In the office we’ve been talking about World Hunger Day, on 28th May, and when I heard about the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge I thought it sounded easy so agreed to take it on.  The Hunger Project are asking the public to eat and drink on £1 per day for 5 days, just as one in nine people already do.  I saw on the news last night that the number of people living in hunger has fallen to a 25 year low of 800 million.  However, the main focus is always on large high profile disasters but anyone can have a shortage of food due to a low income or other reasons.  You can read more on their website…

My first thoughts were

“Can I eat the free fruit we get at work?”  That’s probably a ‘no’.  Followed by “what about work’s supply of tea and coffee?”  ‘No’ too.

I remembered my student days and thought about how I’d shop the soon out of date section in the supermarket.  Would I be able to afford meat that way?  No.  So it looks as though I’ll be going veggie and relying on eggs and cheese for protein.

At least I can use the herbs in my garden; I have mint, thyme, rosemary and chives.  Hurrah for something to flavour with!  I’ve taken a photo of my garden in case my colleagues think I’m lying about the herbs!


When I saw the suggested shopping list and meal plans I was worried –only 3 meals a day?  I’m not going to last on that (says the woman who has 2 breakfasts, snacks and dessert after dinner)!  But I suppose that’s the point of it –to feed yourself as well as you can on £1.  So here’s my shopping list for the next 5 days…










Porridge oats


150g Rice


400g Tinned Toms


500g Onions


250g Potatoes


300g Sweet Potato


1 Tin Kidney Beans


2 Carrots


6 Eggs


Loaf of bread






Baked Beans






I calculated that this would allow me porridge AND toast in the morning (so I still get two breakfasts), then four different meals for lunch and dinner over the 5 days:

Sweet potato and kidney bean stew with rice

Scrambled eggs on toast

Jacket potato with baked beans

Pasta with tomato sauce

And one pack of prawn flavoured noodles for emergencies!


The easiest part for me is drinking…I rarely drink anything but water (except the odd vodka on a night out).  I only have one cup of tea a day so won’t miss that too much, and first thing in the morning and last thing at night I drink a mug of hot water.  It gets your stomach and digestion going.  I’ll add a bit of mint when I need some flavour.


I’m a sugar fiend so what I would miss most is the snacks and sugar on porridge or honey/jam on toast.  Luckily I found some ginger nut biscuits for 25p, not my favourite but I went with the cheapest pack.  I can have 6 a day so I reckon I’ll be sick of them by the end of it…again another point of the exercise; I’m sure people living below the bread line don’t have much choice and variety in their food so I would learn how that feels.  Then I felt guilty for thinking ‘at least I can eat whatever I want in 5 days’ time.’  Not many people have that luxury!


See tomorrow’s blog for how I get on with my first day…

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