Thursday, 25 April 2013

Live Below the Line 2013

For the past couple of years I have joined in with this wonderful Challenge, it's been brilliant to do and I've loved being able to raise money for such good causes as well as awareness about poverty around the world and here in the UK.  The first year I raised money for The Salvation Army, International Development UK, last year I chose Restless Development, but there are many others you can choose to support if you are tempted to give it a go this year.
The basic idea is that to raise awareness of poverty and hunger both here in the UK and all over the world you live 'below the line' that is the £1 a day poverty line that is all so many people have to live on completely, not just for food as we are able to do during the challenge.
In Live Below the Lines's words this is how you do it -

So you want to Live Below the Line, but you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into.

 Ok so here are the basics:

  • From the 29th April – 3rd May you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink.
  • This means you have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
  • You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.
  • Remember that cigarettes don’t come cheap either! Can you Live Below The Line and still manage to smoke?
In 2011 when I did this I relied a lot on supermarket basics ranges, shopping carefully and making every penny count.  I managed to buy a lot that year, but then food prices were a lot cheaper then.
Then in 2012, because I had kept notes and pictures from the first year (thank goodness for the Blog) I was able to refine what I bought and also use some Approved Foods things that I had bought.
Knowing how little I had growing the first year for this challenge I had purposefully thought ahead at the end of the growing season the previous year and tucked into the freezer things I would be able to use for the next years Challenge.  The costings were amazing, I had things for less than a penny that would make a large chunk of a meal, it really highlighted for me the beauty of being able to grow your own foods.
Lovely Hubby joined in with the Challenge last year for each of his evening meals last year, giving me an extra 33p per day to my budget and meaning I was able to buy these extra foods.
For lots more information on how I did here are some links to the Blog posts written both in 2011 and 2012.  If you read the first post and then click onto 'Newer Post' at the end of each one you will be able to read the entries in the correct order.
I learnt a lot from taking part in this challenge over the past two years and I am disappointed to be unable to do it again this year, but if there are any tips or advice you need if you are doing it yourself I would be more than happy to help if I can.
The Live Below the Line website is excellent for ideas and recipes and a good place to visit to be inspired by all the wonderful tales of other folk getting involved.  I will leave the link at the top of my right hand sidebar for a while as well as links to some of the Bloggers that have let me know they are taking part this year.  Please pop by and visit them and show your support, both with comments, encouragement and maybe the odd donation or two, every penny counts.
Wishing lots of luck to everyone who is taking part,  and if you hadn't thought about it yet there is still time, this years week begins on Monday and runs through until Friday, so there is time to make lists and plan out your menu before shopping to get some bargains.  If you can't make it in time for next week you can pick another week to do it, your donations will still count.
All the very best to all of this years Below the Line participants.
Sue xx



  1. Not taking part in this myself but I do wish those who are every success!

  2. ok am intrigued, how can I get round the family to do this for myself ? Any thoughts?

    1. If you wanted to get the whole family involved it raises your spend and makes for easier budgeting, ie. four people means £20 to spend for the five days and this makes for a reasonable and varied food purchase.

      If your children are younger it can be very educational, learning about poverty in this country and abroad and finding out just how other people manage on very little money. It can open their eyes to the world around them and also help them to understand just how much it costs to actually eat as a family.

      You could get them involved in every stage of the planning, purchasing and then cooking the foods.

      If the family simply won't come round do it yourself and have your meals with them but made from your ingredients, harder to do and oh so tempting if you're not made of stern stuff, but again it would be an eye opener for them.

      Good luck with it if you decide to go ahead. If you are blogging about it let me know and I'll add your link to the sidebar.

    2. Yes it would just be me, there's no way 18 yo and dh would join in. No way.My 9 yo might. Thanks heaps.

  3. I'm taking part. I'm not asking for donations from anyone as there is locally a huge fundraiser for an ill child. I am going to donate what I would normally spend on food a week to a local food bank who were asking for donations at the supermarket last week.

  4. Thought it was one pound per family per day at first...that really would be cutting it fine with six people and Norwegian stiff food prices. Good luck to everyone participating. It is amazing how little one can manage with when a little creativity sets in. Pam

  5. Good luck to anyone taking part.

    Sft x

  6. I really enjoyed looking through your posts from the previous years you took part Sue. It goes to show that eating 3 times a day can be done at this price if you go back to basics & sprinkle a little bit of creativity.

    Thanks for providing the blogroll - I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone gets on this year!


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