I begin my 12 days below the line tomorrow, and the time had finally come to go shopping and see how much food I could manage to buy. I decided to split my shopping into two sections of 6 days – meaning I’ll go shopping next weekend for days 7-12. So off I trekked to the cheapest (definitely not closest) supermarket, hoping and praying for incredible deals!
As a non-driver, the trip to a cheaper supermarket was a bit more of a journey than my normal ‘five-minute dash’ to the shops. It’s a good, solid 30 minute walk at least to get there. It got me wondering how low my energy will be next weekend when it comes to time to shop again, especially after a week on £1 per day.
Having already decided that rice and pasta would be my staples, I proceeded to walk up and down aisles, calculator in hand, trying to figure out just how much I could get for my £1 per day budget. Knowing that food-boredom is likely to hit too, I searched for a bit of variation in flavours as well (stock cubes helped last year so a beeline was made for that section!). As I stood quizzically looking at the shelves, typing into my calculator, putting items in my basket, then changing my mind when I saw a cheaper option, I was conscious of a few looks from other shoppers and I did wonder what they were thinking of the crazy girl with the calculator.
Finally, after deliberating, calculating and reassessing, and finally checking out, and £6.00 later, I had decided on my first 6 days worth of shopping. The 30 minute walk back was worrying as I hoped that my frozen vegetables wouldn’t defrost too much, and my eggs would make it safely in one piece!
Upon arriving home, I quickly scribbled my name on everything – sharing a flat with two others who are not doing the challenge, but will be making use of the many ‘communal’ things in the fridge, has me paranoid that my precious shopping will diminish due to being dipped into accidentally by others!
So this evening I will be calculating what each slice of bread in the loaf costs, the cost per egg, and per portion of rice, ready to go for my first few days. I’ll need to be inventive with my meals, especially with the 11 hour working days I am currently doing. It’s essential that I somehow get enough energy from whatever I eat, as I will not be able to fuel myself with caffeine in the meantime! In short, Live Below The Line is going to be a challenge.
It’s even more striking to note that this article was published on the BBC News website regarding the increase in people using food banks, with 129,000 people being referred to a food bank last year. Poverty is by no means a far-away, distant, intangible thing. It is on our doorstep.
Remember if you want to donate or find out more, please click on the donate link here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/elleenelle
If you’re interested in why I’m doing this – have a read of this previous post.