We’ve had a lot of discussion about bulk buying as part of our £1 a day challenge (or perhaps we should say £5 a day challenge, since we are feeding ourselves collectively which is definitely cheaper and easier than a single person attempting £1/day). I’ve also been reading some other people’s views on it on another blog. I can’t say as we really have a coherent position on this. I guess few people even if living below the poverty line have an exact amount of money to spend on food on any given day. Food will often be bought when money is available, which may mean some “bulk” buying. However the reality for most people living on a low income (even if not in extreme poverty) is that full on bulk buying is beyond their reach. Many people have to buy things at higher prices in smaller quantities because they can’t manage the higher initial outlay for a bulk purchase.
In the end we have a bit of a fudge and I’m ok with that. The purpose of this is not to pretend we are actually living like people in extreme poverty – there are just too many other differences. Rather we are looking to challenge some of our thinking about what living below the line might be like, look at how we consume food and drink differently, and give up some of our spend on food to help others lift themselves from extreme poverty.
So, we have bought a sack of potatoes the size we normally would and only accounted for what we are using in the 5 days. We’ve also used “store cupboard ingredients” and accounted for the appropriate portion of these and we’ve bought eggs in a quantity that we wont get through in 5 days. Cheating? Maybe, but it’s hard to calculate what you would actually buy just for that day or week and what you might buy for a slightly longer period.