Day one: Live Below the Line

LBL1 Collage

So, we’ve reached the end of Day One of the Live Below the Line challenge and I think we’ve done pretty well as a family. My menu today was:


Porridge, made with water and served with a spoonful of cheap strawberry jam (23p a jar from Aldi).


Cup of homemade leek and potato soup and two slices of wholemeal bread.


Vegetarian chilli served with a massive pile of boiled rice.

The highs and lows

There was a fair bit of stodge on today’s meal plan and, at nearly 10pm, I’m feeling surprisingly full.

Saying that though, one of the biggest challenges today for all members of the family was the inability to snack whenever we fancied a little something. The children have found the temptation of chocolate hard to overcome; I really should have hidden all their remaining Easter eggs. I had to contend with sweet treats left out by colleagues in the kitchen at work to celebrate birthdays and trips to Spain. Needless to say I avoided the work kitchen as much as possible.

The lack of coffee has been another challenge for me today. At work I get through countless cups and the working day doesn’t usually start properly until I’ve made a large pot of coffee. Instead I had to be satisfied with endless glasses of water and squash and a couple of cups of red bush tea. If I ever do this challenge again, I will definitely factor in a budget for coffee.

I will never be eating porridge made with water again. Not ever. It’s just yeuchhhh. I made my children’s porridge this morning with milk as I always do, but I’ve never been able to eat milky porridge myself. I just can’t stand warm milk. Usually I make mine with apple juice and cinnamon but apple juice was a luxury we couldn’t afford this week, so I thought I’d give water a go. I think I’ll be sticking to toast for breakfast for the rest of the week, even though the strawberry jam is pretty grim. At 23p I guess you can’t expect it to be packed full of big, juicy strawberries, I suppose.

The cheap brown bread was probably another false economy. I felt quite chuffed yesterday at Aldi when I worked out I could afford three loaves. It tastes of nothing and sticks to the roof of your mouth when you’re eating it. Hopefully it’ll be better toasted. That’s another thing I’d do differently; if I do this challenge again, I’ll definitely be making my own bread.

I’ve roughly calculated the cost of my personal food and drink consumption today and it comes to…

Porridge with jam = 4.5p

Two cups of tea and milk = 10p

Leek and potato soup and two slices of bread = 34.5p

Vegetarian chilli and rice = 34p

Day one total = 83p

I think I might just have to treat myself to a ginger nut biscuit to celebrate!

Find out more about the Live Below the Line challenge how you can sponsor my family’s efforts here. Thanks to everyone who has supported us already – it means a great deal to us.

5 thoughts on “Day one: Live Below the Line

  1. Well done for getting through the first day, the porridge and bread do sound pretty rough. Hope you manage a better breakfast tomorrow.

  2. Well done! My goodness, I really don’t think I could do that. I don’t think we could live under £1 a day living as rurally as we do, unless we grew our own. It costs £5 just to drive to the supermarket! Our village shop is great but things are pretty expensive. No 23p jars of jam there! Your new website is looking fabulous, by the way!

  3. My Mum eats porridge made with just water, in fact I made her some this morning as I’d bobbed round. Looks awful. Definitely stick with toast, however sticky to the roof of your mouth it is. The veggie chilli sounds really good though. Congrats on your day one!

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