Month without Money Challenge – Day 1


So it’s January 1st and the beginning of a New Year and the first official day for the “Month without Money” challenge. On my FACEBOOK page and here on my blog, let’s share our successes, struggles and ideas and see how we do spending as little as possible on groceries (using up as much stuff we have languishing in our cupboards and freezers instead) and in every day life and “mend and make do”! Personally I’m pretty broke until pay day (and I’ve been very frugal over Christmas!) So every penny not spent will make a difference!

With working towards spending as little money as possible in January, I am using up veggies in the fridge (that have passed their sell by date and need using up), stuff that has been in the freezer for several months, and whatever pulses, beans and grains I have in cans and bags etc. I’m also on ‘toilet paper’ rations (does anyone know if toilet paper was rationed? I am thinking it was!) and seeing how little I can get by on so really being careful with what I’ve got!

Veggie mince with some frozen yorkshire puddings that had been in the freezer for several months. I also found an old packet of stuffing at the back of the cupboard. This is for work lunches…

Had a productive day…

For breakfast I had 30g of porridge oats with some ground flax seed and soy milk.

For lunch I had one a meal prep meal of chilli which I made this morning. I had run out of rice so luckily found some pasta and used that instead.

For dinner I had one of the meal prep meals from yesterday with the lovely root vegetable mash followed by a slice of ‘mock apricot tart’ that I found in the freezer when I defrosted it yesterday. I served that with some custard.

I found some slices of ‘mock apricot tart'(made with carrots) in the freezer so had some for pudding with a little custard

I’d imagine I’m now up to about 1500 cals for the day but I may sucuumb to some tinned peaches this evening!

How have you been doing? What triumphs have you had today?

Money spent on Day 1 – £0.00

C xxx


1940s Meal Prep – 7 days dinners for 32p


Yes that’s right – 7 days dinners for 32 p each. And I’m going to tell you what I used, what each item cost, AND how much fibre and protein per serving!

There is quite a group of us on my blog starting off the New Year with really good intentions to have a “Month without Money” in January (grocery money) by using up stuff we have been hoarding in the cupboards before buying more. Spending as little money in January is something we are all trying to achieve to help us get over the lean month but also be mindful of waste and of what we spend, just like our families had to do during rationing in WW2!


I decided today that I would use up the post Christmas reduced veg I bought the other day. I bought some bags of parsnips for 9p a bag, some sprouts for 10p a bag, some carrots for 19p a bag and potatoes for 29p a bag. I then rummaged through my cupboards and found a can of tomatoes, can of kidney beans, can of chick peas, a large onion, 2 courgettes, few teaspoons Bisto powder, dried mixed herbs, salt and pepper. The total cost of all the ingredients actually used was about £2.25 and I was able to have one meal for lunch and fill 6 meal prep containers to put in the fridge and freezer (it also spurred me into defrosting the freezer!).

YES, that’s right…..£2.25 for 7 days’ dinners, that’s 32p per meal!


So here’s what I made and how…although these are not 1940’s wartime recipes that you’ll find in a book any cook during the 40’s would have thrown stuff together to use up stuff and not waste it!

Root Veg Mash

1.5 lbs parsnips
1.5 lbs carrots
1.5 lbs potatoes
1 onion or leek finely chopped + garlic (optional)
Butter or margarine
Salt and pepper.

Cut up carrots small and parsnips and potatoes in slightly larger pieces.
Add to boiling water and simmer until soft.
Meanwhile add all your butter or margarine (according to how much you like) into a saucepan and peel a clove of garlic or two and add that into the saucepan with the chopped onion and sauted until onions are soft (remove garlic cloves when ready)
Place drained veg into a large bowl, place butter and onion mixture on top and mash all up together.
Add salt and pepper liberally until your own desired taste is reached.

Will be enough for 7 days meal prep plus a portion of pre mashed veg to add to stew recipe below.

PS: It was DELISH!

Meal Prep Bean Stew

1 can kidney beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can tomatoes
1 onion or leek
2 or 3 courgettes or a small chopped marrow
Portion of pre-mashed cook veg from recipe above.
Bisto powder
Salt and pepper
Dried mixed herbs
Spoonful of sweet chutney (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute chopped onions or leeks until browned and soft
Add chopped courgettes or marrow
Add all cans and pre-mashed veggies
Thicken with Bisto powder
Add chutney, herbs, salt and pepper.
Cook until stew has reduced a little and thickened.

Will be enough for 7 meal prep portion sizes.

Fibre and Protein Boost!

I even worked out the fibre and protein content of each meal. Each meal provides a whacking great 20g of fibre!! (daily recommendation is 25g – 30g) and protein was 18g (daily recommendation is about 55g) so that’s pretty good too!

With hindsight I would have thrown another can of kidney beans in or thrown in some dry lentils and boosted each meal by another 5g of fibre and 5g of protein!

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