LBTL Day 1

My first Below the Line breakfast was 2 slices of toast and margarine, and a drink of water – total cost about 7.5p. This is what I’m planning to have every morning.

Not that different to what I normally have at work, except maybe thinner slices of bread and the margarine wasn’t Flora (but worst of all – no coffee!!!). Except … I had breakfast about an hour and a half earlier than normal, which meant that my stomach was rumbling by about 10:30. Maybe I should try bringing it to work with me and eating it later, or would it be all cold and chewy by then?

But I remembered to pack my soup for lunch, and heated it up in a microwave in the staff restaurant. It actually wasn’t too bad, and the garlic croutons definitely gave it a bit of a lift – just as well it was okay as I’ll be having it twice more this week.

The Costa promotional materials on the table really didn’t bother me, and nor did the sight of all the food being served up and eaten in the restaurant. I wonder if this will still be the case later in the week?

Here’s what was in my lunch (3 portions):

Lentil & Vegetable Soup

100g red lentils

50g rice

200ml passata

1 onion

10g margarine

300g frozen mixed vegetables

Mixed herbs, salt, pepper, 1 tsp Marmite and a pinch of chilli powder.

Croutons

3 slices bread

30g margarine

Large clove of garlic

Mixed herbs

Total cost per portion – 28.5p

I started cooking almost as soon as I got in from work – I guess I was a bit hungry! Tonight’s meal was something I often make anyway, it turned out quite well using the Tesco value rice, beans and peppers.

Veggie chilli and rice

Ingredients for 4 portions:

300g long grain rice

15g margarine

2 medium onions

300ml passata

1 400g tin red kidney beans

2 large cloves garlic

130g mushrooms

1 red pepper

2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander and 0.5 tsp chilli powder.

Total cost per portion about 40p – will have to check tomorrow as my clever planning and pricing spreadsheet is on my laptop at work!

Today has gone pretty well although I really missed my proper coffee on the way to work and numerous vending machine coffees during the day. And I do seem to have been thinking about food rather a lot!

I don’t feel hungry right now but if I do I will have to try to ignore it and resort to knitting, reading or an early night!

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

Advertisements

Planning ahead

One thing I am realising with this challenge is the need to plan ahead. We are often fairly good at planning evening meals, but I usually have both breakfast and lunch in the staff restaurant when I’m at work.

So, this afternoon I have made a panful of soup which should last me for three lunches.

I have also made some herb and garlic croutons to go with it as I think the ‘value’ bread I have bought will be a bit nasty au naturel.

Now I just need to remember (a) to get up in time to have breakfast at home and (b) to take my soup and croutons to work with me tomorrow!

Right, off to start cooking tonight’s meal of baked potatoes in a spinach and cheese sauce, with a glass or two of wine – there might be pudding to follow too – and then I’ll bid farewell to cheese, potatoes and all things alcoholic or sweet for the next 5 days ….

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

LBTL Shopping done!

I’ve spent a bit of time this week researching prices online and coming up with a menu plan, so this morning I went off with my list to the local greengrocer and Tesco’s to complete the shopping for next week.

My plan is to have fairly healthy and tasty food as far as I can – and for once it may be an advantage being a ‘petite’ female as I don’t need as many calories each day as a 6-foot man!

So, this is what I can use next week for 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 10 evening meals (including 5 meals for my OH which is why I have allowed an additional 50p per day):

Image

I’ve spent £7.28 which leaves me with 22p to account for the costs of the seasonings and spices I will be using from my existing supplies.

Here’s the breakdown:

Long grain rice (1kg)* – 0.40

Spaghetti (500g)* – 0.24

Wholemeal bread (1 loaf)* – 0.47

Passata (2 x 500g)  – 0.58

Red lentils (500g) – 0.83

Kidney beans (400g tin)* – 0.18

Frozen mixed vegetables (1 kg)* – 0.75

Onions (875g) – 0.67

Peppers (500g)* – 1.07

Mushrooms (250g) – 0.75

Garlic (1 head) – 0.25

Lemon – 0.29

Willow margarine (250g) – 0.80

* Tesco value items

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

Not started yet …

It’s Day 2 of the “official” Live Below the Line week today, so just in case you were wondering how I’m getting on – I haven’t started yet, I will be doing it a week late!

But I can see that over £200,000 has already been raised in the UK for various charities which is brilliant news, plus more in Australia and the US with New Zealand doing it later in the year.

If you’ve sponsored me already, thank you so much! If you would like to sponsor me or find out more about the challenge, see the links below.

I will update again at the weekend when I’ve been shopping!

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

Preparing to line up

While I’ve been away on holiday, more donations have crept in and I’ve now more than met my initial target of £150. Thank you so much to everyone. And I have yet to start pestering family and friends who are not on Facebook!

Unfortunately I came back from my leave with a nasty flu-like bug, but while convalescing this weekend I’ve been reading blogs by various people who did the challenge last year or extra early this year for a bit of inspiration. They’ve made fascinating reading – such a variety of shopping lists, cooking skills and menus – but everyone has mentioned how much the challenge has helped them appreciate in just a small way what it must be like to live this way every day, with all the careful budgetting, planning and decision making, but without the luxury of it all being over by Friday night.

I’ve started thinking about my menu and bought a few initial staples when we went to the supermarket the other day. I’ll post details of my complete set of ingredients nearer the time!

NB My partner is not doing the challenge itself, but will be sharing the evening meals with me. On that basis I am intending to allow myself a total shopping budget of £7.50 to include an additional 50p per day for each extra meal. I will still cost out what I eat each day to make sure I don’t go over the £1 allowance!

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

Wow!

I only starting telling people what I was up to yesterday, and I am already 90% of the way to meeting my fundraising  target of £150. Thank you for your generosity, it will definitely help me get through those 5 days!

By the way, if you donate on-line here, then please be aware that yesterday it was taking up to 6 hours for donations to be acknowledged and shown on my page, so don’t worry if you don’t get a response straight away.

If you’d like to sponsor me without getting involved with PayPal, then I have paper forms which you can fill in, or I can complete on your behalf if you let me know your details in a comment (which I will make sure doesn’t get published of course!).

The challenge?

Spend 5 days feeding yourself with £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The details?

Sponsor me here, or sign up to do it yourself at: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk

Preparing to draw the line

I’ve started this blog initially to record my plans for and progress on the Live Below the Line challenge, which I will be starting in a few weeks time. I aim to post details including photos of my shopping, what I eat each day, and what it cost.

The challenge? 

To spend 5 days feeding myself on £1 a day – the UK equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The reason?

To give me a glimpse into the lives of 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make £1 cover a lot more than food…

The rules?

  • I have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for my meals.
  • The full cost of all the items I consume must be included in my budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, I need to simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget my shopping proportionally. Separate my items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in my cupboards.
  • I can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow me to pool together funds and do more with my cooking. (Anyone local to me want to join my team?)
  • I can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless I include the cost of buying the item new in my budget.
  • I can use food sourced from my garden as long as I can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – I shouldn’t at any point deprive myself of three meals a day.
  • I cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards my fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!

The details

I’m planning to start my challenge a week later than the main week due to other commitments – so I’ll be doing it from Monday May 14th to Friday May 18th.

If you’d like to sponsor me and raise much needed funds for the Global Poverty Group you can do so here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/jenb

Don’t worry if your donation doesn’t appear straight away, from recent experience it can take a number of hours …

And don’t forget to come back here and check my progress!

Thank you

Jen