Preparations

The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”

Elbert Hubbard

Today isn’t the day, the challenge hasn’t begun as of yet, but as this experiment will require a lot of prior planning and preparation, we’re going to start with my findings here. So, without further delay, here is more information about day 0 of the challenge, if you wish.

The intention for today:
Today I am preparing myself for my challenge and am proceeding to carry out all the research that I will need for the rest of the upcoming week. Today I am planning out my meals, challenges and transportation for this week.

What I did:
I’ve spent the majority of my Sunday morning on Sainsburys Online, among other low-cost supermarkets trying to plan some of my meals for the week. I’ve also prepared for 3 additional challenges, in which my fate will be decided by my twitter followers, which will be interesting.
As well as this, I’ve also been researching the cheapest methods of transportation for me to get to work this week, which will still allow me to be able to eat.
Once I’ve planned my meals for the week (after about 3 redrafts of my meal plan 🤦‍♀️) I head down to Sainsbury’s to do my shopping for this upcoming week.

My meal plan for the week commencing

What I found:
Although I thought I’d be better off at shopping at self-professed ‘low-budget’ supermarkets, I was actually surprised to see that there honestly isn’t that much difference in price with other supermarkets if you stick to the own brand products.
Also, I’m also quite surprised to find out there are quite a few possible methods of transportation that I might be able to incorporate into my £3 budget for this week. I genuinely thought that my only option for getting into work would be cycling, but I’m impressed to find out that I’m wrong!

My weekly food shop

Today’s biggest challenge:
My biggest problem that I came across today was probably the meal plan and planning the costs of everything for the week. Although I’ve tried to stick as close to my daily routine as much as I possibly can, there are going to be quite a few sacrifices in order to make my budget cover my food and transport for the week. As unlike many other people who I’ve seen do similar challenges, I will still have to go to work this week.
Although I have managed to stick within my budget for this week, I have had to sacrifice things such as tea, coffee, snacks and fizzy drinks, which are my usual weekly ‘pick me up’s’ when I’m feeling a bit low, and I’m worried about how I’ll feel in their absence.

Conclusion:
Before this challenge has begun, I’m already feeling the stress and the strain of trying to make my tight budget to stretch to wherever I need it to. I’m concerned about a few aspects such as calorie intake, work productivity, mood, energy levels and any emergencies or challenges which may crop up unexpectedly and which could determine my success or defeat, so watch this space!

Intentions

“Intention is one with cause and effect. Intention determines outcome. And if you are stuck and not moving forward, you have to check the thought and action that created the circumstance.”

Oprah Winfrey

As I am starting my challenge this coming week, I thought that it would be a good idea to lay down my rules and intentions for the week going ahead as the foundations of this experiment. Afterall I do not believe that this is a challenge to take lightly, I need to carefully work out a set of rules and stick to them in order to succeed at this challenge, and ‘challenge’ is definitely the right word.

So without digressing any further, here will be my rules for the following week ahead of me:

  • The budget for the day must cover, travel to work (from is another story*), breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as any additional items I may require (snacks, medications, drinks, going out, etc.)
  • I may utilise items that are in my cupboard or freezer that has been purchased in the weeks previous to me doing this experiment, but I will limit myself to only one item from the cupboard per day.
  • I may utilise any leftover food that wasn’t eaten the night previous and find other ingenious ways to keep the daily budget costs down.
  • Any money from the daily budget that hasn’t been spent will be collected, however, it will be saved for a ‘treat’ on the ultimate day of the experiment. It cannot be carried onto the following day.
  • I must also complete 3 challenges, to which I will be letting my Twitter followers choose which challenges.

My intention with this challenge is to see whether a budget this extreme is doable in London, considering transportation to work as well as food and any other additional items that crop up unexpectedly that I may have the need to acquire.

Things I will be looking at will be:

  • Are the methods of transportation sustainable?
  • What is the quality and quantity of the food that I can afford like?
  • What are my moods, energy and productivity levels like?
  • What is the quality of my sleep like?
  • Biggest challenges
  • Biggest surprises
  • Interesting things I hadn’t accounted for

If you’d like to follow me on this journey, then feel free to follow my blog posts or to keep an eye out for the hashtag #CharlotteCutsCosts and get involved in what challenges I participate in, as well as keeping up to date with everything I’m doing.