BLOG: Day four – Could you live on £5 for five days?

Helen Burton �7 Food Budget SUS-150605-161001001

Helen Burton �7 Food Budget SUS-150605-161001001

  • Helen Burton from Pevensey Bay took on the Live Below the Line challenge recently
  • She is living on just £5 for five days, with some help from her chickens providing eggs
  • In today’s blog Helen feels tired and lethargic due to the lack of food
  • You can read about her daily struggle every day this week here on this website
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I woke up with hunger pains today. I felt a bit better after a cup of mint tea but it’s obvious to me that whilst I can cope with spending this little on food, my body is suffering. I am much more lethargic than usual and I’m wanting to go to bed much earlier. I am not exactly a skinny person (far from it) and this body was not made to live on salad leaves and kidney beans!

The food I am eating is very repetitive so it’s not only bland it’s boring too. For lunch, spaghetti with a fifth of a jar of pasta sauce (and small amount of tinned tomatoes to spread it out a bit more) mixed with some greens from the garden and some kidney beans for protein. Same for dinner. Edible, filling but boring. For pudding this evening I had a slice of (now mouldy) bread with chocolate spread on it. Yay.

A friend visited this today and we had a walk around the garden. We were looking at my meagre vegetable bed and I told her that initially I had planted six cabbages but the chickens had scratched them all up leaving me only one, still at least I had been ‘enjoying’ cabbage leaves in my bowls of pasta. “Are you sure it’s cabbage?” she asked me, “It looks like broccoli to me”. Then I remembered I had planted six broccoli plants as well as the six cabbages. When I checked, yes indeed I have been eating broccoli leaves all week. Still, it’s exciting I’ve never grown broccoli before. RIP all the cabbage plants. I guess this is why proper gardeners plant things in rows, I had gone for a pretty pattern interspersed with companion plants to detract bugs. The companion planting worked well though as the one remaining plant that the chickens left for me was bug free! After a quick google search I found that broccoli leaves are just as edible as cabbage leaves so I haven’t poisoned myself this week, I really must plan my vegetable patch a bit more this year. And maybe put labels on things.

I am so relieved it is the last day tomorrow. Not only am I getting bored with eating the same stuff all the time but I am fantasising about foods I am missing. Also the open bottle of red wine in the house is calling to me. I am really looking forward to going to the Junk Food Café in Brighton tomorrow for lunch. Hope it’s not kidney beans in pasta.

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