Day 2: Confession

16 Apr

No no I haven’t cheated. Yet.

The confession is… I am a champion.

What do I mean by this, you ask.

I think the math on this blog is kind of interesting, right? Yep? I think so too. (What? It is.)




Does anyone check my calculations?

I have been checking them obsessively. You know, as evidenced by my ‘epic spreadsheets’ (<—real compliment. Thank you RamaThiru). But I slipped up yesterday.

My total F&B bill for yesterday came up to £0.72, not £0.89.


Evidence. (Epic spreadsheet. Epic fail.)


I mean, I could almost have had my 30p doughnut yesterday.

Like if I got rid of the 2p worth of oil*. £1 minus 72p plus 2p = 30p!

(*But how – do I get an oil blotter, blot each grain of rice dry, and wring it out when cooking a later dish? Need to think this one through…)

But that’s fine. Forget the doughnut. I can always save up the 17p difference (rounded up) for something else later on.

I could eat the 17p rice for lunch on Tuesday, but take it out of Monday’s budget, so I have a whole £1 to spend on just breakfast and dinner on Tuesday! Genius!

Then a closer look at the LBTL website reveals this clause:

No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit.


Jo: What should I do? Should I just bin the fried rice and start afresh tomorrow?

Guan: Yeah. Looks like shit anyway.

Jo: Oh thanks.

Guan's cooking school leftovers: 'Paupiettes de Saumon à l'Oseille', which he had for his dinner yesterday. Of course my rice is going to look like shit!

Guan’s cooking school leftovers: ‘Paupiettes de Saumon à l’Oseille’. This was his dinner yesterday. Obviously my rice is going to look like shit next to this!

In the end I decided to do what I would do in real life.

i.e. I ate the rice for lunch anyway.

I then counted it as a free lunch. (Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? I just created it!)

I mean, if I were really living on the poverty line would I be binning leftovers? Hell no. I would save up every last morsel of my leftovers.

I would then be looking in bins for more leftovers!

When researching my gameplan for this week, I came across a testimonial from a woman who did the challenge last year.

“Towards the end I got so hungry I was rifling through the bins at the market for half-rotting fruit”


Please don’t let that be me on Friday.

But I can imagine that being me. If I had to Live Below The Line day in and day out, that would easily be me.

Pride? What pride?

How can we be possibly be proud when so much good food gets thrown away all the time?

Up to 50% of the 4 billion tonnes of food we produce globally per year goes to waste.

So I used to go to the most fantastic life writing class on Tuesday evenings (hello my very talented classmates!).

I would go straight from work without any food in between and suffer through the ensuing borborygmi. Sometimes it would get too loud, so I would succumb to a stopgap, duct-tape-measure of a biscuit.

On the way home I would walk past this branch of a high street Japanese food chain that will go unnamed. They would be closing up shop and throwing out bin bag after clear plastic bin bag of sushi, sashimi, California rolls, all manner of bento boxes…

…and it would take all my willpower not to stop and pilfer everything.

Imagine – free dinner! And lunch the day after! And the day after that!!

Bin Bag Bento Box: [making puppy eyes from beneath the plastic] Take me home! Please!

Sushi in Styrofoam: Me too!

Cardboarded California Rolls: Me three!

Me: Nuuuuu I can’t! I can’t!! I can’t…

BBBB/SiS/CCR: Waaaaaa!!! Take us home!….[wail!!!!]

But I would walk on with a heart (and gut) of steel, eyes on the bus number 25, and hope some real people who needed the food got to it before the rubbish truck did.

Erm, I don’t know why I just admitted that in public. But there you go.

Dinner time, dudes. Apparently I have a surprise in store! F&B log to follow.


2 Responses to “Day 2: Confession”

  1. Jin April 18, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    Borough Market Thursdays and Fridays = now that’s a free lunch

    • Jo April 18, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Eh? What do you mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: