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 Below The Line, as commentators criticised me on the BBC website for daring to have built up a collection of herbs and spices and ambient goods over the past year of frugal eating – so I’m right back to basics. See my earlier post for my total food for the five days, at a cost of exactly £5.00.

The last time I checked, my Live Below The Line page had raised £165 for Oxfam UK, who with the Enough Food If campaign are working to tackle food poverty in the UK and abroad.

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Nutrition calculations so far (for my height and weight and activity levels, not a general guideline):

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To donate to Live Below The Line, a global poverty project, click here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/agirlcalledjack

If you are taking part in this years Live Below The Line challenge and want to share your experience, get in touch at jackmonroe@live.co.uk

Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

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13 Comments »

  1. I thought you might be interested in this cheap, easy, sweet, healthy snack option – I have nick named them ‘Banoaties’. http://kisto.co.uk/cooking/the-bare-minimum-healthier-cookies/ (I’ve added chocolate chips & dried cranberries to these but they taste just as great without).

    As it uses over ripe bananas I visit my local greengrocers who sell off the bananas that are ‘past it’ for a few pence each. I think I bought four for 16p! Oats are also very cheap.

  2. If I were trying to live here on five pounds for five days, that would be $7.76, which would buy me if I shopped for 30 days spending $46.56:

    6 value loaves of bread/or discounted (bought daily) loaves: $6
    Margarine/butter spread: $1.50
    Pot jam: $2 ( grape jelly is the cheapest/largest but I don’t like it so would probably buy less in Strawberry jam )
    10 bananas: $2.50 ( less if bought daily over-ripe )
    lb rice 70 cents
    lb lentils 70 cents
    can tomatoes 60 cents
    baked beans ( Campbells ‘pork and beans’ ) 3 for $1
    box tea bags $1 is cheapest for 20
    three cans evaporated milk $2.50
    raisins $1
    500g frozen green peas $1
    avocado 50 cents
    500g salad $1
    iceburg lettuce $1
    oatmeal ( enough for 10 servings ) $1.50
    grapefruit 50 cents
    discounted meat $4
    l2 emon @ 25 cents
    onion 50 cents
    bollilo roll local supermarket 25 cents
    roma tomato 50 cents
    half pound cheese( supermarket brand ) $2
    store brand yoghurt 40 cents X 5 $2
    fish sticks $1.25
    frozen spinach 75 cents
    bulb garlic 50 cents
    small piece fresh ginger 50 cents
    dozen eggs $1.25
    green pepper 75 cents
    5lb potatoes $3
    1 lb flour $2
    apple 40 cents
    lime 25 cents
    canned green beans 60 cents
    ketchup $1
    $46.50

    That would assume I have quite a working knowledge of home economics…recipes…how to juggle one ingredient for another depending what’s on offer- plus I already have a source of sugar/honey/spices/herbs in my cupboard to help make these dishes optimal. And that my electricity hasn’t been cut off!

    And for a family budget- no diapers/nappies, sanitary protection, laundry or dishwashing soap, bleach or cleaning products, toilet paper?

    Where I live the tap water is undrinkable taste-wise…needs filters for the jug or bottled water.

    And anyone in poverty should buy a multi-vitamin…

    It’s not practically do-able for a lot of people.

    The basics cost a lot more than we think.
    .

  3. If you cook rice and frozen mixed veg together with half a teaspoon of lemon curd dissolved in the cooking water, you end up with quite a tasty rice salad to pack for lunches. Still lemony, but at least a change from cornflakes and sandwiches,

    Good luck

    • I meant to also say that since cornflakes are made of finely ground corn, it would be like a finely ground polenta depending on the amount of water used to cook it. And having not tried this, I don’t know if it would be better to heat the water and then add the cornflakes and let it sit a bit, or to microwave it mixed.

      Sharon

  4. People used to eat bread and warm milk/water, called it ‘pobs’, I don’t remember eating it but we did make semolina, in a saucepan with water and dried milk powder, takes abot ten minutes stirring constantly, then we ate it with a dollop of jam ( or lemon curd ) It’s cheapest to buy here in the Indian markets as farina.

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