Live Below the Line: Preparation


Tomorrow I start my Live Below the Line Challenge. Before I start on that I have to do the shopping (obviously), but it also seemed a good place to stop and take stock of what is a normal food week for me.

Taking last week as a model. I did my normal grocery shop and the total for food (not including toiletries etc) came to £31.30. I do try and take a packed lunch with me, but only managed one day last week, so averaging about £5 a day for lunch, that’s £20. I have a daily Starbucks’ habit that comes to £12 a week. I also eat out about every other week so that’s £15 a week.

Groceries    £31.30
Lunch         £25.00
Starbucks   £12.00
Eating out  £15.00
Total            £78.30

That’s a scary figure for one person, even when I make the excuse that food is a major hobby of mine.

Anyway, for 5 days this week, the bill can only reach £5 in total.

This is what £5 of food looks like:

 photo DSCN0723_zps8f165d2a.jpg

This is what I bought:
Wholemeal bread, 1 800g loaf @ £0.50/loaf      £0.50
Lemon curd, 1 jar @ £0.22/tin                              £0.22
Frozen veg, 2kg @ £0.75/kg                                 £1.50
Tinned tomatoes, 2 tins @ £0.31/tin                   £0.62
Tinned kidney beans, 4 tins @ £0.21/tin            £0.84
New potatoes, 1 tin @ £0.15/tin                         £0.15
Curry sauce, 1 jar @ £0.26/jar                              £0.26
Stock cubes, 1 pack @ £0.15/pack                      £0.15
Spaghetti, 1 pack @ £0.19/pack                          £0.19
Digestive biscuits, 1 pack @ £0.30/pack            £0.30
Total                                                                          £4.73

I hope that’s enough to keep me fed and satisfied over the five days. There may seem to be some odd choices in there, but I’ll explain more when I do the nutrition calculations later in the week. Bear in mind that I’ve taken the challenge as not spending more than £5 on food for the five days, unlike this idiot at the BBC who only ate £1 of food a day but spent £30+.

Coming tomorrow – the menu, and recipes.

8 responses »

    • In a word, no. I’ll explain more later, but fresh fruit and veg is far too expensive compared with the frozen and tinned varieties.

  1. Aha!! Now I was wondering about that, because it’s all very well saying you can get an egg for 8.7p or whatever, but only if you spend about half your budget on eggs!!! So I am very impressed, utterly horrified at how little this is, and all I can say is, thank heavens it’s you and not me. This thing is doing a lot to raise awareness of poverty, even accounting for idiots with greek yoghurt *g*

    • Well, remember this is for one person, and having started cooking it, I’m not going to go hungry. It won’t be tasty, but it should be sufficient to fill me up.

      • I hope so! Mr fifi wants to know if you have kept 27p in reserve for later in the week if you get desperate 🙂

      • I think I can buy tea bags with 27p! But no milk! At the moment I think I’ll be bored, but not hungry. I currently have a full mixing bowl of bean & veg curry in the fridge and that’s just for lunches!

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