What I learned during the January Tenner Week Challenge


The most recent Tenner Week budgeting challenge took place in the last week of January, a time when most of us tend to be low on funds. I had an interesting seven days cutting my spending right back and the general theme of decluttering threw up some more issues and ideas than I was expecting.

The £10 budget – where did it go?

Let’s start by looking at the budget itself. I started with the usual £10 in cash, and managed to do a thorough stocktake of the food we had in the house followed by a detailed menu. It’s always helpful for maximising your resources and minimising waste, and this time around was no exception.

In particular we had plenty of Christmas leftovers and food gifts to get through, plus a fair amount of frozen homegrown fruit and veggies in the freezer. There was no cheating and doing a big shop beforehand, but it was easier than usual to create a balanced menu with a few treats in it because we already had so much to choose from.

I ended up buying the following:

  • 2 large cartons of milk
  • Half a loaf of bread
  • Some packets of seeds at Lidl

The whole lot came in at £5.56. That’s well within budget and I’m very happy about that. I could have avoided buying the second carton of milk on Sunday afternoon, but I didn’t fancy drinking my morning cuppa without it on Monday morning so I opted for convenience.

The seeds were a no brainer – great value, and they often sell out quickly in the shop too, so I wanted to be sure to pick those up while they were still available. I would have been possible to buy them from other sources but that would have cost a lot more, so it seemed silly not to take advantage of the short purchasing window.

The ‘not spending’ in general kept me away from the January sales, and I managed to avoid temptation by keeping busy. It definitely also helped with the general decluttering, as I wasn’t bringing so much into the house.

The decluttering theme

The small, manageable decluttering exercises were easy to fully complete, and I really enjoyed creating some space and clearing everything up. It’s made everyday life more simple and streamlined, and I managed to do two drop offs to a recycling point and a nearby charity shop.

Alongside the daily declutters, I got inspired to sort out all the whole kitchen so I cleared out the food cupboards, got rid of some chipped crockery, and went through the baking box and all of our glassware. I also tidied up some of my gardening stuff, including plant food, pots and seeds.

It feels good to have made such a big dent in my to-do list, and I think I’ll be doing some more tidying up over the next few weeks too. That includes fixing up my home office area and sorting through our linens, and possibly buying one or two bits and bobs to replace things that are worn out or missing.

The whole thing has made me think much more about the things we over-consume, and things we throw in the rubbish too easily, so in the next few weeks I’ll be looking at ways to reduce waste. In particular I’ll be starting with a look at avoiding single use plastics, and the tricky task of finding plastic-free food and drink – hope you’ll join me for a series of new articles and a few new reviews!


Did you try the Tenner Week Challenge yet? Have you been able to cut back your spending or do some decluttering?


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One Comment

  1. Dear Penny, me too I bought my seeds from LIDL this week. A very good bargain and the seeds always grow very well.
    Love, Paty

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