Two people have managed to live for a week on £30 for food - including snacks. As part of the test, the duo tucked into three meals a day for seven days.
Craig Harker, 36, and partner Rochelle Fairley, 29, cooked all their meals from scratch in a bid to show how people can take on the cost of living crisis - and still eat a nutritious diet. The pair stocked up at Asda and Aldi, and spent total of £30.80 - eating 21 meals at average cost of just over £1 per meal.
Food blogger Craig – who completes eating challenges for the entertainment of his legion of online fans – reckons he saved around £400 on his weekly food costs, with the average takeaway order probably coming to more than they spent on their food. It proved to be good for weight loss too with the pair losing a stone between them.
Read more: Iceland now selling pigs in blankets all year round, and lasagne filled Yorkies
Craig, of Stockton-on-Tees, said: “It felt good, I think it brought us together because we were cooking together every day. I’ve probably saved more than £400 because I wasn’t buying fast food every day. We bought everything from Aldi or the essentials range. I’ll never buy Heinz Ketchup again, Asda’s essentials version is actually nicer.”
The pair targeted the supermarket saver brands for their shop, buying meat, rice and vegetables and made their budget stretch by buying tins of soups, rice pudding and peach slices. Recipes they used included spaghetti Bolognese, Chinese sticky pork and chicken curry.
He shared online to help people struggling to budget and to inspire creative ways to economise during the cost of living crisis. And they even had food left over at the end of the week.
He added: “As a food blogger, I eat fast food every day, or I’ll eat at a restaurant or a takeaway. With the cost of living crisis and the way everything is going, I thought up this challenge of using the cost of a takeaways for days.
“It wasn’t to show that it can be done – because everybody can budget if they try – but I wanted to show how you can still have good quality meals within that budget. We were still having big, hearty portions, we still had big meals.
“It’s been a good week, we’ve been able to do it, but people shouldn’t have to live like that. Hopefully we can help give people some tips and they can use them to help budget and make the most of their food.
Father-of-three Craig, who runs food blog Dad Loves Food alongside owning The George Pub and Grill in his hometown lost 9lb over the course of the week. His partner, Rochelle, lost 5lbs.
An average day of eating for Craig normally would consist of a full English breakfast, a packet of biscuits with a brew, a burger for lunch and dinner from a fast food chain, like McDonalds or KFC. But after he spent the week committed to his shoestring budget, he has developed a new found love of porridge.
And he even dreamt up creative snacks while not wasting any of his food. He added: “We cut out chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. For the first couple of days we felt hungry and fancied a snack.
“So we cut the crust of a slice of bread, spread jam over and rolled it up and put it in the frying pan and we had mini swiss rolls.”