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Live Below the Line: the secret to the perfect shopping list

There’s only one talking point amongst Save the Children staff taking part in Live Below the Line this month: what should be on that all-important shopping list?

For just 8p a portion you can treat yourself to a rice pudding!

As part of the challenge they – and thousands of others across the country – will be trying to get by on just £1 a day for 5 days, to raise vital awareness and funds for the 1.4 billion people around the world living in extreme poverty.

Join us in the challenge: Sign up to Live Below the Line

Factor in trying to eat healthily too, and you have some seriously clever shopping to do!

Our top tips for planning your £5 shop

  • Make sure you shop around: Buying a single pack of lentils will set you back over your daily allowance of £1, but yellow split peas are half the price.
  • Think about making your own bread: Instead of shop-bought pittas and crumpets, try making your own. They’re much nicer – and more satisfying! Give it a try with our recipe below.
  • Be carb conscious: It’s really easy to get carried away with cheap rice, bread and pasta. Try sticking with one that’s versatile and spend the difference on fresh fruit and veg.
  • Be healthy – but give yourself a treat, too. Investing in fresh fruit, vegetables and the odd sweet treat (see our rice pudding recipe below) will make the challenge much more enjoyable!

Recipe: Pitta breads x 8 (5p each)

These delicious homemade pitta breads cost just 5p each.

These homemade pittas are more filling than shop-bought ones, and taste delicious. You could also use half the mixture for pizza bases (just roll it out very thin).

  • 250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting (£1.10/kg) – 28p
  • 1x 7g sachet instant yeast (85p/pack of 8) – 9p
  • 1tsp salt (2.5p/100g) – 1p
  • 160ml water
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil, plus extra for kneading (27p/100ml) – 3p
  • If you can afford them, add fennel or nigella seeds.


  1. Mix together the dry ingredients. Add 120ml of water and 1½ teaspoons of oil and mix together by hand. Gradually add the remaining water and oil until you have a soft dough.
  2. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes then place in an oiled bowl. Cover and leave until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250C and place a baking tray on the middle shelf.
  4. When the dough has doubled in size, knock it back on a floured surface. Split the dough into eight equally sized balls and roll into an oval shape, 3-5mm thick.
  5. Bake on the hot tray for 5-10 minutes, or until they just start to colour.

(This recipe was adapted from Paul Hollywood’s BBC food recipe – see the original here.) 

Recipe: Simple rice pudding (8p a portion)

This recipe is simple to make and while it might not equal a proper rice pudding, it’s great comfort food for the mid-week dip. If you can afford to add more milk and sugar it’ll be even nicer!

  • 50g rice (40p/kg) – 2p
  • 50ml full fat milk (86.3p/litre) – 4p
  • 2 tsp/8g sugar (90p kg) – 1p
  • a grate of nutmeg or sprinkle of cinnamon – 1p


  1. Cover the rice with water.
  2. Add a teaspoon of sugar and bring to the boil, until the rice is cooked but still has some bite.
  3. Drain the rice. Add the milk and the other teaspoon of sugar and simmer.
  4. Sprinkle on nutmeg or cinnamon.

Feeling inspired? Sign up to Live Below the Line for Save the Children.

See more of our favourite Live Below the Line recipes on Pinterest.

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