The Challenge: the finer detail

14 Apr
Some ground rules
  • £5 total spend for all food and drink across 5 days
  • Tap water is free
  • No food donations can be accepted – that includes no raiding the NHS tea trolley
  • Monetary donations are acceptable and encouraged! See top right ===>


An inordinate number of hours on, + this:




A few points:

  • No, said chutney is not in the picture
  • I have had to take away the onion. Too expensive at 9 whole p. This is hard
  • I am only using 1 pint of the milk – the other is going to Guan
  • Coffee use is pro-rated
  • As is the use of condiments and store cupboard ingredients (oil, salt, pepper, spices etc) – which I am hoping will magically come up to the currently unaccounted-for 9p
  • (“USE LOTS OF SOYA SAUCE!!” – Danny Wong)
  • #WhitechapelForTheWin – 7 bananas and 6 apples for £1!

So my first difficulty. I made a near-fatal miscalculation today in procuring my fruit. I wandered down Whitechapel High Street thinking the market was open today. It’s not. You would think I would know that after 5 years living in the vicinity. I didn’t.

Cue panic run to Brick Lane to find the fruit-bowl seller wasn’t in his usual spot in front of Beigel Bake. But when one is faced with the prospect of no breakfast for 5 days, one does not give up. 15 minutes of battling through the achingly-hip Sunday swarms and I find him just packing up his stall in a corner of the carpark behind Shoreditch High Street station. Hallelujah!

There’s just no room for error when you are counting every last penny.

This week’s menu



(May be subject to change.)

The Twist


I couldn’t ask for donations if I didn’t donate myself…

Therefore I have tallied the costs of everything I consumed last Monday to Friday (8-12 Apr) and matched that amount.

£76.99, since you ask. I know! What did I eat?!

It was an average week, not particularly spendthrift, with only 3 meals out: 2 costing <£10 each and 1 costing £21.

So every day this week, accompanying a breakdown of everything I actually ate, will be a head-to-head comparison with what I ate the same day last week.

OK, 15 minutes left until midnight. Gotta go. Time for one last face-stuffing session.


3 Responses to “The Challenge: the finer detail”

  1. harri8here April 15, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    Wow … cutting back to basics. It’s really made me think.
    Feast laden dreams for you this week :).
    Bon Appetite!

  2. Milli @Milliskitchen April 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    I’ve really wanted to do this for a while now.. would it be terrible to just copy your food diary? Good on you for doing it!

    • Jo April 16, 2013 at 6:06 am #

      Hi Milli, thanks for stopping by! Can I just say your work is stunning? Guan keeps showing me your photos. We just sit and salivate at the screen…

      I would be most flattered if you did copy my food diary, although I can’t imagine it meeting your high standards. Please let us know if you do the challenge. I would love to see what you come up with!

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