Who needs nutrients anyway?

I’m sincerely hoping the answer is a resounding ‘Nobody’, because this is my food for the week:

Even the iPod dock is laughing at me

As perhaps some of you may know, this week I’m undertaking the Live Below the Line Challenge, where I’ve agreed to eat and drink on £1 a day or less. Yes, this is a serious post for once. No, don’t navigate away.


There are a few reasons for this. One is that it’s for a good cause: I’m raising money for Giving Africa, a charity who get a little more sophisticated than the traditional ‘throw money at Africa and hope it pulls through’ approach and actively try and empower children to live healthy and prosperous lives through good education. So far I’ve raised a princely £5 (yes, five pounds), due mostly to my own staggering lack of organisational skills. I would like to say a massive thankyou to the fantastic Mel Phelps for being my whole source of donation so far.*

The second reason is that 1.4 billion people in the world live on less than $1.25 (basically £1) a day. And not in a “£1 is a lot of money in Burkina Faso” way either, but as in the equivalent of what £1 will get you here. Which isn’t exactly gourmet cuisine. I’ve honestly never thought about this too much, but it dawned on me just yesterday that £1 is really sod all money to live on.

I was sat in a café with a friend drinking macchiatos, which is apparently the done thing in London, and decided I wanted a cool and refreshing drink to go with the caffeine. With said drink purchased the combined cost of small coffee and fruity beverage was £4.70. Which is almost 5 days worth of food and drink for a quarter of the world. And at the risk of sounding ultra-British here, that’s just not on.

So today I ambled down to Tesco and bought my food for the week, which was, in short, depressing. Here’s my receipt, and from the above you can see what I’ll be chowing down on for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Yes, I do expect you to read that sideways.

Whilst I’ve hit my budget of a fiver for the week pretty well, I can’t help but feel that this is not a sustainable list of foodstuffs. There are things I have in abundance, like carbs and eggs, but there are things I lack, like the following:

  • Meat
  • Bacon
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Scurvy preventers
  • Vegetables
  • Nutrients
  • Meat
  • Fun

Which, as you’ll all agree, are most of the major food groups. My plan for the week is as follows:

  1. Eat porridge oats heated up with water and jam for breakfast (caveat: I don’t like porridge)
  2. Have sachet soup for lunch (caveat: That looks fucking awful so I’ll probably swap for peanut butter sandwiches)
  3. Snack on an apple (apparently they’re ‘fun-sized’. I do not yet see the fun.)
  4. Have variations on egg fried rice for tea (throw in kidney beans Thurs/Fri as a real treat)
  5. Weep almost continually

Personally I think that’s a winning strategem.

So I’ll be keeping this up to date throughout the week and you can feel my pain or laugh as you eat steak and lobster, it’s really your call. Today so far my food has been two eggs (8p each) on dry toast (2p per slice), and it was exactly as dull as it sounds.

This is going to be a rough week.

*And if you too would like to be as fantastic as the amazing Mel Phelps (and maybe get your name up on here to be lauded by my nearly 7 readers), then why not fire some money my way at  www.livebelowtheline.com/me/sparky205