Halfway through day 5!

I had to go and visit my parents on Wednesday and only just got back home today. This was a bit of a challenge for continuing with LBtL as I was travelling by coach then tube then train, and I thought I was going to be away until next week, so I had to carry a couple of changes of clothes, but I knew I didn’t want to give up on or postpone the challenge, especially since a few people have donated to the JustGiving page I set up (thank you!), so I packed up as much food as I thought would keep me going until the end of the challenge: I baked all of the potatoes,  took the rest of the snack crackers, made some more tomato bread and made that into a couple of sandwiches with some of the coleslaw (and took the rest of the coleslaw in a tupperware container), the rest of the jar of peanut butter, and made a sort of spread by blending up the split peas with some pickle juice, a bit of mustard and about half of the remaining tomato puree.

I thought the latter item would make a passable soup if I mixed some water and whatever greenery I could forage into it (which ended up being a couple of handfuls of hedge garlic). I also chopped up one of my potatoes to add. This might have worked if I hadn’t added the pickle juice to the pea goo, but I’d put too much in and I regret to say that the overall effect was revolting, and actually ended up making me feel sick. I ate as much as I could by trying not to taste it but the last 2-3 spoonfuls went into my parents’ compost bin, I’m sorry to confess.

vile soup

Yesterday evening was better, I had the second coleslaw sandwich (I’d had the first on Wednesday), some more hedge garlic, some dandelion leaves and another cold potato. Today I’ve eaten dry cornflakes and finished off the snack crackers. I’ve still got quite a bit of coleslaw, which I bought back with me, 2 halves of potato, there’s about 1/4 red cabbage left in the fridge, and I’ve got lots of cornflakes and flour left too, and about half of the peanut butter still.

I’ve also got about half of the teabags left, and I’ve been extremely grateful to them, but coffee has been the hardest thing to go without, followed by salad (I made a salad for my parents, and it was quite difficult not to pop a stray leaf of lettuce or bit of cucumber into my mouth). The time of year has helped though, with the abundance of fresh greenery which is available on common land at the moment. As well as the dandelion greens, cleavers and hedge garlic I’ve also pinched a few leaves from the lime trees in the park, they’re very pleasant-tasting when they’re young.

Roll on tomorrow, and the French Press!

£100 challenge – day seven

Whoop-de-do, I made it a full week on £16.75 so far, I’m below budget! I would dance a jig, except I just stubbed my toe REALLY hard.

There’s no cause to be celebrating just yet anyway. While I’ve already forked out for my ticket to the only paid-for gig I’m going to this month, I do also plan on visiting my parents, who live 80 miles away. I put the details into Google maps, which give a rough idea of petrol costs per journey, and they estimate this will cost £15.80 each way. For comparison, I checked the price of train tickets, which came in at over £40 for an off-peak return. When I’ve told people about this challenge there have been several who  made it clear they were not remotely impressed. “£25 a week?” They scoffed (in a 31- day month it’s actually £22.58), “that’s easy!” And maybe it is if you’re a person who doesn’t expect to go out with friends much or have to travel anywhere except under your own steam. I don’t think it’s that much of a luxury to want to see your relatives every couple of months but any way I can get to them costs a fair whack of the budget.

Today’s breakfast was overnight oats. I love overnight oats so much I made a fan page for them on Facebook! It’s a shame they’re not very photogenic though, especially when using a phone-cam. I have these little plastic pots with lids, I think they hold 400ml which hold 250ml, and they’re ideally sized for making an individual portion of overnight oats that I can take to work. Today’s oats had been covered with a blended up small apple with some water, and then had a sprinkle of flaked almonds and a few dried cherries stirred in.


Like I say, not very attractive, but a good breakfast nonetheless. Lunch was leftover cauliflower-Vegusto in a bread roll with some chutney I made earlier this year (with rhubarb from my garden!) and I think dinner will involve lentils and onions, and maybe a pie I made and froze last month.

In case it sounds like I’ve done nothing but work and eat ( or plan to eat) today, I did also go to the library.

set of library shelves showing spines of fiction books.

And drank coffee. There’s a luxury I’m not going to run out of in the next couple of months because it’s my favourite brand so whenever it’s on special offer I stock up, and last time I bought six bags!

coffee mug, coffee in bag and pot of coffee on desk.