Scrounging for Supplies: Living Below the Line (Part 1)

In solidarity with much of the world and an effort to raise funds for the Salvation Army, David and I will be ‘Living Below the Line’ this week by only spending £1 per person per day on food and drink. The International Extreme Poverty Line was defined by the World Bank in 2005 as $1.25 US dollars per day. Converting to the UK equivalent and adjusting for inflation, that would be like trying to survive on £1 per day in London. Also, David and I are taking the easy way out since those living in extreme poverty use those funds to cover everything from health to housing to transport, and we’re only budgeting for food and drink.

Of course your first response might be, ‘that’s not so small,  for £1 David could buy a lot in the markets of Uganda.’ Well, dear reader, that’s not exactly true since the US$1.25 figure is calculated using Purchasing Power Parity, which means that is how much a person would live on in extreme poverty in the United States. The figure per day in a country like Uganda would actually be lower in real terms since food is cheaper.

Most of our supplies for the week, currently totaling around £9.

Most of our supplies for the week, currently totaling around £9.

In preparation for our week Below the Line, David and I spent Sunday afternoon creating our shopping list and hitting the East Street Market. Opportunely we arrived at the Market just as most vendors were starting to close up shop, and the street sweeper was making its way up the street. With our £1 limit heavy on our minds, we decided to poke through the abandoned rubbish heaps that the vegetable vendors had left behind. Our scrounging had massive dividends, producing 5 carrots, 1 parsnip, 2 bell peppers, 2 lemons, and 1 sweet potato!

Here’s our Supplies List:

Item Price
1  Rice £0.40
2  Pasta £0.38
3  Half Bag Lentils £1.00
4  3 Cans Chick Peas £1.00
5  Tomatoes £1.00
6  Fruit (14 Clementines) £1.00
7  2 Bunches Spinach £1.00
8  5 Onions £0.50
9  Lemons £0.30
10  15 Tea Bags £0.06
11  20 Eggs £1.60
12  Spices and Oil £0.50
13  Discarded Vegetables* £0.20
Total £8.94

* We accounted for transport and production cost of these vegetables without vendor overhead since no food is really free.

As you can see, we still have £1 left to spend – we’re considering buying biscuits (cookies) or baking supplies to make bread. Any ideas on what we should buy?

So far we’ve raised £105 for the Salvation Army’s water and agriculture projects in Africa and Asia. Help us meet our donations goal of £150 by donating today!

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3 responses to “Scrounging for Supplies: Living Below the Line (Part 1)

  1. My answer would have been to get the scrap veggies, but you did that. How about rice pudding? I see no milk…….Do they have Sam’s, so you could go for snacks?

      • Yes! It takes quite a bit of oil. Just find a pot with a tightly fitting lid, put a dish towel over the handles, and shake it a lot!

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