Sunday, May 05, 2013

Groceries For 5 Days, At $9.70: Live Below The Line

With the task of shopping for my groceries for the next 5 days, as part of the Live Below The Line food challenge, I had to plan, stake out where to go, and actually shop around today!  These are things I NEVER usually do!

I am a "go to the closest, most convenient store, and just make it up as I go along" kinda grocery shopper. I am not a cook, nor someone who plans meals very far in advance - plus I usually live on my own, so meals for one are nothing exciting; not something I put any serious thought or effort into. That's why I eat out a lot, with mates, and the joy of tasting someone else's culinary efforts!

Most lunches I ate last week cost almost $10 each. And each pint I drank yesterday while watching the footy cost more than $10 each. As next week has been looming, I have been pretty mindful of that figure...the World Bank's estimate of what people living below the poverty line are surviving on each day.

I am following Julie Goodwin's meal plan for the challenge this Monday through to Friday. Although, frankly, I don't know where she went to get her items at her quoted prices!

The eggs and the pumpkin caused me the most dilemma - I actually researched online before deciding which supermarket I would go to within a decent range of my current housesitting apartment, to find 12 eggs anywhere near Julie's quoted price. As it was, I did not find the online quoted price on the shelf, and went investigating down the street, mid-shop, to find a dozen in a Chinese grocery, at closer to the right price. The pre-cut pumpkin in the supermarket was my blow out expense, and I did consider heading off to the market to see if I could get it smaller, and for less. I mean, that's what someone living on $2 a day would have to do! But in the end, I ditched some other items, mindful that the Friday dinner of "leftovers" in the plan was pretty light on, and anticipating that that may be the hardest meal not to cheat with!

I had to forgo the fresh garlic I had in my basket, and did not get the 500g of salt on the shopping list. In fact, I didn't get any salt. Maybe I will need to collect some from a fast food place, if I decide I need it. Don't judge me! It did not fit within the $10!

I have a jar of crushed garlic in the pantry, and have worked out that I can use about 15g of that, within the 30c I have left from my $10 budget. Part of the challenge rules allow this - although does not allow people to gift me any food, to help me out during the week! Well, without it counting towards my budget, and now I have no room for that. Nor for coffee.

Right, now to cook my breakfast for tomorrow and also lunch, tonight - these meals take planning ahead!

You can support my challenge, and the quest to assist those living like this, in extreme poverty everyday, to rise above it here. A million thanks to all those who have kicked in money to the cause already - you are awesome! 


  1. I was wondering about the eggs too. They are expensive!
    Today I bought an eggplant, three carrots, a zucchini, five chillis, three pieces of celery and a turnip for around $5.50. Though I used most of the ingredients in soup (4 serves?) and my dinner tonight (2 serves). Am budgeting vicariously.

    1. So 6 meals....2 days worth, based on the World Bank's extreme poverty calculation! Not bad....

      Eggs were the most expensive! And I had to get the eggs that did not specify how they had been raised - which I would never normally do!


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