£5 for 7 days challenge – Day 3

Day Three.

I was sent home from work this afternoon with a migraine.

Well-meaning friends have suggested that I quit the challenge to look after myself, but I’m not a quitter. I get migraines every now and again, usually stress related, but I’m going to be okay. I went home, lay down in the dark for the afternoon, drank lots of water, and although there is still a lingering hint of a headache and mild eye strain on one side, I’m doing okay.

Anyway – food for today…

Breakfast: lightly burnt meal toast with a generous lashing of lemon curd, 7p.


Lunch: rice salad with veg and lemon curd, yoghurt and a peach, 27p.


Dinner: sausage surprise pot, with vegetable rice, 22p.

Thoughts.. Well, vegetable rice twice in one day was thoroughly uninspiring, but I have taken the liberty of planning the next four days to make sure that doesn’t happen again! But that’s the thing about having so little money for food – what you do eat tends to be bland and repetitive. I’m lucky that I have spent the past year building up a store cupboard of simple spices one by one, and tending to my windowsill herbs, and I cannot emphasise enough how invaluable they are in making the simplest of foods into something seriously special.

But of course, I don’t have that luxury this week, as I have pared back to £5 for seven days for my second attempt at the Live Below The Line challenge. (People have pointed out to me that as it’s £1 a day, I could have spent £7, but for someone who has been living on an extremely small budget for so long, £7 for a weeks food shop does not present much of a challenge!)

I am taking my sore head back to bed now, but one quick observation is that I have not felt at all hungry so far compared to a few weeks ago when I took the challenge. Swapping white bread for wholemeal, and building my week around as much fruit and protein as I could find in my budget seems to have worked – so far – but it’s hard to be the judge when you’re in bed with a stinking headache!

Thankyou to everyone who has sponsored me so far – and to new readers, I just want to make it clear that this is not my normal diet, it’s a challenge to raise money for Oxfam!

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

Follow me on Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

Categories: Blog, Live Below The Line


  1. Migraines are unpleasent. I get migraines with aura if my blood sugar drops too low. Is there anything your readers can do to help relieve some of your stress?

  2. I am trying the challenge in June, and based on your advice and experiences I’ve planned a shopping list based around vegetables and protein, so thank you for telling us about your experiences. I’m glad it’s going better this time, I hope the migraine goes away soon!

  3. Fingers crossed you’re feeling a-ok again today. I find that my migraines come on when I’ve had too many refined carbs. So saying a big fat NO to extra slices of cake and YES to wholegrains 🙂 vx
    Ps – Small Boy looked adorable in his little suit at lady week’s awards. Too cute!

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