It’s safe to say that for a lot of people in the UK January is a little bit of a tight month. Christmas has been and gone, New Year is a blur of food and celebration then to top it off many people must wait five or six weeks between paydays. Everyone is feeling the pinch and anyway to save is a good way to stretch those pennies. With that in mind, from Monday 16th January until the end of February Voucherbox has teamed up with Zamcog to present The £2 Challenge: Can you feed you and/or your family for £2 per head per day?
What Is The £2 A Day Challenge?
It’s pretty self-explanatory really, feed you and each member of your family for a whole day on just £2 per head. This means if there is just you then you feed yourself for a full day on £2, if it’s you, your husband and two kids then you get £8 for the day. Now, this might sound impossible but when you take the time to sit back and think about it you can easily do it – obviously the bigger your budget the easier it is. With that in mind here are some great tips to help you complete this challenge (or just reduce what you spend on food).
Cooking in larger quantities often reduces the cost of meals as well as saving you time at a later date. Meals such as Bolognese, cottage pie and stews can be thrown in the slow cooker then portioned up in to containers ready for the freezer. Bigger packs of meat tend to be cheaper than smaller ones, especially if there is less mouths to feed.
Watch Your Waste
The amount of food that is thrown away each day is scary, nothing should go to waste. Using your vegetable scraps (peelings, stalks, ends) you can make a rich and flavourful stock rather than buying cubes, this can then be used in soups, sauces and stews. Slow cooking a whole chicken will not only give you tender, juicy meat but the water it has been cooking makes great stock too. Keep an eye on your use by and best before dates – just because it’s past it’s best before date doesn’t mean it needs to go in the bin.
Reduce Your Meat Intake
Meat is expensive, even bargain meats in things like 3 for £10 offers can work out expensive and soon push up the price of a meal. Replacing meat in meals with other alternatives such as vegetables, beans and legumes can reduce the cost dramatically. For example, use red lentils in your cottage pie mix rather than mince or, half the meat and replace with lentils – you won’t be able to tell the difference (except for the cost).
Hit Supermarkets On An Evening
Yellow sticker hunting can save you a fortune, as long as you’re shopping for what you need. If you see meat reduced then grab it and freeze it, that’s a saving. If you see a tasty cake reduced, then that’s not saving because you don’t need it. Bread, meat, pies and even cheese can be thrown in the freezer to use at a later date. Reduced veg is great for soups and most will keep way past it’s best before – be smart, if it looks and smells fine then it probably is.
Research Meal Ideas
The internet is full of money saving ideas including food recipes. Use the term “frugal” in your search and you’ll be inundated with tried and tested ideas. Such as this simple tortilla recipe which makes 6-8 tortillas for 18p or this pasta sauce recipe which makes around 2 litres of sauce, this can then be divided and frozen for later meals.
Taking some of these tips on board can easily see you achieve The £2 Challenge, if you’re really clever about it then you can have change and meals to spare. It does take a bit of planning but if you did the £2 challenge for an entire month you’d soon see a huge saving in your food shop.