The second Sunday of Lent has passed, ten days into my challenges. Time to check up on my progress. So far so good on the alcohol front – whilst I’ve been to the pub four times I’ve had no problem sticking to water or lime and soda. Tap water and ice makes me currently a very cheap date.
Food and shopping-wise, I’ve not had such great success. On the days I’ve calculated my spend I have been over budget by at least 11-13 pence – over 10%. One day last week a lunch was cancelled and I hadn’t brought sandwiches with me; where can one buy a decent lunch for 40-50p in central London? On other days I’ve used relatively expensive ingredients from the cupboard. I’ve found eating more bread and pasta and less fresh salad tricky; so I went over budget again buying more lettuce. There have been mixed successes – weaned myself off an expensive Oatso Simple (16p) habit and on to porridge made overnight in the slow cooker (3.5p). That took a bit of trial and error – in the first three days I managed one edible breakfast, with one batch of concrete and another vat of gloop.
In total from 10 March to 18 March I spent around £16 on food – still less than half my usual total, and on most days I had at least 6 portions of fruit or veg. That total included £2.19 on olive oil and the £2.00 lunch. On Friday I went to Asda again with just cash in my pocket and a sharp eye out for the cheapest prices for decent things to eat – total, £13.55.
The fastest lesson I have learned so far is that ticking to what I know is the easiest way to rack up the cost. Some experiments have not gone well, others have worked. I’m planning ahead a bit more than I used to. To be honest if all I ate for the next three weeks was pasta and porrridge, I’d only need to buy milk for tea – but I might end up not fitting into any of my clothes…