Below the Line – Day 5


My final day, living below the line; I’ll be completely honest this is where my attempts at counting the pennies went awry. I started with a 5p breakfast of porridge; straightforward enough. Then decided I should make soup with everything in the fridge. I made three batches. Cauliflower and cheese, using the rest of my 60p roadside cauli, two stale tortilla wraps, leftover Shropshire blue, fabulous Brie from Yoxford Post Office , creme fraiche and Parmesan. All the cheese grazing I would normally do in a week added to one pot of souper tasty, souper high fat soup! A batch of mushroom using all the mushrooms left from my £1.50 Morrison’s, plus any others lurking, some of the 40p/kg rice and milk (lots spare because I’ve only had three cups of tea). Then a big batch of leek and potato using £1 a bag baking potatoes and Morrison’s leeks. I had a bowl for lunch which I reckon came to 25p or thereabouts. In the evening I went to a family party – nibbled some nibbles (hopefully not too many) and drank water, how to be a party bore.

What a lesson –
1) How much food was in that fridge; at the start of the process I bought way more than I needed. I should be able to live on £1 a day for a month with what I have left. As I lost 3lbs over the week it could be just the diet I need.
2) To buy cheaply I bought in bulk and from a big supermarket. I’m fortunate, I could. I still tried to avoid pal oil but local/organic/fairtrade did not feature. What if I’d gone out on Sunday with a £5 note and had to buy and live off what I bought?
3) The costs of really budgeting for one, if it’s people living alone or people catering for one in a shared house are very much skewed. Not surprising then that in the UK we are seeing an increase in the use of food banks
4) People are kind, so many offers of tea and cake (because surely that’s allowed – I refused) and everything tastes better with chilli!
5) That all of this, in the warmth and comfort of my position is as nothing compared to the situation of billions of people in other countries.

Huge thanks to all those who have donated to UNICEF and who have read the blogs.


Posted on May 12, 2012, in food and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I so agree about things being more difficult for single people. Even we two don’t have very big appettites and I get so annoyed with the BOGOF when I know we won’t be able to get through the 2 of whatever it is. Why can’t supermarkets just do half price offers and then everybody could join in

  2. I agree. However hard I try to avoid wasting anything (I freeze stuff a lot), it’s still difficult to find some things in small enough quantities to justify buying them.

    Well done Vivia, for sticking with it.

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