To feed and educate a child in Zambia, for just one day, costs £2, less than most of us would consider spending on a coffee, which really puts things into perspective.
This January, Voucher Box has teamed up with UK based charity Zamcog to present to you The £2 challenge, the idea being that we should feed our family for one full day, on just £2 a head. With two adults and four children, that brings our total to £12 a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and merely a fraction of what we spend per week on our shopping bill.
Julie-Anna Uggia, Founder of Zamcog says, “We’re delighted to work with Voucherbox.co.uk to raise awareness to one of the integral aspects of Zamcog’s work. At the Shitima School, we not only educate children to improve their lives but also provide basic needs such as food and clean water. Any money raised from this campaign will go directly to funding nourishment at the Shitima School. The blogging community are incredibly influential and with their help we can raise money and awareness for Zamcog and continue to support our children.”
Shane Forster, General Manager at Voucherbox.co.uk says, “The work that Zamcog does is truly inspirational and we’re very happy to be able to support the charity and raise awareness for their cause. Voucherbox.co.uk are all about saving money – challenging people to live frugally for one day and cutting down on their spending is what we’re all about. On top of that, we get to support a fantastic cause and really give something back.”
Having read more about Zamcog and the work that they do, I was more than happy to take part in the challenge and prove that it is possible to feed a family for just £2 a head. How hard could it be?
And so it turns out that actually, £12 a day doesn’t stretch that far, and, at the supermarket, I instantly realised that I would not only have to substitute some of our favourite brands for the supermarket “value brands”, but I would also have to sacrifice some of our usual meals and snacks in the process.
Supermarket wholemeal bread – £0.60
Supermarket margarine – £1
Breakfast was easy, the children are happy with toast, it’s quick and easy and to be honest, it’s probably what we would have during the week anyway. With me being gluten free and unable to afford the GF loaf that I would usually buy (£3.00!) I had to make do with a piece of fruit.
Bread remaining from breakfast
Supermarket sliced ham – £0.60
Childrens fromage frais – £1.00
Apples – £1.00
Jacket potato £0.40
Cheese – £0.50
The children take packed lunches to nursery and school, and usually have the same thing each day – a sandwich, a yoghurt and a piece of fruit. Usually I will put in a small treat, be that a biscuit or a cake bar, but our budget wouldn’t allow it – much to the annoyance of the children! With me not being able to have bread, I had a jacket potato with cheese instead of my usual sandwich or gluten free wrap.
Chicken breast – £4.50
Onion – £0.20
Curry sauce – £0.79
Rice – £0.59
Dinner was by far our favourite meal. As a family of six we rely heavily on the slow cooker and we were able to enjoy a slow cooked chicken curry for a little over £1 a head. I did have to sacrifice making our own sauce as the added ingredients would have take us well over the budget.
Bananas – £0.82
The children did complain about the lack of “goodies” during the day. Usually they are allowed a snack after school/nursery and turned their noses up at my offerings of a banana. There was similar complaints after dinner when they realised that there was no pudding either!
Water – £0
Grand total £12.00
In terms of feeding the family for £12 I did struggle to stretch the budget to accommodate our usual three meals, drinks and snacks. I think that the children found it harder than we did, which made me realise just how much they take for granted.
I actually felt quite ashamed afterwards, especially when reading about the children in Zambia, to think of how much we spend on food each day and, even worse, how much waste we have at the end of each week. Although I’m not sure we can continue to live on just £12 a day, I will definitely be making more of a conscious effort to meal plan, buy lower value brands and to have less waste at the end of each week.
Do you think that you could feed your family for just £2 a head?