Living below the line is not really a lifestyle choice for me, it is a necessity. Since returning from travelling, I have not yet found a job and my husband works part time. It is one of the reasons I chose not to join the Live Below the Line challenge, as I guessed I was pretty much already keeping to a very low food budget.
Instead I decide to blog about food, cooking and how to live well on a limited food budget and see how much exactly I lived on. There are three adults in the family and we eat together most of the time, so most meals are for three with leftovers usually for lunch the next day.
One way that helps is to work on economies of scale. I don’t buy one onion I buy a bag. The one above cost £1.69 from Asda and I guess there are 50 small onions in it, so I sometimes use 2 for a meal at an approximate cost of 3p each.
Tonight dinner is toad in the hole.I will be using a recipe from this book.
The sausages were 2 packs of 6 for £4 which does not make them cheap, however cheap sausages are mainly water and rusk, these are 97% pork and gluten, wheat and dairy free and I would rather have high quality meat and less of it than eat mush.
Today I had tea first thing and accepted a croissant at a friends house for my late breakfast. Lunch was left over Chicken Macaroni from yesterday.
What it cost today.
Tea and milk 4p
Lunch nothing as it was left overs accounted for yesterday
Good quality sausages 66p
Egg 5p (from my chickens)
Onion 3p as per yesterday
Carrot 3p as per yesterday
Potato 6p from an Aldi 69p bag
Total £1.58 as the pictured baked beans will not be on my plate. They cost 30p.
The Croissant was an unusual indulgence, and the mushroom was expensive at 25p, from a pack of 4 for 99p I had bought to go with a meal last week. It will make me think twice about spending that much on a mushroom in the future!
Yet the purpose of this blog is too see how much I spend on food for myself, rather than meeting the Live Below the Line challenge. My personal challenge is to see how cheaply can I can eat well without resorting to low quality ingredients, making real savings be made by buying fresh, seasonable food and using supermarket value lines such as tinned tomatoes and ketchup, instead of buying premium brands.
I realise I have a better life than those living in real poverty around the world, who have nowhere warm to sleep, no schools with young children forced into sweatshops and separated from family. Yet with the rise of food banks in the UK are we, by giving away food without support to learn to cook meals that are nutritious, tasty and cheap, just handing out the fish and not the fishing rod?