The Pound Shop/Dollar Store Challenge – The Preparation.

Hip Roof Barn posted on their blog that they and a friend are going to take part in the Dollar Store Challenge from the 15th to the 17th of November.

I’ve decided I’ll be taking part in this challenge, for the three whole days. Partly as a frugal challenge, but also partly to see what it would be like to live of food (shelf stable stuff) from the Pound Store for 72 hours. For drinks, I will drink tap water. Husband will not be joining me. I did ask. I can’t imagine why….
Most governments and NGOs advise you to have 3 days’ worth of food and water at home for each person, in the event of an evacuation or a disaster.

To make this a true Pound Store/Dollar Store challenge, I have decided to buy shelf-stable food that costs £1 or less for my challenge, even though there are items at our local Poundland store that would cost more.

England is due to enter another strict lockdown tomorrow, which will restrict when, where and how you can travel in our local area. As our Pound Shop (It’s called Poundland in the UK) is in the city centre, I made the decision to go buy the food I would need for the challenge earlier in the week.


The first thing I notice when I get to the Pound Shop, is that the shelves are looking a little bit bare.
The second thing I notice, is that there are quite a lot of things that are outside my budget.

I browse the shelves, trying to work out what I would eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks are important too. As we have seen in the past, Silver is NO FUN being around when she’s hungry). There’s a lot of crisps and snacks available to buy, they even have the Christmas food in store now. I try to get food I know I will eat and enjoy, but also food that will be nutritious. And enough of it, so there is no chance I will be hungry.

Something occurs to me as I am putting tins and packets in my basket: This food is the kind of food we would donate to the food bank.
With this kind of food, they would have made up food packs for clients who don’t have cooking facilities at home.
Everything I have chosen can either be eaten out of the pack, made in the microwave or with some boiling water from a kettle.

This is what I came away with. I may or may not have gone every so slightly overboard.

Two bags with shelf stable food, for my Pound Shop challenge.
My food for the three days of the challenge. This cost me £14.75.

I bought the following:

  • 1 box of Quaker Oats, 500g, £1.
  • 1 415g tin of Baked Beans, £0.75.
  • 1 250g pack of Savoury Chicken Rice, £1.
  • 1 250g pack of Golden Vegetable Rice for £1.
  • 2 small tins of Vegetable Soup for £1.
  • 2 small tins of Tomato Soup for £1.
  • 1 3-pack of Peach and Jelly Pots for £1.
  • 1 3-pack of Sweetcorn for £1.
  • 1 5-pack of Breakfast Biscuits for £1.
  • 1 410g tin of Fruit Cocktail for £0.75.
  • 1 4-pack of Maggi’s Chicken Noodles for £1.
  • 1 300g jar of Strawberry Jam for £1.
  • 1 5-pack of Peperami Minis for £1.
  • 1 75g back of Brazil Nuts for £1.
  • 1 410g tin of Peach Slices for £0.75.
  • 2 packs of Soba Cup Noodles for £1 each.
  • 1 small tin of Tuna with Garlic and Chili for £1.
  • 1 1L pack of UHT Semi-Skimmed Milk for £0.50.

It occurs to me as I’m carrying this home that, let’s face it, the food I have chosen is not very mobile. Tins and cans are heavy and bulky. My selection would be better for staying at home, rather than having to carry it with me, on foot.

One item I was especially happy to see on the shelf in the Pound Store is the UHT milk. It means that I can have porridge with milk and jam for my breakfast, rather than having to make it with tap water. Hurray!

A pack of rolled oats and a carton of semi-skimmed UHT milk.
This will be my breakfast for the three days of the challenge.
A pack of instant Soba noodles from Nissin.
These look delicious. These two will be lunch or dinner for some of my challenge.

I am looking forward to trying these Soba noodles, especially after we had to cancel our long-awaited trip to Japan in March.

After scanning everything in using the Nielsen scanner to get my points, I bag the food up and put it in a cool and dark place, ready for the start of the challenge on the 15th of November.

A bag for life on our kitchen floor, filled with shelf-stable food.
See you in a little less than two weeks!

You can also see what we are up to over on Instagram @Realmofsilver.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I am so sorry to read and hear about the lock down.. but I hope it has some results in terms of numbers coming down.. we are in a modified phase 2 at this time, having gone thought part lockdown, full lock down Phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 and now we are back to a modified stage 2.. I will be joining you ladies on this challange.. and will be watching how you do on it.. some good insights on the food bank and the instant eating items etc.

    1. Silver says:

      Same, I hope this lockdown will lead to a drop in cases and give our health service the chance it needs to recover.
      I’m glad to hear you’ll be taking part in the challenge – I can imagine your pantries are well stocked and that you would have food for far longer than 72 hours though!

  2. So excited to have you join us Silver! ❤

    1. Silver says:

      Thank you, it should be interesting for sure!

  3. hoiyinli says:

    Wow incredible! Since when did the pound shop stock specifically cup noodles?! Sounds like an interesting challenge, it’s really amazing what you can get from the pound shop 🙂

    1. Silver says:

      Yes I was really surprised as well, I was expecting the Mug Shots and the Batchelor’s cup noodles to be there (and they were), but was really pleased to see a different brand. I really look forward to trying them ^_^

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