“Live Below the Line is an initiative of the Global Poverty Project, an education and campaigning organization whose mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action against extreme poverty.”
Can you live on $1.50 a day for food? This is the U.S. equivalent to the poverty line according to LiveBelowtheLine.com, and 1.4 billion people across the world are faced with this challenge every day. Live Below the Line is an amazing opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the issues of extreme poverty. Thousands of people across the United States are taking the challenge and living Below the Line April 28–May 2, 2014.
In order to fight poverty, it’s helpful to understand it. we're supporting the challenge again this year. We aren't able to do the full 5 days because of life conflicts (work, travel, etc.), but still wanted to participate.
Living on just $1.50 per day
Four of us are participating (the males weren't interested again this year). Monday was our first day participating. We have a total of $6.00 for the day. For breakfast, the kids ate granola, which I was able to buy for $1.48 for 6 servings (Normally $3.48, but I have a $2.00 coupon). Per serving, that's just shy $0.25 cents. $0.75 for breakfast. Definitely within budget. They ate their granola and raced out the door for school. I'm not a breakfast eater, so I stuck with my water.
For lunch, they had peanut butter sandwiches. Whole wheat bread was $2.50 for the loaf of 18 slices (just shy of $.0.28 per 2 slices) and peanut butter was $6.57 for 32 servings (just shy of $0.21 per serving). Three sandwiches at about $0.49 cents each. And bananas for fruit at $0.19 each. Lunch for the girls was $0.68 each, or $2.04 total. I had a $0.60 yogurt and $0.19 banana, bringing our whole lunch total to $2.83.
In my mind, dinner is the easy way to save money for the day. We made my easy refried bean burritos. I swapped chiles for the onion and cilantro. $0.99 for the beans and $0.67 for the chiles. We served them on whole wheat tortilla wraps ($2.49 for 10). So three wraps at about $0.75, $0.99 for beans, and $0.67 for chiles for a total of $2.41. $5.99 total.
We wanted to borrow about a tablespoon of salsa and shredded cheddar cheese that we had in the fridge (about $0.25 worth of cheese and $0.36 in salsa), but that would have brought the daily total to $6.60, which was over budget.
If we were doing the full challenge like last year, I would have bargain hunted and planned out meals for the 5 days. But since we aren't doing the full challenge, I only used what groceries we would have bought anyway or had in the house. Fun food and snacks are out of the question. It's easy to buy processed crap for a lot less money, but who wants to eat that? I could have definitely bought less expensive (and lower quality and nutritional value) bread, peanut butter, tortilla wraps, and yogurt and maybe we wouldn't have had to skip the salsa and cheese and still stayed in budget.