Logical Progress Advancing a Little Bit Every Day

30Apr/130

Living Below The Line

In case you haven't heard, this week is international "live below the poverty line" week. The challenge basically involves living on less than £1.00 or $1.50 per day for five days. I learned about it on a few financial blogs that I follow (My Money Blog), and the authors are taking the challenge in addition to donating to the actual cause.

It piqued my curiosity because I have been trying to find ways to eat healthier without breaking the budget. It turns out that it's not that difficult to find healthy food cheap, but it's still a challenge to do it on less than £1 per day.

However, to preface this, I've already failed at the challenge since I bought a coffee and tea already this morning, £4. But yesterday I was successful at eating less than £1 of food, mainly because I worked from home and didn't go to the coffee shop.

First of all, most of the ingredients here were things that I already had in my kitchen: pasta, lentils, various spices, etc. The quantities used for each meal was easily less than £1, but it would cost more than £5 (the maximum allowable amount for the week) to stock up on these, but they would surely last more than a week for a single person.

Monday April 29
Breakfast:

  • 2 cups Kenco smooth
  • 2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast

Lunch and dinner (the meal below makes about 4-5 servings for me)

  • 100g spaghetti
  • 1 jar Tesco pasta sauce
  • 100g lentils (in lieu of mince beef)
  • Bread and butter to soak up excess sauce

Using conservative serving size estimates, this all equates to about £1 for a days worth of servings. The coffee was on sale this weekend, the pasta and lentils are cheap as chips, and the eggs are probably the dearest thing on the menu. I do have to clarify though, this was only really possible because I was working from home yesterday, and I didn't go out for lunch. I hate packing a lunch for work, I suppose I'm a bit lazy in the morning, but I also crave variety and the chance to get out of the office for an hour. I didn't pack a lunch today which basically means I'm going to fail at this challenge (I already have with my latte purchase this morning).

Nonetheless, it's still a good challenge, and perhaps I may have failed today but that doesn't mean tomorrow has to be the same. I have the ability to make a cheap and healthy meal from scratch, as well as the patience to follow through with it, but not today my friends. Do I feel bad? No. Instead I'm somewhat celebrating my good fortune; the fact that I have the disposable income to buy barista coffee every day and go out to lunch is something I feel thankful for. However, I am still keenly aware of the struggles that billions of people deal with every day just to get food.

You can learn more about this cause and make donations to the official charity here:
Live Below The Line UK

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