As I posted before we did the Live Below The Line challenge. We had to eat for 30 GBP for 5 days. We survived but buy the end of day 4 we were sick of eating such boring food and wished we had more fruit and meat. We had plenty of food it just was high in carbs and low in vitamins. We did continue to take our daily vitamins because I could not risk everybody getting really sick.
I learned that oatmeal is a very filling, cheap breakfast. Even if a tablespoon of sugar is added for flavor it is still very cheap. I know I will be eating more oatmeal because it is not only filling and cheap but it is also quite low in calories and I am on a diet via the doctors now. I prefer to have my oatmeal with a bit of banana added for flavor too.
I have learned that nobody in my house really likes white bread and that the tortillas made with plain white flour are more pliable than the ones we normally make with whole wheat flour. I will not go back to white bread as a daily supplement as it is quite flavorless compared to the whole wheat alternative. I am not sure what we will do about the tortillas as I think we all liked the white ones better. I think maybe we will cut some but not all of the whole wheat flour and maybe add a little more water.
I learned that I do not like my spaghetti without a little bit of meat. Normally we make our spaghetti with whatever extra veggies we have in the fridge plus one pound of ground beef. For the challenge we couldn't afford to buy a bunch of meat so we had to eat our spaghetti without. It was boring tasting to say the least.
I did find out that we all liked lentil taco filling without ground beef. Prior to this challenge we would make the lentil filling and add a pound of ground beef. I think we will stop this now and make tacos into a meatless meal. It was really good and had lots of flavor and there were no texture issues like I thought there would be.
I also found that lentil chili without meat is tasty too. I do like chili with meat so I think this will be an alternating thing. Sometimes we will make lentil chili and others we will make chili the way we normally would with meat.
I also found that the generic store brands that I can buy here in the UK are of a great quality and the prices are amazing. A can of sliced peaches in juice at Sainsburys is 29 pence or about 48 cents. A box of generic corn flakes at Tesco is 31 pence or about 51 cents. These sizes are the same as the name brand equivalent and are really good in comparison. It would be nice if a store in the US could do the same without compromising the quality. It would help out immensely.
All in all I don't think we had a terrible week. I think we all took a little something from the experience and will move forward with more compassion and even some knowledge on how to stretch our own budget a little more.
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