Inspirational Recipe Ideas for Living Below the Line | ActionAid UK

Danielle Ross

Community Fundraising Officer

Live Below the Line is finally here, and we're all starting to feel the fear. But the limited £5 budget doesn’t have to mean living on beans on toast all week. In fact, many have seen the challenge as an opportunity to get creative, cooking up some adventurous recipes to make the five days more fun. So we thought we would compile some of our favourite meal plans and recipes ideas for inspiration…

LBL food

Shopping List 1 = £4.41

Liz Grant, ActionAid’s own Community Fundraising Manager, has created her meal plan using a helpful App called MySuperList, which compares prices on different basics items.

Basics spaghetti – 20p
Chopped tomatoes x 2 – 34p
Scotch pancakes x 12 – 40p
Pack of bourbon biscuits – 35p
5 x bananas – 50p
6 x eggs – 93p
8 x frozen sausages – 66p
1 x loaf of wholemeal bread – 45p
1 x tin of baked beans – large – 24p
2 x onion – 34p

A Typical Day’s Meal Plan

BREAKFAST: 2 x pancakes & 1 banana
LUNCH: Egg sandwich
DINNER: Spaghetti with chopped tomatoes, onion and 2 sausages

Recipe idea: Sausage Spaghetti – serves 1

Half a can of chopped tomatoes
2 sausages
Half an onion
Handful of Spaghetti

In a large saucepan, bring a pan of (tap) water to the boil and add spaghetti. Cook for 10- 15 minutes on a medium heat. Meanwhile, fry the sausages for 5 minutes and add the onion – fry until soft. Now add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with Spaghetti.
Cost per portion – 30p

Follow Liz as she takes the challenge @Lizzy_kate on Twitter!

Shopping List 2 = £9.89

Catherine Horan is doing Live Below the Line with her husband, which means double the budget! As you can see, she has even managed to include a Fruit cobbler as a treat.

Catherine Horan

£0.63 for 1kg onion
£1 for 4 pints milk
£0.75 for 1kg oats
£1.36 for 4*400g of canned tomatoes
£0.31 for 500g cornflakes
£0.44 for chocolate biscuits
£1 for 1.5kg potatoes
£0.19 for bread (typical post-7pm marked down price at our Tesco J )
£1.50 for 15 eggs
£0.44 for 500g flour
£0.27 for 80 bags of tea
£1 for bowl of bananas (approximately 8) and apples (approximately 3)
£1 for bowl of squash (approximately 2kg)

A Typical Day’s Meal Plan

BREAKFAST: Apple oatmeal with milk
LUNCH: Spanish tortilla (potatoes and onion omelette) on bread
DINNER:  Pasta with tomatoes, squash, onions and Fruit cobbler

Recipe idea: Fruit Cobbler — serves 5

100g oats
1 banana
1 apple
1 sachet of sugar (easily procured from your local coffee shop!)

Cut the banana and apple into small pieces. Put the pieces in a small pan, sprinkled with sugar and gently cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the apples start to soften. Transfer the mixture to an oven proof dish and sprinkle over the oats and remaining sugar. Bake in the oven until crisp and golden brown on top.  
Cost per portion – 30p

Shopping List 3 = £5.00

Thrifty Lesley, ActionAid Supporter and blogger, has made her money go the extra mile with her meal plan, which includes some homemade pasta goodies:

Loaf of bread (22 slices) — 45p
Flour 1.5kg — 45p
Jam — 29p
10 eggs £1.15
Brie 200g, 99p
Perfect for Baking 250g 49p
1kg carrots 59p
1kg onions 59p

A Typical Day’s Meal Plan

BREAKFAST: Pancakes, jam
LUNCH: 2 toast, 2 eggs, on toast, as sandwich
DINNER: Homemade brie carbonara

Recipe idea: Brie Carbonara – serves 1

Homemade pasta – using plain flour and 1 egg
50g Brie
1 onion

Boil the pasta in a pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the onion on a medium heat until soft. Whisk the egg and put to one side. Toss in the cooked pasta to the frying pan and add the brie, cook until fully melted. Now add the whisked egg to the pan and cook for further 1 minute.
Price per portion – 53p

Follow Lesley as she takes the challenge @Thriftylesley on Twitter!

Find out more ideas by visiting Lesley’s blog.

If you think you could live on just £1 a day for 5 days, then you can get involved in the challenge from 27 April — 1 May.