Jump Start Jan 2017: Tenner Week: Day 2

tenner week January 2017 Day 2 Penny Golightly

Welcome back to Day Two of the Tenner Week budgeting challenge – how much of your £10 do you have left? As part of Find a Freebie Week, today is all about finding free food and drink.

While it isn’t technically free in itself, any food you already have is fair game today. That’s because preventing food waste is thrifty, and it can save you a small fortune in the long run too. We looked at our food stocks yesterday, so you’ll probably know what’s lurking uneaten at the back of the fridge, shelf, cupboard etc, or in the bottom of the salad drawer or freezer. Yeah, and I reckon some of you will have a secret chocolate stash somewhere too…

The first part of today’s activity is to make a simple, thrifty menu for the rest of the week. Try to use up as much stuff as you can before buying anything new to save as much money as you can from your budget. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you might have stored, and it’s the perfect time of year to be making meals based on storecupboard essentials like rice, pasta, kidney beans and so on.

If you’re stuck for ideas, try an internet search for the ingredients that you want to make a meal with. That should lead you to millions of free recipes. BBC Food is also a great place to start.

Once you’ve made your menu, start looking around for some food and drink freebies. There are quite a few places to find them, but be careful you don’t end up making a purchase at the same time.

Here are a few ideas:

  • The O2 Priority app often has food/drink freebies (for anyone with an O2 contract or pay as you go SIM)
  • Try the OLIO network if it’s in your area, and get food your neighbours are giving away free
  • Free food is sometimes given away via local forums and facebook groups, and Streetlife
  • Money-saving supermarket apps like Shopmium, Shopitize and CheckoutSmart sometimes have freebies
  • Keep an eye on magazines, newspapers and entertainment websites for coupons
  • Look out for giveaways at rush hour in train stations
  • Snack shops, fast food outlets, bars, coffee chains and restaurants often give you a voucher for a freebie if you sign up for their newsletter

See whether you can get some free food or drink today, and let us know what you find!


What’s happening here

I’ve decided to do the TV Diet this week, as well as the Tenner Week challenge. A TV Diet is always easier in the summer months, but it’s a bit more tricky when the weather’s cold and grey and you want to hibernate in front of the telly. It makes me think a lot more about the shows I consume and there’s nothing wrong with being a bit selective. What I do watch, I seem to enjoy more.

Anyway, I watched 90 minutes of the stuff yesterday because we both wanted to watch the BBC Sherlock finale. Instead of having the telly on for the early evening we listened to the Mary Anne Hobbs podcast, which I think is the recorded version of her Sunday morning show for Radio 6 Music, which I’d happily do again, I think. My goal for this evening is zero telly, but let’s see what actually happens.

Now on to the budget…

Yesterday was a no-spend day for me which was a good start to the week. We did go out and run a few errands in spite of the all-day drizzle, but I left my purse at home on purpose.

The food situation is looking pretty good here after a stocktake, a menu and a bit of extra effort. We were running low on a few things, so I managed to scrape together 500g of strong flour to make some fancy bread rolls, and Beau made us a cherry, almond and raisin loaf cake to use up a load of ingredients we had left over after Christmas. We’ll be okay for bread and sweet treats now. I think I’ll have to buy milk and maybe some onions out of my £10 note later in the week, but my plan is to have a second no-spend day today.

Yesterday’s food was onion soup with a cheese toastie for lunch, and a mini roast dinner followed by spiced homegrown rhubarb and coconut chia pudding. I’m always surprised how well we eat during a Tenner Week, but it probably comes down to worrying about eating a load of unhealthy, boring stodge and pulling out all the stops to make sure it’s healthy and delicious instead.

I’m also trying to me more physically active this week, drink a few glasses of water and have at least five portions of fruit and veg every day. That’s as close as I ever get to a resolution in January – I do much better with a 30-day challenge!

How’s your Tenner Week going? Are you up to anything good this week, and who’s managed to have a no spend day so far?


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  1. Well, I supposed it is much easier when you have loads of homemade sterilised jars of all sorts….No need to go out for shopping.

  2. I was not very well over Christmas so after having a rummage and chucking away spoilt stuff (I feel ashamed!) I still have enough to last the week regarding food. I also have a lot to do as someone has asked me to do some charity knitting so I can use up some of my stash. As an OAP I can hunker down in this horrid weather.

  3. Hi Patricia – yes, it’s great to be well stocked up. Easier to be thrifty with a good storecupboard.

    Hello Jackie – don’t feel bad about food waste if you’ve been poorly, sometimes it can’t be helped. Hope you’re feeling healthier now. If you’re a knitter you will like Tuesday’s activity of the day.

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