Dating on a shoestring budget

18-Apr-2020 05:35

I rushed round the house like a mad thing, looking in every pocket, every bag, down the back of the sofa and got together £6 in coins.

"I went to Sainsbury’s with a note-pad with £6 written at the top of the page – counting down as I added things to the basket.

"She arranged for me to go on benefits, sorted everything out for me: Jobseeker’s Allowance, and later income support and disability allowance. When the bank came and repossessed my flat she took me straight to a hostel and even managed to get my possessions put in store.

"I had lost my career, my family and p—ed off any friends I once had. And after a few relapses the binge-drinking stopped.

Her £6 basket contained lots of pulses, tinned tomatoes and fish, cumin (her favourite spice), bottled lemon juice, pasta. “Add a square of dark chocolate to kidney beans with tomatoes and cumin and I’ve almost got a chilli.

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Mrs Farquar was great at giving me confidence to substitute if you hadn’t got exactly the correct ingredient.”And, if she is reading this, can Mrs Farquar, formerly of Southend grammar, please get in touch with Jack Monroe. Jack Monroe’s typical weekly shop Sainsbury’s 1kg chopped frozen spinach £1.49 1.5kg self-raising flour 65p 1l skimmed UHT milk 53p 2 onions 22p 6 apples 84p 2 x 75g jars of salmon paste 64p 500g spaghetti 39p 400g tin red kidney beans 21p 411g tin peaches 32p 312g tin broken mandarins 25p 1kg rice 40p 10 chicken stock cubes 20p 670g cooking bacon £1.09 120g sardines in oil 55p 540g tin potatoes 17p 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 70p 400g tin red kidney beans in water 21p 500g natural yogurt 45p 340g crunchy peanut butter 62p Total: £9.94 Tony's story Back in the 1980s and 1990s Tony was anything but skint.

I was an unemployed alcoholic in a homeless hostel, full of self-loathing, with no control over my life and no idea of self worth. He had very little money to live on, but, he says, “The one thing I decided I couldn’t give up was eating really well.

Food had always been my love and passion and hobby.

I chose the curd.” Monroe was already a confident cook.

Her Greek-Cypriot father is a good cook, as was her grandfather.“I was spending five hours a day travelling, dropping him off with my parents, with his father, with my sister. But it was a later post, Hunger Hurts, that went viral and turned her mind to writing about food.“I thrashed out that post in despair,” she says, tears brimming.He gave little thought to what his shopping basket would cost: “I would spend a couple of hundred quid a week in Borough Market and delicatessens.