The first shop. December 29th

What it Looks like:

On first sight, it's a decent box. I did a lot of little planning, but still ended up making some of it up as I went along.

Much like a common-all-garden superhero, my plan had two hearts - Carrot Soup powered by Aldi's super 6 offer, and Porridge - to be accompanied with marmalade.

Around this I added Protein - in the form of lentils, fish and eggs, and some tinned tomatos and kidney beans. The hole at present appears to be Fruit & Veg. I'll have to see how the budget looks after I work out how far the milk, lentil slop and soup will last - A clementine or banana may not get me to 5 a day but they are looking damn tasty from where I am sitting.

The shop in detail:

Salted Butter£0.98
Eggs 10 pk large£1.15
Semi Skimmed Milk 6 pints£1.48
E/E long grain rice£0.40
Stock Cubes£0.39
Ex. Mat. White Cheddar£1.89
Tuna Flakes in Brine£0.49
Red Split Lentils£0.95
Potatos - Maris P 1.5kg£0.69
E/E Baked Beans£0.24
Red Kidney Beans£0.23
Peeled Plum Tomatoes£0.31
E/E Baked Beans£0.24
Porridge Oats 1 kg£0.75
Carrots 1.5kg£0.69
E/E Spaghetti - 500g£0.23

I went for a gut feel of making a start - I'll aim to make this last as many meals as possible, and hopefully have a fair few ingedients left to take me into the second half of the month. The one regret I have is that I pumped for a jar of mixed herbs, when either black pepper or chilli peppers would have been a far better flavour enhancer. I think I was still mourning the budget cut of removing the tinned tomatos and herbs

The butter was a considered purchase - as a bare-cupboard project, I need/want an oil/fat to fry food in - and butter seems to be the most versatile agent.

What it felt like like:

If I wanted re-grounding, I got it. It's one of the longest shopping trips to Aldi I've had in a while, as I weighed up previously unconsidered decisions such as if it was worth buying tinned tomatoes with herbs in or the unherbed varient with a saving of a few pennies. The various merits of eggs were considered until I opted for a pack of 10 "eggs" over 6 free range - the cheese, in particular took a great deal of thought. In the end the versitility of 30 grammes of cheese outweighed the 19p per serving cost. One things for sure - this now feels more real than it has ever been.

By far the worst emotion I experienced, was caused by my motivation for the shop. The thing is, there was nothing particulary unique about my basket. What for me was a month long project, judging by other baskets instore, appears to be far too close to a routene way of life for many.

The supermarket setting for Pulps Common People video has never felt so poignent.