Live Below the Line 2015

Up front, I break all the rules of Live Below the Line. I don’t go to the shop with a fiver in my hand and buy my food for the week. I had lentils in the cupboard and pretty much decided to base my food plan for the five days around these. I have calculated my budget on what it would cost me if I had bought them. My shopping list is at the end of this post.

Breakfast has been an egg and a slice of bread for me, and husband has had toast with home made bread costing under 27p per loaf.

I also had these waiting to be used before they went well past edible. I hate throwing away food.

Tired veggies needing tlc

This is what I have spent this week. £9.52  I am cooking for 2 adults and one meal (sausage casserole) was for 3 adults.

So what have I been eating?

I used the flour to make bread and flat breads. At 27p this is better value than any cheap supermarket bread and a lot healthier.


Dinner was A Girl Called Jack chickpea and peach curry, costing 22p per portion.

I cheated a bit at lunch as I am facilitating a cookery course for Smethwick CAN, who I work for. We made 3 pasta dishes and bread and then we sit and share a meal. The portions per person we costed at £1.50 so I skipped the meat dish, and had one slice of bread, and a small portion of the vegetarian one.


Lunch: Leftover chickpea and peach curry

Dinner: Lentil casserole with onions and spices, served with rice.


Lunch. Leftover lentil casserole.

Dinner. Sausage casserole. This cost a totals of £2.56 serving 3. At 84p per portion it takes us over budget.


Roasted vegetable soup

Lunch. soup made with roasted peppers, onions, celery and tomatoes.

Dinner. Lentil curry and rice.

Friday is going to be tricky as I am going away for the weekend. I know lunch will be soup, and we may have some curry before we head off.

Yes I have cheated, again. I have spent more that I am supposed to. My husband added butter and jam to his toast and had tea every day. I have used herbs and spices in everything I have cooked. I had a ‘free lunch’. I bought meat. I have however only had 2 cups of tea this week although the plan was to stick to hot water. I have gone hungry and have been light headed. I have missed vegetables and fruit but not meat as much as I thought I would. Meat takes you way over budget too. I have also re discovered that peach and chickpea curry is so lovely it will be on the weekly meal plan going forward.

In the past I have been critical of the menus suggested by Live Below the Line. I ranted on about the use of value sausages and cheap bread. This year, I have to praise the resources available. And I wish I had planned better.

Why do I so this challenge every year (and fail)? I did not sign up to raise money, I do it to raise awareness. I work for a charity that manages a Trussell Trust foodbank. What I have saved on food this week will be used to buy much needed items for Smethwick Foodbank. Over 1 million people in the UK were given 3 days emergency food by Trussell Trust foodbanks last year (2014/15). Other foodbanks, soup kitchens and food drives, temples and mosques are also feeding people in food crisis. That is scandalous. Get sad then get angry that children go to school hungry. I do and that is why I Live Below the Line.

I have written posts before about my Live Below the Line attempts and failures. If you want to see those, just click on the Food and Live Below the Line category tab on the blog or use the search box. If you want to. Also please comment, I like that. And if you can afford to donate food to a foodbank, please do so.

Shopping list (most items from Aldi)

Lentils 500 g £1.29

Onions £0.79

Chickpeas 35p

Tinned peaches 35p

Tinned potatoes 15p

Tinned carrots 19p

Tinned tomatoes 31p

peppers £1.17

rice 40p

sausages £1.99

Strong flour 75p

Yeast 59p

6 free range eggs 95p

celery 59p

tomato puree 37p


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