Sunday, 28 April 2013

Live Below the Line - Day 1

I have completed Day 1 of my Live Below the Line challenge! Yesterday I did my shopping, which was a bit stressful. I went to Asda, and only took the exact money I could spend. TLI has joined me on my adventure so I had £10 to spend, £5 each for 5 days. Supermarkets you don't know are stressful to begin with, I had no idea where anything was and their range of dried pulses was pitiful, I should have stuck with Morrisons... Buying loose vegetables to an exact amount of money is also stressful. I stood by the scales with a calculator and a notepad weighing each carrot, leek and potato one at a time!

I went to the self service till in case I went over my budget and had to put stuff back, it seemed less embarrassing at self service; I did have my sums wrong, but ended up being £1.85 under, so I still have that to spend. I couldn’t face heading back into the aisles so have yet to decide what else to buy.

I unloaded when I got home and surveyed what I had bought. I'm not sure how two of us will live on it for 5 days, it looks pretty impossible at first glance to be honest. Ten pounds just doesn’t seem to go very far, especially when you choose some fresh produce.

My first day didn’t exactly go to plan, as I spent most of it eating nothing at all. I was off to the Farne Islands for a meeting about a very exciting new project I'm getting involved in. It was beautiful to be there, but I couldn’t accept tea or coffee, and when I got back to the mainland later than expected after no breakfast I was pretty hungry. You don’t know how good those fish and chip shops looked... Who would know? But I stayed strong and got in the car...

My first proper meal, late afternoon was Roast Butternut Squash soup with flat breads. I roasted the squash with onion and garlic, then simmered a potato in chicken stock and blitzed. It was fine, not my best ever soup, a little thin, but should be enough for 4 portions. It worked out at 33p for a portion of soup and 3p for both of the flat breads, so 36p in total. Not a bad start...

For supper I had Red Lentil Dal with flat breads which was delicious, spiced, warm and filling. I topped it with fried onions and cumin seeds and a couple of flat breads on the side. It was really tasty, I'll definitely make it again. This worked out at 49p for the dal and again 3p for the flatbreads, so 52p in total.

I'll keep you posted on how I'm getting on the through the week. thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me, I have raised an amazing £395 so far!


  1. Good luck with the rest of the week!

    Such an important, emotive topic, and relates not just to the experience of people in the countries where Oxfam does most of its work, but "over here" too, not least in the light of current benefit cuts. The £1 per day thing seems initially pretty hardcore, but actually people on low incomes have to make these choices. Also, you are, as this blog attests, an excellent cook; imagine doing this with zero or minimal cooking skills. Every week. I'm guessing you saw it, but if not, here is a superb thing to read while your stomach is rumbling!

    1. Thank you, and thank you for your donation! people have been so generous. That's a brilliant article, I hadn't seen it, thanks.

      Anna x


Happy cooking! Let me know if you make any of my recipes, send a picture, and let me know any of your own recipes and tips! Anna x