How family set themselves the challenge to spend nothing on food

Stacy Bradley and her son Zach are trying to challenge themselves to spend £0 throughout August. Pic

Stacy Bradley and her son Zach are trying to challenge themselves to spend £0 throughout August. Picture: Stacy Bradley - Credit: Archant

Staying at home may have caused many of us to buy a bit more on the weekly shop - but could you go a month without spending anything on food?

That is the challenge set by Stacy Bradley and her 12-year-old son Zach, from Taverham, who are now half-way through their challenge to go the whole of August without spending any pennies as well as reduce their food waste.

The family have used a range of apps, community schemes, traditional methods such as foraging and fishing and their current food stock to not incur any costs.

The main app they have been using is called Olio, which connects people with businesses and other households looking to share their surplus food rather than throw it away.

Miss Bradley, who runs a litter picking group, said: “We do have stuff in our freezer, we are not completely bare food and have nothing at all. Our challenge is about reducing our waste and outgoings with food.

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“Our food bill has been disgusting during lockdown, it was so high. Our household incomings and outgoings are in line with each other, which makes being able to afford going on holiday very difficult. We appreciate that we are very lucky to have a roof over our heads and money coming in, however we would like to be able to travel and see some of the world when it is safer to do so. This is an ambition of ours.”

Miss Bradley, a mum of two, has shared her own experience of crippling debt said it was important to educate her children.

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The 2019 Broadland environmental champion said: “Zach has already said that he is enjoying the challenge so much that he would like to continue it past August. Zach is learning valuable lessons around budgeting and the value of money.

“When I was younger I got into lots of debt never knowing about paying bills and the consequences of my actions. I have wanted to be quite open with my children.

“I had no clue how to budget. I just think it’s a nice challenge to raise people’s awareness of what they can do. If people are really struggling its a great way to feel a bit more secure how to put food on the weekend.”

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Other apps the family have used include Shopmium and Checkoutsmart and have signed up for offers which reward you with free food.

They have also benefited from the newly set up community fridge at The Feed, in Norwich.

Miss Bradley said: “As a result we have used these offers to not only buy food we like but also food that we don’t like, the food we don’t like we have then traded in at the Community Fridge for more food we enjoy. Community fridges and Olio are accessible by all as they focus on food waste in communities.

“We are giving and receiving at the same time.”

Tessa Clarke, co-founder of OLIO, said: “Stacy and Zach’s challenge is so inspiring! We’re really happy that OLIO can help them in their challenge this month – there’s so much great food available on the app so it’s good to hear families are taking advantage of it, using up food that would have otherwise gone to waste and its all absolutely free.”