Tuesday 8 May 2012

Day One - Food and Thoughts

The Live Below the Line week started well, we actually managed a bit of a lie in with it being Bank Holiday Monday, the dogs were crashed out in their beds and apart from Lovely Hubby nipping out briefly to let the chickens out, we could relax a little bit.  A nice cup of coffee in bed started the day in a very civilised manner.

 Breakfast - Below the Line version.

Breakfast was an unhurried affair, Scrambled Eggs on toast for me, the Live Below the Line version, using four of my little Bantam eggs and one slice of toast with a glass of water....

Breakfast - non -Below the Line version.

... and for LH the non Below the Line version with a lot of bacon and two slices of seeded bread, all washed down with fresh orange juice.  A good start, nothing really to be jealous of (well except the juice maybe), as I don't eat bacon at all being a vegetarian.

Lunch - Below the Line version.

We didn't have lunch until 3pm as the good breakfast set us up for a day pottering around the place, emptying the truck after the car boot sale the day before, fixing cupboards on the shed walls (LH), Blogging, tidying the house and greenhouse (me).

I had set the soup mix soaking on Sunday night and made it first thing in the morning.  After turning it off for a while I decided to add a few of the frozen veggies to it to make it tastier and turned it back on while I did yesterday's Blog post.  Big mistake, I lost all track of time and went back to the kitchen at a sprint as I realised it was full of steam.  My pan had caught!!  Carefully I poured the soup from the top of the pan into a jug and the pan's bottom came into view,  black and burned on soup - all I could think of was 'what a waste'.  I managed to save a good percentage of it though and then had to set about scrubbing the pan.

 Lunch - the non- Below the Line version.

We sat down to lunch quite late and although LH is not participating in lunches 'Below the Line', he had a portion of my soup.  Because if you were truly living below the line and a guest popped round unexpectedly on a Bank Holiday Monday, you would offer them a bowl wouldn't you!!

With my soup I had 2 slices of my bread and a glass of water, and LH had numerous slices of freshly baked bread with butter, and a glass of fruit juice.

We each had two bowls and there was enough left over for another good meal, although not as much over as I had originally planned due to the 'accident'.  To make this soup I had used half my soup mix, a stock cube and some of the frozen homegrown vegetables, it looks so green due to the block of frozen Kale which did add a wonderful depth of flavour to it, and it would have been full of goodness and  was very filling.

As we had eaten our lunch late we really were not hungry at all at teatime, so we just had a drink, me - hot water with lemon and LH - tea.

Then once the days chores were completed we sat down to a relaxing evening in front of the tele, a good film followed by some crime serials, feeling peckish at this time we decided that something sweet was much more appealing, so for our 'dine together' Below the Line evening meal we actually had Cake and Custard. Very yummy and just what we needed.

Sorry forgot to photograph the cake and custard in its dish, due to our eagerness to eat it!!  But we had half the cake and half of the custard powder between us, so we can have the same again later in the week.

A final cup of coffee brought the day to a very satisfying conclusion, and although I had a slight background headache all day (possibly due to lack of caffiene), it wasn't a bad first day.

Now - the bit you're probably interested in the facts and figures -

You can click on any of these pictures and make them larger to read.

All my foods and their prices, per whole items and per portion have been carefully worked out.

So each day I can refer to this and price out exactly what each meal cost me to produce as well as the overall spend for the week, (which was £5 for me and £1.65 for Lovely Hubby).

It's completely different when you are looking at your food in terms of pennies, parts of pennies and tiny portions instead of the usual just buying what you fancy and adding everything you want to a meal.  A real eye opener and a good one at that. 

Our costs for Day One of Live Below the Line

Me - Allowance £1

Coffee - 9p
Eggs on Toast - 13.1p
Homemade Soup with 2 slices toast - 12.7p
Hot Water with Lemon - 0.5p
1/4 Cake and Custard - 9.7p
Coffee 9p

Total 54p

LH - Allowance 33p

Cake and Custard 9.7p

A very good first day, can we continue in this vein though, I doubt it.   After a long day at work we will both need a good meal, and the challenge is to work out the most filling, most tasty and most satisfying thing I can out of the ingredients I have left.

Come back tomorrow for details of what I do.  And for more information on the Live Below the Line Challenge click on HERE.

To sponsor me click HERE, or simply sign up as a new Follower of this Blog and 50p will be donated by Lovely Hubby on your behalf.   He coughed up yesterday for Followers 400 - 406   THANK YOU to you all.

Sue xx


  1. I haven't take part in this challenge but can say that it would be inspiring if some of the people I've know living on this sort of budge actually at healthy food. I have gone to the grocery store for elderly women on food stamps (US program) and bought things like orange soda/pop and ramen noodles. I would spend my own money and regularly buy supplies (like bread, peanut butter) etc. to leave on one lady's porch. She spent her available cash on cigarettes rather than money. She died of lung cancer at the age of 74 a month before we moved out of the neighborhood. I believe her food and other economic choices led to her poor health and short life.

    It would be great if an exercise like this could be used to promote eating healthy food for those below the poverty line -- your meals are commendable!

  2. Well done Sue, a really good start (despite the soup issue!). I'm following this with interest, purely from a selfish point of view I must admit, as our food shopping bills are really getting out of hand and I KNOW it would be perfectly possible to spend less and still eat well with a bit (lot!) of forethought and planning.

    Regards, Sooze xx

  3. Brilliant start ( not the burnt pan though ! ) Not just the pennies you will be saving this must be a very low calorie diet too !

  4. Great blog post! Can't wait to read more of your recipes and find out how your getting on with things! I'm living below the line this week too. Getting quite bored with eating mostly the same thing every day but it's a real eye opener!

    Julia x


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