LIVING without supermarkets for a year would be enough of a challenge for many families.
But six months into their task, the Pughs from Faringdon are upping the ante by trying to live on a pound a day for a week.
Ian and Rebekah Pugh, who live with their one-year-old daughter Elizabeth, decided just before Christmas to try to go a whole year without using a supermarket.
Now, halfway through their challenge, they have seen their weight go down, their savings go up and news of their project ‘go global’.
Mrs Pugh, 29, explained: “I can’t believe six months have gone so quickly.
“When we first started this we thought it would be so difficult and some people thought we were mad – not being able to pop to the supermarket, having to shop locally and keeping to a strict £50-a-week budget.
“But we wanted to see if we could do without supermarkets and save money and we now shop in local markets and local delicatessens instead.
“We are eating much more fruit and veg, making delicious meals for a fraction of the price we once paid. Plus, we are definitely healthier, and even with just £50 a week we have saved £355 in 26 weeks.”
The couple set up an internet blog (ayearwithoutsupermarkets.com) to record their experiences. It now has readers across six continents and countries including New Zealand, China, Namibia, Argentina and Angola.
Mrs Pugh said: “Some of our friends are now shopping more at the market and it’s amazing to hear from people so far away who have also been inspired.
“We were thrilled when we learned we had been shortlisted in the ‘inspire’ category of the Brit Mums Brilliance in Blogging Awards.”
This month the couple are taking their mission a step further by taking part in the international Below the Line campaign, in which people live on just a pound a day to highlight poverty.
Mrs Pugh said: “We do it for five days for a week – that’s just £15 between the three if us, and it has been hard. But this has further emphasised just how much food we once bought, didn’t need and even wasted.”
The Pughs’ supermarket challenge ends in October, when they will use the money saved to enjoy a food-based holiday.
But they say they will never go back to supermarkets.
Mrs Pugh said: “We are better off all round. We know what we are eating.”
No shopping of any kind in supermarkets for a year
£50 budget for food per week to feed family, including any guests
Any unspent funds will be saved (pet food excluded from £50)
Eat well – healthy, nutritious food that is cooked from scratch
Don’t be lazy and cheat
Eat a variety of foods and try out new foods/recipes as often as possible
Do not waste food
Do not bulk buy/stock up before the challenge starts
Continue to use items already in the pantry and freezer so not to waste food
Limit of one meal out per fortnight (paid for) l Eating food at family and friends houses is allowed