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Living on a pound a day


egg, chips and peas

I read about a Lord this week who tried to live on a pound a day for food. He tried to do it for five days. That isn’t too difficult if you’re healthy and can eat anything. It’s only five days.

Try doing it year in and year out mate! Even doing it for a fortnight wouldn’t be easy. I tried to work out a menu though…

This was my list of food to last 14 days:

2.5 Kg of frozen chips (Lidl) 1.36

2.5 Kg potatoes                      2.00

30 eggs                                     2.70

Frozen peas                             1.00

Mixed vegetables, frozen     1.00

Onions                                        .80

Frozen chicken   1Kg               1.65

Rice 1Kg                                      .40

stew pack                                 1.00

split peas 500g                           .58

12 Bovril cubes                          .92

There are lots of thing on my list to cook soups and stews with and I’ll get some protein from the chicken and eggs. I’ll also get a little protein from the peas. What’s missing? I have coeliac disease and can’t eat gluten, so no bread, biscuits or cakes. I don’t have dairy either, so no milk or cheese. It’s not so easy without bread, but I would manage.

I can cook eggs for breakfast. I am also a great fan of egg and chips and so I would cook that a few times over the 2 weeks. I can use the chicken to do chicken, chips and peas or do a chicken stew. The chicken is frozen (1.65) from Aldi and I would probably thaw it, remove the skin and fat from the chicken pieces and make stock with that. I could make a stew with the stock, some splits peas, onions, mixed veggies and a couple of Bovril cubes. It wouldn’t be quite so nice without herbs in it though.

Potatoes are in short supply now, but I could probably get those cheaper than £2.00. I paid £2.00 for baking potatoes last week. A baked potato without meat isn’t a very good meal, but add some frozen vegetables and it’s not too bad for lunch.

I could also cook egg fried rice with vegetables a few times. That would be a fairly well balanced meal.

I use about 1 Kg of frozen chips a week and so the frozen chips should last, even if I cook a few as a late night snack. I wonder how his Lordship managed for snacks? I also had change out of my £14. I only had 39p left, but that was enough for a packet of salt! I have done some of these meals and I did weigh the chips, 140 grams and 80 grams of peas with one egg made a meal and I wasn’t hungry afterwards…

On this regime, I would probably get hungry late at night, but I could have a mug of Bovril to help me sleep. I imagine I would need it or my tummy rumbling would keep me awake.

I hope I have given you a few ideas for cheap cooked meals. You would struggle to get your 5 a day, on a pound a day. Even with the cheapest vegetables, 5 a day comes to 40p. I suppose it’s possible, but I wouldn’t like to try it.

Do you have any cooked meal ideas? Please share your thoughts in the comments box.

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5 responses

  1. Some time ago one of our friends tried something similar for 6 months. He found the cheapest meal of all was tinned sardines with pasta which tasted revolting (apparently). He ate sardines on toast, cheap beans on toast, and roughly nothing else. After 6 months he was forbidden to try it any longer as his health was deteriorating.

    15, March 2013 at 11:47 am

    • Hi Myfanwy,

      I had sardinella on my list, apparently they are the same as sardines but caught in different waters. They have been introduced into Aldi recently to replace sardine but the price is better, only 34p a tin. I’m going to check those out! I would avoid processed foods as much as possible and eat plenty of vegetables. I think if someone is really short of money they can use these ideas and maybe live on £20 for 14 days without health problems. A bit more chicken, some tomato ketchup for the chips, more chips and herbs for the stew and it wouldn’t be too bad!

      15, March 2013 at 12:58 pm

  2. Pingback: Looking forward to Spring? | Mike10613's Blog

  3. Hmm, few too many chips I think…we have the same problem – lack of funds and 3 kids…now thats a nightmare, as usually they cannot agree on what to eat..or they wont eat what we’re having (something that was unheard of in my day) .. Plus I’m diabetic and have problems with wheat products too..so limits what is available cheaply, my other half always cooks fresh – never packaged, so thats healthier..but its also more expensive..we both love jacket spud and salads but again depending on the time of year thats expensive too..we dont fry anything,and we have the ‘healthier’ spreads .
    What is wrong is that the pre packaged processed BAD foods are half the price of ‘healthier’ options..even using fresh can be more expensive than frozen.
    I’d love the minister to continue his trial for a month….maybe then he would see the real problems!!

    4, April 2013 at 10:04 am

    • Hi Neil,

      Yes, being a diabetic makes it harder. I’m a coeliac and have pancreatitis, the lupus and pernicious anaemia make me too tired to do the garden too. I tend to mix fresh and frozen foods, have bananas as snacks and so on. I think a little of something nice is better than lots of crap. A gourmet picnic in the park doesn’t have to be expensive and the kids would probably enjoy lettuce and sardinella sandwiches. I must get a can of sardinella later from Aldi, they’re only 34p!

      4, April 2013 at 12:14 pm

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