Living below the (poverty) Line – Whole 30 Paleo Style

On Monday I’ll be living on £1 a day for food for 5 days,

The idea came from the Live below the line challenge which is encouraging people to try to live on very little and be sponsored for it. I’m not doing that, firstly because I find it really embarrasing when friends ask me to sponsor them, and secondly because over my dead body is any money I raise going to a religious organisation. Not all the organisations you can raise money for are religious but I also wonder how much actually gets to the charity. Anyway, I digress. I’m doing this as a personal challenge.

The meal plans they suggest are pretty much junk food; cheap spagetti, value white bread, budget jam… and I’m sure this can be done with good food, and in a Whole 30 style, where meals are a palm sized bit of protein and the rest of the plate vegetables. No wheat, rice, grains, legumes, cheese or sugar. I am not a strict whole 30 er, my family are vegans and I just can’t eat meat 3 times a day so I do a sort of mixed vegi and normal whole 30 regime. I also slip into the occasional pizza and drink beer. Not ideal I know but better than I was eating before.

I can forage for wild garlic, nettles and dandylion leaves so greens are free, herbs are also free because there is a free herb garden in a local park. Mint and Lemon Balm are just popping up in the garden so there will be some form of tea.

I’ve bought 3 sweet potatos for 50p, a butternut squash for £1, 200g minced pork and beef for £1.48, sardines in tomato sauce for 24p and some free range eggs (2p more than sad battery eggs) for £1. I drink soya milk  because it regulates my hormones and a litre of that is 69p. I’m might go halves on a block of butter with a friend for 50p, I’m going to get veg from the 50p bags outside the veg shop and hope there are carrots and tomatos and maybe even a big bag of sorry looking avocados. It’s a tight budget.

From my £5 I need to make 15 meals, each with a reasonable bit of protein and greenery. There are 6 meals in the eggs, possibly 6 meals in the mince. So I’m short of protein. I’m going to ask the butcher if he has bones he would normally throw away and I can make soup and maybe get enough fat from the bones to be able to ditch the butter and get coconut oil instead.

Here are the guidelines from the site.

  • From the 29th April – 3rd May you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink.
  • This means you have a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
  • You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit. Remember this is a challenge to eat creatively and be enjoyed – don’t at any point deprive yourself of three meals a day.
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.