Saturday, 2 May 2015

The day after the week before

So we made it. We lived for £1 each a day for 5 days. James has said he found it much easier this year because he didn't have a caffeine headache all week. We did have some food left over, which will not go to waste.

700g flour - 21p
approx 40 tea bags - 17p
4 packs of crisps - 22p
1 portion of pancake batter - 8p
2 Custard creams - 2p
3 slices of bread - 9p
1/3 of the squash - 14p
1/3 jar of jam - 10p
1 banana (which I missed off the picture) - 10p
2 small portions of special fried rice - 36p

So we had £1.49 worth of food left. That might sounds impressive, but Joey had school dinners this week (I gave him the option of doing LBTL for his lunch, and initially he said he would because that's what poor people would do, but as school dinners in this country are free for KS1 pupils I told him even poor people would get a free lunch in his class, so he said he would keep having school dinners. He is only 5) so, most of this food would have been in Monkeys lunch, and we would have had the fried rice earlier in the week and had the leftovers for lunch one day, freeing up some bread for monkeys jam sandwiches!

So what did we eat the day after living below the line?
Well we didn't splurge and go mad. We had cereal and toast for breakfast (my toast was dripping in butter though, the one thing I've really missed all week!), then we did go to McDonalds for lunch, but that was because Monkey won Star of the Week at school, and I've been promising him a treat when that happened. Dinner was steak and chips, the steak was from the reduced section in Asda though ;)

Living Below the Line does have an effect on the way you shop. When I went to Aldi to do my normal shop I did keep thinking "we couldn't afford this last week", but was struck by how fortunate we are that, although I am careful and watch what we spend, I never have to keep tally as I go round to make sure I can afford what's in the trolley like last week, unlike many.

If you've been inspired by our week Living Below the Line perhaps you could do it next year? Could you go without a coffee or snack this week and donate the money to help those in poverty? We'll be donating the money we saved from our usual shopping, but more than that we've come away from this week with a renewed sense of compassion for those living in poverty, wherever they are in the world.
Donations can be made through the website below.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Live Below the Line 2015 - Day 5!

So as I write this I've just eaten my last bit of food for the day and will shortly be off to bed, and will wake up to many more options and choice in the food department. Today has been a great food day (we tend to keep the best until last in case morale is low!). Monkey started the day with Cocoa rice. He's been getting involved this week and helping weigh out the cereal and milk, which is not only important in keeping tabs on the price per day, but also so we didn't run out of things that we were having every day. Here's a picture of him weighing it out! (I'm teaching him some good maths skills too!)

For me, breakfast was a sausage and egg sandwich. Ideally this would have had butter and a dash of brown sauce, but it still tasted lovely!

Today was the day of the value sausages, here are 9 saver sausages, sizzling in a pan. Me and James had 2 each in our sandwich, and the other 5 were to be chopped into our special fried rice for tea.

Lunch was soup as usual, which I've enjoyed each day, but I think James was pretty bored with it, so didn't have his today.

For tea, as I've mentioned we had special fried rice. This has to be one of my favourite low cost meals, which we do actually have quite regularly even when not living below the line, but with left over chicken.

Special Fried Rice - Serves 4 - 25p a portion
500g rice - cooked and cooled
1 chopped onion
2 mushrooms
2 stock cubes (ours were beef, but any will do)
1 tsp curry powder
250g frozen vegetables
5 cooked sausages, sliced.
2 eggs, whisked

1. Use 1 tsp oil (or I used the sausage fat) and fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, then add the chopped mushroom and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
2. Add the frozen veg and the stock cubes and cook for 4 minutes until everything is warm and sizzling.
3. Push to the side of the pan to make room to cook the eggs in the centre, whisking to make like scrambled eggs.
4. Add the rice and mix all the other ingredients together.
5. Sprinkle the curry powder over the rice mix and then season with salt and pepper.
6. Leave the rice to almost catch on the pan to give it a lovely crunchy texture.
7. When it's almost done add the sausages to warm through.
8. Serve!

So the total for today...drum roll...

Breakfast - Sausage and egg sandwich - 30p
Lunch - Soup and 2 slices toast - 16p
Tea - Fried Rice - 25p
Snacks - 3 custard creams, pack of crisps and banana - 18p

Total - 89p

James and Joey had pancakes for pudding, and I had enough money in my £1 to have them, but I was so full from the fried rice I didn't have any.

I'm going to post again tomorrow with what we had left at the end of the week, and any final thoughts, but for today I'll say good night!