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I am at the end of day 10 of my 12 days below the line and, with only two days left of my challenge I wanted to share some thoughts on some of the intricacies of being below the line.
Convenience Vs Affordability: In order to purchase enough decent food in order to make it through the twelve days, I could not shop in my local, convenient supermarket. I am lucky to live in the very centre of a city, meaning it is never far to a supermarket or food store. However, when contemplating my shopping for twelve days on only £1 per day, the supermarkets closest to me were far more expensive than the ones further afield. The cheaper options for food were, as a non-driver, a 30 minute walk away, with a slightly longer uphill walk home laden with shopping bags of cheap, root vegetables! In my normal, everyday life, convenience wins every time – but from now on, that the extra 30 minute walk will be made more often in order to place affordability over convenience on a weekly basis!
Learn to cook: As I have mentioned before, I have a tendency to be a lazy cook. I will tend to buy the pre-made, heat in the oven meals, or the pre-made sauces to heat up for my 10 minute tortellini. As much as I love my cooking programmes, I rarely cook properly for myself. The option of ‘pre-made’ anything is not there when you have only £1 to stretch to all your meals for the day. If you are going to eat anything decent in your day, you must learn how to cook and also how to be inventive with ingredients.
New combinations: With only £1 per day, I have had to get inventive and try out different combinations of food, some of which I may adopt as a permanent fixture in my diet. One particular favourite was adding a chopped up apple to my porridge for a delicious breakfast option. Another came in the form of pasta with a butter and herb sauce and some roasted vegetables. Yum!
The Tuna Problem: Yesterday and today I used a can of tuna, my most expensive ingredient at 48p for a single can, as a baked potato filling and as a sandwich filling. It was a small extravagance in my second week’s shopping which turned out not to be worth the 48p. After finishing my baked potato last night for my evening meal, the one meal which most other night’s has left me with only the faintest hint of ‘not-quite-full’, I still felt hungry. I didn’t feel as if I had consumed anywhere near what I should have for that meal, and had to make myself a meagre bowl of porridge later in the evening in order to stave off the rumbly gremlins that were making their presence known in my tummy! I was left decidedly annoyed that the meal that effectively was one of my more expensive actually turned out to be the least filling of the entire 10 days, meaning I then ate more than I would have in order to feel a bit more full. The tuna sandwich lunch was not much better and I came home tonight craving the roast veg and rice dinner that I had planned. How frustrating must it be to regularly spend money on food and still not feel full?
Only two more days left below the line – please click the link at the top to donate!