It’s a truth universally acknowledged that chocolate is a great de-stresser! Unfortunately, when living on £1 per day, chocolate is not within my budget…..and today was the biggest test of my dozen below the line. A stressful day at work combined with a staff table loaded with crisps, chocolate and (the ultimate) caramel shortcake…..it took every ounce of willpower not to dive in at afternoon break!
Today’s meals, however, were delicious in their own right. Poached egg on toast for brunch before work (20p) and dinner was pasta with mixed vegetables and bolognese sauce (39p for the serving I had – saved some for tomorrow’s dinner).
Tomorrow I will be heading out to shop for the next 6 days of my dozen below the line. Next week, between the 7th and 11th May, I will be joined by hundreds more participants taking part in the official Live Below The Line week, and I thought I would post some of my top tips for shopping and eating below the line.
1. Buy your week’s shopping all at the one time then do your maths before you start? e.g: How much does each slice of bread cost? How much per portion of rice?
2. Don’t forget flavour! Stock, salt, butter, herbs, pepper can all be bought cheaply but make the world of difference to your meals!
3. Have a look in the frozen section! A 1kg bag of mixed veg can be cheap but can also be added to any meals to bulk it up and make it tastier.
4. Think it out and look for a variety of ‘bases’. I very nearly bought a huge bag of potatoes for 80p but quickly realised I most certainly did not want potatoes with every meal. I plumped for a bag of rice and a bag of pasta so I could chop and change 🙂
5. Cook enough for leftovers! By cooking a little extra and saving a third for lunch the next day, all my evening meals stretched a little but further – not to mention helping to spread the cost 🙂
6. Above all, be creative! It’s fun trying out new combinations and substitutes – don’t be afraid to throw some kidney beans into a dish. You might be surprised!
As I shop tomorrow for my final 6 days, having reached the halfway point, I’ll be looking for something different from this past week. While another 6 days below the line feels like it’s going to last forever, it won’t. And while I know I can go ‘back to normal’ in 7 days time, my reasons for doing this remain.
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My Live Below The Line page can be found here: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/elleenelle