I was asked this week to see if we could live below the line ie £1 a day per person. I declined. Now I want to explain why.
Firstly the boys both have school dinners, which cost me £2 a day. So £20 a week. Their school dinners are fantastic. They are varied, nutritious, well balanced and above all they love them and they eat well at school. I know how hard the school and local authority work on provided this service and if they can not do it for any less that £2 per meal then that leaves little hope for me.
I know that low income families get free school meals, but I also know that many people do not qualfy and that finding that £10 per child per week is hard work, but know that it provides them with the ONLY hot meal they will get.
I know from experience that I can NOT provide my family with a balanced, healthy and accessible diet on £20 for five days.
I cook from scratch most days. We eat as many fruit and vegetables as I can afford and I can make a chicken go a long way, but I can not do this challenge without resorting to beans on toast and potatoes. I am lucky in that I do not use jars and can of sauces and feel that this would be the only way I could manage. We do not eat a lot of meat, in fact I take quality over quantity with meat and will pay £5 for an organic chicken from Aldi over a £2.50 value chicken. I find that the "happy" meat not only tastes better, but dores further and makes better stock
My boys are encouraged to eat their five a day at school and to also eat a rainbow. How can this be done on £1 a day?
I have produces a live Below the Line menu plan on Frugaliscious Food for 5 main meals for less than £20 which includes fruit and vegetables and it is nearly impossible. The meal plan really does not include enough fruit and veg for my two growing boys and this made my decision for me.
I would love to know your thoughts on this. Are you taking part? Does this campaign highlight the real issues?