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Live Below the Line - again!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

We lived below the line last week as a family. It was tough, but apparently not tough enough.  We raised £100 for Save the Children UK, thanks so much to those who generously donated.  This week I'm doing it again!

I said at the time it was much easier to do it as a family spending £30 on food over 5 days than a single person spending £5 on food.  After the comment "Why don't you do it on your own then?! Doing it as a family is WAY too easy!" along with similar comments by several other people, I've decided to take up the challenge and complete another 5 days of Live Below the Line.  This time I'm doing it solo.  I've never been one to refuse a challenge, I'm really stubborn in that way.

Serving up our usual fare to the family whilst living on rations myself is going to be a challenge, but a challenge that is well worth it to raise money for those much less fortunate than us and who don't have the choices we do. 

Here are my supplies for the 5 days:

1x   ASDA Smartprice Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (410g)        24p
1x   ASDA Chosen by You Vegetable Stock Cubes (12x10g)         75p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice Mixed Vegetables (1Kg)                             77p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice UHT Skimmed Milk (1L)                             49p
1x   ASDA Free Range Medium British Eggs (6)                            85p                    
1x   ASDA Plain Flour (500g)                                                        40p
1x   ASDA Good and  Balanced Pearl Barley (500g)                      64p
 1x   ASDA Smartprice Apples (500g)                                            79p

TOTAL £4.93

I will be doing without coffee. This means it is going to be a very tough 5 days.  I'm not bothered about not having sugar, chocolate or other goodies. Coffee is what fuels me, perks me up and brings me joy.  I love a good quality coffee and I am addicted to caffeine, withdrawal will be unpleasant.  I'll also undoubtedly miss fruit and salads and wholemeal seeded bread too.

 What do I plan to make?

Scrambled eggs using an egg each day and some milk to bulk it out
Flatbreads made with 200g flour and 100ml water/milk

Vegetable and Pearl Barley Soup using 200g pearl barley, 300g vegetables and stock cubes
"Hummus" using drained baked beans, 200g vegetables and stock cube
Crackers made with 150g flour and 100ml water/milk

Apple Pancakes using 150g of the flour, an egg and some milk.
An apple on 3 of the days

Pearl Barley Risotto using 300g pearl barley, 500g vegetables and stock cubes

I will make a cuppa soup with stock cube and water if I need a tasty cuppa, otherwise I'll be drinking tap water.


  1. I think it's amazing that you are doing it again next week. I will struggle to convince myself to do it in a years time let alone next week. I admire you determination and I know you will do it. As far as easier or not easier?!? I think both are challenges in very different ways. I watch with interest and good luck doing it without coffee I found that a challenge. Clare xx

  2. What people on here commented like that? Love to see what they did. Brave woman. X

  3. Either way (with family or solo) it is not easy, I just posted what I thought to be recipe on a budget and when I counted all the ingredients it turned out that I used £4.50 on one dinner alone...

  4. Huge admiration for you!

  5. Wow Michelle you are amazing!

  6. I bet the comments about it being way too easy to do as a family were from people who've never done it either way! Whilst it's easier to buy/ cook in larger volumes than for one person, you presumably have the added complication of more tastes to cater for, though I'm sure the point is that when you are living below the poverty line you simply don't get the luxury of catering to tastes. Still, I'm full of respect for your efforts, both as a family and on your own.

  7. When you think of it, should be easier solo, not the opposite. As Kavey said, it should be easier when you don't have to please tastes of family members, especially kids that will not always want to eat particular foods or give up goodies such as pink milk or chocolate spread... Good luck!!

  8. I agree with the above - you also don't have the stress of handling everyone else's stress due to hunger pangs. The burden of feeding a family on a budget is very difficult indeed. Especially when children are involved. I know, I have done it myself! I admire your reaction to such comments and wish you the best of luck this week. I think the way you use your ingredients are ingenious. Honestly, it is the best use of £5 I have seen during this year's challenge.

  9. I hope your week goes well, I did contemplate doing this myself but really was not brave enough so well done you! x #MealPlanningMonday

  10. Really amazing, Michelle. Have pinned this for others to learn from.


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