For the past 40 days I have been living below the line for Lent – spending just £1 a day on food and drink.
It has been an incredibly tough challenge, but I’ve done it…and as it’s Easter, I’m celebrating with an Easter cupcake (or two) that I have made!
Why do Live Below the Line for Lent?
- I wanted to raise awareness of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty – living on just £1 a day. But unlike my challenge, this £1 has to cover a lot more than food and drink. It has to cover healthcare, housing, transport, education…
- I also wanted to raise money for Practical Action, a charity that helps some of the poorest people in the world out of poverty.
What has been the toughest part of the challenge?
- Not being able to eat meat, much fruit of vegetables and many other foods that I take for granted.
- Eating the same thing every day as it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, cook one dish and then portion it out for the week.
- I’ve struggled watching people eat nice foods while I tucked into rice and beans, and smelling nice foods too.
- It has been tough to go to bed feeling hungry – but that’s the reality for an incredibly large number of people
I’ve lost over a stone in weight, I’ve struggled with the hunger and lack of energy and I’ve broken down in tears several times because it was just so hard.
But it has been worth it. I’ve been on several radio stations, newspapers and I’ve even appeared on the TV – on the news! So I’ve raised awareness of the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty and I’ve also raised £600 for a charity dedicated to helping them.
If you’re inspired by my challenge and want to do your bit to help, you can:
- sponsor me and raise money for a charity helping tackle extreme poverty
- take part in the Live Below the Line challenge – it takes place on 29 April and lasts for 5 days (rather than the 40 I have just done!) and see if you can live on £1 a day while raising money for charity
Live Below the Line tips
If you’re going to take part in the Live Below the Line challenge here are some tips for success:
- Do the challenge as a team. It’s so much more fun. You can take it in turns to prepare the team lunch – you get a lot more for your money when you shop as a bigger group.
- Plan your menu for the week and then shop around at different markets, stores and supermarkets to get the best deals on your ingredients. Here’s a great video with tips for shopping for the Live Below the Line challenge.
- Get discounts. You can get some great bargains by bartering at the markets or doing your food shopping at the end of the day when supermarkets have big discounts on their items.
- Grow your own. You can grow your own food as long as you account for the costs of production in your budget.
- Get creative with fundraising. You could host a Live Below the Line lunch or a ‘Come Dine with Me Below the Line’ evening and ask guests for a donation.