Live below the line - £5 for 5 days

April 27, 2015

Earlier this month I was sent an email titled 'worldwide, 1.2 billion people live on less than £1 a day. Could you?'

From 27th April - 1st May I will be living ‪#‎belowtheline to raise vital funds and awareness to end extreme poverty. The challenge is simple: spend no more than £1 per day for your food and drink for 5 days and use your experience to change perspectives and behaviours.

1.2 billion people live on less that £1 a day, not just for food and drink but everything - education, health, housing, travel - the works. The campaign doesn't aim to replicate this, but by choosing to eat and drink on such a small budget it gives us a small taste of the hardships those living below the line ensure every day.

A few rules:
  • The full costs of items must be included in your budget - so full bags of pasta, not just what the portion is worth.
  • Kind friends - also affectionately known as feeders - cannot donate food to you.
  • You may use items you already have, however you must factor the full price of these items into your budget.
  • If you are planning to eat food from your allotment/garden you must work out the production costs and adjust your budget.
  • Thankfully tap water is free.
On Sunday my sister took me shopping to Lidl as it is advised that you should plan in advance and spend your £5 all in one go. I was under the illusion that I'd be able to do the challenge rather healthily by buying lentils, canned vegetables and frozen meat. In reality, £1 really doesn’t go very far. Most things in the supermarket are priced at 99p, which is a whole days worth of food. Cereal and milk was off the menu, as was tea and coffee.

I found myself limited to just two aisles containing canned food and dry goods. Abandoning my healthy approach, I decided to pack my diet with as many carbs as possible to keep my energy up – rice, pasta and tinned potatoes will be my staple this week.

After buying my goods I realised this really wasn’t a sustainable way of eating – the food in my shopping bag was mainly long-life and processed containing high levels of salt and fat. For a few days eating like this would seem novel, however what option do families have when shopping on a really tight budget?

I’ll be blogging at the end of each day with details of my meals and info regarding any struggles I’ve faced. At the end of the week I’ll be posting a link in hope that my friends and family will all donate £1 to live below the line.

Wish me luck! 

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