And wanted to do something about it. Now, I work for Smethwick CAN, a charity bringing people together to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunity and support the most vulnerable. One of the projects is a foodbank. Food poverty is shocking in any country, yet over a third of edible food still ends up in landfill. No one should go hungry, yet children are going to school without breakfast. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children. Foodbanks are a sticking plaster not a cure for food poverty. So, in addition to working for a charity that is supporting people in crisis, I volunteer for The Real Junk Food Project. They intercept food that would normally be thrown away, and cook it and serve it in a Pay as You Feel Cafe. I am still adjusting to life back at home in Birmingham, England, I have terminal Farsickness. To keep it at bay, I drag my husband and sometimes the son on shorter trips both in the UK and overseas. I now post random stuff that interests me. This includes travel, food and well being. The writing keeps me sane. Long term travelling is my goal.

4 thoughts on “One week into the live on £53 a week challenge

    • I have always salted aubergines/eggplants as Delia taught me to cook. I have been told that you don’t need to and the one time I didn’t they were quite bitter. So I am sticking with the Delia way 😉


  1. Pingback: Tricks to Make Low-Calorie Foods Taste Great - Unfashionablemale - A place for the non modern man

  2. Pingback: Not Buying It – food I don’t need | travellingcoral

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