Getting ready to ‘Live below the Line’

We may have mentioned previously that we have signed up to take part in Live Below the Line, a challenge that will stretch our economy shopping skills to the maximum. So what is Live Below the Line?

live below 3

It is an international project that aims to highlight the extreme poverty that some people in the world face and raises funds through sponsorship to help tackle this. Participants are give just £1 per day to live on for 5 days, below are the rules of the challenge as taken from

  • From the 29th April – 3rd May you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink.
  • This means you have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
  • You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.

Hmm, quite a challenge! We are used to surviving, no used to thriving, on a limited amount of money, and our lowest cost weekly shop so far has been £15.61, which is only 61 pence more than the £15 allowance for Becksie, Ian and Lizzie. Becksie is used to making meals out of nothing but they always involve various store cupboard staples, a definite no-no in Live Below the Line! We will need to be uber prepared, perhaps this will be a good time to start meal planning after all we have the very serious responsibility of ensuring little Lizzie is well fed and watered.

shopping week 11 (7)

At least from looking at the rules we can use eggs from Paul, Barry and Kevin (well Kevin, Paul and Barry are still not pulling their weight), and it is a good job that we like tap water (a favourite tip for cutting down a restaurant bill)!

food waste

We have no doubt that this will be possible, and we are looking forward to the challenge! We will be supporting Child Hope, a global charity challenging injustice. You can find out about them on our Live Below the Line page.  How organised are we given that this challenge is weeks away!

live below 2Back to the present, this morning we went to a lovely christening, however during part of the service we had yet another indication of how much supermarkets have seeped into everyone’s lives, the vicar was encouraging the congregation to visit their local supermarket (you know the one with the green tokens)  who are including the church as one of their charities of the week, very noble but we won’t be able to take part, don’t worry we did our bit when the collection came round!



20 thoughts on “Getting ready to ‘Live below the Line’

  1. I can’t see me going supermarket free as we don’t have a good market within walking distance. Re living below the line, I really object to the recommendation of buying value sausages and plastic bread from a supermarket as a way to do this, so look forward to your blog. Last year my average was £1.49 without plastic food and with eggs from my own chooks. I blogged about it and am currently monitoring my spending to see it youncs live on £53 pw and will send the outcome to George!

    • We agree – we will be living on vegetables and good whole food. We figure homemade bread will be a cheap yet awesome filler upper. We are nervous but excited – no worries though no nasty sausages for us 🙂

  2. I am so in awe of what you are doing. I am so careful about what we eat as a family but our food bill is never under £100 a week..I do feed a family of 5 on this though and 1 is my husband and 3 are growing boys..still I’m sure we could do better.x

  3. That is a challenge but so worthwhile!! My 14 yr old’s school dinners cost £3 a day. I agree value sausages & bread is not the way to go but there are fab oats & pulses & tap water is lovely. Our local veg shop gives away damaged fruit & veg to people who have pigs & chickens so we get some too for our chooks, but very often there are lovely things in there that we eat, just cutting off a bruised bit or similar. Maybe others could ask if their veg shop does this. Also there is some fab foraging to be done. I love the blossoms of lime trees in a few months time, made into tisane, or tea. Just use water cooler than boiling or it damages the flowers. I think its called Linden Blossom in france & is gorgeous.

  4. Seeing that I don’t live in the UK, I won’t be able to participate in this challenge. I wonder if I could find a similar challenge to join in my country. Otherwise I might just want to figure out how much the lowest income families in my country have left to spend on food each week…

  5. I read about this challenge a while ago and thought about signing up but I thought £5 to feed 4 for a week would be very difficult. I didn’t realise it was £5 per person! I obviously misread it. Doh!! I will have to go back and re look at it now its a bit more achievable. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

    • Thank you for mentioning us, really pleased that you are going to take part in Live Below The Line, we are looking forward to the challenge!

Comments are closed.