09 May 2012

Live Below the Line: Day 2

And it's Day 2 of Live Below the Line!

  • 1 Linda McCartney veggie sausage [16p]
  • 1 slice of garlic toast [3p]
  • 1 cup of tea [2p]
Like I said in yesterday's post, this is pretty much my breakfast every morning.  21p.  Not bad and less than a quarter of my budget for the day.   However, at about 11:00, I started fancying a wee snack and another cup of tea.  (Before y'all start accusing me of having a caffeine addiction, I drink all kinds of infusions, tea, herbal, fruity, etc., but I refer to them all as tea.)  At 11:10 -- it's my lucky day! -- two free samples of instant coffee arrive in the post.
  • 1 cup instant coffee [1p for the soymilk]
  • 1 rich tea biscuit [1p]
I am going to come out and say it right now:  I thought this would be a lot easier.  It's not hard by any stretch, but I kind of figured I always ate close to the £1 mark unless I was going out.  I didn't take into account any of my (numerous) snacks, hot drinks, and booze and I totally underestimated the vegetable budget.  I love veggies and eat a lot of them.

For lunch, I made a dahl (yellow split peas)-based dish.  I added an onion, half a cauliflower (and all the green leaves that came with it), some leftover butternut squash, a little oil, and some spices.  I was going to serve it on a bed of bulgar wheat (because I got 2kg for £1 on http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/ a couple weeks ago and my portion would only cost about 4p) or rice (1kg of value rice is only 40p), but the kids started hounding me for baked potatoes (a bag of 15 for £1, so just shy of 7p each).
  • 250g yellow split peas [23p]
  • 1 onion [10p]
  • 1/2 butternut squash [50p]
  • 1/2 cauliflower + greens [39p]
  • spices & oil [4p]
Which totals £1.26 for a nice pot of stew.  I ate about a third, so that's 42p for my portion + 4p for half a potato (my husband swears he didn't accidentally eat half, but someone did and it wasn't me or the kids) = 46p.
So just after lunch, I was already up to 69p, leaving me with 31p for the rest of the day.  Not too bad, and a lot better than Day 1.

The dahl stew was really filling.  I wasn't hungry, but was inexplicably struck with the urge for something sweet.  I don't usually fancy sweets, but not being able to 'afford' snacking had me really focused on the bar of chocolate in the cupboard.  I did a little math and it was 12p for one of their little 3cm x 3cm squares, so it was out of the question.  I did cave to my sweet urges, though.

  • 1 cup of tea with sugar and soymilk [3p]

I never have sugar in my tea and rarely have soymilk in it, but for 3p, I figured it was a frugal way to calm my sweet tooth.  It didn't.  It just kind of tasted icky (I just don't fancy sugar in my drinks).  I also reused the tea bag later.  Again, just not very satisfying.

It was getting close to dinner time and one of my sons started begging me for baked beans (~23p/tin).  I made some and the kids insisted I have 3 bites myself.  I kind of feel like being coerced into eating by my cute kids shouldn't count, but I'll bill it anyway, since I had more than 1 spoonful. I also had about a third of a bowl of cereal with soymilk.  The soymilk was 69p per carton and I didn't use very much on the cereal.  The cereal was 3 boxes for £1 at http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/, so it's pretty cheap. Speaking of cheap, I also had a bowl of popcorn.  I also had 2 crackers (they are just shy of 2p each) with peanut butter (value peanut butter is just 62p  for a 340g jar and it has no added sugar, so I really like it) and a beetroot-horseradish spread (4 for £1 at http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/).  I know that sounds crazy, but I love peanut butter and horseradish.  Ever since my friend Maureen told me about it, I've been absolutely mad for it.  I never would have come up with that combination on my own, but it's delicious!

  • 3 small spoonfuls of value baked beans [1p]
  • 1/3 bowl of cereal & soymilk [6p]
  • 1 bowl of popcorn [2p]
  • 2 crackers with peanut butter and horseradish [12p]

After dinner, one of my sons announced he wanted some tiny oranges and returned from the kitchen with 3 clementines, gleefully announcing, "here three oranges for three friends!"  (One for me, one for his brother, and one for himself.)  At 8p, I could afford one, but after peeling mine, I offered it to the kids, who gobbled it up (they are crazy about fruit and veggies).

After the kids went to bed, I thought about eating some more, but actually wasn't very hungry, so I settled down with a good book and a cup of tea.  I really wanted a wee dram of whisky -- for medicinal purposes, because I have a slight cold ;D -- but that wasn't in the budget.

  • 1 cup of herbal tea [2p]

My grand total for the day was only 96p!


  1. Congrats!!! I ate a repeat of day 1 and found leftover trout that Jay caught for us. He used the worms that we found in our yard, so the fish were free and I threw them into my rice, spinach, carrot shavings bowl. The fish made a difference in how I felt - felt better. I figured one banana was .15 cents so I allowed myself to have one and still stayed under the $1.50 total!

    Today, I'm off of it. Korean lunch in Robinson with my Mom and Gram. YUM!!

  2. PS - isn't it hard NOT to eat more when you're in charge of the food for the family and your kids want you to eat their stuff too????

  3. It is hard! I hate to waste food, so I eat my children's leftovers, too. And R is always insisting I have a bite of whatever he has -- he loves to share.