£5 for 7 days challenge – Day 4 Complete!

Having spent most of yesterday in bed with yesterday’s migraine, today has become Day Four of my second basg at the Live Below The Line challenge…

Here’s my ‘Leaning tower of toast’ this morning, at 7p. Washed down with a large glass of water, a fistful of paracetamol and co-codamol, and a generous lashing of self pity, and hi ho hi ho, it was off to work I…… went.


Lunch was a thrown together cold rice salad, of lemon curd and white rice and a grilled courgette. I was extraordinarily hungry, having not eaten brilliantly yesterday, so had the last of my two apples, and a glass of water – taking my total for lunch to 38p.


Dinner: sausage and bean casserole, with stuffing mash and mixed vegetables. This consisted of 1 of my now-strictly-rationed sausages, half a can of kidney beans, half the carton of chopped tomatoes, 1 beef stock cube and a teaspoon of stuffing to thicken the sauce and add flavour. I added some leftover pre-cooked stuffing from Sunday’s sausage sandwich to the potato, and had half for tonight’s dinner and left half in the fridge for tomorrow. Total cost for dinner: 40p…


So I’m over halfway through now, although the fridge looks terrifyingly empty…

I spy half a can of chopped tomatoes, some wrapped-over pre-cooked sausages, less than half a loaf of bread left, some mashed potato in a bowl and a rather small looking portion of sausage and bean casserole. Three days left and counting, and hopefully no more illness to throw me off kilter!

One observation is that I haven’t really felt very hungry this time around. I’m getting wholemeal bread, and fruit, and yoghurt, and admittedly a limited amount of questionable meat, and at least 100g of mixed vegetables every day – not counting the chopped tomatoes and courgette. It’s not perfect by a long shot, but as far as a fiver over seven days goes, it’s not been too bad, if a bit toasty and ricey for my liking…

However, I’ll see how enthusiastic I am by the end of tomorrow, because there’s still two ‘sausage surprises’ left in the fridge. I don’t recommend them. Even me, who can make fabulous food out of nothing, struggled with that stodgy combination of rice, stuffing and squeezed-out-sausagemeat. Blergh. If I did it again, I’d make it into meatballs with extra beef stock mixed up as a gravy, or in a tomato sauce… But anyway, I might slice it in a sandwich and see how that works instead…

I’m counting the meals down now, nine more to go. I’ve raised over £3,000 for Oxfam with the help of some of my wonderful and generous readers – now – where can this take us now?

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 sponsor me or donate, all funds raised going to Oxfam and to tackle food poverty in the UK, click here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/agirlcalledjack

Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter: @MsJackMonroe

Categories: Blog, Live Below The Line


  1. wow. You are a wonder.

    re those sausage…how about if you mashed one up with some beans, made it into a burger thing?

  2. thks, if you do, please let us know your recipe, as something i might try. also, if you add spice/pepper/do you fry or bake. thks

    • I’d normally fry, but in this challenge I bake as I didn’t buy oil or fat to use. Frying in a little oil is a much better way of cooking them! Also cook better from frozen or chilled as they hold their shape really well.

      • Depending on how you cooked your sausages on previous days, you may have a drop of dripping to use for frying. 😉 Cool from the grill pan or oven tray and save in small cup.

  3. ah…that is good to know, the trick of cooling or freezing..(i have never made burgers fr beans)..
    so, this time (or regular times) would you mix in some bread/bread crumbs, and egg, or?

  4. You know co-codamol contains paracetamol..please don’t take the two together!! Anyway, well done on the fundraising – more than half way there now!

  5. I hope your not taking paracetamol and cocodamol together as both contain 1 g of paracetamol and would be dangerous to consume together ,how much fluid are you taking maybe your dehydrated or hypoglycaemic making your headaches worse
    Ps I’m only a concerned admirer you are a very inspiring person

  6. You can take 2 Ibuprofen and 2 paracetamol together at the same time – didn’t know you could do it until a nurse suggested it – it’s perfectly safe although don’t take them on an empty stomach because of the Ibuprofen – it’s the ONLY thing which knocks my migraines on the ‘head’ (pun intended) and I’ve tried everything else! I was also gonna post you a link to some easy, fast, cheap ‘Mug’ cakes but I’ll wait until your challenge is over, otherwise it’s just plain cruelty. 🙂

  7. I keep checking back to see how you are doing! I have to say since reading about you in the paper we have tried a few of your recipes and they are great! The kids have loved making bread as well so much fun! what a brilliant attitude towards life you have

  8. Hi Jack, well done for sticking to your challenge and raising so much money X
    I am wondering if you can make a drink out of lemon curd and hot water….let it cool for a summer drink ? I cant experiment myself as I’m not allowed sugar but I though Id just suggest it . Let me know if its any good ….before you shove the rest of the jar in the back of the cupboard ! lol

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