- You must not eat or drink anything that is not paid for out of your £20 budget. This includes all food and drink.
- You must not accept gifts of food from friends or family, although you can use free food sites such as Olio.
- If you share food with others or already have a lot in your cupboards that you don’t want to waste, you can use that instead of buying separately, provided you apply a penalty to your budget to compensate (see section on penalties).
Tracking your spending
There are a few ways you can do this and it will depend on you what you find simplest.
Option 1: Single shop
This is the simplest option, especially if you’re short on time. You can start by working out what you will use that is already in your house and working out the value of that using your own calculations or our penalty system (see below). This would include items such as the ingredients for tea and coffee, maybe some freezer bread, cereals or anything else that you plan to use during the week that is already in your house. Total the cost of this and remove it from your budget. Then you know how much you have to spend for the week and you can do a single shop for that amount.
Option 2: Shop as you go
You might not be a keen planner, in which case you can work out your budget day by day and keep to that. Your daily budget is £2.86.
We have created a couple of trackers which you might find helpful:
A printable tracker which you can use to keep track of your shopping. This is most useful if you are aiming for option 2 above.
A spreadsheet with formulae which will calculate your budget as you go. You will need either a Microsoft or Google account to use one of these. Make a copy and save to either One Drive (Microsoft) or My Drive (Google). You can then open them in the Excel or Sheets apps on your phone and complete when you’re out and about.
We have also created a template meal planner for you to use should you wish to.
Using the penalty system
We understand that it’s almost impossible to buy exactly what you need for just one week. We also understand that some participants will be sharing a household with others who are not undertaking the challenge and will therefore be sharing food and resources with them.
You can choose to work out how much these things cost based on your last food shop and your relative use of them (e.g. how many teabags you have used, how much sugar etc) or you can apply the amount on our penalty list provided and take that out of your budget for these items.
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