It's certainly been an interesting week - tough but rewarding, with a fair amount of late night baking.. Still, no one starved.. or cried, and I have managed to feed the 4 of us on just £12 - so, Yay!
It's made me more resourceful, more organised and more grateful for what we have and often take for granted. It's also made me wonder what on earth I'm putting in my trolley..apart from the boring, obvious stuff. I've already said I don't think I'm that bad at budgeting, but my weekly spend can be erratic - I've had to guess at it - I do know it's many times more than £12. What am I buying? Mmmm. Too many things that aren't on my list. I do suffer from a bit of BOGOF-itis - you know, when you go in for 'a few things' and come out with a boot-load of groceries that are on offer.
Okay, £12 is extreme - but this trolley detox has made me focus on my spending habits. The thing is, like any detox I'm full of good intentions straight after - all these plans for radical change, and then...it's just too easy to slip back into old ways. Well it is for me. That's what happened last time I did the Challenge: I was going to have weekly meal plans, and write a shopping list that I'd stick to like velcro, but it all went out the window, and I drifted back to last-minute 'creative' cooking. I'll try harder this time: definitely try harder to stick to my list - and I've liked feeling more organised about meals, so we'll see.
We wouldn't have got far these last 7 days without homemade bread - the saviour of Challenge..well that and the 4 trays of muffins. I thought the week would be good for my waistline, but I think I now have an extra spare tyre around my middle, made completely of bread.
It's a good job I'm a late bird too, because there was quite a bit of night time baking; and I'm really pleased I've finished off the old, mostly used up bags of flour in the cupboard (probably past their sell buy date..dared not look..)
The kids have been great: I think the Challenge made more sense this year - they know they're doing it for Comic Relief and understand where the money's going. Don't get me wrong, there have been a few trying moments, and they've moaned and complained about having no choices or treats (apart from muffins) - but I know they feel involved, which is brilliant. My 5 year old asked me yesterday if she was allowed to have a biscuit when she went to her friend's house for a play. I squeezed her really tight for that.
And I'm massively slow off the mark with this, but we've joined Team Honk at the 11th hour - we have our very own Red Nose Day sponsorship page and everything!..which is HERE if you'd like to take a look. I know the week's almost up, but if you'd like to give some money to Comic Relief by sponsoring us, that would be amazing.
So, why £12? Something I've been asked a few times: the answer is I'm not absolutely sure.. Originally it was going to be a tenner, but that would have been such a struggle, unless we grew more fruit and veg and did the Challenge in the summer. I'd have had a mutiny on my hands.
Will we do it again? Do you know, I'm sure we probably will - but think I'd like to try a £12 vegetarian week next time..