Live Below The Line: Day 5

The final day of Live Below The Line is here. I must admit I’ve gone a bit crazy today, eating more than I have the rest of the week as I know what’s left so please don’t judge me when you read what I’ve eaten! I even managed the three course dinner this evening, half a tin of vegetable soup with pitta and then surprisingly good pasta with sauce and onion then chocolate biscuits.


One thing I am sick of the sight of is Basics ready salted crisps. I don’t really eat crisps normally and at first it was quite a treat but although they have been a useful snack, I should have bought something healthier and nicer – maybe some tinned fruit or something. I still had four packs left, so far have managed to give away two. Another thing I won’t miss is the lack of fruit, veg and pulses. It has made me think about how much I overeat though and also that I really need to cycle more.

Of course these are all things I can choose and again it reminds me about one of the aims of the challenge – to raise awareness about extreme poverty. I have had a glimpse that energy levels will suffer as a result of a diet without much fruit, veg and protein but I can choose to eat more healthily from tomorrow. If I actually lived in extreme poverty I wouldn’t be able to.

Also I only had a £1 a day budget for certain areas of my life whereas many people have that for everything. They also wouldn’t have the option of blowing any money left from that £1 a day at the end of the week as they would need to save it for the next.

Another thing that has been bothering me is how cheap the food can be in the supermarket. Is it really possible to make, package and sell for that? I know there is less packaging in value ranges and less of a mark up but I feel that people here and abroad, like farmers, small shopkeepers and people helping to manufacture what we buy must be loosing out.

Course 2

There is no ‘value’ option in many places. One of the only reasons we have the option of such cheap food is because massive corporations exploit the labour of vulnerable people across the globe as well as here in the UK. In a system where profit is king and economics is increasingly international and interdependent, multinationals, which can produce cheap and luxury goods for the wealthy have the biggest power.

I am glad my fundraising target has been hit and thank you so much to everyone who has sponsored me so far, it’s really generous and your money will be going to help some amazing projects all over the world run by local people and benefiting their communities. If you want to find out more about the kind of projects Christian Aid funds there’s a great Poverty Over section on the Guardian website here, including some inspiring short films.

I’m off to Brighton tomorrow with a couple of friends and would like nothing more than to spend the whole day eating vegetables, which would please my mother. I also fancy a massive drink, which might not.


Total Spent: 0p

Total money left at the end of the week: 7p

Food Eaten:

Breakfast – two remaining crumpets

Mid morning snack – chocolate biscuit

Lunch – one pitta with coleslaw, instant noodles, chocolate biscuit

Mid afternoon snack – chocolate biscuit

Waiting for dinner snack – toasted pitta

Dinner –  half tin of soup and pitta, pasta with sauce and onion, chocolate biscuit

If you have any spare cash you can sponsor me here 

Or if anyone fancies taking on the Live Below The Line challenge you can do it anytime, just check out the website here.

Live Below The Line: Day 4

With one day left to go I decided to blow the rest of my budget when I got back to London. As a vegetarian, I eat a lot of pulses but I realised last night that I haven’t been eating them this week and am really missing them. Pulses are such a good source of energy so I invested in a good ol’ tin of baked beans.


I’d worked out how much food I had left for the next two days and as well as being able to splash out on beans I discovered that cheapo pasta sauce actually costs less than tinned tomatoes in my local supermarket, and it serves four, and it has herbs in it. Apparently it tastes horrible but it has herbs, how can it be worse than plain tinned tomatoes? This, along with two onions, and the rest of the uncooked pasta, means I can cook up a three course meal for my friend who is staying tomorrow night. I had told her she would have to bring her own dinner but now we have a right feast to look forward to.

In other good news, maybe too much information, but the saddle sore I experienced yesterday morning has nearly disappeared after a day and a half off the bike. It was safe and sound when I arrived back at work this evening but I did loose my bike lock keys twice today and had visions of either trying to break the lock and being accused of stealing my own bike, having to break the rules again and getting the bus home, or walking four miles back, not the option I would have chosen but it would have been my own choice if I actually lived in extreme poverty. If I actually lived in extreme poverty I would be lucky to have a bike in the first place, even if it is nearly as old as I am.


Pasta sauce – 18p

Baked Beans – 28p

Two Onions – 21p

Total Spent: 67p

Food Eaten

Breakfast – crumpet and apple

Lunch – The rest of the leftover pasta and more coleslaw

Mid afternoon snack – crisps

Dinner – Beans on toasted pitta bread and two chocolate biscuits

I’ve found out that the musical experience that is Marc Nicholas have a song dedicated to the Sainsbury’s Basics range – it is my theme for the week and you can find it here.

If you have some spare cash and want to sponsor me, you can visit my fundraising page here.