Live Below the Line – my week on £1 a day

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve just completed my Live Below the Line week.  It’s been tricky, but not entirely for the reasons I expected!  Yes, the food’s not that exciting, and I’ve been looking forward to the next meal just as something to fill me up, rather than as a culinary experience, but more difficult has been the sheer organisation required…  For anyone who’s curious, or participants who want a few hints as to what not to do, here is my week in food:

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Shopping for Live Below the Line

Shopping done.  I zoomed in to Tesco this evening, expecting there to be loads of bargains… How wrong I was!  During my planning earlier in the week I’d spotted a pack of nice sausages reduced to 30p, but passed them by- preferring to go home and plan it all out first.  Oh well, I got sausages, but full price and not so nice!

The total is as follows:
59p value sausages
31p canned plum tomatoes
31p canned sliced tomatoes
30p baked beans
24p 500g spaghetti
75p mixed frozen veg
33p 4 pack value yogurts
10p onion
52p reduced lump of cheddar
99p 6 value apples
47p loaf of wholemeal bread
8p measured out 50ml sunflower oil
4p of salt and herbs

Total: £5

It looks pretty good from here, and I think my plan to ditch the 1kg bag of rice in favour of affording cheese will turn out for the best!  I’m just worried I’ll run out of flavoursome things midweek and end up eating toast sandwiches all Friday…

Live Below the What?  Click here to find out what’s fuelling this insanity:

Live Below the Line 2012

With less than a week to go, it’s time to hide my remaining Easter eggs, get used to chewing through bread without butter, and start planning for Live Below the Line 2012: a worldwide challenge aiming to raise awareness and funding for poverty charities.  £1 a day is considered to be the poverty line- anyone surviving on less is classed as living in extreme poverty, so the Live Below the Line challenge is to spend just £1 a day on food for 5 days; 15 meals for £5.

I’ve set up a sponsorship page HERE raising money for Health Poverty Action, but most of my sponsorship has been done on paper forms, so I’ll upload it all to the site at the end of the challenge. I’m also donating the money saved for the week, that is: the total I would normally have spent on food, minus the £5 I actually spend. There are a few generalisations (I take a packed lunch some days rather than grab a meal deal), but from my estimates so far the difference is quite horrifying, and it’s really got me thinking about how much I spend!

A 5 day estimate

(the equivalent of) 5 bagels: £1.45
Large carton of orange juice: £1.75


3 x Costa coffee (£2.49 each): £7.47
1 x a sneaky cake: £1.60
1 x Crisps: 60p

(the equivalent of) 4 x Boots meal deal (3.49 each): £13.96
1 x veggie takeaway: £6.00


5 x Various (working out at about £2 each): £10
Bottle of wine for Game of Thrones Mondays: £6.99


Minus that £5, and I’m donating £44.82 to the cause, and that’s before the actual sponsorship money! I’m going to be doing some serious everyday budgeting after this challenge is over…