Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day four

I'm dying of period today.  I would really like to be cuddled up with a bowl of sticky date pudding and honey nougat ice cream.  But no.  It's sludgy yucky boring stupid soup.

So far my soup torture has yielded a grand total of $89.  I gotz to tell ya, I'm more than a little disheartened.

Please!  Buy a fricken chicken! It doesn't take wiccan to see that I sicken, I'm stricken and pained.  I'm sick and ashamed, I'm quick, I refrained from pickin the thickening comfort dessert.  It might soothe my hurt but now I assert I'll divert, I'll avert.  Just please buy a goat so and I'll quote what I wrote, it will help me devote one more day if you pay so please say that you'll buy a donkay.  M'kay?

Perhaps if you buy a thing it will help me to feel a bit better about why I am bothering to do this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day three - so.... soup. We meet again.

I am  already pretty sick of that soup. I still have two days so go.  That's four more bowls of the same soup I made on Sunday night.

I am pretty sure that people living below the poverty line don't have the luxury of saying "I am bored with this, the only thing I can afford to eat, while I sit here in the dirt with my single, mangled up pot over a fire I built out of twigs after digging a thing all day wearing the same clothes I have been wearing since last March.  I'll have something else."

Luckily for me I only have to buy food with my $2 per day.  I already have clothes, shelter, electricity, fresh running water, cooking facilities, an air-conditioned office... well I happened to have half a peanut slab and two oranges available to me from my $10 budget.  So that is my dinner.  At least it's not soup.  I was so pleased to eat the peanut slab.  Crunch!  I have missed texture. Sludgy food is pretty depressing after nine meals in a row.

My workmate commented today "You'll be saving heaps of money on groceries."  Yes.  Yes I am.  I would normally spend, say $50 on groceries and $25 on coffee.  I am not going to talk about the I-can't-be-bothered-cooking-tonight pizza(s).  Well anyway, with the money I haven't spent on food this week I will be buying a duck and a goat from the Oxfam wishlist.

This makes me think of a joke my Nana copied out of the newspaper and wrote in my birthday card when I was about five.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day two

Morbid photo alert.

Yup well it's day two and the flavourless porridge didn't get any nicer but the soup was still yum and filling after four meals. There were so many tempting things on the bench at work - crazy! Apples, manderines, tim tams, chocolate cake... none for me.

I was invited to go for ten pin bowling and pizza. Nope. Can't afford that malarkey.

But the more I do LBTL the more I appreciate all the things I am lucky enough to have. My home, my comfy couch, my heater, clean clothes, plenty of shoes... lots of people on this planet don't have anywhere near the good fortune I have.

So anyway, please find below some horrifying but very powerful images; liking isn't helping. We can change the world, one chicken at a time. Please support Oxfam if you can, by clicking on the link on the right.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day one

Do you know what porridge tastes like without milk or sugar? Nothing.  It tastes like nothing.  It’s filling, sure.  But satisfying?  No.

Lunch was yum.  The soup had gone all thick and stewy overnight with the lentils and barley.  It could have done with another couple of chillis – I could get another three with my left over 44c.  I’m not too proud to spend 44c at the supermarket.  Been there, done that.  In a previous challenge I bought a tin of sardines for fifty-odd cents and opened them to find the scales still on and mixed in to the tomato sauce.  I took them back and got my 50c back. 

But anyway the coconut milk made the soup nice.  I am pretty sure this is the most delicious meal I have had on a live below the line week, and I’ve been doing it for a few years now.  And I have half an orange to look forward to tonight.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I've done my shopping

I carefully planned my list.  I changed my mind about eleventy twelve times (as is tradition with LBTL) as I tried to work out the PERFECT combination of foods to sustain me.  In the end I came up with this.  

I'll have oats for breakfast. That's a given. I do that every time.  They are filling and cheap and easy enough to prepare in the morning.  The next bit is that I will cook a great big batch of soup - ten portions - and eat that for lunch and dinner for five days.  It seems like a good idea - healthy, filling, easy.  BUT, if it doesn't work out somehow or if it is really gross then I am a bit stuffed.

Now the other teeny tiny complication is compulsory peanut butter Wednesday.  It's hard to explain.  I would ask Brenna to tell you guys all about it but she is on a mountain in America with three hundred lesbians and no internet access.  This all sounds very unlikely and confusing.  But trust me, all of what I have told you is real.

Well, after an avalanche of fascinating events at the supermarket, including oranges on special and misquoted price for stock cubes online, I had $1.29 to spare and so I managed to squeeze in, what I consider to be, a suitable substitute for peanut butter.  Here's the final list:

That means I have 44c left to frivolously throw about over the next 5 days.  Perhaps I'll use it to buy some new shoes or to have my nails done in a day spa in Greece.  Probably not the Greece one, I have to work.  Anyway, let's see what actual advice mallard has to say about the whole thing:

Friday, May 23, 2014

A goat and heaps of chickens walk into a fairtrade cafe...

Thanks guys.  The Oxfam wishlist is going pretty well.  If you would like to sponsor me and cheer me on please click on the link.

I just wanted to explain a few things that will help this to make a little more sense.  Why AU$2?

1.4 billion of the world's population live in poverty.  The "poverty line" is living entirely on an amount approximately equivalent to AU$2 per day.  Not for food, but for everything.  Housing, medication, education, clothing, food, drink, transport... everything.  That figure is not calculated using an exchange rate but rather PPP (purchasing power parity), that is to say what you can buy in Australia for $2; so that's not very flash.  And it's not to say that people living below the poverty line spend $2 per day to buy stuff.  Rather, that is the value of the items included in the calculation.  It includes items they grow at home, begging for food, taking scraps from the rubbish etc. etc.

So this leads me to my point.  The rules.  People have said to me "Can't you just get free food?  Like go to your Mum's for tea?".  No.  Not unless I count the value of that food into my $2.  "Can't you just pick apples off the neighbour's tree?"  No.  Not unless I count the value of that food into my $2.  "Could you set up busking outside the shopping centre and then use that money to buy takeaways?"  No.  Not unless I count the value of that food into my $2.  "What about the timtams that Deb puts in the cookie jar for you at work?" Nope.  No I can't eat them.  I could probably look at them, perhaps I could crack open the lid a little and smell the delicious chocolatey smell.  Probably not a smart idea, to be honest.

But I will still be living in my home, putting on the heater at night, brushing my teeth and cooking in my pretty blue pots.

So look forward to a hungry, tired and cranky Victoria.  But a grateful Victoria that I can go home and sleep in my warm dry bed.