11 May 2012

Living Below the Line: Day 4

Day 4 and we're over halfway through Live Below the Line!

  • 1 Linda McCartney veggie sausage [16p]
  • 1 slice of toast [4p]
  • 1 cup of tea [2p]
You'll notice the price of my toast went up by 1p.  We got a new loaf of bread and it was more expensive than the last lot (even though both were reduced price).  I could make my own bread (and I often do), but this was a nice-looking buckwheat poppy seed bread and I love buckwheat, so we got it.  22p spent and 78p for the rest of the day.  The whole not-snacking thing is getting a LOT easier, although for some reason today, I am totally not satisfied with my breakfast and am still pretty hungry.  I dilute my tea with more hot water and decide to make an early lunch.

As usual, my vegetable budget makes lunch 'expensive.'  Under normal circumstances, I'd actually say that even with a lot of vegetables, my meals are pretty inexpensive and vegetables are certainly worth their price, not just because of nutrition and fibre, but because they are so delicious.  But since I am doing the Live Below the Line challenge, the cost of veg is kind of 'expensive.'  Of course, frozen veg is sometimes much cheaper, but I'm going to try to do this with mostly fresh veggies.  After going through my pantry, I decided on some dahl with rice.  I use the other leek, which has been wilting in my refrigerator, and some 'value carrots,' which were very, very cheap (2kg for 76p).  I used red split lentils instead of yellow split peas because I was in a hurry to eat and that and the leek made lunch much more pricey.  I can always make up for it with another popcorn and PBJ dinner.  ;D

  • 250g rice [10p]
  • 1 leek [35p]
  • 4 small carrots [8p]
  • 250g red split lentils [40p]
  • Spices & oil [10p]
£1.03 for the whole thing.  I ate just over a third, so let's say about 41p.  That leaves me with 37p for the rest of the day.  Not bad!  However, at first, I'd made some kind of crazy error and thought I only had 17p to go and was pacing back and forth, calculating what I could have for dinner if I still had a cup of tea.  I really felt like I was struggling.  Later in the afternoon, I double-checked and sighed with relief.

My husband had been hinting about tapioca yesterday, so I made some in my slow-cooker.  I LOVE warm tapioca pudding.  *Please note, I'm not including water in any of my ingredient lists -- just in case you try to make my tapioca.  You want at least a 5:1 ratio of liquid to tapioca pearls.  I used some soymilk and a lot more water.*

  • 250g tapioca pearls [40p]
  • 0.3L soymilk [20p]
  • Almond and vanilla flavouring [10p]
  • Sugar [2p]
I know that sugar number looks low because sugar has been pricey lately, but we got the bag of sugar on clearance (half off!) a few weeks ago and I only used about 3 tablespoons (I don't like my tapioca very sweet), so the whole crock pot was only 72p!  I'm guessing I had about 12p's worth, so I had 25p left for dinner.

My husband went out and picked some wild garlic and we had that with some value pasta.  I made some pesto (with ground sunflower seeds and olive oil) with it for the kids and my husband, but I didn't think it was in the budget for me, so I just had mine plain on the side.  Value pasta is 30p per bag and I used about 2/3 of a bag [20p].  BUT, my younger son decided he didn't want pesto on his pasta and ate most of mine instead (my older son ate both his and his brother's pasta), so I had a comically small amount.

  • Tiny amount of value pasta [3p]
  • 1 cup jasmine tea [2p]

I actually wasn't hungry after that.  I think I was still okay because I'd had the tapioca as a late-afternoon snack.  After that, I had a bath and fell asleep getting the kids to sleep -- I know it sounds like I sleep a lot, but the kids get up at the crack of dawn and the wee one gets me up a few times each night.  I meant to get up and have a banana and maybe some popcorn, but I didn't, so my total for the day was only 80p!!


  1. Kudos to you for trying to stay healthy!

    I was fasting yesterdays so I drank 2 fasting shake, coffee with almond milk (my usual morning intake) and Mom gave us a watermelon on Wednesday (so that was free for me) AND since it's mainly water, I had my fill.

    My total was $1.47. The fasting shakes were .66 each and I make them with water. The coffee I counted the cost of grinds and the bit of almond milk.

  2. I've been following your Live Bellow the Line diet and what always freaks me out in these "poor" diets are the low quantities of fruit and vegetables (although you've been managing to eat some veggies :)). It's really expensive to have a healthy diet :(

  3. I don't really think eating healthy is all that expensive (although it can be when buying specialty items and such). I could have substituted frozen veggies (I didn't actually shop any differently than I usually do) and saved some money and even increasing my budget by 50p or a pound would make a big difference.

    That said, I did notice a lot of the other below-the-line diets suspiciously lacking in fruit and veg.