PORRIDGE made with water every day for three weeks might not be everyone’s idea of a tasty breakfast.
But the meal was an integral part of a retired couple’s plan to raise funds for people in crisis at Huddersfield Methodist Mission.
Fay and Terry Wheat met Mission Cafe manager Jacqui Goff at Oakes Baptist Church and were keen to help her worthy cause. So this summer they decided to get sponsored to spend only £1 a day each on food for a fortnight.
The Plover Road pair were so successful that they continued for a further week and raised the grand total of £525.12 for the charity.
Armed with a calculator and notepad, 61-year-old Fay trawled the local supermarkets to find bargains and a way of eating a healthy diet on just £14 a week, when they normally spend £50 a week on food.
She said: “The hardest thing was going without coffee as even instant was too expensive. Terry rationed himself to two cups of tea a day and I drank good old Yorkshire water, but I had headaches for three or four days after giving up coffee.
“The only other problem was not being able to afford quite as much fresh fruit as we would have liked.
“We both come from families where we experienced extreme poverty in our childhoods.
“We are now far from wealthy, but we are warm with a roof over our heads. We do not want for anything and for that we give thanks.
“The work of the Mission is very important. They help good people who suddenly find themselves unable to cope, perhaps when a family member loses a job or dies.”
Terry, 68, added that they had been surprised at the number of ex-servicemen who had served their country but who were finding it difficult to cope with life and were sleeping on the streets.
Despite the monotony of the porridge, the couple’s other meals were tasty and nutritious.
A typical day would begin with a bowl of porridge made with water served with a splash of milk and a spoonful of sugar.
Lunch might be sardines on toast or home-made vegetable soup followed by a later meal of shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognese, a casserole or meatballs and rice.
Terry and Fay are now intending to repeat the exercise next Lent, again in aid of the Mission.
Their efforts have impressed a number of local people, including a young couple from their church who have recently moved to Huddersfield and are also intending to take up the £1 a day challenge.
Jacqui Goff said: “It was a tremendous effort from Terry and Fay – they are a real inspiration. We’re so grateful for their amazing donation and those from other members of the public, which we rely on.”
FAY AND TERRY’S TOP TEN TIPS
Shop around – don’t just use one supermarket, find the best buys at each
Mince is a good, inexpensive meat which can make a variety of dishes
Buy pasta, rice and flour in bulk
Look out for BOGOFs – Buy One Get One Free
Nutritious porridge works out at just 2p a portion
Economy of scale – cook in large batches and freeze the surplus for later
Try cheap brands, some of the food tastes better than expensive brands
Supplement fresh fruit with tinned fruit which can cost just a few pence per tin
Cut out snacking between meals
Don’t waste anything.