Tuesday, 18 October 2011

R12 a day: Day Two

One thing I forgot to mention about the R12 a day challenge yesterday is that I'm so grateful that I'm married to TSC and we can each have R12 a day. This challenge s really tough for single people. We've encouraged members of our small group to club together so that they can get a greater variety of ingredients. According to the rules we have to cost for whole items. In other words, you can't buy half a packet of rice - you have to budget for the whole packet. So, if you're only going to use half a packet, it makes sense to split it with someone else and share the cost, leaving you more money to spend on something else.

Here's our shopping list and costing for the week:

  • Mealie meal - R5.80 (1kg)
  • Margerine - R6.99 for a tiny Rama block (much as I hate cooking with marge as it breaks down into farmful fats when heated, we're doing just that this week as we can't afford cooking oil)
  • Sugar - R3.49 for 250g pack
  • 2min noodles - 2 x R2.49
  • Onions - R2.81 for two large onions bought loose (used half an onion with last night's soya mince. The rest goes to tomorrow night's soup)
  • Spaghetti - R6.80 (used half a packet for last night's supper. The rest will go into the veggie soup to bulk it up a bit)
  • Soya mince - R8.99 (Beef and Onion flavour, PnP)
  • Patty pans - R10.00 for three punnets at Fruit & Veg City
  • Oranges - R10.00 for a 2kg bag at Fruit & Veg City (another lifesaver - now we can have two fruits per day, which is great seeing TSC gets hungry in the late afternoons)
  • Bananas - R6.71 (five loose bananas)
  • Potatoes - R10.81 for three absolutely massive ones bought loose
  • Tin of braai relish - R5.49
  • Flour - R5.49 (500g self-raising)
  • Bread - Still have to buy tomorrow for soup night. Probably about R10.99 (I will buy a low-GI loaf)
  • Powdered soup - R2.99 sachet (creamy chicken flavour)
  • Jelly - 2 x R3.29
  • Eggs - R7.99 for six (I hate not being able to afford free range!)
  • Spinach - R2.00 (I'm taking it out of my garden, but accounting for the price of production)
  • Salt and pepper - R1.50 (the only thing we're allowed to work out per quantity rather than as a whole bag)
Total: R101.43 (without the bread I still need to buy)

Between the two of us, we have R12 each for four days, which comes to R96.00. Then  we've asked our small group members to each bring R4 (a third of their daily allowance for a soup supper tomorrow evening). We have six people (aside from TSC and I) confirmed, which means an additional R24.00. So we have R120.00 available in total, which means that once the bread is bought, I should have about R7.50 to spare. Hoping I can find a small packet of tea for that price!

Notes on yesterday's R12 a day experience:

The bag of oranges I bought had one in it that was off.  I was more annoyed than usual by this (normally I would just chuck it away and think nothing of it) and I realised how tough it must be if you have so little money and the food you buy ends up being rotten :-( Eye-opening.

2minute noodles are definitely not low-GI. I was hungry again an hour after eating mine for lunch (although I did give some of mine to TSC as he needs more food than I do).

The soya mince, patty pans and spaghetti for dinner was actually not too bad at all and very filling. When we lived in Cape Town, we had very, very little money to spare and had soya mince quite often. For last night's meal, I fried up half an onion (chopped finely) in a teaspoon of marge, and added the water and "mince" to that, just to give it a bit of extra flavour. I steamed the patty pans, which went very nicely with the mince sauce and pasta. We have oodles leftover for lunch today (which will be a far more satisfying meal than 2min noodles) and enough pasta left over to bulk up tomorrow night's soup too (always a good idea with a hungry group of people).

So far, so good. Although I must admit, a cup of coffee would go down well right now ;-)


phillygirl said...

This is an absolutely fascinating read!

Anonymous said...

The concept is awesome! And you seem to be doing very well with it too!

Angel said...

Wow. This is a real eye-opener.

Louisa said...

I still get annoyed when I buy a packet of veg or fruit and find one off inside. Although with some shelf bruising I suppose that's unavoidable. Sometimes I just buy the loose ones because we'll use everything before it spoils and you can give them a proper look before you take them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an absolutely amazing challenge - well done! I feel like I'm right along with you after reading your posts, I can feel how you (and those living on that amount or less) must feel.