challenge accepted: Live Below the Line

This is what I ate on Monday.
All-You-Can-Eat sushi night alone cost over $20.
Monday's meals weren't really anything out of the ordinary for me.

From April 22 to April 26 I'll be LIVING BELOW THE LINE.

On Sunday I'll go out shopping with only $8.75 for 5 days. The total cost of the food and drink I eat each day can't exceed $1.75– the Canadian equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

How does it work? (from

  • The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
  • For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices, simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally. Separate your items before the challenge so there’s no need to be digging around in your cupboards.
  • You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than their total $8.75 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
  • You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget.
  • You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
  • You cannot accept ‘donated’ food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
  • You are allowed to drink tap water – remember you should try and drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.
  • Remember that cigarettes don’t come cheap either! Can you Live Below The Line and still manage to smoke?

Last week I did a little "scouting" at the grocery store. The first thing I saw was a block of cheese that was more expensive than my entire budget. I headed off to look at what I assumed would be cheap, filling options. Shock. Rice and lentils by themselves ate up almost all of my budget.

I took notes furiously at the store. Was I really this oblivious to how much things cost? Yes. Yes, I was. I've never had to worry about if I had enough money in my bank account to pay for a tin of beans.

When I got home I spent several hours working out a meal plan - which I am still tweaking. I take so much for granted!

This is going to be hard.
But that's ok, it's supposed to be.

The 1.4 billion people who have to live under the extreme poverty line every day have to make their $1.75 a day stretch to cover a whole lot more than just food and drink.

challenge accepted.

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