It is fantastic to hear of so many members undertaking this challenge for the first time! So, below are some tips and FAQs gathered from people in previous years to help you along your way.
Hints and Tips
As we’re going to be living on limited resourced, here are a couple of tips on ways to make the most of the food you have and avoid wastage.
When making your shopping list, try to choose foods that can be made into meals, rather than random individual items. That way you can make the most out of what you buy and avoid having leftover items at the end of the week.
Know your dates
I’m sure we all check the dates on food when we buy it, but do we know what these dates mean and are we throwing good food away unnecessarily?
• Use by: Food can be eaten up to the end of the ‘use by’ date, but not after even if it looks and smells fine.
• Sell by: You can ignore these dates as they are for shop staff, not shoppers.
• Display until: You can ignore these dates too, as they are also for shop staff.
• Best before: These dates refer to quality rather than food safety. When the date is passed, the food won’t be unsafe but might begin to lose its flavour or texture. One exception, however, is eggs. Never eat eggs after the ‘best before’ date.
Be fridge smart
• Store your leftovers in clear containers, that way you can see them so you’re less likely to forget about them.
• Don’t slice your food before putting it in the fridge. When slicing meat and vegetables you are increasing the surface area that is exposed to air. Keeping them whole in the fridge will ensure they stay fresh for as long as possible.
Use your freezer
• If there are fresh items that you won’t use before their best before date, such as bread, freeze them and defrost just the quantity you need as and when required. A number of people have even frozen milk! Putting it in ice cube trays makes it just the right size for tea and coffee and you only have to defrost what you need.
You’re doing what?!
I’m living off £1 a day for a week for all food and drink, including luxuries such as dining out and alcohol etc! Unlike most people living on such a tight budget, we don’t have to worry about how much it costs to get to the supermarket, to cook the food or to keep ourselves entertained when we’rehungry!
Why? How will this raise money?
The money saved from there difference between the £7 budget and a persons normal weekly food and drink spend, is donated to Save the Children via http://www.justgiving.com/JCIUKPaD2015. Save the Children was chosen as the challenge’s chosen charity as they work on preventing food poverty, not only in developing countries, but also in the UK.
The challenge isn’t just about raising money though. Our members undertaking the challenge will see what it is like to live in this situation and actually experience the conditions they are trying to improve.
Can you eat food you already have? Or things people buy for you?
No! Every year people kindly offer to buy us drinks or to have us round for dinner. Accepting donations of food defeats the purpose of the challenge, as most of us could live quite easily on the generosity of our friends for a week. A lot of other people aren’t so lucky and are in the situation much more long term.
Is it unhealthy?
The kind of diet certainly does have limitations long term, but for a week most people actually eat healthier in many ways. Mainly because they can only afford one coffee a day and no alcohol, chocolate, cakes etc. Also having to plan all meals and eat at home so less eating out and take out food. A number of members reported weight loss during the week, but the aim is to try and achieve a manageable, healthy diet, not use the challenge as a kick start to a diet. We would advise anyone to consult a doctor if they have any medical conditions before taking part.
Has it changed your perception or food habits?
Absolutely! Since undertaking the challenge in the past, many members have reviewed their spending habits and certainly taken action on how much food they waste. It also gave an insight to how lucky we are and how difficult it can be to run a home and manage a job when you are hungry and irritable.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Katie Ogley