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.

Exploding Porridge! January 13th

Just as I had started taking my porridge cooking for granted, todays porridge explodes.

After setting up a justgiving page in the early hours of the morning, I'm chuffed to see some donations come in - many thanks to all who have contributed - I'm almost at £100 already!

How today's £0.99 was spent:

Porridge £0.19

Vegetable rice & clementine £0.38

Tuna pasta £0.42

Cooking Breakfast

Whilst I have been varying the water / milk mix in my porridge over the last couple of mornings, I have begun to suspect that when I have increased the proportion of water used, the resulting porridge appears to be thicker. I suspect that the porridge mixture I used today is far too unstable to be placed in the microwave for three minutes and left to cook.

I have now defrosted the last 330ml frozen milk portion from my initial 6 pint bottle, and had come to the decision that I would try to make this final "portion" last two days. As a result of this decision, I have worked out that I need to dilute each serving of milk with 85ml with water - which will conveniently have the effect of making the milk I bought two weeks ago last 13 servings, in effect reducing the cost of each portion to the 12p originally calculated, and thus rebalancing the milk costing error I discovered on the 8th.

Something, however, went awry this morning when I microwaved my oats, water and milk, as I was somewhat dissapointed to find that much of the porridge had escaped the bowl during cooking in the microwave - leaving me to assume that my porridge had exploded during cooking.

Whilst I should have taken a photo, my mind was on dining, so after pausing to make a mental note to thank my wife for maintaining a clean microwave, I gathered as much of my breakfast back into the bowl as was practical, and ate.

There is a silver lining to my milk based experiments - one 6 pint ( 3.3 litres ) bottle of milk should be able to last for 16 days at 200ml per serving - only 1 day short of my target. That means I can return £1.48 currently reserved for a third bottle of milk to general spending!

Lunch

Vegetable Rice with sweet chilli sauce has been a revelation. This lunchtime I doubled the portions of vegetables used to 90g of peas and 100g mixed veg, which produced a very filling meal, albeit one sitting in a small puddle.

I suspect the puddle was due to my appetite getting the better of me, as I was quite peckish by the time I finished making lunch, and neglected to drain the rice and vegetables as well as I could have. The photo was taken part way through the meal as despite getting my camera ready, I instinctivly started eating - further evidence that I had worked up a good appetite - perhaps due to some of my breakfast going missing in action earlier.

Ingredients Vegetable Rice & Clementine

ItemCost
1 Portion Rice4p
90g Frozen Peas9p
100g Frozen Veg9p
25g Chilli Sauce7p
1 Clementine9p
Total£0.38

Dinner was also slightly watery, as it transpires that my frozen tomato sauce does not dilute quite as easily as I had hoped. The remaining two portions of sauce currently in the freezer will be used without any added water when their time comes.

Ingredients Tuna Pasta & Sauce

ItemCost
1 Portion Pasta4p
1 Bag sauce13p
1/2 Tin Tuna25p
Total£0.42

Reaching Out

In the early hours of today, I reached out to two bloggers - kleinebre, who completed a pound-a-day challenge back in 2012, and fellow West Midlands blogger Mike Maynard from mike10613.wordpress.com.

Kleinebre had the following recomendation to make regarding the remainder of my budget:

How to spend the last 4 pounds? Take a look at what sort of foods you have in stock. Starchy? Veg? Protein? Get whatever you are lacking in most!

http://onepoundperday.wordpress.com/lessons-learned/

And Mike gave the following advice:

It is still possible to live on a pound a day, but prices have gone up in the last few years and so it will be a struggle. You need to be careful to get enough fruit and vegetables.

http://mike10613.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/thrifty-thursday-value-for-money/

I've also continued to research the "pound a day" mission, and have stumbled across an article from the Bristol Post about a Bristol Man who ate on £1 a day for Lent, which gave me feelings of deja-vu, as highlighted by this passage regarding the effect of his diet on his family:

The biggest pain has been that we have had to cook two separate meals each night. But Iíve tried not to be too jealous when smelling my wifeís cooking

http://legacy.thisisbristol.co.uk/Bristol-man-survives-just-1-day-Lent-loses-stone/story-18555540-detail/story.html

Much like myself, the Bristol man in question, Robbie Firmin also stocked up on essentials such as porridge and rice at the begining. 42 days is an impressive effort, and Robbie managed to raise £826.78 via his just giving page for World Vision UK.

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

Todays food was good - filling, tasty meals that didn't make me feel too much like I was scrimping.

Whilst I have now found two previous succesfull "month+ pound-a-day diners", I still feel as if my expiriment has a unique aspect to it.

As yet, I have not found a single-supermarket pound-a-dayer that hasn't taken the benefit of short dated reduced items. Could these extra details make my pound a day on a full cost shop unique?

Totals to date

Cash Spent£23.04
Value of Food Consumed:£12.47
Waste£0.09
Cash Remaining:£6.96
Cash Reserved:£1.48
Cash to spend:£5.48
Days Remaining:18