Live Below the Line Day 3 – counting, counting

Day 3 on Live Below the Line, and my motivation was
flagging, although I’m get much more used to drinking endless iced water.

Breakfast – Porridge with
pineapple, 13p

More porridge. But this time with pineapple.

This morning it was time to unleash some of the tinned
pineapple on top of my morning porridge.

Normally I’d add banana, but I’d already finished the single
banana I could cram into the £5 shopping list.

Lunch – Scrambled eggs
on toast, 27p

Two pieces of bread! Two scrambled eggs! The luxury.

Quick and easy lunch today, scrambling two eggs in a non
stick pan and plonking them on top of a couple of slices of toast.

No butter to cook with or spread on the toast so it was a
tad dry but after a long morning it tasted delicious.

Snack – Marmalade on
toast, 4p

Marmalade on toast: the return

I really wanted a couple of slices of toast, but after
counting and recounting the slices left in the freezer I decided to stick to
one, concerned about running out of food for the next couple of days.

Instead I searched through the bag for a crust, as it seemed

Snack – Yogurt and
pineapple, 10p

Oooooh get me and my moody lighting. 

Same snack as yesterday, but with slightly less pineapple,
trying to stretch the quantities over the remaining days.

Dinner – Pea and
cheese risotto, 21p

Reasonable sized portion, enormous bowl.

I like risotto, and I’ve always included a budget version
when doing Live Below the Line.

This minimalist version had only four ingredients: 75g value
rice, 1 value stock cube, 120g frozen peas and the smallest piece of cheese
known to man (5g). So small in fact that it wouldn’t register on the Morrison’s
scales when the lady at the deli counter tried to weigh it, and she had to
guess at a 5p price.  

Smallest piece of cheese visible to the naked eye

Anyway, I was worried whether the risotto would fill me up, because
of the limited protein, but didn’t want to add an extra stodgefest of rice in
case it drowned the limited peas and cheese.

I chucked the rice in one pan, kept about 400ml stock
simmering in another pan, added a ladleful of stock at a time and kept stirring
until the stock was absorbed. After about 10 minutes I added the frozen peas
and carried on adding stock and stirring for another 3 minutes or so.

While the rice and peas were cooking I grated the tiny bit
of cheese, determined to make it stretch as far as humanly possible, and stirred
the cheese through right at the end when the rice was cooked.


In the end the risotto tasted good. It would have tasted
even better with butter, onion, white wine and an accompanying green salad, but
it was a satisfying end to the day.


It’s been harder on Day 3 than the previous days. Despite three meals and two snacks for 75p I’ve been feeling
hungrier, wanting to eat more food, and starting to notice the repetition and
the lack of choice.

I really wanted something quick and easy to eat when I got back
from shipping children round school, football and Brownies.  I was concerned there wasn’t enough bread,
didn’t want to start cooking oat flatbreads and ended up downing another glass
of iced water. Good for weight loss perhaps, but another small heart-sinking
moment faced with limited food.

I also found I’d started counting stuff – how many slices of
bread left? If I eat an extra one today, will there be enough for tomorrow? How
much pineapple is there in the fridge – can I eat more, or will that not leave
anything for the next two days? Will I need both eggs for an omelette, or can I
eat one tomorrow when I haven’t planned for much protein? Can I stretch the
frozen veg to make more soup, will I be hungry if I have a smaller portion with
that meal, and use less there too?

In the artificial environment of Live Below the Line I only
have to stretch the food for five days, so I can plan on that basis and use up
all I have.

If eating on £1 a day stretched off into the future, I fear
I’d be much hungrier, always trying to spin out the food I had to last longer.
A sobering thought.

Everyone has their own
causes and charities, but if you could spare anything to donate to UNICEF, it
would support their work to keep children worldwide protected, fed and healthy.

It would also support
me immensely in my efforts to feed myself of £1 a day for 5 days, as I grit my
teeth ready to start Day 4.

This is the
link to my fundraising page:


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