Day Five – Living below the line

I finished the 5 day challenge yesterday – hoorah. I actually found it very challenging yesterday. Too many temptations when visiting my parents. We took our remaining vegetable curry round and last portion of rice. A lot of my family were there: parents, sister, 4 nieces, Sarah and my two children. My sister and Dad were mildly interested in the challenge. I’m not sure my nieces were paying any interest. My mother however kept trying to tempt Sarah with dessert.

“Do you fancy a bakewell tart Sarah?” said my mother. “No thank you, Jackie I’m still on my challenge.” “What about a chocolate eclair?” mother said. “Mum, you are not allowed to eat anything except what you have bought with your £1 a day allowance.” I said. “It’s a gift, and you shouldn’t refuse gifts it’s rude.” she said with a smile on her face. Sarah resisted.

We both found the challenge interesting more than anything. Day One as anyone will know who has dieted before is hard. A couple of times in the past Sarah and I have both detoxed for a week. This however was different. With a detox you just have to cut out certain food types depending on the detox you are following. With the £1 a day challenge you had to think ahead about what you are going to eat and stick to the food you have bought. I suppose you could purchase your food daily or more than once a week, but the economies of scale would not be in your favour.

When we complete the challenge properly in the next few weeks we will definitely be making some changes to our purchases. We had a lone potato left over and didn’t touch the pasta. Eggs will be on the shopping list. Sarah wants a pint of milk too. We’ve both agreed the vegetable curry was really lovely and something to look forward to at the end of the day.


Today and you can see from the photo I treated myself to scrambled eggs on toast. I often have this for breakfast and I nearly always have 1 egg + 2 further egg whites. This morning I felt really guilty for throwing those 2 yolks away. I also had a skinny, one shot, decaf cinnamon latte when I got to work. Yes I know. The coffee shop staff find it a challenge remembering it too. It cost me £1.75. Today I’m meeting my friend for lunch. We often meet on a Friday and go for a buffet salad on campus. It costs £4.00. It’s Friday, my family are away for the weekend, I’m sure I’ll fancy a bottle of Co-Op Fairtrade Sauvignon Blanc. That will be another £5.99. So before I’ve even eaten my evening meal I will have spent nearly £12. Puts it into perspective doesn’t it?

There are 1.4 billion people in the world living on less than £1 a day. That £1 has to cover ALL living expenses not just food. The Living below the line challenge only provides a tiny insight into extreme poverty. We were still living in a lovely detached, suburban house, with running water, sanitation and central heating.

I hope many others will join the Below the line challenge this year with the aim of beating last years £500,000 fundraising results. I also hope it will help provide awarness on the conditions that many people in the world suffer on a daily basis.

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