Surprisingly, I’m not yet thinking of what to have for Christmas dinner. Instead my mind is occupied by what I can create for this fantastic challenge by BuyAGift.co.uk in aid of the Trussell Trust who run many of the foodbanks in the UK. Setting aside my annoyance that foodbanks need exist in this day and age, this is a great idea.
The challenge is to see if you can cook a festive meal for two people for just £3 in total. You can then enter your dish(es) into the competition and help win £600 for your local Trussell Trust food bank and a little something for you as well. Rules and full details can be found here. The competition runs until December 15th and is a great way to challenge yourself to try something different on a budget.
I’ll be very impressed if you can buy the entire dish for £3, but you can use portioning to keep within the budget. So if your bag of sugar costs £1 and you use a quarter, then it’s 25p of your whole budget. This challenge is likely to test my maths skills to the maximum as I go!
As well as doing this challenge, it’s worth taking a moment or two to make a festive donation to your local food bank (it may not be a Trussell Trust one as there are independent ones too.) Everyone deserves a day off from their worries and woes and having something lovely to eat at Christmas can be a real relief and joy to people.
Please try and donate the best you can afford. I have no qualms about eating basic and own label goods the rest of the year, but it feels bleak on Christmas day to be staring at a value label. Food banks are keen for more luxe good such as branded chocolates, sweets and selection boxes. They can also take boxed cakes and mince pies and bags of nuts. Tins of chicken in white wine sauce, pressed ham or chicken and tinned salmon are also very popular at this time of year. Don’t forget that food banks can’t accept perishables like homemade cakes or fresh meat, but they do welcome donations of things like toilet roll, sanitary protection and toothbrushes and pastes as well.
Tesco are adding extra to donations this weekend between the 29th and 1st of December, but you don’t have to buy your items there to donate. I’ll be stocking up at Lidl and the pound shop to make money go further and then dropping off at my local Tesco and putting my feelings aside so that other families can eat well and relax a little bit on the big day.
Then I’m going to come home and try and beat you all at the £3 challenge by cooking as many dishes as I can manage. And I have some practice on this front!