Live Below the Line: Day 1 Lunch

Popped to Tesco this morning, but they still didn’t have the 40p value rice on the shelves, so I’ve had to rejig my planned food menu around a bit. No matter though, I’ll be able to pop into Aldi on the cycle in to work tomorrow and pick some up. That makes me think about how much of a pain it would be to get around on the extreme poverty line. If I didn’t have my bike to get around, I’d be spending a fortune on bus fares to get to different shops to pick up the cheapest ingredients – I guess you’d just have to get the cheapest items from whatever shop was nearest and if they were out of stock of something then just do without… 

I’ve included some of my precious protein for lunch. Unfortunately, I’ll have to have some more this evening, now that I can’t make one of my rice dishes, which might make things a bit less varied towards the end of the week. I still have a few pence in the kitty though in case I can find some heavily reduced bits and bobs at some point. I’ve made two portions of my lunchtime recipe, and put one to cool in a tub ready to take to work tomorrow.

Day 1 Lunch
Tuna and sweetcorn pasta

100g value pasta – 350 calories, 1.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 6p
1/2 tin tuna – 35 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g sat fat, 24.5p
1/4 tin of sweetcorn (65g drained) – 55 calories, 0.5g fat, 0g sat fat, 8.75p
15g soft cheese – 25 calories, 1.7g fat, 1.1g sat fat, 3.5p
10ml garlic mayonnaise – 25 calories, 2.5g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 0.5p
Obligatory cup of tea – 0.3p

Meal cost – 43.28p
Calories – 490 calories
Fat – 6.7g
Saturated fat – 2.1g

So quite an expensive meal there, but it was tasty and certainly filling – I actually feel pretty full up now. You’ll notice my secret weapon here was the garlic mayo for creaminess and flavour (it’s really garlicky!). We got a litre bottle of this stuff for 59p from the Approved Foods website, so that works out at about 6p per 100ml, which I will nowhere near use.There is an argument here that the postage charge is quite expensive – over £5, but you buy so much in bulk that per item the postage is quite low. I also got a pack of 12 red curry pastes for 1p from there, so I reckon that will be making an appearance later on in the week.

I’m already feeling like I’m thinking about food all the time – how can I compensate for rice being out of stock, what should I make for tea, what am I making the rest of the week and will I have enough to portion out over the five days. I love thinking about food normally, but this is quite high pressure. I don’t want to run out of food! At least, with my current thinking, I should have 100g of pasta left over, so if it all goes tits up I still have some carbs! I realised when I was preparing lunch also that most of my meals are going to be really quick to make – everything is tinned pretty much, so I will just be opening tins rather than chopping up veg!

I notice that there are some people who haven’t sponsored me yet. Why not do it now?


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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