Claire’s Breadline Blog – Day 2 – Tuesday 4th Feb

Having meticulously planned out my meals for the week in a spreadsheet, calculated the cost of each ingredient and been budget food shopping, I was feeling pretty positive about this week – but after just one day, there’s been significant things that I definitely wasn’t expecting.

The first thing was how genuinely hungry I felt yesterday. I had believed that I could get by on a very low food budget to save away a few pounds to go to a friend’s birthday party at the end of the week, so had planned to spend the absolute minimum. This has meant planning very cheap meals and not including many snacks, which I had thought would be fine, but after just one day I have realised that I will have to include more food than I had planned for.

Secondly, I have noticed the social difficulties. Having planned to meet a friend for lunch on Monday, I had to contact her to invite her over for a cup of tea instead. As I live very centrally, this wasn’t really an issue for me, but I am aware that for many people in this financial situation, this is just not an option. Another friend invited me out for a birthday dinner on Thursday night, an invitation which I had to decline as it would have taken a huge chunk out of my weekly budget – I was concerned that I gave the impression I just didn’t want to go, which of course I did, it just wasn’t a viable financial option.

Also – the repetitiveness of the meals! I managed to minimise my spend on food by having quite a small variation in the things that I am eating – even after one day, eating lentil bake after having carrot and lentil soup for lunch was very difficult to get excited about.

Finally, the recipe for my dinner tonight – pea risotto, adapted from a Nigella recipe although unfortunately without the parmesan cheese and white wine…

Ingredients (for 2 meals):

1tbsp olive oil 6p

200g risotto rice 44p

150g frozen peas 18p

1 white onion 15p

1 clove garlic 4p

1 litre vegetable stock (made with one stock cube) 1p

Claire's Risotto Ingredients!
Claire’s Risotto Ingredients!


1. Chop the onion and garlic clove. Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry till soft.

2. Add the rice to the pan and stir, before covering with a little of the vegetable stock. Keep stirring and adding more stock as the rice absorbs the moisture.

3. Cook half of the peas in the microwave for around 2 and a half minutes. Remove from the microwave, add 2 tbsp of stock and blend to a puree.

4. Once the rice has cooked, stir in the remaining frozen peas and cook till heated through.

5. Add the pea puree and stir until totally combined.

Claire's Risotto
Tasty vegan supper, for around 44p a serving!



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