Monday 2 May 2011

Below the Line - Day 2 - Noticings

Tea last night was pretty yummy. I used 100g of my scone mix to make a pizza base, spread it with three spoonfuls of homemade pasta sauce and then topped it with a third of one of my onions, a quarter of a grated carrot, some herbs from the garden and a liberal sprinkle from my little tub of grated cheese.


It started out like this.....

..and rather quickly turned into this.

I'm noticing that I waste nothing, I was really careful topping and tailing my onion and then peeling only the very outer layer of papery skin off. The bit I had left was popped in a little tub and placed in the fridge (the rest of the carrot joined this later). To go with this I decided to assemble a salad using a little bit more onion and grated carrot with some leaves, radishes and herbs from the garden.

All this brings back many memories, I have lived 'Below the Line' for real and one of the reasons that I am taking part in this is to highlight that so many people all around the world, approximately 1.4 billion, including many in this country are still doing this. Then I had limited knowledge, now I have years of experience of trial and error with food and have learned to make a little go a long way.

If this challenge can help anyone then it will have been worth doing. There is a real sense of satisfaction from preparing food and filling your families hungry tummys with the basics you have around you. But when you have lived like this for a while and then find your way out, it is easy to stop the cost saving and 'splash the cash' a bit, something I know I have been guilty of these last few years....well no more. We have been living from our store cupboards for quite a while now and then with this challenge to focus my mind this will all stop in the future.

So now it is Day 2, officially I would have four pounds left. Yesterday I ate 68p worth of my food, so I am ahead of the game.

Breakfast - 10p

3 Coffees - 24p

Egg Bun - 9p

Jar of homemade Mayo - 8p

Meringues - 3p

Scone Base Pizza and salad - 11p

This morning I feel lighter (actually I am, I lost 3lbs yesterday), and clearer of mind. My porridge worked a dream, I soaked it over night and cooked on the Aga instead of in the microwave, so no lumps (Bunny would be dismayed). It tasted creamy and lovely. The bird books are there because while we were eating breakfast we were paid a visit by a Swallow. It sat on the washing line for a good 5 minutes, long enough for us to get the books out and identify it for sure.

For lunch today it will be pasta, but first I have some seedlings to transplant in the polytunnel. Lovely, the hen, is still with us, although she is sitting peacefully with her head under her wing to drown out the sound of the laying girls all around her, she is silken smooth of feather and warm and comfortable, a sign of a peaceful exit about to happen.

Sue xx


  1. Glad Lovely is comfortable Sue!

    It is interesting that this challenge is making you mindful of waste...Resources are so precious we should make the most of them whether its food, water or anything else.

    We're trying to save our grey water at the moment and its shocking how much we would have throw away. Again very thought provoking.

    Keep up the excellent posts!

    Sft x

  2. Good on you Sue, really pleased it working out ok, a good by product to me would be the weight loss!

    Hope Lovely is comfortable!

    Vanessa x

  3. oh my...the lumps have gone (quiet sob), the bowl of porridge looks so smooth!

    Dear Lovely, she'll not be forgotten.
    I was invited to go to a Buddhist talk recently about how to live a good life and die a good death; I think Lovely has it just about spot on.


  4. I am following this with interest. Was once homeless for a few weeks myself so have known hard times. I am thinking more about what I throw away since I started reading about 'below the line'. You may find quorn mince helpful to your budget, by the way, as it is extremely bulky/filling and cheaper than some cuts of meat. Betty

  5. Well done. We have no waste what with hens & a dog but we spend way too much on food.

  6. Sft - I am really noticing how much water disappears down the plughole at the moment and wish we had more rain butts etc (although of no use at the moment with no rain!). Once we move I guess we will have to be much more careful, but at the moment we aren't metered, I do however, make sure we don't waste too much, more for the sake of the planet than my purse!!

    Vanessa - I hadn't really considered the weight loss factor, I think it's mainly the no snacking and no alcohol that's having such a rapid effect, but it's a very welcome side effect!

    Sorry to lose the lumps Bunny....if I do find any I'll save them for you!

    Betty - I think once you have known hard times you appreciate the better ones all the more. Although I do usually eat Quorn (I love the stuff in almost every format) I couldn't afford it for this challenge. There was not enough in a pack to make big enough meals to stop me being hungry later on unfortunately.

    Penny - I know what you mean about dogs and chickens, my lot have already noticed there are no leftovers from me this week.

    Sue xx

  7. I bet spotty jug is licking his lips at the thought of what he's going to get at the end of the challenge!
    Doing great, Sue!
    Jane x

  8. Well done Sue, you are such an inspiration, I have a larder which is too full, all it will take is some time and a pen and paper and I could really make a difference to both our diets and our pockets. Shant tell Hubby tho, just see if he notices!!
    Blessings to Lovely xx
    Sarah x


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