Live on £1 a Day: Angie Day 1

Got up, walked the dogs and got ready for work. When I arrived, there was a cup of tea on my desk waiting for me – I have some lovely colleagues!  I started to feel hungry around 11:30am, but as I said before I am trying not to eat until 12pm; I left my lunch where it was and sat it out.

Lunch was homemade tomato, onion and butterbean soup. I also added a handful of pasta to try and make sure that it was as filling as possible. I’d used potatoes to thicken it up and myself and my partner had two slices of bread and olive oil spread. I have to say that I didn’t notice the difference in the bread even though we had omitted the sugar from the dough. It was very nice and I am extremely glad that I had bought stock cubes in my shop as I think it would have been pretty bland without.

The afternoon went well and I had several cups of tea made for me and I drank plenty of water. I usually graze throughout the afternoon, even if it is healthy grazing that I do and I missed this a lot. I found an apple on my desk and gave it to a colleague although I would have loved to have eaten it myself. By about 4:30pm I was getting really hungry; I started thinking a lot about food and what I could make with all the potatoes we bought. 

I didn’t leave work until 6pm as I was meeting some friends to go for a run. I am lucky that I have a hobby that, once you have the kit, it’s free, but it does make you think about what you would do if you needed new trainers and had to choose between new trainers to allow you to continue doing something that you enjoy and is good for your mental wellbeing, or having food to give you the fuel to do it.

I often find that running dulls my appetite and when I got home I wasn’t that hungry. At around 8pm, we had beans on toast as that was something simple and quick. I missed adding some chopped chilli to my beans – I grow my own and have a freezer with lots of varieties – but I was determined to stick to what I bought so they stayed in the freezer. I often grate some cheese on top as well, but left that off as I need enough for my pizza, broccoli and cheese soup and for any pasta I will be making later in the week.  It does make you think about the things you take for granted…

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We’ve mentioned before during these blogs about the nutritionally balanced food parcels, as set out by the Trussell Trust, but it’s worth mentioning again! Today, we had a school visit from a year 5 class who came with a large donation of items and lots of well thought out questions. One student asked ‘how much money do you [the foodbank] spend on food each week?’ and the answer is not very much at all, thanks to our amazing supporters, listening to our needs and responding. We send out a monthly ‘most / least needed’ list to those who have requested it (around 80 recipients, several who represent groups), highlighting the items that we really need, but also the items we don’t need due to high stock levels.

If you’re local to Norwich and would like to support us, look at our website and social media pages to see updates on what we do and don’t currently need. If Norwich isn’t your local foodbank, get in touch with them as we know they would really appreciate giving you up to date info on how best you can help.

Live on £1 a Day: Kathryn’s Shop


Live on £1 a Day: Kathryn’s Shop

The Pitch

It all started with a question – would I be interested in taking part in a project to showcase issues around food poverty, budget shopping and healthy eating?  Yes of course I would – happy to participate in any way. Great in theory and the premise of it – you have £5 to feed yourself for 5 days. On paper that sounds easy – simple maths told me it was £1 per day. And then I started to ACUTALLY think about it – and comparing to my current lifestyle, I found myself analysing my current decisions, my current food habits, how I shop and what the impact of this would mean…

The Questions

Once I started to think about it many questions popped up:

  • If I drink more water (which is good for me) would I need to budget for more toilet paper?
  • Would travelling to a ‘budget’ supermarket out-weigh the costs of shopping locally – and, often, more expensively?
  • Can I stick to a rigid plan – without the freedom of changing my mind?
  • Can I be organised enough to plan ahead for meals?
  • In ‘reality’ I don’t have to worry about money on my electric meter – what would I do if that was an issue too?

The Support

I was annoyed at first that a couple of people that I spoke to about this forthcoming period immediately said to me “don’t worry, I’ll take you out for lunch one day” – my first reaction was that they had missed the point of doing this appeal. However, on reflection I have realised that I have an amazing support network around me – family, friends and neighbours.  I know that, should I be in dire straits or needed help, it would be available. I’m also acutely aware that I am blessed to be in this situation – many are alone and don’t have this network around them. Furthermore, I am sure not many people would announce they only have £5 to last them the next 5 days….!  

The Slimming World Dilemma

I’ve been a member of Slimming World for a couple of years and achieved my 2.5 stone loss award and was working towards by 3 stone loss certificate. Very quickly it became clear that following SW plans and meals wasn’t going to be possible – trying to replace low fat foods (meat products) and increasing fruit and vegetable intake has been my focus for so long.   With a very limited budget these principles can’t be met. For those on tight budgets and trying to lose weight, I can see the two don’t marry up. It should not be more expensive to eat healthily – rather than have convenience food – but that is a debate for another time!

The Shop

I have to say, doing the shopping for my 5 days was, probably, one of the most stressful shopping trips I have ever had!

Again reflecting on my current shopping habits – I tend to shop online and have it delivered. I’ve found over time if I go into a supermarket I buy more as I’m easily influenced by items on sale etc  However, I appreciate there is a luxury of having my shopping appear at my door.

Constant checking of prices and re-evaluating choices meant it took a long time to ensure I had enough food (I hope) that came under £5.


Total spend:  £4.85.

(FYI – couldn’t find anything to buy for 15p!).

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If you follow Norwich foodbank on social media, you may see that the Carrow Road collection brought in a huge amount of donations – both money and food – and we’re extremely grateful for the support we receive. If you would like to support the foodbank in this way, our current needs are: instant mash, high content meat products (corned beef, ham, etc), toothpaste and Easter Eggs. Please do visit our website for details of where to donate.