GoFundMe Christmas Campaign

Hello!

https://www.gofundme.com/help-me-get-christmas-food&rcid=r01-154522368955-a304241b61ea4c66&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

This is a message for all of you out there. I’ve just started a GoFundMe Christmas Campaign to help me refill my cupboards and to be able to actually celebrate Christmas this year.

I’m not usually a beggar, but my situation requires me to do this now. What I don’t want you to think is that I’m a slob who lives on benefits and who shyes away from working. Today I’ve got about 50p to my name and my fridge freezer and cupboards are pretty much empty.

This is far from true. I’m a very active jobseeker and look for jobs every single day, whilst writing my first book – which is due to be self-published withing a couple of weeks. I’m also developing my YouTube Channel too, to create some revenue from that.

However, now I do need the help of strangers to put me and my cat in food for the holidays (Christmas & New Year’s), plus stocking up on food for afterwards. Not a penny of the will be spent on alchol, cigarettes or lottery tickets, just the essential food for me and my Cat, Ninja!

Any help is much appriciated and I’d be forever in your debt.

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Day 4 & 5 – living below the line

I completely forgot to write my update for yesterday and only remembered it after came home, where I don’t have any internet available, so I decided to write a two day report today instead.

Yesterday I had the usual breakfast of brand flakes, just like every day so far, some carrots and water for lunch and then chicken nuggets and chips for dinner. Today’s dinner will be spaghetti Bolognese with the other tin of baked beans and a ton of onions in them and water to stretch it.

One of my concerns is how bland and grey everything is, my only colour comes from the carrots, but even the baked beans doesn’t have a lot of colour in them. Everything is just so plain, dry and boring. As I was eating the chips yesterday I realized that they had a really weird texture – sort of chewy. I don’t know if it’s due to not using any oil at all or if that’s just how they are because of how cheap they are. I’ll have to get back to you on that after I’ve tried cooking them with oil and paprika powder.

The hunger is really starting to get to me now, I even woke up about five this morning to answer a call of nature and was extremely hungry, to a point that I had to drink a small glass of milk before going to bed. At the start of the week I expected to be just a bit hungry, but now it’s almost a constant feeling and a bit of it I think is bad planning on my part, and part is not being able to eat the amounts that I’d like to eat. I’m just used to eating larger amounts and more regularly. It’s the fact that I need to stretch and be firm with portion control in order to make the food last longer that’s surprised me most about this project, and just how planning that goes into staying within those 7£ whilst still getting enough to eat each day.

There are now 2 days to go and it’s time to see if I can actually get my seven pounds last for the weekend, when I’m at home more than during the week and might therefore eat more than at the library.

Day 3 – living below the line

At the moment it’s 18.30 and I’m still working on my second book at the library and it’s the third day of my seven day challenge. So far it’s been pretty easy, but I’m starting to get really hungry since I didn’t really plan enough to make the most of my 7 pound shop.

Today I woke up rather late and decided not to have breakfast, since it was almost lunchtime anyway, and instead I ate an early lunch of chicken nuggets and chips instead before heading off to the library to work. My local library offers free internet and on Wednesdays they’re open late, which I really enjoy simply due to the fact that I work best in the afternoon and evening.

The food itself is really plain and if I wasn’t allowed to put salt and pepper on it, I’d go insane. There are a few things that I’m missing, especially on the foods that I’ve been eating so far, but can’t afford. Ketchup is the main thing, for my spaghetti and chips, but mayonnaise, beef stock, garlic, soy sauce and spices in general. I could, naturally, have purchased pasta sauce for my minced meat sauce, but it would’ve cost me double the amount for a jar of sauce. A jar of pasta sauce, the Morrisons Savers one, is about 44p but a tin of baked beans in tomato sauce is 23p for the same amount. That did it for me, plus the beans add a bit more protein to the meal and I think it really helps me feel just a bit fuller than the pasta sauce would. Spaghetti is one of my new worries, since I absolutely love it and now I seriously have to ration it to make it last. Yep, it’s that easy for me to consume 1.5kg of pasta. It’s delicious and the 20p Morrisons Savers spaghetti doesn’t taste bad, I can’t tell the difference between it and Barilla, except that Morrisons might stick together a bit more easily while I’m cooking it than Barilla and name brands. But other than that, there’s no difference and the same thing goes for the other stuff I’ve eaten – they all taste rather nice, even though they’re the cheapest brands you can find. My only “brand” product is the six pints of milk that I bought, and even might even be instore.

At this point I’m almost ready for today and I’m going home to eat the rest of my minced meat sauce with some spaghetti and prep some snacks for tomorrow (1 or 2 carrots).

Day 2 – living below the line

At the moment it’s about noon and I’m at the library, as usual, watching YouTube videos and writing on my second book. I had the same breakfast as yesterday, bran flakes and milk, and it’s going to be my breakfast for the entire week – if I can make the bran flakes last. I’m not worried about the milk since I bought six pints, it’s the corn flakes that I’m afraid will run out sometime during later in the week.

For lunch I brought a huge carrot, made into thick fries, and a couple of bottles of water, just to save on the spaghetti. I wish I’d found some more cheap fruits and veggies, but the reduced onions (5p for 1kg) was the only thing I found, and they’re not exactly a nice snack to have when you’re hungry. But then again they’re likely to last me more than a week.

For dinner yesterday I made spaghetti Bolognese with half the mince and it’s what I’ll be having tonight and for a couple of days, until it runs out and then I’m planning to have the chips with the chicken nuggets and finish the week of with more minced meat sauce and spaghetti. Not very exciting, but then again living on 1£ a day isn’t, unless you’re lucky to find a few good deals on reduced veggies, fruits and meat. This time I was unlucky.

I thought that I’d be really hungry today, but it’s actually not that bad – mostly thanks to all the water and carrots I think. Saying that, I might crash later, just before dinner or just before bed later tonight.

Remember, if you’d like to help a food bank or is in need of help from a food bank, please visit the links below and remember that your local council is also able to help you out with that.

https://www.trusselltrust.org/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/using-a-food-bank/

Day 1 – Living below the line

Today has been the first official day of living below the line and so far it’s been ok, nothing too big has happened yet. I woke up at about nine in the morning and had some of my corn flakes with milk before heading over to the library to enjoy their free Wi-Fi, return a few books and do a session of writing and looking for a new job, since I was fired from my previous one just over a week ago.

It’s about 16.30 and I’m almost ready to pack up and go home to have dinner, and I’m starving since I didn’t bring any lunch with me at all. Tonight I’ll probably make a spaghetti Bolognese and see how far I can stretch half of the minced meat, the reduced onions and a can of baked beans.

Keep a lookout on Instagram for a picture of the dinner, it’ll probably get up tomorrow morning when I’m on my way to the library. Since I don’t have any internet at home I’m relying on whatever free Wi-Fi I can find and the library is amazing, since I can sit there all day, work and have internet for free.

So, I’ll post more tomorrow after my meeting with a work agency. Have a great Bonfire Night and remember not to grill any hedgehogs!

Living below the line challenge

This week is the Living Wage Week in the U.K. and I’ll be taking part by highlighting food poverty among the working poor. Raising the wage in our country to a level where people could actually live off of it, in combination with an improved safety net for those who live in working poverty or are unemployed, would see a decrease in the use of food banks and parents going to bed hungry in order for their kids to have food.

So, to do my part I’ll be taking the 1£ a day for 7 days challenge, starting today. What this means is that from today until Sunday I’ll have 1£/day to eat for, just like thousands of people are living on at the moment, all around this country and the world even. My cat will not be included in this project, which is a bit ironic since people living in total poverty would probably use some of that money on pet food. Technically she’s not in, but she’s in in other ways. I did purchase cat food for her, separately from my 7£ worth of food and it cost me 10.90£ and the wet food (7£) will last a month and the dry food (3.90£) about two weeks, so she’ll be under the 1£/day unless she starts eating food like a madman.

I did my shopping yesterday at Morrisons, since that’s the shop that’s closest to me – not because I’m sponsored by them – and because the food I usually purchase is cheaper there than at the ASDA next door. I immediately managed to screw the whole thing up, due to splitting my purchases up in two. On my first trip I got the cat food and corn flakes and on the second trip I got the rest of the food. However, on my second shopping trip I completely forgot that I’d purchased corn flakes and used 7£ on food, ending my total at 7.53£ for a week’s worth of food. It’s a bit of a setback, but not too bad and I’ll try working around it.

For my 7.53£ I got:

500gr minced meat (1.50£)

2 cans of baked beans (46p)

6 pints of whole milk (1.50£)

500gr corn flakes (57p)

1kg carrots (35p)

1.5kg spaghetti (60p)

1.5kg chips (1£)

2×20 chicken nuggets (1.50£)

1kg onions (5p)

It’s not a lot and I could probably have gotten more if I’d planned it a bit better, but I can’t do that now. The mince and onions will be the easiest thing to stretch with the baked beans and water. I’m probably going to rely on the milk and corn flakes for a couple of meals and to be fair I’m starting to regret not buying porridge oats instead of the milk and cereal, since I’d get more food out of one kilo of oats than I’ll get from the cereal and milk.

At the moment I spend a lot of time at the library during the days and I’ll probably end up bringing breakfast for lunch there (cereal and milk) rather than a full meal of the other stuff, and a ton of water, just to stave any hunger pangs away. If I’d planned a bit, like I said, I could also have bought some flour, made my own sour dough and tried making bread from it, or bought a 30p loaf and some dirt cheap jam for snacks.

So… Onto my project! I’m going to make a separate post about my first day and for each of the seven days that I’m doing this. My rules for the week are:

  1. I have to eat what I purchased and only that.
  2. Free food samples are allowed.
  3. Salt and pepper is allowed, since the cost is too low to calculate.
  4. I can’t ask a person to treat me to or buy food for me during the week.

If you’re interested in helping your local food bank, or is in need of a food parcel, please visit the links below or Google “food bank uk”.

https://www.trusselltrust.org/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/help-if-on-a-low-income/using-a-food-bank/

Remember that there’s help out there for you! Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it!