May 5th, 2013
The Live Below the Line challenge, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is an awareness and fundraising effort for those who are living in extreme poverty. Those participating in the challenge eat for less than $1.50 (USD) per day for a week to better understand the experiences of the 1.4 billion people living every day in these conditions.
Of course one week (5 days) of living at $1.50 of food a day while still driving to work in a nice car, living in a nice (if not so air-conditioned – mine’s broken and I’m waiting for the repair guy to come fix it next week) house, and wearing my comfortable clothes hardly represents the extreme poverty that people in other countries deal with daily. However, it will give me a glimpse into their lives.
I am doing this because some of the guys at work suggested that we do it as a competition – see who can make it through the whole five days without exceeding their daily budget. I tried to up the ante to include who could have the most well-rounded meals (I.E. no Raman) with the highest nutritional value, but they wouldn’t bite. So instead I think we are just aiming to see who can make it and spend the least. The latter part I intend to win (competitive much?).
The Meal Plan
The easiest way to do the $1.50 a day challenge is to eat the same thing every day. So my plan is to eat pinto beans and rice every day for lunch and dinner as well as bananas for breakfast/snacks. I’m cooking the pinto beans with 1/3 cup of cumin for flavor.
The other key is bargain shopping. Bananas tend to go for anywhere between 49 cents to 52 cents a pound. I found them at Ruler Foods (an Aldi-type store that is a subsidiary of Kroger) for 35 cents a pound.
Pinto beans tend to go for around $1.49 a lb. Ruler Foods had them for 50 cents a lb.
Cost for the Week
So here is the cost breakdown:
Pinto Beans – 1 lb – $0.50
Cumin – 0.7 oz – $0.25
Short grain sweet brown rice – 2 lbs – $2.26
Bananas – 5.77 lbs – $2.02
Total – $5.06 for 5 days