Meal plan stretching £5 over 5 days on Live Below the Line

Much head scratching over prices and possible meals

With only £5 to spend on food, I wrote and re-wrote different meal ideas while juggling shopping lists. A lot of “if I swap this for this, I could make that – but oops I don’t have any of the other”.

Click here for a link to the post with the final shopping list.

But in the end the plan was pretty simple: fruit and porridge for breakfast, something with bread for lunch, something with rice for dinner, and marmalade on toast for a snack.

A restricted budget means restricted choice, and much more appreciation of the variety of food I’d normally eat.

When you can only afford to buy oats, bread and rice, you’ll end up eating them even if you’re bored and fed up and don’t want them, even if you’d rather eat potato or pasta or rolls or crumpets or whatever, because there is nothing else and otherwise you’d go hungry.

I couldn’t stretch to meat either, but will be relying on kidney beans, eggs, yogurt, milk and a tiny piece of cheese for any protein.
Even cut price chicken and strangely-named cooking bacon wouldn’t fit in this year’s budget.

So my £1 a day meal plan ended up like this:


Breakfast: Porridge made with milk and water, with half a banana

Lunch: Carrot & ginger soup, slice of bread with cream cheese

Dinner: Bean & sweetcorn chilli with rice and green beans


Breakfast: Porridge with the other half of a banana

Lunch: Pea soup, slice of bread with cream cheese

Dinner: Carrot, cumin & kidney bean burger with egg & ginger fried rice


Breakfast: Porridge with tinned pineapple

Lunch: Scrambled egg on toast with carrot sticks

Dinner: Pea & cheese risotto


Breakfast: Porridge with tinned pineapple (or marmalade, if I’m feeling really daring)

Lunch: Carrot & ginger soup, slice of bread with cream cheese

Dinner: Sweet & sour egg fried rice


Breakfast: Porridge with tinned pineapple

Lunch: Veggie omelette with slice of bread

Dinner: Bean & sweetcorn chilli with rice and carrots

Snacks: bread and marmalade every day, and yogurt with pineapple if I’m hungry and there’s enough left.

Drinks: tap water throughout, as I preferred to spend the 20p for value tea bags on food.

That’s it. I might go crazy and have a go at oat-based flatbreads, but otherwise there’s nothing else.

And by the way, if you fancy supporting my efforts to feed myself on £1 a day for 5 days and donating to UNICEF’s much more worthwhile work to keep
children worldwide protected, fed and healthy, here’s a link to my fundraising page:

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  1. 28th April 2015 / 9:27 am

    A good menu. I hope it all works out to plan. I have similar scribblings on paper all over the place and work out the costings for each meal to the 0.1p

    • 29th April 2015 / 1:27 pm

      Embarrassed to admit I have a spreadsheet (in fact more than one) keeping track of Live Below the Line stuff.

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