Living off £1 each day was possible but very boring

Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.

Lancaster Guardian columnist, Anna Clayton.

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Last year Kathy Barton took part in the ‘Live on £1 a day for 5 days’ event to help raise funds for a worthwhile cause and to see if it really was possible. Can we live on £1 a day?

In this weeks column Kathy talks about her experience and how she approached the challenge.

For lunch I allowed myself six tortillas made from scratch with cheap white flour, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil.

“I started off by shopping around to see where I could buy the cheapest foods on my menu.

“I wasn’t sure if there were hard and fast rules but being a vegetarian, I knew I couldn’t live without my veggies.

“I visited the market at closing time and hit lucky.

“A whole box of tomatoes was being left for rubbish collection.

“I then ventured onto the canal towpath.

“Grateful it was spring, I gathered young nettle shoots and Mustard Garlic.

“I cooked these ‘spring greens’ with my tomatoes to make a sauce to liven up the week’s tea time meals.

“Each day started with 50g of porridge cooked with water but topped with 50 milliliters of milk and a spoon of cheap jam.

“For lunch I allowed myself six tortillas made from scratch with cheap white flour, a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil.

“Two plain, three with peanut butter and one with jam.

“In the evenings I alternated between rice, spaghetti and couscous with split peas in tomato sauce and a boiled egg.

“Fortunately I make my own yogurt, so using a starter from my last batch, the remaining 750 milliliters of milk (not used at breakfast for porridge) made five yogurts for a daily dessert.

“I had enough jam to add sweetness.

“Snacks were limited to two dates each day and either mint or sage tea from the garden.

“I was never hungry but bored, yes.

“No spices, no coffee, no alcohol, and not much variety.

“I am so used to selections from around the world every day.

“Wake up” I told myself, “Some people have rice 365 days of the year and not much more.

“I then pondered on how ethical these special priced foods were?

“Do the growers earn a decent wage?

“How can they produce it so cheaply?

“If you have the answers please let me know.”

You can email your thoughts on Kathy’s questions to anna@lessuk.org

You may also want to try living on £1 a day during this year’s challenge from April 27-May 1?

Go to www.livebelowtheline.com to find out more.”