Live Below the Line Day 54 – my tips for a successful challenge

Next week is the main challenge week of Live Below the Line so I want to share my top tips from my eight weeks of living below the line in the hope that it will help you have a successful challenge.

1) Set up your Live Below the Line profile page and fundraising page and send the link to your friends, family and colleagues. Update your page with photos of your food shop and the meals you are eating for the week. Write a mini blog on your page every day, talking about your experiences. By sharing your experiences in this way it will encourage people to sponsor you. Here is an example of what my colleague Jamie did:

2) Plan for your food shop. Got to – it gives you all the prices of products. Put your search term in and sort by price. Search for the cheapest options by selecting the supermarket and in the search box type the name of their cheap range (basics – Sainsburys, value – Tesco, smartprice – Asda).

My top ten Live Below the Line foods

  • oats (65p)
  • flour to make chapattis and bread (45p)
  • tinned potatoes (just 15p for 500g)
  • tinned tomatoes (31p)
  • lentils (60p) or split peas
  • jam (29p), rice pudding (15p per tin)
  • pasta (500g pack of spaghetti is just 20p)
  • rice (40p)
  • chickpeas (55p)

The best time to go to the supermarket is around 7pm (or 3pm on a Sunday) to get bargains in the reduced section, especially vegetables! If you can get a load of vegetables cheaply like this, then do try making soup (you can get a pack of veg stock cubes for 20p) or my attached tomato and vegetable pasta recipe – it’s really tasty! Pasta is generally a good option. You can get a 500g pack of spaghetti for 20p and you can get tinned tomatoes for 31p. Or you can try my attached bubble and squeak recipe (a 500g tin of new potatoes is just 15p and you can get a pack of 8 basics sausages from Sainsburys for just 80p).

3) I have created a number of Live Below the Line recipes that you can use (see my previous blog posts) and here are my top tips on what to eat:

  • Breakfast – get a 1kg bag of oats for 65p and mix it with water for porridge but get a jar of basics jam for 29p and mix in a tablespoon of that. Tastes quite nice! You can get a loaf of bread for 45p, so that with jam or cornflakes (31p) with milk (although milk is quite expensive)
  • Lunch – if you need  convenience, try packet noodles, rice and pasta that you just add hot water to. Otherwise, I bought a pack of 6 pittas for 22p and made falafel to go in them – very nice!
  • Dinner – pasta, or lentil (or split pea) dhal with rice and chapatis, or chapatti pizza!
  • Dessert – chocolate mousse (18p for 4 in Asda), yogurt (34p for 4 in Tesco), chocolate cornflake cakes (you can get a 100g bar of chocolate for just 30p!) or tinned rice pudding (15p) with tinned peaches (35p).

food tips collage

Good luck with your challenge. Thank you for taking practical action against poverty and raising money to help the millions of people who go to bed hungry every day.

I’m Living Below the Line for Practical Action – an incredible charity that helps children and families to escape life threatening hunger, disease and poverty. Find out how you could join the global challenge and do the Live Below the Line challenge from 28 April to 2 May – £5 for 5 days.


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