Thursday, 26 April 2012


Well it's that time of year on my calender, time to start preparing for the Live Below the Line Challenge, see HERE for the official page.

The foods above were purchased when I played my last Joker in Asda the other week in preparation.  I just wouldn't have been able to afford them in individual high street shops, it's a shame, but I think that highlights the power of the Big Supermarkets (pulls sad face and carries on).  I'm being good this year and giving myself lots of time to plan and shop around.  I used mysupermarket to compare prices and found that Asda was the best for what I needed.

In total they came to £1.98, so I still have £3.02 to shop with.  I have been reading back over the Blog posts I did last year when I did this Challenge for the first time. 

You can have a peek at them by clicking on the top 'Live Below the Line' picture on my sidebar.  As you click on the picture it will take you to the first Post, when you have read that simply click on 'Newer Posts' at the end of the comments section and you will be able to read them all in order.

It's a good job I did, I found I missed veggies and fruit the most, which is why at the end of the growing season last year I managed to squirrel away lots of homegrown goodies in my freezer ready for this year.  Blanched carrots, celery, white cabbage and a tiny bit of brocolli and then last week I froze the last of the Leeks that grew over Winter.  All I have coming up fresh for this year is a tray of Mixed Leaves and a 15 Radishes and a pot of Cress.  I am nurturing these little babies carefully I need them to be of an edible size by the 7th May, fingers crossed.  These veggies have cost me so little to grow, it shows the power of the home grower versus the supermarket.  I sat with my calculator working out the costs for all my crops and I was pleasantly surprised at how little it costs to 'grow your own'.

Supermarket Celery (the cheapest I could find) 68p a head  -  Homegrown 0.3p !!

Looking at last years posts, I read that I discovered some potatoes in the soil the week after doing the challenge, I wonder if there will be any left back at our old place that I could go and dig up, I'll have to have a think about that, it wouldn't be worth the petrol to go and just do that, but if we are picking up a trailer load of rotted manure it would be worth a peek!!

A shock discovery, although I should have guessed, was how much the price of those cheap supermarket lines has risen on some items.

Pasta - last year 9p  -  this year 30p
Curry Sauce - last year 5p  -  this year 23p

However the rice has come down in price from 49p last year to 40p this year.  I really don't know how that can be, it would appear that some prices are just plucked out of thin air to compete with other shops and bare no relation whatsoever to the actual cost of producing these foods.

Last year I ate my own hens eggs and they cost me 7p each, I was worried about our lack of egg supply for this year, so I priced up instead our Pekin eggs and they cost me just 3p each to produce (I  included the price of the hens, their foods, bedding and treats in my calculations), so as you need 2 Pekin eggs in place of one large egg I am actually saving a few pennies here.  Good result!!

I will Blog about my food costs and daily menus over the course of the week of 7th - 11th May, I hope you will follow my progress and even join in.  Take my advice though if you are thinking about doing it PLAN AHEAD!!

Once again I am trying to raise a little bit of money while I do this, if you would like to sponsor me, even if only 50p or a Pound I would be thrilled.  You can get to my personal sponsor page HERE, you'll know you're on the right page you'll see me and my pet cabbage!!

Thank you.

*** *** *** *** ***

I'm off to Manchester for a girly weekend with my Mum, we have coffee to drink, lunch to partake of and shopping to do, it's hard work but someone has to do it  ( big cheesy grin) !!

I'll leave you a couple of lovely little photos that will flash up each day on the Blog while I'm away.

Bye for now.

Sue xx


  1. I have noticed that the prices in my local supermarket seem to go up then they bring them back to the original price so that they are ' cheaper', its comical really do they think that we are all goldfish with no more than a 2 minute memory !!

  2. Good Luck with the Challenge. You sound very prepared.

    Arwedd xx

  3. You are the most amazing inspiration Sue. I only grow parsley and even that has died because my girl (6) loves it so much she kept eating it until there was none left. Planning meals ahead really makes a difference though doesn't it? Enjoy the time with your Mum, you so deserve it. xx Susan

  4. Prices in my local Tesco have changed for the worse. I`ve been shopping yesterday evening and noticed that variousthings I buy have risen in price. One that annoyes me most is the steep rise of vinegar. It has jumped from previous £0.55 to a wopping £0.99 now. That`s a massive proportion. I use vinegar for cleaning purposes and pickling. Might have to find a different source for it now.

    Your challenge sounds an interesting idea. Best of luck with that.

  5. Hi Sue,
    I think it's fantastic that you're doing Live Below the Line - I will be joining you in May! I just wanted to let you know that I don't think the links you've posted to your sponsorship pages work - both the one in this post and the picture on the right hand side.

    Good luck with the week!

    Best wishes,
    Lindsey from Restless Development

  6. Hi everyone,

    Could someone else test out the links on this post for me please?

    They are working for me, but Lydsey says she can't get to the appropriate pages!!

    Thank you.

    Our New Life in the Country

  7. Good luck with Live Below the Line - I shall look forward to reading how you get on and your meal plans. Have a loveyl weekend with your Mum x

  8. Hi Sue,
    When I click on your links they take me to my own fundraising page, so I think you need to make sure that you link it to . Presumably it works for you because you're logged in as you? Hope this sorts it!

    Best wishes,

  9. Hi Lyndsey,

    I think I've finally got it right THANK YOU!!

    Sue xx
    Our New Life in the Country

  10. SUE - I couldn't get to the page from the blogpost - but had no problem at all using the picture on the sidebar.

    I hope you get lots of sponsors

    blessings Ang x

  11. I was aware of price increases but how interesting to know by how much. Thank you for your continued good advice xx


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