Monday, May 14, 2012

Live Below The Line (LBTL) Challenge - Part 2

JUNE EMERSON has taken up the challenge to live on just £1 a day for a week. In this, her second article (click here for the previous article), the reality kicks in.

PREPARING for living on £1 a day was an interesting puzzle. We decided to go for simplicity rather than cleverness. Simplicity, after all, is the key to living well, whatever your income.

What do millions exist on every day? Rice, lentils and beans. These give a good balance of carbohydrate and protein. We added seasonal vegetables: potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots and the luxury of some cheese.

Something sweet is vital at the end of a meal to keep the spirits up, so we added jam. Cups of tea are essential.

Shopping list for two people for five days:

Milk, one pint. Baines, 50p
Jam, one jar. Co-op, £1.05
Onions, Spar, £1
Cheese slices, Co-op, £1
Rice, 200g, Baines, 39p
Broccoli, one head, Co-op, 91p
Carrots, three, Baines, 25p
Potatoes, Co-op, £1
Baked beans, four tins, Spar, £1
Red lentils, 240g, Baines, 64p
Teabags, 40, Spar, 99p
Bread, large wholemeal, Co-op, 89p
Banana, one small, Baines, 21p
Spices, small amounts, Home, 10p
TOTAL: £9.93

We’re lucky to have Baines Fruit & Veg in Kirkbymoorside because they have scoop and weigh bins at the back of the shop. This meant that we could buy whatever quantities we needed. As our total for the week is just 7p short of the £10 we will probably go in for a couple of glace cherries or half a dozen almonds towards the end of the week. The banana, by the way, is for a ‘Banana Dhal’ recipe. Gorgeous!

After the shopping list and menus were complete, the questioning set in.

Why am I doing this? Just a personal challenge? Would someone genuinely living below the line give a hollow laugh if they knew? Those things are probably true, but it has certainly made us think about why we eat certain things.

Breakfast cereal: was it post-war American influence? I asked David why we eat so many tropical fruits such as oranges and bananas. His reply was succinct: “Imperialism!” Hmmm.

The menu

Day one

Breakfast: Toast, cheese and jam.

Lunch: Baked potato and baked beans.

Supper: Banana dhal, rice and spices.

Day two

Breakfast: Toast, cheese and jam.

Lunch: Rice, broccoli florets, diced carrots, spices.

Supper: Baked potato, cheese, onions, baked beans.

The first thing that struck me was the lack of taste and texture in the cheap foods we had bought. Real wholemeal bread is a meal in itself, but factory sliced just isn’t. You need twice as much to feel satisfied. That’s interesting!

More next week.

If you would like to sponsor June or David by donating to Peace Direct, go to: 

Source: Gazette & Herald 

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