Yesterday Maddie and I began the Live Below the Line Challenge. We spent Sunday afternoon prepping for the week by creating a possible list of groceries, brainstorming menu ideas, and shopping within our budget. Our "pantry" essentially includes large quantities of staples, such as rice ($0.35 per pound), dried pinto beans ($1.39 per pound), potatoes ($1.59 for 5 pounds), and vegetables (cabbage, carrots, onions). We bought smaller amounts of items like apples, chicken (just so happened to be on sale for $0.78 per pound), and eggs. Maddie and I also included in our budget a dollar for seasonings and loose leaf jasmine tea. And since I'm including my daughter, I made sure that we bought milk. Gotta keep growing!
We got through the first day. It took a bit of planning and thinking ahead about our meals, especially for school lunches (no grabbing a granola bar for the lunch bag). Breakfast was toast, milk, apple slices, and a hard-boiled egg. The kids had rice with soy sauce, beans, pretzels, and carrots sticks for lunch. My lunch was a little different. I just mixed up sauteed veggies with beans. Dinner was actually pretty good--I really wish that I had thought to take a picture. We had baked chicken, baked French fry wedges, and sauteed cabbage, carrots, and onions.
There is a monotony to this restrictive of a diet (i.e., you can have almost unlimited amounts of beans and cabbage, but how much do you really want?). And I really do miss my coffee and fresh fruit. But I guess this is the point....many people have far less choices than we do (even on this challenge)....and no access to first world grocery stores.
To read more about our experiences with the Live Below the Line five day challenge, please click here. To read more about Live Below the Line, please click here.