If you have not already done so, please consider giving to "The Trussell Trust" - I have set up a just giving page at http://www.justgiving.com/OnePoundADay.

Visit relatives for sunday dinner! January 12th

We had arranged to visit relatives for sunday lunch today. Fortunately, my wife had explained my diet and they were both prepared, and curious, when I turned up with a tub of minestrone and a clementine.

My mental strength is improving, but my mouth was watering furiously when they began to dine.

How today's 0.94 was spent:

Porridge 0.19

Minestrone soup 0.40

Cheese Toastie 0.35

Dinner is served

Sitting for lunch, the aroma of the roast lamb dinner fills the room, wetting the appetite. No one else noticed, but I was almost aghast as the innocent looking jug of mint sauce cast me glances beyond flirtatious whilst the others dined.

"I'll be alright", I think, "as long as they don't serve cheesecake for dessert". I love cheesecake. I have many favorite desserts, and cheesecake is one of them. Even as I type this, I imagine the soft bite through the cheesey toping, before descending to the crisp crunch of biscuit.

"Cheese cake for dessert!" Announce our hosts. Silently, I counter with the thought "As long as it isn't american cheesecake". I'm not sure why - I like american cheesecake, as I do all cheesecake, but no more than any other cheesecake.

I suspect my adoption of the American cheesecake position was just an assumed negotiating position - a device to place a barrier between myself and dessert.

It transpires that the cheesecake selectred for dessert, was in fact, American Cheesecake, placing a little extra pressure on my willpower, which fortuantely remains strong, and defeats my dessert lust. I mentally rebuke myself for failing to save the clementine until all had finished their meals - it's a good lesson learnt in a supportive environment.

I'd like to stress that nothing cheesecake related, should be taken as a criticism of my generous and accomodating hosts. It's not many people who would entertain a "bring my own meal" response to an dinner invitation with such grace, hospitality and encouragement.

Just Giving

I've just set up a "Just Giving" page at http://www.justgiving.com/OnePoundADay. I'll be going through the site soon and adding a link to every page.

Following on from this, I do some searches, and stumble across Global Action for poverties 1 a day challenge from last year. This scheme challenged people to live off of 1 a day for 5 days - a fantastic scheme that I wish I'd have known about before I started ( that's the cost of insufficent research for you ).

I'm also walking in anothers footsteps - back in March 2012 "kleinebre" attempted a similar stunt - with some subtle differences. They focused on a slightly different aspect - harvesting and company breakfasts were allowed, and also use of Asdas discounted short shelflife products enabled some amazing meals like Spaghetti with mixed vegetables, crispy sea bream and a mustard/butter/basil dressing. on day 20.

This is possibly a usefull moment to address a question from my inbox - "Are you allowed to catch things rabbits and cook them" - I am not - unless Aldi decides to sell the opportunity to do so in one of their weekly specials, but I believe that hunting wild rabbits would be fair play on kleinebre's gameplan.

I have another couple of subtle differences and challenges in preparing my food that I hope to share later in the week. I was pleased to see that the author had stuck to the "bare cupboard" starting point - I think it's an important principal in any low-cost challenge.

The blog, is an inspiring read, however, and shows what can be done on very little. They also completed their challenge successfully. I am yet to get to the point where I can say I have done the same.

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

I've started to make mental plans for how I balance my remaining stocks and budget, but it is an area I need to formalise over the next few days.

I am also contemplating the nutritional vs ethical concerns of buying more eggs. At just 1, or 17p an egg, free range may be a little out of my budget.

I'm also unsure of what to make of the previous challenges - there are more, including one from 2006 which was mentioned in the mail - which I have to say, appeared slightly fanciful in it's make up. I have some unique elements to my challenge - including the single supermarket element, and Aldi tends to move sufficient stock at a low price so they do not need to sell short life products at a massive discount.

Totals to date

Cash Spent23.04
Value of Food Consumed:11.38
Waste0.09
Cash Remaining:6.96
Cash Reserved:2.96
Cash to spend:4.00
Days Remaining:19