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January: Jen learns to spend less than £1,000 a day in Waitrose

People would never label me as “frugal” or “modest”. I overindulge in almost every aspect of life, and until recently, I lived by the Nike catch phrase, “Just Do It” with great enthusiasm. For people like me, the credit crunch has not been kind. It did finally get me last year. And it took me kicking and screaming.

Of course I’ve jumped on the resolution band wagon and reevaluated my expenses for 2010. It looks like I will need to find a way to embrace phrases such as “packing my lunch”, “buying reduced” and “drinking water”. While I’d rather stick my head in an oven, these actions, however foreign to me, must be met. I’ve therefore decided to stay positive about my financial constraints and do what any good reality TV producer would do. I’ve turned this into a challenge.

For the month of January, I will feed the two of us using only what already exists in the freezer, fridge, or pantry. I’ve also allowed myself a weekly stipend of £10 for fresh meat and veg (not easy considering we are Waitrose junkies). I look at this, as an opportunity not only to be creative, but to also be less wasteful as I am prone to regularly throwing out unopened bags of rotten greens. Hopefully at the end of this, I will still have a few p in my pocket, and if I’m lucky, a few new habits.

Day 1

I made pizza dough last night, so supper is not even close to scary. Next week, we’ll see.


  1. doanie

    Part of me is excited to see you get to the desperate part of the challenge (noodles with old dehydrated garlic, mayo and beans for protein?)

  2. gastrogeek

    Wow you are a brave soul! I think it might have been Polly Toynbee who wrote a book about how she lived off a fiver a week. I'd love to read more about how this goes, I once managed to feed the 2 of us for £20 a week and was ridiculously proud of that, but £10??!! Am completely in awe!

  3. Jen

    Tell me about it. I am also scared shitless, but one week in and I am still alive. Fingers crossed it goes this well until the end of the month!

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