Today I love….Living Below the Line

9 Jul

I love, love, love being frugal (read: tight-ass)….

Living below the line…Hmmmm….

Is is really that hard? We can all do that can’t we?

Especially in these tough times….

I am sure we can all use an extra dollar or two and then help out others by putting this money to a good cause….

The Global Poverty Project’s vision is a world without extreme poverty within a generation.Imagine if you only had $2 to get by on each day…

This is the challenge faced daily by 1.4 billion people living under the extreme poverty line. Today it is the challenge we are asking you to undertake.

From the 2nd – 6th August, we invite you to Live Below the Line – to live on less than AU$2 of food per day.

For five days in August you will experience one of the basic challenges faced daily by those living in extreme poverty – struggling to obtain the basic food reqiurements each day. You will sacrifice the things you take for granted… Your resourcefulness will be put to the test… But it will become one of the most rewarding weeks of your life.

Your involvement will not only be enlightening to yourself. It will engage your friends and family to be challenged by some of the realities of extreme poverty.

It will also enable you to fundraise towards your choice of two causes that are working towards a world without poverty: the resourcing of new schools for remote communities in cambodia, or the Global Poverty Project’s Poverty Education Program.

Find out more about these projects

Sign up to take part now

The eat on only $2 a day theory is workable and proven here by one participant with a shopping list and meal plan….

08 Jul 2010 by Sarah

When I first signed up to Live Below the Line, I planned on doing it as an individual, not as a team. I didn’t really feel comfortable asking my friends to put themselves out of their comfort zones. I was pleasantly surprised to find though, that just by chatting with a few people about what I was going to do, I had volunteers waving their hands to join! I’m actually heading overseas at the beginning of August, so I will be Living Below the Line next week. Thanks to my wonderful friends, I’ll be doing it in a team of three. This is a rough shopping list I’ve put together for us to work from:

5 day Shopping List for a Team of 3

900 grams Coles Smart buy Oats – $1.30

2 Litres Coles milk (full cream)  – $2.10

1 kg Coles smart buy raw sugar – $0.97

Bread x2 – $2.20

Eggs (a dozen) – $1.99

Stock cubes (6) – $.0.75

1 kg Lentils (red) – $4.63

1 kg Coles long grain white rice – $2.45

Fresh fruit and veg from market (I’ll be looking for things like potatoes, onion, garlic, pumpkin, leek, broccoli, carrots, bananas and oranges, plus any oil/butter, spices etc) – $13.61

TOTAL: $30

Meal plan:

Day 1:

Breakfast: 1 serve of oats – 100grams (maybe a little bit more for my two male counterparts), cooked with water and 50mls of milk, tablespoon of raw sugar. Also plan on finding some nice ripe bananas at the Vic market this weekend for mushing into the porridge. Yum!

Lunch: Rice and Dahl

Dinner: Soup and toast

Day 2:

Breakfast: Egg on toast (if this isn’t filling enough, a small serve of porridge as well)

Lunch: Mashed potato (potatoes + small amount of butter and milk) and steamed veg + Snack of fruit

Dinner: Soup

Day 3:

Breakfast: Porridge

Lunch: Rice and Dahl

Dinner: Potato Omelette

Day 4:

Breakfast: Egg on toast (+ porridge)

Lunch: Mashed potatoes and steamed veg + fruit snack

Dinner: Soup

Day 5:

Breakfast: Porridge with banana

Lunch: Rice and Dahl

Dinner: Soup

I’ve also included a mock shopping list and meal plan for individuals just to illustrate the difference.

5 day shopping list for Individuals

Fruit and Vegies from market – $5.00

Loaf of bread (20 slices) – $1.00

Peanut butter – $1.50

Dozen cage eggs – $2.00

Meal Plan:

Day 1 – 5:

Breakfast: 2 eggs on toast

Lunch/snack: Fruit and Peanut butter sandwiches

Dinner: Vegetable Soup

Honestly, I was shocked at how hard it was to write a five day shopping list for just $10. The end result seems quite limited and monotonous. This really brought the ‘lack of choice’ aspect of poverty into perspective for me – imagine having to eat the same thing EVERY DAY. I find it hard to deal with left overs from the night before! With only $10 to spend though, there really is no other option.

This shopping list is a good example of the limitations of Living Below the Line as an individual. Working as a team allows you to pool your budgets and buy products in bulk, allowing for greater variation during your week. Overall, writing these lists has really shown me how spoilt we are when it comes to the decisions we make about food, and how much more appreciation we need to develop for what we have.

Sarah is a participant in the Live Below the Line campaign – click here to sponsor her

You can share your stories too…

Live Below the Line

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