Press Coverage and becoming the Quid Queen

Feb 8, 2014 | 22 comments


Press Coverage and becoming the Quid Queen

me with food on a tableWell phew! What a frantic couple of days that has been.  News Dog Media got coverage in MailOnline, Star online and Express online on Thursday, and the following day, printed coverage in the Metro and the Express. Not sure how long  the links will be there for! I don’t actually eat  that many carbs by the way, they decided that was a typical day using a picture the photograper took 😉

Because of that coverage, I have had lots of contacts from other places. Went to Brighton yesterday to record an interview for BBC radio Sussex that will go out on Monday, on the show airing 9-12. And while waiting to do that, did a live to air interview for BBC Tees radio. I could barely keep up with the messages, Tweets etc

Spain radio has been in touch and wants to do an interview live to air when I am supposed to be somewhere else, and a company in Russia want to do some filming

Site hits went through the roof, and the poor site couldn’t cope, sending it into a tailspin. The Host provider protested and put a limiter on it. I have carefully checked current stats, and I think it is safe to take the limiter off – I’m only allowed to do that 5 times before I’m banned! Edit – limiter has just been applied again!

I’m not sure where I want all this to go…. not sure? Have no idea more like. I had a very busy working life, spinning more plates than was comfortable pretty often. I have a busy and active life now, how much more do I want to cram in?

Well, we shall see what happens. I am currently pretty pleased that lots more people will have heard of what we do here now, and can make use of it, that was always the aim after all. If people like what they see, I hope that they will pass it on, and onwards and outwards it will go.

While I was in Brighton yesterday, I saw a huge place that dealt with all kinds of issues around not having enough money, other difficulties, and housing as well I think. So I popped in there and they seemed quite pleased at the resource and sent it round all the different agencies there.

I have become friendly with a local lady who collects for the foodbank and she, and a few others, have organised what we hope will be a busy and successful day on Monday 10th, running 9.30-4pm. It is called Thrifty Living, How to Cook & Cope. CAB are coming and I will be demonstrating all day, showing what exactly you need to do to spend £1 a day.

If you are new to budgeting or can’t think just how to get your grocery spend down any more, having a plan set out on exactly what to do will help. If there is a shopping list (buy these things at this price level) a meal plan (make these meals with those groceries) and the recipes (use this much of these ingredients) and if you follow it, then you WILL spend £1 a day



  1. Lesley

    Ok, I won’t then! How about nuking them until nearly done, rubbing in a little oil and maybe some salt, then blasting them in the oven until crispy, just a few minutes.
    I’ve never tried it, but nuking, followed by grilling to crisp them up may work too.
    Or enjoy them with a HM quiche, so the oven is on anyway

  2. chistine cheeseman

    I love jacket potatoes, just cost a bomb in the oven, don’t say mickey them cos they aint the same.

  3. Lesley

    No, I have never done this! I have plenty of oats, so I will give this a go. It could
    come in very handy in the meal plans when we can’t afford to get milk

  4. Victoria

    Also I don’t know whether you have this one in your repertoire, but oat milk is probably the cheapest milk you can make yourself, far cheaper than buying regular milk (especially if you are lactose intolerant like me). A 1kg of oats cost me less than £1 at Morrisons and you can use it for porridge/biscuits etc but also for making milk to drink and add to soups for a creamier texture, or to your cheese sauces, in tea or on cereal. It is a little bland and does actually taste of oats but if you like that that’s fine!

    Basically its 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water, let them stand in the water for 10 mins before whizzing them up and straining through a cloth (I used a plain white tea towel folded a few times rather than muslin, worked fine). Add sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract if you want. Put in a bottle with a lid so you can shake it up when you use it as it does settle. You can use the oats you have strained away in biscuits.

    You use about 1/10th bag, so about 10p for 750ml!

  5. Victoria

    I shop at asda, the instant mash there is 20p a packet, or I have Iceland/B+M bargains and Poundland that does Mr. Mash a larger bulk packet which is about £1 from all those, I’ve got some in my cupboard at the moment.

    Pasta sounds delish!

  6. Lesley

    re instant mash, what are your nearest shops? I got mine at the Co-Op, even they had some value brand packets,our Sainsbugs tends not to have the value one,just the more expensive one

    and the sprouts? I did some soup using them with chestnuts, delicious soup, but DIRE consequences. HF-W suggests using them in a salad, shredded and mixed with sliced apple, a tiny bit of cheddar, crumbled, a few toasted hazlenuts (salted peanuts?) and a lemon juice and oil dressing (3 parts oil to 1 part acid)
    or how about mixing them with carrots, fried onions and pasta and some cheese sauce, maybe some fried breadcrumbs on top

  7. Victoria

    Hi Lesley, just wanted to say thank you so much for providing these recipes, I’ve found your site at a time where I really need it!

    I really want to try your instant mash gnocci, I was going to buy some last night, but even reduced at £1.88 was too expensive for me. I did get some bargain brussel sprouts from Marks and Spencers of all places for 25p – any ideas on what to do with them besides stir fry or with bacon?

    Like Ricky said, ignore the snide comments some people do not realise the efforts we go to make ends meet.

    Thank you again!

  8. Lesley

    ‘It is a learned skill but when you are poor the fear, depression and sense of hoplessness that can creep in doesn’t always allow one clarity of thought.’

    I can really relate with that statement.

    ‘I find it odd that so many people these days can wax nostalgic about wartime rationing and recipes and fail to see the connection to present day food insecurity. ‘

    and that one.

    Being broke enough to have to live on £1 a day, or even less, can become all encompassing, exhausting and miserable

  9. jill in nyc

    If feeding oneself and a family on very little money was so easy and logical, I wouldn’t have spent so much of my time showing people how to do just that.
    It is a learned skill but when you are poor the fear, depression and sense of hoplessness that can creep in doesn’t always allow one clarity of thought.
    I was lucky years ago, as I had such excellent role models to help me.
    Beating the odds was empowering and very political for me…still is.
    I find it odd that so many people these days can wax nostalgic about wartime rationing and recipes and fail to see the connection to present day food insecurity. The difference was that most everybody was stuck then and it was a communal effort, while now people get to wag their fingers at both the poor and those people trying explainl the skills and experience that helped get themselves out of the same situation.
    Lesley..please keep on keeping on!
    If we all keep pushing something has to give way!

  10. misspiggy

    I can see why people challenge the idea that it’s ‘OK’ to live on £1 a day. Of course it isn’t OK, and of course benefits and wages should work properly so that people aren’t forced into it. But this is where we are. The only things we can do to change that are long term – voting and campaigning and discussing so that everybody agrees it’s not acceptable to force hundreds of thousands of people to the very edge of survival.

    In the short term, blogs like this are vital to help people get through a horrible period. This type of short term ‘humanitarian’ work always gets flak because it can be used to justify the status quo. But unless people have enough to eat they can’t join the struggle for a better society. You’re helping people get enough to eat without worsening their situation. That’s a big thing.

  11. steven mort

    Thats a good one ur classed a troll if u disagree with a viewpoint.ive tried these cheap menus before there rubbish normally,also think of the ingrediants ur putting together.But i take lesleys point,if u dont like it…fine.tons of people must not like it then if u do a search tons of people dont like it.see before u say someones a troll,look at the definition of what a troll is on wikipedia,it is nothing like this.xx

  12. Lesley

    Hello Ricky
    I have just got back from doing an all day demo in Heathfield, exhausting, but saw lots of lovely people, and cooked up a storm.
    Thanks for your lovely comments. It is corrosive, soul destroying and very stressful living day after day, week after week, month after month, on the bare minimum. With many more no’s than there are yeses. Having something nice to eat becomes disproportionately important.
    If what we do here helps in any small way, then I am very glad

  13. Rita

    I’m so glad I can access your blog again. Now I understand why I’ve not been able to for the past few days. Such good news about the press coverage, but sadly you are finding, just as Jack did, that it brings all the nasties out of the woodwork. I always think that it must be very unpleasant indeed to live the lives of those people if they have the need to behave as they do.

  14. Rita

    Oh dear, a Troll!!
    Just someone having a rant!
    You and I both know, Lesley, that with some ingenuity, knowledge and a little work, you can eat quite well on £1 a day. Currently I am feeding two of us on £1 a day, and we have our 5-a-day fruit and veg and a good balance of all food groups.

  15. Ricky Willis

    Hi Lesley,

    I don’t normally comment much on any blogs (I need to do this more) but I am compelled to comment on yours.

    Forgetting the media spotlight for a moment, what you have created here is a wonderful resource. In an ideal world we would all like to eat fresh fruit and veg everyday, buy the best cuts of meat from the butchers and be able to afford a wide range of products. In the real world, both you and me know this is impossible for a large number of people.

    Living on very little money is an art. I for one (as you know) have been in this position and it’s a lonely place. Worrying how you going survive, let alone eat, especially if you have children is a nightmare situation. Naomi and I went through stages of not eating, leaving the heating off for days on end and struggling through, just so we could put the children to bed with a full tummy.

    We were, as people would call it ‘the working poor’ and those looking at us from the outside would see a family of 2 point 4 children, working hard and getting on in life. This couldn’t of been further from the truth! On the inside we were struggling everyday, not knowing how we were going to survive until payday. Debt was mounting up, depression was setting in, the children where starting to notice things were not right and we saw no way out.

    At my lowest point come the turning point and instead of being embarrassed about our situation I started to reach out to family and friends, I looked online for resources on how to save money, live on a little and ultimately how to survive when times are tough.

    The point I am making is that with sites like yourselves, Jack Monroe’s and many others, it really is helping. For every nasty comment, dig or put down you might or may off received, there is someone out there, like I was, looking for help with living on very little and thanking you for showing them it can be done and how. You are a true inspiration and I admire everything you are doing.

    Keep up the good work.

    Ricky (skint dad)

  16. Lesley

    The idea here is that we work together thinking up recipes using common, and cheap, ingredients, so that you only need spend £1 a day over the week. I also do weekly mealplans to take off some of the difficulties of planning a menu so that you need £15 or so at the checkout for a week for 2 people.
    Spending 50p a portion on dinner is easier than spending £15 for a weeks worth of meals

    If the dishes don’t appeal to you, that’s fine, it isn’t for everyone.

  17. steven mort

    Im not being spiteful and nasty,everything i said is 100% correct.ok.So what ur saying basically is”dont say anything”May i remind one it is a democratic country,where we can say what we want obviously within reason.I was stating a fact about the quality of the food and how miserable a persons life would be on a lot of these menus,thats a fact,it dosent mean i dont empathise with people in this position i do ,im only stating the obvious.I do sympathise with ur relatives etc now that uve mentioned it and im sure its not a game .Most people could think up a few recipes buyung cheap ingrediants and it would cost next to nothing for example beans on toast breakfast porrudge packet of cheap noodles stock cube and cheap veg anything for godsake use our we need somebody to get noticed making up obvious recipes. So i do feel sorry about peoples circumstances,but anybody could feed themselves on nowt,but what a meagre existence.

  18. Crystal (Lukasmummy)

    I usually read but don’t comment, but Steven Mort’s comment above angered me enough to prompt a reply, idiotic people who make comments like that should really get off their high horse, spend a little more time learning if you can’t say anything nice say nothing or better yet put their time towards doing something worth while instead of being spiteful and nasty. The thing that people like him forget is that for most people the idea of living on a pound a day is not a game, it’s not something they are doing to prove it can be done. They are just doing the best they can and honestly I am impressed that someone who doesn’t have to live like that takes the time to try and help other people who have no choice. The higher the cost of living gets, the more blogs like these become invaluable to people and especially families trying to make every penny go a little further. When your choice is between eating the “rotten smartprice” and not eating it’s an easy choice. I’m incredibly thankful that my family does not have to live on anything like £1 a day, but I do have a 17 year old nephew who after the death of my great grandmother last year ended up homeless. He is looking for a job but it’s hard enough for adults with qualifications to find them let alone kids. He is currently staying with friends and getting by with help from us and other friends. This blog and others like it gives me ideas of things I can add to our shopping each week and help him out a little. I can’t do much but creative food recipes and ideas mean the little I can do can go a little further.

  19. Lesley

    If you choose to see the negative that is your option. I’m offering possibilities, nothing else. If you look at a few recipes, you will see exactly what the quality is

  20. steven mort

    I wouldnt like to see what the quality of ur food is for a £1 a day.rotten smart saver pankakes,whatever smart price you can get urhands on,better take beans and toast.its well known that the quality of ur life would go way down.trying to make out that all u have to say poor peopleis spend a quid a day and say u can still live a normal life is codswallop.the truth of the mattet is there is no answer.ut answer is to pack up on smartsaver swill.i would rather spend 10 times that a day than scrimp on quality to afford payments for something else.

  21. Lesley

    Manic is right!

  22. Sue

    Well done, this has all gone completely manic, don’t forget to pause to take a breath, but enjoy it while it lasts. You are helping so many people usually and are now being given the chance to help even more.

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