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Living on a food parcel for a week - need meal ideas


At work we are going to live on a Red Cross food parcel for a week, to raise money for the charity we work for that provide support for the homeless and destitute. We want to see what's it's really like to live on their diet, but at the same time raise some awareness and a bit of cash so we can supplement the food parcels the Red Cross kindly give them.

I've got some dietary needs, so rather than having the very restrictive food parcel, I get a 'specialist' financial contribution instead - of £10.

That £10 is for everything for 7 days - food, drink, ingredients..... The rules are that I can't use anything I have in my cupboards, no timesaving/moneysaving gadgets like bread makers or slow cookers. I will have access to a microwave for lunch, but don't have one at home.

My dietary restriction is that I can't eat wheat or gluten. A loaf of my bread costs £2, and a packet of pasta the same. Lentils and pulses also affect me in ways that are less than pleasant so I avoid them. We've agreed to use Mr T's as a supermarket.

I figured who else to ask for ideas other than you lot!! HELP!!!!


  • FairyPrincesskFairyPrincessk Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Wow, what a challenge!

    Things that come to the top of my head are peanut butter and tinned fish such as tuna--they don't require heating and provide gluten free protein. I'd also suggest looking at avocados for fat. They can be v. expensive but I did get some quite cheaply last weekend...albeit, not at Mr. T. Do chickpeas affect you the same way other pulses do? Check the whoopsie pile for some reduced hummous!

    I'm not sure how potatoes fit in with a gf diet...but jacket spuds might be good...if not, what about sweet potatoes? They're more expensive but still probably more economical than buying special pasta/bread. What about rice? It can be cooked in a microwave. Sorry, I'm not really up on the GF diet so if these suggestions are rubbish, please ignore.:o

    I'm sure someone amazing will come up with a set of menus for each day for £10, but my skills aren't up to that yet.
  • Just a little thought....if you are coeliac then your bread/flour etc will surely be available on prescription and counted as a "medicine"....?

    If this is not the case, then perhaps you could buy your special bread and pasta etc but only count the price of the Mr T brand you think you would have bought if you weren't on a restricted diet....?

    If you can't do this I fear that you may really struggle to manage with your needs :S

    Good luck with it :)
  • thanks guys! It's certainly going to be a challenge, but that's why we're doing it to be honest.
  • If you can have potato's then potatoes for sure for jackets. Are you allowed to use your cooker at home? You mentioned micro so I wasn't sure if that means no cooker. I think for you a loaf of bread would probably be worth the £2, I would freeze half of it so that it lasts the full week and doesn't go off. Use for sandwiches once a day for the week with some cheap SP ham or chicken or cheese spread. then baked potato's with the ham or cheese spread e.t.c for a few lunch meals and maybe eggs to make some omlettes if you can use your cooker?

    If it wasn't for your diatary needs it would be a huge amount easier... I'm really not sure, sorry :(
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  • so sorry - yes, I have a cooker at home I can use. The ideas are good - thank you very much!
  • Butterfly_BrainButterfly_Brain Forumite
    8.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped! Post of the Month
    Tesco are one of the most expensive supermarkets so you will find it hard going.
    Tuna, Mackerel and Pilchards are a rich source of protein you could combine the tuna with mash to make fish cakes
    This site is good for recipes
    Blessed are the cracked for they are the ones that let in the light
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. Member #35 Butterfly Brain + OH - Foraging Fixers
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  • Mr T not ideal :/

    My staples:
    Butter (fat is satiating)

    Can you forage??
    Is the tenner just for you?

    I'd be thinking fish cakes from tuna+egg; "jacket" spud with butter+tuna; any whoopsied veg can be omelet-ised; carrots can be raw or cooked for variety.
    Mr T do some offal - beef heart chops up into a stew nicely, even if you don't normally do offal. Add carrot, onion and spud.
    Think bubble-and-squeak for any leftovers.

    Good luck, let us know how you do?
    "She who asks is a fool once. She who never asks is a fool forever"
    I'm a fool quite often :D
  • edited 29 February 2012 at 11:13PM
    Purplekylie22Purplekylie22 Forumite
    367 Posts
    edited 29 February 2012 at 11:13PM
    Ok looking at the website, my order would be something like
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Sunflower Spread 500G £0.75 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Creamfields Lighter Mozzarella 125G £0.49 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]2 x Loose Brown Onions Class 2 £0.32[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Scot Reared Beef Mince 250G £1.35[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A Bartlett Rooster Baking Potatoes 4 Pack £0.85[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Processed Cheese Spread 150G £0.50[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Cooked Ham 125G £0.61[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Lemon Curd 411G £0.22[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Chicken Paste 75G £0.32[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Free From Penne Pasta 500G £1.50[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Table Salt 750G £0.29[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Value Mixed Herbs 18G £0.19[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Sieved Tomatoes Passata 500G £0.46 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]T**** Free From Multiseed Slice Bread 400G £2.00 [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Guide price (14 items) £9.85[/FONT]

    You can do baked potatos, Twice baked potatoes, sandwichs, pasta bolagnaise, pasta with a little cheese spread for a sauce. If you could reshuffle the price of bread and pasta I would add eggs to the list at least. I usually skip breakfast myself so I havent really included much for that, you could have toast but then that leaves less for sandwiches... Hmm I'm not very good at this!
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  • edited 29 February 2012 at 11:30PM
    patchwork_catpatchwork_cat Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    edited 29 February 2012 at 11:30PM
    Personally I wouldn't buy either bread or pasta. I would be using potatoes and rice as my carbs. Market value mince is £2.50 per kg. add onions, passata, carrots.Can you eat baked beans, if not cottage cheese or value cheese spread etc. on jacket pots. Smartprice egg curry, don't buy butter get marg it is cheaper, or don't bother.
  • kezloukezlou Forumite
    3.3K Posts
    Not sure if this is any good.

    All prices are from tesco website.

    tesco value porridge oats 1kg 75p
    genuis guten free sliced wholemeal bread 600g £2.90
    tesco value eggs 15 pack £1.25
    tesco value new potatoes 1kg £0.53
    creamfields whole milk 4 pints £1
    tesco value onions loose thnks it works out 32p for 2 onions
    tesco value chicken roll 348g 84p
    tesco value plum tomatoes 400g 31p
    glenryck south atlantic pilchards in tomato sauce 425g 98p
    tesco value market frozen vegetables 78p
    tesco market value rice 1kg 40p

    The above works out at £10.03 (roughly)

    1/4 onion sliced
    couple of potatoes sliced
    1/4 tin of pilchards
    slice of bread

    boiled rice with frozen veg

    leftover rice with egg with chopped chicken slice on top

    omellete - sliced potatoes, chopped chicken, sliced onion

    scrambled eggs on toast

    picharlds with rice and veg

    potatoes with tomatoes and veg

    Not very nice and exciting but thought it might you some ideas.
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