Living Below the Line: Day 1

Monday, 6 May 2013

- 1/2 cup oats 5c
- 1/2 cup water 
- 1 tsp honey 1c

I made the oats with just boiling water, rather than with lactose free milk like I normally would. We did buy milk, but I didn't want to risk it, and it was perfectly fine with just water. I microwaved it for about two minutes and it was fluffy and really good with just honey. It was different to forego the fruit  I would usually have, but all in all, this was a good and super cost efficient breakfast.

Lunch: Fried Rice 
37 c

$1.12 for 3 servings 
- 1 cup rice, cooked  23 c
- 1 sausage 37c
- 1/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 20c
- 1 egg 26c
- 1 tsp butter 3 c
- Soy sauce, salt + pepper 3c

Beat the egg with 1/4 cup water.
Heat the butter in the pan and pour half the egg mixture in, and make a very, thin, crepe-like omelet. Remove, cool, and slice into thin strips. Fry the sausage until it is lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan and slice the sausage into little pieces. Add the mixed vegetables and saute. Put the sausages back into the pan and heat through. 
Add the rice and stir to mix. 
Push the rice to one side of the pan and pour the remaining egg mixture into the empty side. Keep agitating the egg, kind of like how you scramble eggs. When the egg is cooked through, mix it through with the rice. Add in the soy sauce, salt, and pepper, and toss until combined thoroughly. 
Top with the egg slices and serve.

I thought the rice was pretty good! Not so different to the normal fried rice I would make, except I would have been a bit more generous with the seasonings, and also would have used chilies, garlic, and spring onions. But it was tasty, cheap and filling, thus serving its purpose well! 

Banana Oat Cookies
2.5 c/cookie

22c for 9 cookies
- 1 banana 16c
- 1/2 c oats 6 c

Mush the bananas with the oats.
Bake at 180C for 15 minutes.

I would have loved to add so many things to this little cookie. Peanut buter, cinnamon, chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds.... And I probably could have because at 2.5 cents each, I could have afforded to be a little bit more extravagant! The cookies were moist and chewy, and we had 2 each which I found perfect for munching on between meals. 

Pumpkin and Potato Soup

91c for 2 servings 
- 100g pumpkin 20c
- 1 potato 25c 
- 1 stock cube 12c
- 1 sprig rosemary, salt and pepper 5c
- 1 tbsp butter 6c
- 1/4 c oats 5c
- 2 cups water
- 2 slices bread, toasted 18c

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Butter a small roasting pan and add the chopped potato and pumpkin. Add 2 tbsp of water and the rosemary. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Bring the water to a boil with the stock cube, then add the roasted vegetables and oats. When the water has boiled, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then blend with a stick mixer.

I decided to add in the oats at the last minute to thicken up the soup because it looked a bit too liquidy. And it was really good! I was kind of inspired by the excessive mentions of soup with oats or barley in A Song of Ice and Fire series, and I can definitely see how this would make a great meal up in Winterfell or at the Wall! 

So, in summary:
Oats 6c
Fried Rice  36c
Pumpkin Soup with Bread Sticks 50 c
Two Cookies 5c
Two Cups of Green Tea 10c

    = $1.07

I had to do the calculations so many times because I couldn't believe the total costs.

Our total grocery bill came to $43.99 between the five of us, so $8.79 each. We left $1+ for supplies we would be using at home - honey, salt, pepper, spices, herbs, soy sauce, flour, etc, to be calculated by weight when we used them. We looked up the market price of each item so we could calculate it all accurately. My small vegetable garden was perfect for the little touches of flavour - e.g. a tiny sprig of rosemary and a pinch of oregano weigh next to nothing, but had to be calculated so I decided that a pinch of salt, pepper and a tiny amount of herbs or soy sauce would cost 5c, although if it was really by weight it would be much less. A friendly grocer once explained to me that tiny red chilies (which we love) are something that grocers lose a lot of money on. It's expensive, at over $19 a kilo, but most people would just buy one or two, which would amount to about 8 cents as they're so little. Anyway, I decided in this case that to round up was best, but we are still under today's $2 budget! Which I'm quite impressed with.

You can sponsor me here, and you can choose to make your donations tax deductible. All support will help to provide schools, teacher training, books and bicycles for young people who live in extreme poverty. Any amount would be appreciated. Or, even better - join the challenge and sign up here! 

xx gee 

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