Day 5 of my £1 challenge brought me to Bristol, and this time I was thinking of going with something light for breakfast. When you’re on a budget of £1 a day, you’re going to have to make a few sacrifices hear and there. Not every meal is going to be a feast – although some might be – and there will be times when you’ll have to decide which meal of the day is going to be sparce, so do your best to figure out which works best for you!
I began by going straight to the nearest Parcels and took a look through the discount isle. There were a lot of items I could get for under a pound, but few of them would be cheaper than the ingredients for salad.
I grabbed a pack of lettuce for 35p, carrots for 30p, and cucumber for 18p. I then grabbed one of the free take away boxes, along with a plastic knife and fork so I’d have something to mix my salad in and eat out of. As expected, it wasn’t the heartiest of meals, but it was tasty enough, and probably the fanciest meal I’d ever had for 87p.
As luck would have it, I managed to run into the perfect spot to grab my next meal while walking down the street; a pay-what-you-can community café curtesy of Stokes Croft Food Project.
I feel there’s something of a misconception surrounding places like this being solely for the less fortunate and the vulnerable. In reality, pay-what-you-can initiatives actually need people like you and me to keep things going.
The basic idea is this: If I were to purchase something that had an “advised price” of £2.50, I might instead choose to pay £5 because I can, hence the phrase “pay-what-you-can”. What I will have done, then, is 1) help reduce food waste, 2) support the growth of the café, and as a result 3) support the community.
But with me being on a £1 challenge, essentially emulating a situation where I have no money, I could, in fact, have approached this establishment for a free meal. This would be a win-win for everyone involved, because I would be reducing food waste while also meeting one of my most basic needs.
Another great thing about this place, and something that is fairly common with initiatives like these, is that if I wanted to secure a sizable meal, but didn’t have the money to pay, I could actually offer my time instead. This would involve volunteer work that helped with some of the basic chores and daily activities that keep the place up and running, which is exactly what I did.
Cold food anyone?
Dinner was all that was left. With 13p to spare, I worried that I might not find anything of substance to eat but, lo and behold, the discount isle managed to save me again, this time with can of spaghetti for exactly 13p!
It might often be the case that when you find your self in a pinch, that pinch also includes having limited access to familiar amenities such as microwaves or ovens. This means that a lot of the food you procure might have to be eaten cold. In situations like these, my personal recommendation is always going to be pasta. It’s cheap, easily portable when canned, and, to some of us, it actually tastes better that way!
What types of creative, edible compromises have you had to make in order to get through the day? Let me know in the comments below!