Live Below The Line - the experience

100 lb bag of rice
Well, it's been an interesting experience and one I'll certainly be happy to repeat next year.

I'm glad I'd created my checklists and menu planner - simple but effective.  It made things a lot easier working out what I could and couldn't eat and how much budget I had left each day.  Next time - with more notice, more thought and more planning, it will be even easier.

My week's menu was simple.  Plenty of brown rice and porridge as staples each day.

I didn't feel deprived - just grateful and appreciative (and perhaps a little hungry).  The main difference was the quantity and variety of what I was eating.

It places the emphasis back on food for survival and nourishment rather than something we stuff in our faces with no thought as to what it is we're actually eating.  Getting back to basics not aimless consuming of unnecessary calories.

I did miss fruit and veg, although grateful that I was able to pick fresh veg from the garden at a fraction of the cost of buying it - purple sprouting broccoli and chard.  A lesson for next year.

I didn't want to compromise my usual buying patterns by switching to cheaper, lower quality or overly processed food - I still had free range eggs.

Next time I'll buy more in bulk and be more selective, so the unit price is less each day.  Those pennies make all the difference.

It wasn't that tough - despite many people saying it wasn't something they could possibly do themselves.  It's only five days!  It's not like a diet that people attempt for weeks on end.

It's far tougher for the millions of people in other parts of the world who experience real hunger and poverty on a daily basis.  It's not too late to support the challenge - you can make your contribution here.

You can do it too - if you plan and organise your store cupboard and menu ahead of time and think carefully of what you're buying.

You can also support other communities around the world through Kiva - join today and get $25 free.

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