A pound of pre-made cake icing for 25c, did I or didn’t I…?

Day 20

  • 30km ride Bellingham, 8km walk Seattle, Washington State
  • Breakfast: beans and rice on two pieces of toast
  • Lunch: two slices of bread with sunflower butter (like peanut paste) and banana
  • Dinner: trying to get through my rice and refried beans and still going… with amazing corn bread – like a spicy corny cake!

Lots of great chats with lots of people. Being hosted is such a privilege to share lives, perspectives and learn so much! A bit of wonderful NW culture too…

This campaign is about Living Below the Line not Shopping Below the Line. I truly had my ethics, commitment and reasoning tested today when the shop I stumbled upon, Deals Only, was a Live Below the Liner’s dream come true…

For me I believe Live Below the Line is about:

‘Recognising how amazing those who live in extreme poverty are AND how determined I am to do whatever I can so no one lives on less than $1.25 / day.’

I have been very good on this campaign to stick not only to the rules but the ethics of what it is genuinely trying to teach us… When I have not paid for an item of food myself and have received it from a friend I have costed that item – e.g. An egg is about 25c but I didn’t buy 12 eggs and carry them around with me since leaving Portland. I would do $7.50 for 5 days but I can’t carry that much food and walk and ride or maybe even have the facilities to cook it while I am travelling for this trip.

But no matter what I have put in my mouth it has had a cost (except that bloody free beef jerky hand out in Whistler). I have been using the pricing system from my first shop in Portland when I took account of all the prices and what fitted into my budget – see earlier blog: http://lunnylbtl.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/first_shop_for_trip/

Everybody I have met has come up with their own unique way of how I can cheat the system and I have to say it is funny how that is the first thought in our heads… ‘How can I do this so I can win’ attitude!

I have been making sure that this challenge, if it is to give me the right perspectives, insights and appreciation have made it not about being a great, resourceful shopper but about how simple my diet must be to replicate as best as possible someone who lives in extreme poverty.

So as I entered the Deals Only shop I had in front of me a smorgasbord of options that I could technically pay for from a shop as is in the Live Below the Line rules but get at a ridiculous prices hence my title to this blog and a pound (500g) squeezy packet of pre-made cake icing for 25c!

Oh boy did I put myself though the mental test in this store though…

  • Well I am buying it from a store and that is the price here…
  • People living in extreme poverty probably sometimes get treats…
  • I have been under budget most days of this trip and I deserve this…

And so on…

In the end I DIDN’T buy and consume a half kilo of icing paste as it was too ridiculous, not to mention unhealthy, for something to cost that little and is not a reflection of the cost of making, transporting, distributing and selling that item – but bugger me did I want it sooo bad… Not to mention the marshmallows that I could have eaten for a days on end!

Two huge packets of marshmallows for $1 - enough calories for days and preservatives for years!

Want to see that even closer…?

Oh yeah baby! Two big bags for $1 you could float on a lake with that many! Writing this hungry now I can’t believe I didn’t (but glad).

In the end I wasn’t as polly-pureheart as all that as I did buy some muffin mix for 25c that will be a bit of a treat and 6 whole-wheat bagels for $1 to last me three days, and they are things I could possibly make myself or around the same price (but never would).

So if you are going to do Live Below the Line – JUST ONE WEEK AWAY then be resourceful with your shopping but remember the objectives of taking on the challenge. For me this is essentially eating very simply within that very low budget, (where you shouldn’t be starving yourself) and not eating whenever or whatever you want.

With ONE WEEK to go sign up to take on the challenge through the Global Poverty Project – http://www.globalpovertyproject.com

2 thoughts on “A pound of pre-made cake icing for 25c, did I or didn’t I…?

  1. that all sounds like its in the spirit of the event. i have wondered if the 50 cent cooked bag of bits of chicken offered at end of day at local supermarket would be eligible. they would be chucked out anyway. but i have now decided that most in poverty don’t have access to such supermarkets ( and now i have read this post), so they are definitely out!

    • I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself and chicken giblets as opposed to chicken meat should be alright… I usually live on others left-overs or throw aways but for Live Below the Line I just keep it simple.

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