Live Below the Line: Day 1


Yesterday I showed you the food I bought to eat this week. Today, I’m going to divulge the menu. It’s pretty simple:
Breakfast – 2 slices of bread, lemon curd
Lunch – 2 slices of bread, bean & vegetable curry, 2 digestive biscuits
Dinner – spaghetti with veg & tomato sauce, 2 digestive biscuits

That’s it. I eat that every day.

The only way I could think of getting enough to eat was to make two large pots of meals so I got some advantage of scale.

I made the curry yesterday. This is what it’s like at lunch this afternoon.

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It’s not as bad as I thought it would be after making it. There’s a definite air of the chippy about the curry sauce, though.

1kg bag of frozen vegetables – 75p
2 400g tins of kidney beans, drained – 42p
1 400g tin of new potatoes, drained – 15p
1 jar of curry sauce – 26p
3 vegetable stock cubes – 4.5p

Put the vegetables in a big saucepan.
Realise that 1 kg of vegetables is an awful lot of vegetables.
Add the beans and potatoes and watch the pile in the pan grow.
Pour over the curry sauce.
Mix the stock cubes in hot water to fill the curry sauce jar.
Add this to the vegetables and beans.
Heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Taste sauce and realise that it’s nastily weak.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and put in a (large) bowl.
Heat the remaining sauce until it has reduced by about half.
Pour the reduced sauce over the beans and vegetables.
Worry about the effect that amount of veg and beans is going to have on your digestive system.

Total cost £1.63 Cost per serving 32.5p
Serves 5 lunches, with brown bread and digestive biscuits as dessert

Joking aside, it’s been an interesting day. I really missed my morning coffee. I haven’t had a headache from caffeine withdrawal (yet), but a woman on the train had a coffee and I could smell it. It smelled wonderful, probably because I knew I couldn’t have one. Breakfast was OK. The 22p jar of lemon curd was actually quite nice. A colleague has come back off maternity leave and the team were going out to a local pizza place for lunch to welcome her back. I had to decline the invite. There was my curry to eat. It’s better than I thought it was going to be. Beans and veg in a chippy curry sauce. It was filling and tasty and that’s all I was hoping for.

But this isn’t about what I can buy and cook for £5. It’s about raising awareness about extreme poverty. To that end compare and contrast the weekly grocery shopping of families around the world. I am so grateful not to be spending $1.23 for the whole week.


2 responses »

  1. No air about it, the cheapo curry sauce is %100 Chippy! I actually get it in now and then for a late night ‘oven chips smothered in curry sauce’ binge, not so much for me (though like most people, I will inevitably ‘pinch’ a chip or three off of someone else’s plate) but for him – he likes it because it’s exactly what he used to get as a boozed up teenager walking home from the pub! Otherwise, it’s pretty watery old fare!

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