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

Helen Burton �7 Food Budget SUS-150605-161026001
Helen Burton �7 Food Budget SUS-150605-161026001
  • 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 visits a foodbank to see first-hand the struggles people face
  • You can read about her daily struggle every day this week here on this website
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I was told that Tuesday is often the hardest day of the challenge and I would have to agree with that as today has been a bit easier. I’ve been busier so perhaps that has helped to take my mind off food deprivation but I keep thinking about the fact that many people live like this permanently, not just for five days.

During the challenge I’ve also been made to think about all of the household items we take for granted. When making the cake yesterday the instructions called for a food mixer, cake tins, an oven and various other items in order to make it. When I visited the Eastbourne Foodbank a few weeks ago I was most shocked by the need for ‘kettle packs’. This is a pack of food that only requires a kettle in order to make it, as many people who use the Foodbank don’t have access to a kitchen, just a kettle.

Imagine that for a moment. Feeding yourself with only food that needs hot water. Really imagine what that is like. It is shocking to me that in the UK in 2015 the need for ‘kettle packs’ exist.

I’ve also been thinking about all of the products we use every day and how much they add up. Toilet rolls, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, cleaning products, beauty products. I saw a great quote online today, ‘There is more fruit in a rich man’s shampoo than on a poor man’s plate’. I’m not suggesting we do without these things, but this week has made me realise how lucky I am and how much I take for granted.

I’ve been picking a lot more food from the garden today, cabbage leaves, perennial onion stalks, wild rocket and some beetroot leaves, lots of greens to bulk up my spaghetti dinners. Thank goodness for eggs from my chickens too. I had a delicious omelette for breakfast with mint tea.

Eating food I have grown myself has been really rewarding and I’ve been planning more food to grow in future. I don’t have a lot of time so it will mainly be perennial vegetables and fruit which needs little maintenance. Rhubarb is first on my list! I just need to work out how to protect my veggie patch from my chickens…

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