Surprisingly easy!

A mountain of couscous, with local spinach, peppers, coriander and onion

Two days into our challenge, and we’re going strong. Homemade humous (yes it was worth the manual mashing of last night!) and salad sandwiches for lunch, and a spicy couscous dish for dinner. So it’s been a tasty few days so far, and we still have plenty of food supplies for the rest of the week.

We have made some new purchases however; a second loaf of local bread (£1.55 between us) and some lemon juice (49p). And we discovered the price of our Provamel soya milk – £1.39 per carton from Arjuna. That brings our total so far to £18.14 each – pretty good if we do say so ourselves!

So despite the general assumption that eating a local, sustainable diet is the province of the wealthy, and certainly not achievable for students (!), I am in fact finding it easier to eat within £21 when I “Eat Well” than I would on my normal diet. A couple of guilty food habits, such as a Sainsbury’s meal deal here and there and an unhealthy love of chocolate crispy cakes, makes my normal food budget significantly higher than £21 a week.

But planning my meals in advance and buying the staples, such as lentils and couscous, in bulk has made an almost entirely organic diet completely affordable. Even our local organic fruit and veg are great value from Mayfield Organics, with a week’s supply costing only £5.45 each. Considering I used to buy packets of peas from Sainsburys’s for £.150 that were only big enough for one meal, it really comes into perspective.

Yes, we are watching our portion sizes and counting the peppers, but I’m pleasantly surprised at the amount of good food that can be bought for £21 a week. We’ll see how hungry we feel as the week pans out though!

A cheeky confession from Harrison, who may have snacked on some pine nuts from his cupboard last night! But no-one’s perfect, right? I think we’ll forgive him.

Posted by Heather

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