Friday, May 25, 2012

Live Below The Line (LBTL) Challenge - Part 3

June Emerson took up the challenge to live on £1 a day to highlight the plight of those who have no choice but to do so. She has been documenting her progress in the Gazette and here is her final piece.

DONE IT! We’ve completed the week of Living Below the Line!

This is what we ate for the final three days of the challenge.

Day Three

Toast and cheese/jam
Baked beans on toast
Banana Dhal and rice
Day Four

Toast and cheese/jam
Baked beans and baked potato
Diced broccoli and carrot, rice, spices

Day Five

Toast and cheese/jam
Potato and onion soup
Curried potatoes, onions and a few reserved beans

After lunches and suppers we shared half a slice of bread with jam and had many cups of tea. At the end we had 6p in hand, so we went back to Baines’s and bought five dates, which we had for the final dessert.

We stayed up until midnight on the last day and toasted each other with a glass of wine at one minute past.

Did we ‘starve’? No, not at all. We found that small meals satisfied us. Did we get bored? Not really. There was just enough variety to keep us interested. Would we do it again? Yes, certainly, and probably with roughly the same menus. The things I missed most were fresh fruit and good bread and cheese.

During the week I came across an article in The Oldie magazine which mentioned that in a book called The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake says that it’s a well-established fact that eating much less than usual can have beneficial effects.

“Reduced intake of calories improves health, slows the ageing process and increases lifespan...”

Since the end of the challenge we’ve found that we’re satisfied with much less on our plates, and are far more tolerant of strange mixtures when we’ve run out of something. Our shopping bills are significantly down.

It was great to know that we were part of a group of more than 10,000 people worldwide doing this, and our total raised for Peace Direct is nearly £200. There is still time to donate.

The most humbling moment was when I met a friend that I hadn’t seen for some time. She has been unwell and is living on disability benefit.

“Guess what we’re doing this week,” I prattled, full of the fun of the thing. “We’re living on £1 a day.”

Her eyebrows shot up. “As much as that!” she replied.
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

Source: Gazette & Herald

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