Living Below the Line – Day 4

Somehow we both ended up beginning the first day of our four day weekend waking at 7am. We therefore had our porridge at a fairly normal time and then went to the morning Good Friday service at the Salvation Army chapel. I had trouble concentrating, possibly for food reasons, possibly non-related ones. Beth then went on to the town centre service and I toddled off home to play some games and work on websites.

We met for lunch in the park with some of Beth's student friends. Beth then went off to messy church with the youth group in the afternoon while I stayed around to throw any American football around with Aric and a Romanian called Johnny. Which was good fun but I dehydrated myself so Tamara was nice enough to give me a bottle of water which I chugged in about three gulps.

I went home for half a slice of bread with peanut butter on and then settled in front of the computer to get some coding done. When Beth got home we had pearl barley again for dinner. We are beginning to run out, good thing tomorrow is the last day. Tomorrow evening will be leftovers night, we will just pour everything in and make the most of it.

Bring on Sunday dinner.

Living Below the Line – Day 3

Day three saw us passing halfway. We had porridge for breakfast and it was fine and dandy. Then again I am happy with familiarity at breakfast. I tend to pick a cereal and stick with it for as long as I can.

I didn't have much trouble getting to lunchtime but felt hungry at about midday when my colleagues started eating. 

I managed to hold off till half one. Usually I go for a walk after eating but it was too darned cold. Instead went back and tried to get on with work in the knowledge that we had a four day weekend just around the corner.

When I got home dinner was almost ready and we saw some variation with jacket potatoes, baked beans and the usual veg. The variation here was appreciated. I am certainly starting to miss meat though.

After eating we went to church for the Maundy Thursday service. It was a good if long service but by the end I was hungry and feeling a bit cranky. I was glad when I was able to go home, eat the second half of the apple I started yesterday and slump in from of the TV.

Two days to go… Glad we rationed properly and have a fair amount left.

Living Below the Line – Day 2

Wednesday was largely the same as Tuesday. It turned out our porridge measurements were off on Tuesday though. The portion this time seemed about twice the size.

At work I found it hard to concentrate when I started to get hungry. I got the work done, perhaps a little slower though. Along with my sandwich this time I also had some carrot sticks which I rationed through the day. By the time I got home though I was very hungry.

In the evening I had the dinner I photographed yesterday which was as enjoyable as it had been the day before. We then went to the cinema to see Pirates in an adventure with scientists. The film was very good and very funny but I came out hungry. Walking down a high street full of restaurants was fairly tough. When we got home I had a half of one of our spare apples and that settled my stomach and let me sleep.

So while I don't mind the food we are eating and don't mind the portions that we are having for breakfast and lunch I am having trouble dealing with a smaller and less flavourful dinner. Good time to make a change for dinner then…

Living Below the Line – Day 1

So the first day is over. I started out disappointed with the portion sizes and ended the day disappointed that we had miscalculated.

As you saw yesterday our plan was to have porridge for breakfast. Apparently to make the porridge spread across ten meals (two of us for five days) we would be having a quarter of a cup of porridge. This turned out not to be very much at all. After adding milk and a little sugar mine was gone in about four spoonfuls. Either we got the measurements wrong or I need to stop wolfing my food down.

I then toddled off to work and got on fairly well for the rest of the morning. I had my allowance of a cup of tea at 11am and then started to feel hungry at midday. I managed to hold off almost two hours before giving in and eating my peanut butter and jam sandwich (slower than breakfast) and then waited another half hour before eating my banana. I went for my usual walk and then went back to work.

By about 4:30 I was starting to get hungry, which actually isn't that unusual. In fact when I got home I still wasn't much hungrier and we ended up not eating until 7:15 which is late for us. I was glad of eating later as I do not want to have to go to bed hungry. Above is a picture of our dinner (actually its Wednesday's). It is comprised of half a tin of tomato (not pictured), pearl barley, brocolli, carrot, kidney beans and gravy. Fortunately it all tastes quite good. The problem was I finished and was still hungry, I settled my stomach with a quarter of a slice of bread (we had two spare slices). The rest of the evening I had a headache.

The headache was enhanced when I created yesterday's post, I put all of the stuff we had spent money on into excel and came up with the total of £9.85. Going in we had assume that we would each be able to get a cup of tea a day at a rate of 2.3p per teabag. Unfortunately in getting as close to our £10 total as possible, we came up short and could only afford six tea bags. I volunteered to be the one to give up tea for the rest of the challenge but I was disappointed.

The first day went fine, I suspect that the coming days will be harder as our stomachs realise that they are going to have to make do with under 1000 calories a day (see Beth's comment on the initial post).

Living Below the Line – Prep

Yesterday evening after a lovely and filling pasta night we headed off to Asda. Usually I avoid Asda like the plague when not buying thanksgiving turkeys but one cannot deny that they are amongst the cheaper supermarkets.

We entered with our £10 figuratively in hand and came out having spent £9.85


Breakfast amount price
Porridge 500g 0.62
Milk 4 pints 1.18
tea 6 tea bags 0.14
Bread one loaf 0.47
Peanut Butter one pot 0.62
Jam one jar 0.35
apples seven 0.85
bananas five 0.59
Pearl Barley 500g 0.58
Kidney Beans 500g 0.98
Carrots eight 0.94
Gravy one pot 0.2
tomato sauce one tin 0.31
baked beans one tin 0.42
baked potatoes four 0.7
brocolli bag of frozen 0.75
Squash small bottle 0.29


We did our first round of shopping and had about £1 left and so got the beans and potatoes to give us some variety (jacket potatoes) one day. We then paid and found that actually we had another fifty pence. With that we picked up the squash and two additional carrots to reach the amount above.

We had planned for the majority of the items but when we got to the store we found the prices different to online, peanut butter and jam cost us about 30p but we also over estimated on fruit by 55p so that more than made up for it.

You will notice that we have used the remaining 14p on tea bags. This is the cost of six tea bags from our box of 80 that we already owned (in line with the rules). This allows one cup for me and one per day for Beth. Going in I am apprehensive as I do live my food. It will be an interesting experience though. I am already looking forward to my roast on Sunday lunchtime.

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We will be doing daily updates about the previous day all this week.