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JCI UK challenge themselves to live below the line

“I love my food… this is going to be an incredible challenge! I will try not to complain too much…”Michelle Bustos

In January, 35 members of JCI UK, a young professionals’ business network, took part in a week-long challenge: living on £1 a day for 7 days for all their food and drink.

Very generously they donated the money they would normally spend on food to Save the Children, raising a fantastic £1484.22!

Ilona, Hannah and Fiona with their meal examples.

JCI UK based their fundraising idea on one of the UN Millennium Goals: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.

“I think it’s easy to take for granted how easily accessible nice food is.” – Katie Ogley, challenge organiser.

Real hunger is hard to imagine for most of us. We  have easy access to a wealth of delicious food, from high streets overflowing with cafes and restaurants to supermarket shelves bursting with goodies.

However, hunger is the world’s number one health risk, with 1.4 billion people currently living on less than £1 a day, for everything.

Could you live on £1 a day?

Do you know how much you spend on eating and drinking each week? Could you live on a budget of £1-a-day?

You can give it a go yourself with our Live Below the Line challenge, from 29th April – 3rd May 2013.

Read on for JCI members’ top tips for getting by on £1 a day…

They even had some change from their £14 budget, which sustained two people for seven days!

A great place to start is with a dummy online shop to see how far your budget stretches.

Sarah was surprised she could afford a whole frozen chicken, for only £3, which provided main meals for two days, with leftover bones making enough soup for another three ingenious!

Katie discovered that planning was key, making a shopping list essential.

Potatoes and rice are cheap options for keeping full on a budget, and although Fiona wasn’t keen on porridge she found that a breakfast of oats and water kept her satisfied.

“Last day today! The challenge has been a real eye opener. I’m not going to keep it up for good, I’m beyond grateful that I have that choice, but I will be making some long-term changes as a result”Ilona Alcock

Ingenious leftover chicken soup.

If you’re thinking of sneaky ways to make your £1 go further, remember it’s cheating to accept offers from friends to buy you drinks or cook you dinner!

However, you could make your resources go further by getting a group of friends involved. It might even be fun…

JCI Boston pooled their resources to host a dinner party for three, with chicken noodles to start, bangers and mash as a main course, swiss roll and custard for desert, even followed by a ‘cheese board’ (using budget cheese spread and plain cream crackers) and fizzy orange.

“What a fantastic event – well done everybody. I’ll never look at soup and porridge in the same light!” Ian Tomkinson

Alli and Alex from JCI Boston, tucking into their dinner party starter.

Although you won’t be able to get the same variety in your diet that you normally would on such a tight budget, a lot of JCI UK members reported eating more healthily than they usually would.

Ilona said she couldn’t afford the coffee, evening wine and sweet treats that normally tempt her.

“Well done to all who managed the week! We take so much for granted fruit, cheese, coffee and more.”Louise Rowley

If you’re feeling inspired by what JCI UK got up to and want to take part in the Live Below the Line challenge take a look here for useful tips and to sign-up.

How much change can you make from a £1?

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