Live Below The Line Challenge: Day 5 (the end!!)
So, after what seems like far longer than five days, I’ve finally reached the end of my time spent living on £1 per day. I must admit, I was a little surprised that I was able to spend so little on food and drink and not feel overly hungry. I’m not surprised, however, that I became very bored of my restricted diet very quickly, and that I’ve felt fairly weak, emotional, unable to concentrate and lethargic over the course of the week. I can’t even begin to think how those who’ve completed the challenge on a diet of beans on toast and instant noodles feel right now. (they do exist – a lot of people have been blogging via the Community page on the website, and it’s interesting to see what other people bought!) – I’m so glad I included at least some vegetables!
My Friday didn’t begin well. I woke up too late for breakfast and too late to cook any rice for my lunch, and so headed into work on an empty stomach, armed only with a bottle of tap water. I only live five minutes from the office, so thought, “it’ll be fine, I’ll head home for lunch, boil up some rice, add some of the same old sauce and I’ll be back in work well within my hour’s break”.
Not the case. I’d forgotten that I had a medical appointment at 1pm that lasted an hour, so that was my lunch break scuppered.
Fortunately, however, the appointment finished a few minutes early, so I just about had time to run back and “enjoy” a few mouthfuls of the passata/mushroom/onion/carrot mix that I’ve been eating all week (cold, with a little homemade cheese mixed in) and have a big glug of the last of the whole milk that I had left over. Not the most satisfying lunch in the world, but at least it was something.
A friend came over after work, which was much appreciated: it was great to catch up with her, and certainly made the final few hours more bearable! She refused my offers of tea and squash, though, because she didn’t want to feel bad about my inability to join her…bless!
While she was there, I made “the last supper” – another variation on rice and eggs in the form of egg fried rice, using up the final few chopped onions and carrots, a bowl of rice and one egg.
After she left, I headed to Sainsbury’s to buy breakfast for the morning after: bagels, cream cheese and smoked mackerel. This, along with a pint of milk and some porridge, came to over £8, more than my budget for the whole of the five day period. I actually felt guilty when paying.
At around 11pm, I headed to the pub for a glass of tap water, and whiled away the final hour with a few games of pool and chats with the regulars. And a minute after midnight this was my celebration:
On my way home, I popped into the Cyprus Kebab House on St Michaels Hill…for a pitta bread with salad. A surprising thing to be craving, maybe, but the small quantities of fresh fruit and veg have hit me more this week than the lack of meat/cheese/salt/fat!
At the time of writing, it’s midday on the first day of “freedom” and I’ve not yet eaten anything today. I have no appetite! I’m quite content with a glass of squash and the knowledge that when I AM hungry, I’m not restricted by budget. It really has been an eye opening five days, and it’s defnitely made me think about both my spending and my diet. Friends of mine have said that it’s inspired them to be more frugal too – it’s been fantastic for raising awareness of what is a very serious and widespread issue around the world, and I’ve so far raised £466 for Health Poverty Action – thanks so much to everyone who’s been kind enough to donate!
I’ll definitely be taking part again next year, it’s for a great cause and a challenge that really does take some thinking about. And – more selfishly – I’ve cut the smoking right back (with the intention of giving up) and have lost 5lb. I’d urge others to get involved too, if keen! And in a final push for sponsorship (wouldn’t it be great if we could break the £500 barrier…?) I’m going to give you the link to my page again – I promise I’ll stop nagging after today!
Thanks again for all of your support – both financial and moral!