Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Living below the line - day 1

Day 1 successfully completed and well within budget.

Something I didn't realise is that you can't carry money forward on this challenge - each day must come in at no more than £1, which is a bit of a bugger as I was hoping to keep a few pennies in reserve each day in case I *really* needed some extra one day (if I have a migraine for example).  Had I realised this at the start of the day I probably would have used up the extra.  But no matter, I know now!

Breakfast was easy - porridge made with 50g of oats (3.9p) and two-fifths of a banana (4.6p) for a grand total of 8.5p.  It wasn't bad, either, except that for some reason I got indigestion about an hour later.  I've chosen to spend my money on food rather than drink, so had a mug of hot water instead of my usual Redbush tea.  This was not as much of a deprivation as I expected.  The comfort factor of a hot drink is still here, even though the taste of course is not.

Lunch was a pack of Lidl's noodles (18p) and half a tin of mushy peas (8p), also from Lidl.  Again, enough for a satisfying meal, even for someone like me who likes to feel full.  So that's another 26p gone, total for breakfast and lunch 34.5p.  At this rate, dinner was shaping up to be a veritable feast!

Which I decided I might not be able to eat, as by half an hour after the noodles indigestion was rampaging through my chest like a baby dragon on the first day of the holidays.  I really hope that medicine does not count as food, because I could not have coped without an antacid.

Normally on Tuesdays my work consists of just one 2-hour session of cleaning, in a particularly difficult house where resides a long-haired black cat.  She is lovely, but boy does she shed, so the cleaning and vacuuming are particularly vigorous and of the on-hands-and-knees-with-an-attachment variety.  This takes a lot of energy.  Also, with it being a bank holiday week, I also had a session in the afternoon at another house that I usually do on Monday.  This all took quite a bit out of me.  I've only been a home helper for three weeks after giving up a third of a century sitting behind a desk, so as yet I am not all that fit.  You can imagine how I felt by late yesterday afternoon after all that hard work on relatively little food, so I had to have a peanut butter sandwich to start feeling remotely alive again.  It worked, but it cost me 4.2p for 2 slices of wholemeal bread and 3.6p for 20g of value peanut butter, bringing my spend up to 42.5p.  Dinner was starting to look a bit less generous, but at least by now my indigestion was gone!

I decided on soup.  I've read somewhere that soup is more filling and satisfying than the same ingredients cooked individually.  Probably something to do with the water helping to activate the stretch receptors in the stomach or somesuch.  I don't know how it works, but it does seem to.  So I cooked an onion (4.8p), a large carrot (12.8p), a stock cube (1.5p), 50g oats (3.9p) and 355g potatoes (21.3p) into a thick, hearty "scotch broth" and enjoyed this 44.3p feast very much.  I was surprised, I expected it to be bland and unexciting, but it tasted quite fresh and was very filling.  So filling that I probably didn't actually need the 8 rich tea biscuits I ate as dessert for 4.6p, but I had them anyway!

I don't know whether it was the reduced food intake or the hard work or both, but I was ready for bed very early and turned in at about 9:30.  Time spent asleep is time not spent thinking about food!

So - a grand total of just over 91p spent on my first day. I was expecting to have lost some weight as a welcome side-effect, but the scales told me this morning that I am actually a pound heavier than I was yesterday morning.  Tuh!

But the *important* pounds are the ones that I earned yesterday by sticking within the limit.  Thanks to the people sponsoring me so far, £14 will now be going to the dogs, and that's better than losing a stone!


  1. Looking forward to following your progress this week. Don't forget to link to your LBL page so people can donate!

  2. Thank you Richard, I hope that my progress does not disappoint! :o)

    I don't have an LBL page, because the causes I have chosen to support are not represented there. The people who have pledged to sponsor me will be giving their donation to a well-trusted member of the animal rescue community on Facebook, for distribution between two fundraising groups and one shelter that are all dear to my heart.

    I know that there are hungry people, but there are also many, many hungry animals and I see the hundreds of thousands raised for the people. I don't think they are going to miss my few pounds, but each of those pounds will go to keep four stray dogs from hunger for a whole day. My rumbling stomach is worth that any day of the week.

    Thank you for taking the trouble to comment and all good wishes to you.