Mandy George who survived malaria 15 months ago, has recounted her experiences and concluding thoughts on the final day of her challenge to live on just £1 a day in order to raise money for Malaria No More UK.
Mandy’s five days of living on a limited budget comes ahead of the national Live Below the Line week taking place between April 28 and May 2.
She hopes that by trying it out and keeping a daily diary, she will prove that anyone can do it and encourage others to have a go themselves.
For further information about the Live Below the Line campaign, or to sign up to the challenge yourself, please visit www.livebelowtheline.com/uk
Mandy George ‑ Live Below the Line food diary
Day 5: 04/04/14
I’m a bit tired of cooking every meal from scratch. At the same time I’ve grown quite used to it. The thought of tomorrow and being able to eat and drink whatever I want is almost overwhelming, although appealing. It feels wasteful to go back to the same consumption patterns: though a few more fresh veggies would not go amiss. On my menu today was my most tasty meal yet as I used up my dwindling ingredients: red lentil dal with roasted vegetables - enough for my last two meals. Breakfast was porridge again. Amazingly, I still have some rice, pasta and porridge and an egg left! Which makes me think that £5 could actually last 6 days. Had you asked me at the start of the week, I would have protested vehemently. It’s amazing what you can learn in a week.
Concluding reflections: I can’t stress how fulfilling it has been to take this challenge. I’ve seen first hand from my time working in Haiti and other developing countries how people live below the line. But I’ve never actually experienced it myself. I am now so much more aware of the limitations and choices involved in surviving on such a small amount per day. This week I’ve had no social life at all: food takes priority over leisure. I’ve had to spend a lot of time cooking: staples are the cheapest, but require preparation. I haven’t been able to eat any more than my three meals a day: snacking would have blown my budget. I haven’t eaten my five a day: impossible on a tight budget. I’m looking forward to going back to getting a full range of nutrients from my diet, but I’m also aware of just how much money I spend unnecessarily on eating out and prepared food. Living on £1 a day has forced me to be creative with my food to avoid getting tired of repetitive ingredients. This was the fun part. I would recommend taking this challenge to anyone: it’s totally doable, it’s fun and it is a great way to raise money and awareness around global poverty. I know every £1 I raise for Malaria No More UK is going to be put towards saving lives in Africa. Surely that’s worth a bit of a challenge?
Although Mandy has now completed her five day challenge, you can still sponsor her in aid of Malaria No More UK by going to www.livebelowtheline.com/me/mandyjgeorge