EDITED Live Below The Line 2014: Day 1 – 95p and a major school girl error

UPDATE: I miscalculated Day 1’s brunch box – I actually used three slices of garlic pork sausage which means it should be 15p, instead of 5p (price per slice). So overall spendage was 95p, not 85p. Apologies! 

I have signed up for Live Below The Line from 28 April to 2 May, hoping to raise funds for ChildHope. You can help either by joining or by sponsoring me here.

I woke up extra early feeling extremely motivated and excited to start my Live Below the Line journey.

Managed to fix a mini-lunch box consisting of an apple (10p), a banana (9p) tea bags (3 bags make up for 1p), and a sandwich made from 1/6 a baguette (7p), 3 slices of garlic sausage (15p) and a few leaves (3p). That already accounts to 45p or a third of my daily budget so I knew I best be careful with dinner.

I arrived work earlier than expected. Usually I have enough time to swing by a café for pastry and coffee but I went straight to my desk, proud to have passed by my favourite Swedish bakery without missing their freshly baked cinnamon buns. I had a challenge to conquer and I was keen to do well.

An hour into the working day I felt peckish. I munched on my apple and drank two cups of tea (re-used the tea bag) but felt it wasn’t enough. By 11am my stomach was screaming “EAT! EAT! EAT!” but I was banking on delayed gratification; Eating lunch early would drive me bonkers when the arvo rolls in. I gave in at 12.30pm, two hours earlier than my planned late lunch, and unwrapped my mini garlic sausage baguette. It was as plain as Jane can get but the bread was thick enough so it was still quite substantial.

A few bites later, I realised it was Monday.

I’VE BEEN DOING MEATLESS MONDAYS FOR FOUR YEARS!!! 
My mind’s telling me “Noooooo!”

I said this before and I’ll say it again… this was definitely an R. Kelly moment. I felt so sick, torn between my body needs and tradition. I stopped eating the baguette and decided to have a fresh cup of tea instead.

But my body…. my body’s telling me “Yessssss!”
I don’t wanna hurt nobody
But there’s something I must confess….

I ate the rest of the baguette half an hour later. I’m so sorry!!!! =(
Feeling guilty about eating pork on a Monday threw me off eating completely. But then I saw a colleague snacking on her stash of biccies and my mouth automatically watered like a Japanese futuristic faucet. I ate my banana convincing myself it’s the healthier option. I was really tearing up inside. I couldn’t wait to go home to cook a hearty dinner. I was so hungry my stomach was going to eat itself.
For dinner I wanted to make vegetarian sausage casserole. I oven-cooked two vegetarian sausages (18p), boiled about 1/6 of my couscous (11p) and 1/5 of my casserole vegetables (20p). When the sausages and vegetables were cooked, I plopped them in a heated pan, poured some gravy (1p) made with the water from the boiled veg on top and let it simmer for a few minutes. I then placed everything in a takeaway container, pretending it was worth £10 from a local vegan restaurant instead of a 50p homecooked meal. I did not use any herbs and spices so I was surprised it tasted decent. The only thing I wish it had more of was acidity, perhaps a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
Overall spendage for the day: 95p (Yes, I’m quite surprised too.)
Overall belly factor: Could’ve done with a few more snacks here and there but quite satisfied after dinner. 
Overall feeling: Couldn’t have kicked myself harder for missing Meatless Monday. Stupid school girl error. 
That wraps up Day 1 of the Live Below The Line challenge. It was quite a struggle but it I wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I can’t wait til Day 2 but for now, here’s to dreaming about big gooey chocolate fondant cakes with strawberry and basil cream cheese tarts (hey if I can’t have it now, I’ll have it in my dreams!)
For more information about the campaign please visit the Live Below the Line website. Please visit the Child Hope website too, for more information about the charity I’m raising funds for!

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