Enough. It can be done but only if you are prepared to forage for free veg, are happy eating someones leftover apples and don’t mind being constantly hungry.
I mind all of that.
What have I gained? I’m proud that I managed to eat reasonably good food for 2 and a half days on £1 a day. Apart from feeling so hungry I can’t think straight I feel healthy, not bloated or strung out on additives from cheap supermarket food. My skin is fantastic from drinking pints of lemon balm tea. I’ve learnt that you need a whole carrier bag of nettles to make a small portion as they boil down to nothing. I’ve missed avocado and spinach. I’ve not missed sugar or tea.
I’ve proved to myself what I already know; people with money don’t have to spend so much to live. People with money can buy bigger boxes and 3 for the price of 2 bargains to fill their cupboards with and eat next week or the week after. People with more money have big freezers they can pack with yellow ticketed bargains they get when they see them, because they have spare change on them.
I didn’t go into this to raise money so a charity can set up another retro shop selling overpriced Primark. And, as we have plenty of poverty in the UK it didn’t seem right to me to raise money for overseas. Also, £1 a day in the Republic of Congo can buy you a whole lot more than £1 here, it’s not a fair comparison. I just wanted to see if it was possible to live below the line and not eat supermarket crap, not bulk out on carbs and chemicals.
I live on an insanely low income but we eat well, purely because I have a buffer of savings so I don’t have to only spend £5 a week. I’ve spent most of yesterday and all of today fantasizing over what I will eat on Saturday (I’ve been dreaming of decent portion sizes), which makes a mockery of the whole thing. I’ve no sense of what it is to be actually so poor I’d have to eat on £1 a day on Saturday too. I can only imagine the lack of light at the end of the tunnel, with good luck I hope I’ll never experience it.
I’m worried that the government will see the Live Below the Line site and think it’s actually possible, and reasonable to expect people to live like this, then cut benefits to the poorest of us who are the least able to fight back even more.
On the whole I just feel angry about this, it feels like I’ve just played a little rich kid game of being poor. I’m Marie Antoinette playing in her mock farm. It feels patronising and somewhat insulting to those that have to live below the line in real life, in this country, right this minute.
An avocado is calling to me, must go.