I found out how far £5 can get you in Newcastle’s Grainger Market

It’s time to start budgeting, but in 2022 how far can £5 really get you?

It’s getting to that time of year again – the January fun is over, dissertations are due and I bet your student loan is starting to run out.

It’s time to start budgeting, but in 2022, how far can £5 really get you? A large Mcdonald’s meal? 5 coffees in the Robbo library? An uber home from swingers? Or perhaps (nearly) a whole week’s worth of grocery essentials?!

At Newcastle’s Grainger Market that’s exactly what we got.

Sustainable living is something we all strive for, something we all require, yet something which often feels entirely unattainable, particularly on a stingy student budget. This week I discovered how wrong this is, and how you can eat well and stick to a sustainable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

Like most university students, we are always on the hunt for a bargain, probing Tesco’s reduced section as if it’s a sport, buying own-brand products (it hasn’t always got to be Heinz) and insisting to everyone that orange squash is undoubtedly the best mixer and doesn’t just happen to be the cheapest.

As the nights have gotten darker, so has the state of my bank account, so I challenged myself to buy my weekly essentials, for just £5.

I managed to get: two large potatoes (40p) one onion (10p), two peppers (60p) , three carrots (10p), 200g oats (20p), 200g cous cous (40p) 100g spaggetti (50p) two punnets of raspberries (£1) , one bag of spinach (70p), one tin of baked beans (20p) , one tin of pasta sauce (20p), 50g curry powder (20p), 100g chickpeas (20p) = all for £4.80!

Here’s a couple of the (vegetarian) meals I made using some of my nifty purchases.

Porridge with berries – oats, berries and I added Nutella I had left over from pancake day.

Avocado on toast – pretty self-explanatory – avo, bread, I added eggs.

Potato and chickpea curry – potato, half an onion, 1 pepper, 1 carrot, curry powder, spinach, chickpeas

Peppers stuffed with cous cous – peppers, couscous, spinach – I normally eat with chicken or salmon.

Tomato pasta – spaghetti, pasta sauce, spinach, a pepper, a carrot, half an onion & lots of cheese I already had in the fridge.

Jacket potato with beans and cheese – potato, cheese, beans, veg.

Veggie stir fry – a pepper, half onion, spinach, mushrooms, ginger, soy sauce, veg stock, garlic, chilli flakes, Chinese spice.

So, next time you think about buying a Jager-bomb for a fiver in Bierkeller because it seems like a good deal at the time (a particularly good deal if you’ve already had a few) maybe think again about how far £5 can really get you when shopping smarter at Grainger Market. Who knows, maybe you’ll even save enough to treat yourself to a Redhead’s mac & cheese during your visit.

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