Day 1: Reduced Aisle Food Week

So, it appears that I was seriously under-prepared for my week of eating only reduced aisle supermarket food. An energetic weekend of camping in Staffordshire had heralded aches and pains in places where they should never develop and the nagging conclusion that I’m probably too old to play football with teenagers anymore (notice I only said probably!). What the weekend didn’t bring was any kind of planning for my week ahead, which ironically, I had singled out a few weeks ago as the perfect week to undertake my challenge.

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The rushed weekend meant that my Monday morning reduced food needed hunter-gathering on my way to work. As such, I was left with slim pickings to choose from, especially in the breakfast category. Managing to pick up a fruit salad and fresh apple juice from the Co-op, a healthy yet unsubstantial first meal of the day was forthcoming. Spending a grand total of £2.78, I saved 91p on the overall price.

Pickings were so slim in the Co-op that I hadn’t managed to pick up anything at all for lunch. Initial thoughts turned to the fact that 7:30am was not necessarily the prime-time for reductions or bargains to be had. As such, lunchtime found me at Tesco Express. Again, bargains were hard to be seen – a couple of the Tesco Finest main meals were on offer; slightly indulgent for lunchtime and still pretty expensive, even considering the discounts on offer.

Plumping for a ham, cheese and pickle sandwich at £2.05, a saving of 25p, I was suitably uninspired and more than a little bit hungry – my bulky frame of 6 feet and 4 inches is used to a little more substance! I was starting to wonder what I had let myself in for.

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A long afternoon at work was to follow, only salvaged by the bargains that were on offer for evening meal. Marks & Spencer Simply Food is on the way home form work and previous experience had taught me that they are always good for a reduction at that time of day. The sandwich fridge did not forecast any such dealings, the reductions only a fraction shorter than the full price. Two fillets of seabass however, hiding away in the meat aisle made up for these, a bargain at £2.05…a saving of £2.45 on full price!

The only down side, a lack of accompaniments which made the prospect of eating the seabass on its own a distinct possibility. I am however, nothing but resourceful, with the Co-op from my breakfast oblivion a short detour away from home. A bunch of fresh coriander for 17p (a saving of 52p), baby new potatoes for 89p (a saving of 11p) and some chillies home grown in the Hangry household and we had the hallmark of a lovely evening meal.

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My evening visit to the Co-op also brought a plethora of lunchtime orientated food at knockdown prices – but more on that tomorrow. It would however seem that the Co-op is the place to be at 6:30pm.

It’s fair to say my week long challenge didn’t start very well. I don’t think my lack of preparation helped on that score however! I’m far more prepared for tomorrow and my evening meal bargains have filled me with a lot more confidence for the remainder of the week. If anybody spots any reduced aisle coffee however, please feel free to send some as a care package…urgently!

Daily Spend –    £7.94

Normal Price – £12.18

Saving –   £4.24

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