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Speciality Bread! January 6th

I have taken a gamble and rewarded my achievement of the post first weekend resolution keeping with a loaf of speciality bread from Aldi - a "Specially Selected" White Seeded Batch.

Food is still constantly on my mind, which is seems to be racing - I'm not sure if it's benefiting from a slight detox or crying out for help!

How todays 0.92 was spent:

Porridge 0.19

Minestrone Soup 0.31

Scrambled Eggs on Toast 0.42

Morning

I'm getting better at waking, and attempt to weigh myself on the scales again. They weigh between 14 stone 8 and 14 stone 12 - I assume that this means I'm about 14 stone ten.

I'm happy - the weight loss doesn't seem too excessive - given previous experience, for a first week, assuming thats about 7 pounds.

When I first opened the porridge, I stored most of the bag in a tub, and find myself eating the bottom of the remains of the packet that didn't fit in the container first. I'm unsure if this is why I seem to be able to use less and less milk - getting away with 250ml this morning.

The day goes well - I manage a swim again at lunch, followed by the last of the unfrozen minestrone. I hope the rest of it - 9 portions, thaws ok.

Shopping

I've decided that the best way of accessing all the protein I have banked up in the cheese and eggs is to buy a loaf. Aldi sell a range of bread, and I have been contemplating the various merits of the more expensive loaves against the cheaper, essentials variety.

I decide to spoil myself, and place the specially selected, award winning, white seedless batch loaf in my basket.

It feels good. I find myself trawling the store for bargains, pausing to count the amount of cakes in a pack of discounted bite sized stolen. 13 for 99p. I find myself seriously considering the merits of such a person - estimating that the cost per stolen is about 8p.

The giddy moment of fantasy subsides, the stolen returned, unpurchased, to the shelves. I make the rest of the purchases and make my way to the checkout - casting lusting glances at the flapjacks on the aisle opposite.

ItemCost
S/S Farmhouse Seeded Batch99p
Sage & Onion Stuffing Mix37p
Total1.36

Returning home, I use the leftover veg to prepare a carrot and potato soup - inspired by a recipe I found online.

Ingredients Carrot and Potato Soup.

ItemCost
1 Portion Butter10p
3 Servings Potatos15p
2 Cloves Garlic4p
6 Carrots36p
1 onion14p
1 1/2 Stock Cubes6p
Herbs10p assumed for accounting purposes only
Total0.95

Meanwhile, I cook my wife a cheese omlette and prepare a side salad. I find that the focus on quantity of ingredients and fear-of-waste focus on cooking due to my diet has made me a more attentive, better cook.

I then turn my eye to my dinner - I've opted for scrambled eggs on toast.

Ingredients Scrambled Eggs on Toast.

ItemCost
2 Eggs22p
Splash milkn/a ( left over from breakfast )
Slice Bread8p
Sauce Cube3p
Clementine9p
Total0.42

The toasted bread, covered in seeds, with the eggs and sauce tastes fantastic. I reckon I'm well under budget, so opt for a clementine for desert.

I suspect I then fell into a state of complacency. The plan is working, and whilst it's been uncomfortable in places, it hasn't been quite as hard as I expected - sure, researching recipes and planning purchases has been time consuming, but at the same time, quite cathaltic.

Disaster strikes.

I've been very carefull to date, but suspected that it was only a matter of time before I made the one thing I can ill afford to do on this diet - to make a mistake.

The first mistake, I suspect was adding too much water to the frying carrots, the second, not boiling it first, the third, neglecting to add the stock cubes to the water.

The upsy-daisy icing on the mistake cake was getting the hand blender to the "soup" before it had finshed cooking, and ending up with a starchy vat full of what I would describe as carrot mush, were it not for the excessive amount of water. I decide to boil it until it reduces to an acceptable consistency.

Some time later I perform a spot check on my boiling vat of carroty nastyness...

"It tastes thouroughly unpleasant" I say to my wife, "but it's getting thicker". She involuntary sniggers. Meanwhile I'm trying to think - if I were to devide the carroty nastyness into ten portions, the soup would cost 10p per serving. That would then potentially leave me up to 40p a meal to accompany it with something more pleasing to my palette. Except I really don't want to eat ten portions of it.

Salvation.

After waiting a little too long, I catch the carrot soup, just as it starts to threaten to burn it's self onto the pan. 5 more minutes and I would have probably had a lot to catch up on financially, well 95p, which is a fair bit on this diet.

Suprisingly, the flavour seems to have improved. I'm not sure if I am looking forward to eating a bowl, but I am no longer dreading it. I transfer the soup to containers to cool and whilst I will portion it tommorow, it looks like I've got about three portions - with a value of 32p each.

Before going to bed I prepare lunch for tommorow, safe in the knowledge that I have both bread, and soup.

Note: On the 16th January, I noticed an error in the "Totals to date" table below. It appears I forgot there were 31 days in January, and based the calculations of the cash remaining on a 30 day month. This means there should be one pound more to spend than shown in the table.

Conclusion

This diet has little or no space for complacency, let alone after a splash out on a luxury purchase.

Whilst contemplating what made me decide to go for the seeded batch over the essentials loaf, I went through the decision making process. This was to be the first meal away from a kitchen - consumed perhaps on the train, in front of strangers. Could it be vanity that made me want to eat a "normal" looking packed lunch?

Totals to date

Cash Spent17.39
Value of Food Consumed:5.63
Waste0.09
Cash Remaining:12.61
Cash Reserved:3.71
Cash to spend:8.90
Days Remaining:25