In two weeks I will be eating my way through the Live Below The Line Challenge. This challenge will see me allocating $2.25 a day for food and drink. Considering I spent $15.50 on my lunch the other day, it makes me nervous to imagine spending just $11.25 over 5 days.
The current Live Below The Line recipe collection has only 4 recipes. I think it needs some filling out. Maybe they will want to add my recipes to the list one day.
I am determined to have variety, so a pot of dahl for 5 days doesn’t appeal to me. I’ve been looking up cheap recipes and asking friends and family for their suggestions. I’ve been price checking weighing, measuring and working out what foods get me the most bang for my buck. My local Chinese supermarket has been incredible for bargains. A bag of 8 dried egg noodle bundles came in at just 99 cents. Score!
Yesterday I tested one of my recipes based on the stuff I’m gathering for the challenge. These noodles were filling and delicious. It was quick to make and best of all, this bowl of food cost just 54 cents. Maybe this will inspire someone else to join me in this challenge.
My profile page where you can find out more about this campaign and or make a donation is www.livebelowtheline.com/me/genie. Make a donation directly to World Vision via the PayPal link there. There is no amount too small. Every cent counts. Donors can choose to be named or remain anonymous and tax receipts will be emailed to all sponsors.
Satay Fried Noodles
1 bundle of egg noodles
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small carrot
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
A pinch of salt
- Soak 1 noodle bundle in hot water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Dice quarter of an onion, half a carrot and 2 cloves of garlic.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and add the vegetables. Cook until soft, then add peanut butter, soy sauce, a pinch of salt and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir until combined, add noodles. Stir until noodles are well coated in satay sauce. Enjoy!
Noodle bundle $0.12
Peanut butter $0.20
Oil, soy sauce, salt $0.05
Grand total $0.54
See my other posts about this challenge here.
*All $ amounts in this post are in New Zealand dollars and $1NZ is about $0.80US.
Lady dude, you’re are totally going to make being ‘povo’ glamorous.
If ever I’m in the skids, I want you to be sharing my cardboard box.
lol. That is comforting to hear.
You do well with spare change! In Australia, it’s only $2 because of the rate difference. I would be screwed. Even Flatpac eats more than $2 a day. Actually she probably eats more like $10 a day. Maybe I need to re think my budget..
Very good of you doing this, and you are making wonderful things on this tight budget, well done!!
Thanks Alessandra. There will be plenty of vegetarian meals during my challenge, so you might enjoy that it is not so meaty!
I would imagine the meal has to contain the appropriate amount of protein and such. Have you considered quinoa or beans?
Hi Eva, quinoa isn’t cheap here in NZ. It’s considered quite a gourmet ingredient. I bought some beans but not sure if I’m going to include them in my challenge.
Wow, I did the food stamp challenge a few years back but I got more than $2.25!! Good luck. Document the whole thing and show us what you ate. I think this stuff is fascinating.
How much do you get with food stamps? We don’t have food stamps as such in New Zealand.
I love your recipe for satay fried noodles and would love to know the other meals that you ended up having for your challenge that you did in 2012.
I did this twice a couple of years ago in Australia so know what a challenge it really is, but surprisingly have found myself very drawn to LBTL meal plans and ideas ever since doing it, having had to scale back my food expenses in order to get on top of bills when my work hours got cut.
So if you have your other meals and your meal plan accessible still I’d love to read about it and get some further meal ideas, especially since I’m vegetarian and your focus seemed to be on that as per one of your comments above.
Thanks so much for the inspiration! 🙂
Since reading further and clicking on every ‘day’ page to read thoroughly about your experience I then discovered all the other meals that you had throughout the week, so no need to provide them now, thankyou!
Was curious if you had done the LBTL challenge again since 2012 though? I love the page where you had a picture for each day’s meals all lined up, that was especially helpful. And also really wanted to say as much as the original satay fried noodles recipe looks great I really like how you adapted it later on by adding the broccoli and the fried egg on top, looks lovely and something that I’d be happy to whip up any night of the week, challenge or no challenge! 🙂
Thanks for your detailed account of your experience and for sharing your lovely and wonderful recipes! Do you happen to have a picture of your shop that you did for all the items you used during your challenge? It would be great to have that and also a list of the items, as I can work out most of them but it would be great to see a full list to go with the meals.
All the best
Hi Bridget, glad you found my other posts on LBTL. I had a list of my groceries for the week on my pledge page but that has since been taken down. I didn’t think to repeat it on my blog.
I haven’t done the challenge since. Being a food blogger, it’s hard to find a week that is suitable. I know that’s a poor excuse since many don’t have a choice but to live through poverty.
From memory, I bought bread, rice, egg noodles, eggs, carrots, broccoli and cauli mix (frozen), peanut butter, bananas, garlic, ginger and chicken bones. I allowed myself a little salt and soy sauce from my pantry.
I understand that it can be hard to find the time, even when it’s something you’d like to find time for! I had my daughter visiting for two months which fell during the time of this years challenge so also wasn’t able to participate but am hoping to next year.
The thing I find the hardest is that the nature of my work means that I am out and about all day and not in an office like many, so coming up with a lunch idea that fits within the spend of LBTL as well as is transportable and doesn’t require reheating can be very tricky, so tend to instead choose a week in May but not necessarily the week that most participants are involved, when I know I am going to be home and can access my microwave or stove.
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out and provide me with a list of what you bought, that was kind of you. I was curious how much you get to spend in NZ compared to our $10 in Australia, which equates to $2 per day? The best recipes overall, apart from recently coming across yours, for me have been from the UK, but they seem to be able to make their funds go a lot further over there than what we can in Australia.
Thanks so much for all your inspiration and assistance.
I’ve heard that groceries are really cheap in the UK so I’m not surprised that they can make their funds stretch a bit further. NZ is known to be expensive for food. I’m not sure why. Maybe the distance food has to travel to get here coupled with our small population brings the price of a single item up. When I did the challenge I had $11.25NZ or $2.25NZ a day to work with. It was tough!