Tenner Week: Roundup time

How did you get on with Tenner Week this time around? Please let me know – especially if you came up with a good recipe or made any big changes.

tenner week live on £10 a week challenge Penny Golightly roundup May 2014

It was an interesting week, with some new activities to try. The TV diet seemed a lot easier this time around for some reason, but maybe that was the weather or something. How did you find it?

The one thing I’ve really taken away from it this time is that sitting in front of the TV or faffing about on the internet without any intended purpose seems to mess up my general awareness of other things. Once it was taken off the agenda I noticed how incredibly tired I was feeling at a certain point in the evenings – probably left over from having a virus recently – and that I sometimes ignore or become distracted from the natural signals that say it’s time to go to sleep.

We’ve both been averaging an extra hour or so of sleep per night, and I’ve been out like a light even if I’ve had a little more coffee than I should have, plus it’s been deep and unbroken, restful sleep. Not at all what I’d expected, but will have to take more notice of these cues that tell me I’m tired and need to rest from now on. Throw in the daily mindfulness exercises too and I’m feeling a lot more healthy in general.

Less TV, more happy?

I watched another hour of TV on Sunday evening – Fargo this time – and really looked forward to it and enjoyed it. Being more selective means that it’s easier to concentrate on and enjoy a show. It’s getting my full attention then afterwards I get up and do something else, a change is as good as a rest and all that, and from now on I’m thinking about having at least couple of nights each week that are telly-free.

Conversations at home have been a little more involved and also more fun, we’ve been prioritising things that are important to us, and making more plans for the future. Life has been less humdrum. Mealtimes have been nicer too, with more care taken over the preparation of the food and more time to linger over the dinner table and enjoy what’s been cooked.

Good food on a budget

Interestingly there have been no boring or miserable meals, which is always a risk on a tight budget, even towards the end of the week. I’ve even found myself looking forward to all the leftovers. Yesterday we had porridge with leftover peaches and rhubarb for breakfast, and it was delicious. For lunch I dug up a couple of leeks from the garden and sauteed them, then added a cup of water, the previous night’s leftover curry and some coconut powder. We had that on top of some economy brand cous cous and it tasted amazing.

In the evening I made spicy black bean and kale fajitas with a load of grated cheddar, smoky hot sauce and leftover salsa. It would have been better with a big dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yoghurt, but that doesn’t matter too much does it? We also had some of Beau’s raspberry yoghurts that were left over from last week, with frozen red berries on the top for dessert.

Hat tip to Approved Food this week – their bargains have given me a fantastic store cupboard to draw on. The other plus factor has been being able to get fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden, including lettuce, radishes, rocket, leeks, chard, spinach, rhubarb and kale. These two factors have made all the difference. I’m now feeling inspired to do another couple of weeks of very low cost budget menus from here on in, and keep going with the healthier side of cheap eats. We’ve both been feeling the benefit of it in the last couple of days.

And finally…

Because we’ve both been under the weather, we’ve mainly had soft drinks and been taking it easy. Yesterday we felt up to having a pub trip to get out and be more sociable, helped by the good weather, which meant that I spent £3.80 on drinks as my final outgoings of the week. It’s a shame we didn’t have a lot of energy before that, but it has worked out a lot cheaper to have a few early nights.

Total cash spent this week: £8.60

Total TV watched this week: 4 hours


How did you get on sticking to your budget? Do you have any tips of your own for other people who are trying to cut back this week?

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  1. Well done on your tenner week. I managed to spend £8.50 in total which I’m really pleased about. That broke down as follows –

    1. £5 on a yoga class in the office
    2. £1 pack of 12 crumpets in Poundland which was partly my lunch and partly for the freezer
    3. £2.50 in Holland & Barret Penny sale on Rice & Spaghetti, got more for my money than in Tesco!

    However, the biggest thing is that the £8.50 came from money dotted about the house (clearly I need to sort my house out). Money from pockets, handbags etc so I feel like I’ve had a free week!

    I’ve walked everywhere so I haven’t had to fill up on petrol and to be honest I’ve really enjoyed that. I’ve taken food with me from home and never felt like I’m missing out. I’m going to be continuing until the end of May with this due to my financial circumstances, but I feel positive that I’ll be able to do it!

  2. Hi Sam – congratulations for getting through the week under budget!

    Very interesting that there are dribs and drabs of money around the place. Used to have the same thing here, but now we have a coin jar for small change, a piggy bank for larger coins etc, and that seems to be taking good care of the shrapnel. Also, I regularly clean out purse and handbag as part of general decluttering, and this stood me in good stead recently when my purse was stolen.

    The only downside is that you don’t get the ‘Magic Fiver’ effect, that nice surprise when the money turns back up unexpectedly. Although I s’pose it’s your own money in the first place…

    Best of luck continuing on your budget for the rest of the month, it’s not always a fun thing but it is worth the effort to get back in control of your situation and I hope it all works out OK for you.

    Penny xx

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