Years of meal planning and budgeting with a young family (two grown ups, a 7 year old and a toddler) have left me feeling well-equipped for this challenge. Although £4 per day for a family is a smaller budget than I’ve had in the past, I am interested to see what is achievable with some thought and planning.
I confess that after half an hour browsing online grocery shopping my enthusiasm was waning a little. I don’t know what sort of food to prioritise – pasta, bread and porridge to keep us full, but we need fruit, veg and protein too and I’m surprised at how expensive this is. We definitely can’t afford tea, coffee or chocolate, puddings or yogurts. I realise we will also miss stock cubes, herbs, salt and cooking oil a lot this week.
I find room in the shopping basket for a packet of biscuits, and think about how much money we spend on food we like rather than the food we actually need. I can’t find a way for us all to have enough veg and a piece of fruit every day, and I’m not sure whether the kids will eat some of the dishes I have planned. (What if they don’t? They’ll be hungry without snacks to keep them going. I realise what a privilege it is to have options and how awful the pressure to feed your kids must be if you don’t). Its stressful trying to balance all these priorities and I don’t know what the right answer is. Feeling like a bad mother I pack the shopping basket with tinned tomatoes and pasta, and hope it will all fall into place somehow.
I thought about ‘click and collect’ but this would cost £2 – I never really thought about the hidden costs around our weekly shop! I spent £18.74, leaving £1.26 to spare.
We are so grateful to all those who support us with donations. This blog reminded me that we have really incredible donors and some of them will do a food shop and have it delivered directly to the foodbank warehouse! Sometimes this is done anonymously and sometimes we have the donor’s details so we can thank them which is great and we’ve had deliveries from all the major supermarkets. Just remember to switch the address back to your home address for the next shop… we received someone’s shopping once because of this! If you are thinking of donating, check with your local foodbank as to what they need most – Norwich foodbank currently needs long life sponge puddings and pasta sauce please.