Live Below the Line Day 1 – yogurt cheese tastic

I came down for breakfast this morning and switched the
kettle on – only to remember I didn’t need boiling water.

No tea bags, so no cup of tea. Not even when value range
teabags cost 20p for 40 from Sainsburys and Tesco. I preferred to buy food
instead, and couldn’t afford enough milk to do tea as well as porridge.

So I started the first morning of Live Below the Line with a
glass of tap water. At least my drinking water is disease free and comes
straight from a tap.

Not enough banana for too much porridge

BREAKFAST – Porridge
with banana, 13p

I ate porridge with banana for my breakfast, much as I
normally would.

It was just made with more oats, less milk compared to
water, and only half a banana, so I ended up labouring through the last of the
bowl, reluctant to throw any away.

LUNCH – Carrot &
ginger soup, slice of bread with cream cheese, 24p

Surprisingly tasty yogurt cream cheese & carrot soup

Again, I often eat soup with bread and cream cheese for
lunch, but on Live Below the Line I’m restricted to a single small slice of
bread rather than eating a couple, and I’d never normally attempt making cheese
from yogurt.

I made a couple of portions of carrot soup by softening half
an onion in a non-stick pan, before adding 250g of the frozen carrots from the
bag of mixed veg, 700ml water, about a third of my tiny piece of ginger, and a
couple of value chicken stock cubes to make sure it tasted of something. I zizzed
up the whole lot with a hand blender and stashed the second portion in the
fridge ready for later in the week.

The end result tasted good. The carrot soup was fine, even
if the ginger was rather knocked out by the salty stock cubes. The cream cheese
made from natural yogurt, salt and pepper was surprisingly nice.

I wandered around with a bit of a headache (caffeine
withdrawal?) and attacked the garden instead.

SNACK – Toast and
marmalade, 4p

Bitemark added for scale

Really glad I’d been able to nab a small seeded loaf from
the bargain bin at the Co-op. The slices may be small but they taste better and
should hopefully fill me up for longer than the limp value bread I’ve tried

Morrisons M Savers marmalade was a good, and a distinct improvement on
value strawberry jam.

DINNER – Bean &
sweetcorn chilli with rice and green beans, 42p

Veggie chilli, with added sweetcorn

Dinner decimated much of my Live Below the Line store cupboard,
especially as it made two portions ready for another meal.  

I used the remaining half an onion from lunch time, the tin
of kidney beans, tin of tomatoes, 50g of the frozen sweetcorn, a stock cube and
a teaspoon of chilli power. At the last minute I decided to hold back 40g of
the kidney beans and 80g of the tomato, in the hope of making soup or something
later in the week. I may yet run out of Tupperware at this rate.

I cooked up 150g of rice, a double portion ready for fried
rice tomorrow, with yet another stock cube added to the cooking water. I also
boiled up 100g of the frozen green beans.

The end result tasted good, with a decent kick of chilli.

The first day went pretty well. I managed to make three meals and a snack for 83p, and it only got better after the overload of wallpaper paste porridge (maybe if I use more water tomorrow?).
The food actually tasted of something, thanks to the stock cubes and the chilli powder from the storecupboard.
I was never gnawingly hungry, although I did have to keep catching myself from picking at the children’s food. Hadn’t realised how often I’ll nab a carrot stick or piece of celery or couple of grapes while doling out meals.

However, I was all too aware I couldn’t have any more – setting side half a banana, ekeing out the cans of kidney beans and tomatoes, holding back from another slice of bread.
Working from home, I had the time, equipment and inclination to do all the cooking required, which would make it an impossibility for many people genuinely living below the line.
For me, I can look back and say “one day down, four to go”.
For 1.2 billion people worldwide, living on £1 a day continues day after day after day.

If you would like to support my artificial if well-intentioned efforts to feed myself on £1
a day for 5 days, please donate to UNICEF’s much more worthwhile work to keep
children worldwide protected, fed and healthy, via this link to my fundraising


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  1. 28th April 2015 / 10:15 am

    Your cream cheese is a brilliant idea 🙂

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