day 1: living below the line

I won’t bombard your feed with updates every day this week but today is the first day of the Live Below the Line Challenge so I wanted to let you know how I got started. As you may recall from my previous entry, the challenge is used as a means to bring awareness to extreme poverty, in which the average person living in said category lives off of $1.50 a day.

Last night was my grocery shopping for the week and it was uninspiring, to say the least. I began to feel panicked, like I wasn’t going to have enough to eat for the week. I slowly started to realize my meals would be much the same and would be meager amounts, to boot. There would be no meat, no coffee, no milk (I don’t drink milk but if I did, I could see why you would forgo it. Why would you waste money on it when you could save money and drink tap water instead?), no sweets, no treats. My shopping trip felt sad and I felt hungry even though my challenge hadn’t even begun. My total bill came to $5.50 in the end, with bananas, eggs, 2 packages of ramen, a 4 pack of off brand yogurt, and a frozen bag of broccoli. I have $2 left that I will spend later on in the week, hopefully on a more substantial dinner. I’m thinking pasta with frozen vegetables? Perhaps some sort of potato dish? We’ll see how far I can actually stretch $2.

Breakfast: A cherry yogurt. It actually tastes surprisingly decent, with bits of cherry throughout. I’m used to eating a less than thrilling breakfast (usually a granola bar) so the yogurt is satisfying. I miss my morning coffee, though.

Lunch: Banana. It is decent enough but I’m so sleepy. Having to do without caffeine is going to be so challenging this week, I can tell. Not to mention a lack of nutrients or a variety in nutrients. I can already see that extreme poverty robs our children of their potential, by stealing their energy and ability to focus. It affects adults in the workplace who struggle to concentrate on the work at hand.

My dinner tonight will be 2 scrambled eggs with salt and pepper. I’ll keep you posted in a few days but for now, just know that on $7.50 a week, the budget requires you to eat a lot of the same. There won’t be much changing up with the exception of a few dinners.

I’ll see you back in a couple of days!

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