Live Below The Line Challenge 2015

Dear Readers,

Recently I took part in the Live Below The Line challenge which is where you have £5 to spend on all your food and drink for 5 days. I have to say before the challenge started I was feeling pretty full of myself as I pride myself on my thrifty ways, inventiveness and all the tricks I have picked up from reading about wartime rationing so I thought it wouldn't be too difficult. I will admit to you now readers I was wrong; I was so very wrong.

Before the challenge even started I was struck with how much of an inconvenience poverty is. I had to plan every single meal I was going to consume and stick rigidly to that plan and the shopping list. Something which is very difficult when the items you can afford might not be in stock or available. Very quickly everything I then saw, food or otherwise, was valued in terms of how many days worth of food it would be. I also went to a few supermarkets to be able to get the best price for everything I wanted to buy though I'm aware that not everyone would be able to do so due to transport.
Above is my shopping for on the challenge and for a bit of perspective below is an average shop for both me and Indi.
From day one I really struggled with the caffeine withdrawal and had some cracking headaches. Not to mention I was also always in a state of mild distraction as food was constantly on my mind. Add a dash of feeling light headed due to low blood sugar and an attention span of roughly 3 minutes which all made my days at work feel twice as long and I was twice as tired than usual when I got home.

The next issue was that of acid reflux which I am prone to anyway but was so much worse while I was on the challenge. My stomach isn't used to being really empty these days as I'm quite the little snacker. Also most of the foods which are low cost also happen to be quite processed which is another thing that disagrees with the old tum. In the evenings I would get home so totally ravenous that I would binge on the only thing I had a large quantity of, porridge. The stave and then binge situation meant I spent a lot of my evenings in agony with excess acid and stomach pains.

By the end of the five days I was so eager to get eating again and marvelled at the food on my plate; the quantity, variety and colour. Though humbled by the thought that my challenge was over yet for those actually living this they have no end date to look forward to. As a campaign the Live Below The Line Challenge is a brilliant idea as it not only raises funds but awareness too. Not only am I far more aware of what it is actually like to live below the line I've also spread awareness because honestly everyone I came into contact with got an earfull about how hungry I was and why.

If you would like to find out more or to donate then you can do so here


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