Month: April 2013

Below The Line Day 2: Why Aren't Our MPs Joining In?

So, it’s the end of day two, of my Live Below The Line challenge. For those just catching up, I, along with 5,000 people in the UK, am living on £5 for five days to raise money for charity. My chosen charity is Oxfam UK, as I am involved with their Enough Food If campaign, tackling four major causes of food poverty in the world. Today’s meals: Breakfast: two slices of white bread, toasted, with lemon curd, 6p. Lunch: 70g white rice with 100g mixed vegetables (frozen broccoli, carrot, cauliflower and peas), and a sauce made with water and lemon curd, 12p. Afternoon snack: 30g corn flakes with 100ml unsweetened soya, 8p Dinner: 1 bean and vegetable burger, 70g rice, 50g mixed veg: 14p Today, my food has cost me forty pence in total. Added to yesterday’s sixty one pence, I have consumed £1.01 of my £5.00 worth of food bought on Sunday. I have left: Bread: 16 slices Lemon curd: 3/4 of a jar? Cornflakes: 420g Unsweetened soya drink: 750ml Plain white rice: 760g Mixed peppers: 150g Chopped tomatoes: 600g Kidney beans: 300g Mixed vegetables (carrot, broccoli, sweetcorn): 750g Spaghetti: 500g 1 onion Broccoli, Courgette, carrot and green beans: 240g Mixed herbs. Observations from the day: Firstly, I am much hungrier than usual, and although this sounds obvious, I didn’t expect it, as I have had four meals,...

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Live below the line, day one summary.

At the end of my first day of this years Live Below The Line challenge, I’ve had three meals and two snacks, which is better than I thought I would do. A seasoned frugal eater, even I have struggled today with my refusal to use my store cupboard ingredients and instead only use the £5 that I spent on Sunday for the challenge. 7am Breakfast: two slices of white bread, toasted, with lemon curd (2 slices white bread with approx 20g lemon curd). 6 pence. 10am snack: lemon curd sandwich (2 slices white bread with approx 20g lemon curd). 6 pence. 1130am snack: 20g dry cornflakes. 2 pence. 1pm lunch: 30g cornflakes with 150ml unsweetened soya drink. 11 pence. 6pm dinner: 100g plain boiled rice, 150g mixed peppers and stir fry veg, 200g chopped tomatoes and 20g lemon curd. 36 pence. TOTAL SPEND: 61 PENCE Total food left for the next four days: Bread: 18 slices Lemon curd: approx 350g Cornflakes: 450g Unsweetened soya drink: 850ml Plain white rice: 900g Mixed peppers: 150g Chopped tomatoes: 600g Kidney beans: 400g Mixed vegetables (carrot, broccoli, sweetcorn): 1kg Spaghetti: 500g 1 onion Broccoli, Courgette, carrot and green beans: 240g Mixed herbs: 13g I attended a meeting tonight about living below the line and addressing poverty in Southend – most of the attendees were already participating in the challenge. I have challenged myself...

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Live below the line, first dinner, 36p

Sort-of sweet and sour veg, 36p This was a stroke of what I like to call genius, when I picked up the mixed peppers and the lemon curd, and wondered whether lemon curd and tomatoes would make a sweet and sour sauce. The short answer – yes! So here’s my answer to a Chinese takeaway, for 36 pence. Ingredients: 150g mixed pepper stir fry, 15p 200g chopped tomatoes, 16p 20g lemon curd, 1p 100g plain white rice, 4p How To: Put the rice on to boil. In the meantime, pop the stir fry vegetables into a saucepan with the tomatoes and lemon curd, and heat through on a low heat, stirring to mix the lemon curd in well. The vegetables should cook through the same time as the rice is ready! Serve together and enjoy. To donate to Live Below The Line, a global poverty project, click here: If you are taking part in this years Live Below The Line challenge and want to share your experience, get in touch at Jack Monroe. Twitter:...

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£205 raised so far for Oxfam UK – thankyou!

Sitting at my desk with a tired head, although the carb-slump is probably not helped by an extraordinarily busy weekend, I thought I would check my Living Below The Line fundraising page for some inspiration and a reminder as to why I’m taking part in the challenge. So far, by Monday lunchtime and just as I polish off my bowl of cornflakes with a splash of unsweetened soya milk alternative, £205 has been donated to my Live Below The Line page for my chosen charity, Oxfam UK. Thankyou to everyone who has donated so far, to help combat poverty...

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Live below the line, day one, mid morning snacks.

Well, it’s only half eleven and I’m already glad I had the foresight to pack some snacks for the day. After breakfast of lemon curd on toast this morning, with a glass of water, I packed two separate 20g portions of corn flakes to graze on, and a lemon curd sandwich. Normally a big protein eater, and off the back of an extraordinarily busy weekend, I find myself struggling to concentrate at my desk. The cornflake portions cost just over 1p each, and the lemon curd sandwich was 6 pence. In total, my food consumption so far has cost 13 pence for the day – but I only have dry cornflakes left until I get home for dinner. I’m craving something fresh, something unprocessed, something that isn’t a starchy carbohydrate. I’m craving one of my own carrot, kidney bean and cumin burgers, with fresh vegetables and soft, warm rice. Knocking a couple of quid off my usual food shop has made an enormous difference to what I have available to eat this week, and although I have planned in snacks and grazes through the day, well, you try nibbling on a fistful of dry cornflakes while you’re trying to work! Not being able to fall back on my herbs and spices or plan a month in advance – this was the challenge I set myself as part of Live...

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