Day 5

May 2, 2014


Well here we are then, the end of the 5 days of Live Below the Line.  It’s been an over-whelming week both in terms of encouragement and in sponsorship from our friends and family.

As I write this, the total you have donated to Tearfund stands at £362.  I’d set myself the target of £200.  Like I said, it’s over-whelming.

I haven’t been hungry at all this week but today I think because the end is in sight I have found it especially difficult to stay focussed and to stop thinking about that Easter Egg of mine sitting on the side, just waiting to be eaten.  I am craving fresh fruit of any kind, and did enjoy the smell of our youngest son’s Cadbury’s frog on his breath this evening.  I am also looking forward to breakfast cereal and cold milk, sandwiches and tuna, which I couldn’t afford on the challenge.

I think what I’ve found this week is that it is certainly possible to eat “enough” on £1 per day, but it is very difficult to get a balanced diet with the recommended 7 portions of fruit or vegetables per day, and to get protein into the diet without associated salt e.g. from baked beans.   Meat has been limited to the tin of Irish Stew and the tin of Meatballs, whilst the only fish I have had was today’s fish fingers.  Next week I shall do a post-challenge analysis blog looking at the nutritional content of what I ate, to see if really was a “bad” way of eating.  What I can say is that the negative press Sainsbury’s get as an “expensive” retailer just is not true if you’re prepared to use the Basics range.  There has been nothing this week that I wouldn’t eat again, and has all been truly good value.

What I have also realised this week, however is that once I’ve got some of the vitamins and minerals back in my diet, I really don’t need all the calories I usually eat;  I can’t do, otherwise surely I would have been more hungry this week?  So I’m hoping for some changes of habit – perhaps having treats when I really fancy them in the evening rather than throughout the day, not finishing the children’s meals just because I’m too mean to put the food in the bin, and thinking how much I eat at each meal time, having something extra later should I feel I need it. 

So, what’s been on the menu today?

Carried-over from Day 4 £0.13, making today’s available spend £1.13 

Sainsbury’s Basics Pitta 6-pack £0.22 (A somewhat strange breakfast; I was intending to have pancakes again at £0.20 but unfortunately they were out of stock)

Basics Baked Beans £0.25

Basics Fish Fingers £0.60

Total £1.07

Remaining after the 5-days £0.06

If any of this week has inspired readers of this blog to think differently about food, money, poverty and shopping habits, it will have achieved so much more than I could have hoped when I started.

Thank you to those wonderful people who have sponsored my efforts on behalf of Tearfund.  We are able to take donations all the way into June, so if you would still like to donate, you can do so directly with me, or on-line at

Your likes and comments on Facebook have been so encouraging.  I thank you.