Still not Living Below the Line

Living below the line is not really a lifestyle choice for me, it is a necessity. Since returning from travelling, I have not yet found a job and my husband works part time. It is one of the reasons I chose not to join the Live Below the Line challenge, as I guessed I was pretty much already keeping to a very low food budget.

Instead I decide to blog about food, cooking  and how to live well on a limited food budget and see how much exactly I lived on. There are three adults in the family and we eat together most of the time, so most meals are for three with leftovers usually for lunch the next day.

One way that helps is to work on economies of scale. I don’t buy one onion I buy a bag. The one above cost £1.69 from Asda and I guess there are 50 small onion in it, so I sometimes use 2 for a  meal at an approximate cost of 3p each.

Tonight dinner is toad in the hole.I will be using a recipe from this book.

The sausages were 2 packs of 6 for £4 which does not make them cheap, however cheap sausages are mainly water and rusk, these are 97% pork and gluten, wheat and dairy free and I would rather have high quality meat and less of it than eat mush.

Today I had tea first thing and accepted a croissant at a friends house for my late breakfast. Lunch was left over Chicken Macaroni from yesterday.

What it cost today.

Tea and milk 4p

Croissant 25p

Lunch nothing as it was left overs accounted for yesterday

Good quality sausages 66p

Egg 5p (from my chickens)

Milk 5p

Onion 3p as per yesterday

Courgette 11p

Carrot 3p as per yesterday

Potato 6p from an Aldi 69p bag

Mushroom 25p

Flour 5p

Total £1.58 as the pictured baked beans will not be on my plate. They cost 30p.

The Croissant was an unusual indulgence, and the mushroom was expensive at 25p, from  a pack of 4 for 99p I had bought to go with a meal last week. It will make me think twice about spending that much on a mushroom in the future!

Yet the purpose of this blog is too see how much I spend on food for myself,  rather than meeting the Live Below the Line challenge. My personal challenge is to see how cheaply can I can eat well without resorting to low quality ingredients, making real savings be made by buying fresh, seasonable food and using supermarket value lines such as tinned tomatoes and ketchup, instead of buying premium brands.

I realise I have a better life than those living in real poverty around the world, who have nowhere warm to sleep, no schools with young children forced into sweatshops and separated from family.   Yet with the rise of food banks in the UK are we, by giving away food without support to learn to cook meals that are nutritious, tasty and cheap,  just handing out the fish and not the fishing rod?

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This entry was posted in Food, Live Below the Line and tagged , , , by Travelling Coral. Bookmark the permalink.

About Travelling Coral

I started blogging in 2011 to record some of the highlights of the round the world trip I made with my husband Phil. On the 5 month trip we visited California, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Malaysia and Thailand. We met some fantastic people, saw amazing things and ate some lovely food. Yet while enjoying these new experiences I became acutely aware of the inequality in both first and third world countries. The gap between the rich and the poor on the streets of LA and KL was the same. On my return home, I realised that this inequality existed in the UK. I had to leave the country to see it for what it was. Food banks were opening in every town and city. I read the now famous blog, A Girl Called Jack and got more interested in how food poverty impacts the lives of so many people in my home country. And I got angry. And wanted to do something about it. Now, I work for Smethwick CAN, a charity bringing people together to tackle poverty, increase aspiration, provide opportunity and support the most vulnerable. One of the projects is a foodbank. Food poverty is shocking in any country, yet over a third of edible food still ends up in landfill. No one should go hungry, yet children are going to school without breakfast. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children. Foodbanks are a sticking plaster not a cure for food poverty. So, in addition to working for a charity that is supporting people in crisis, I volunteer for The Real Junk Food Project. They intercept food that would normally be thrown away, and cook it and serve it in a Pay as You Feel Cafe. I am still adjusting to life back at home in Birmingham, England, I have terminal Farsickness. To keep it at bay, I drag my husband and sometimes the son on shorter trips both in the UK and overseas. I now post random stuff that interests me. This includes travel, food and well being. The writing keeps me sane. Long term travelling is my goal.

4 thoughts on “Still not Living Below the Line

  1. Pingback: Live below the line, day 4 « Run4joy59's Blog

  2. Pingback: Why Food Banks are not the solution | travellingcoral

  3. Pingback: Why Food Banks are not the solution | Travelling Coral

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