Why £1? (Day 1: Live Below The Line)

I kicked off Day 1 of my Live Below The Line challenge today! I’ll be living off £1 per day for my food and drink for the next 5 days.

Why £1? 

The international Extreme Poverty Line was defined by the World Bank as $1.25 US dollars a day, in 2005. If you live on less than that every day, you’re recognised internationally as living in extreme poverty.

Our usual response to this would be, “that’s not so small, US$1.25 actually buys quite a lot in most developing countries”. Unfortunately that’s not true – the US$1.25 figure is calculated using Purchasing Power Parity – which works out how much you would have to live on each day if you were living in extreme poverty in the United States.

Converting this to the 2005 equivalent for the UK and adjusting for inflation, living below the Extreme Poverty Line today would be the equivalent of us living on £1 a day. And for people who live in extreme poverty that £1 has to cover far more than food and drink – we’re talking everything – health, housing, transport, food, education… It’s impossible to imagine, but that’s the reality for an incredible number of people.

Gandhi said that “Poverty is the worst form of violence” – and we agree. We all feel and see the injustice of extreme poverty, whether it be directly in our neighbourhoods or in countries far away, Live Below the Line is here to help you do something about it. – https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk-why-1

My 6p breakfast of two slices of wholemeal bread toasted with jam went down a treat, so off I went to the gym. My breakfast had approximately 199 calories which was very swiftly worked back off with my usual gym routine. A normal gym day for me these days involves working off around 500 calories through cardio and strength training. I love being able to put in a good level of work at the gym and I’m interested to see how I manage this week. I have a feeling that later in the week my energy levels will be significantly lower and that same level of workout might be a lot more difficult!

One of the big secrets I’ve discovered over the past couple of years of taking this challenge is preparation. Today I made a bulk lot of veggie burgers for my lunches for the week (using this recipe as inspiration).

At first glance, you wouldn’t have thought that this:

20130428-161442.jpg has the potential to become this:


By making a bulk lot of burgers, I’ve made 54p (onion and carrot: approx 14p each. kidney beans: 21p. Herbs: 5p) stretch for 4 lunches. I’ll be topping up each lunch with leftovers from dinner the night before to make it a bit more substantial. Today I went old school and combined my veggie burgers with some wholemeal bread.

Additionally, I took time today to chop up all my vegetables making it easy for me to add combinations of them to my meals later in the week. This way they’ll go further as well!


Today’s day below the line has worked out at 82p altogether and a grand total of 1143 calories.


Breakfast was 6p for my toast and jam – 199 calories.

Lunch came to 17.5p (13.5p for the burgers and 4p for my bread) – 224 calories.

Dinner was a around 59p – Pork tikka with rice and vegetables. I took 3 sausages (21p) and turned them into meatballs. I added some of my pre-chopped onions and carrots which came to 11p. I added a 1/4 of a jar of tikka curry sauce (20p) and cooked up a bag of ‘boil-in-the-bag’ rice (15p). I saved half of the rice for lunch tomorrow and a little bit of the sauce too. – 720 calories altogether.

My total calorie intake for today works out at around 1143 altogether which below the recommended minimum daily calorie intake of 1200.  Nutrition-wise, I have wholemeal carbs from the bread, protein from the meat and the beans, and plenty of root vegetables.  However, if I add my activity at the gym would take me below 1000 easily which is not ideal at all. I have some additional money leftover today which could give me a little extra calorie boost. This is going to be a tough challenge to achieve the balance that I am used to and I need.

You can still sponsor me here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/elleenelle

2 thoughts on “Why £1? (Day 1: Live Below The Line)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s