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I will ‘Live Below the Line’ this week.

Posted on by on April 28th, 2013 | 7 Comments »

1.4 billion people are currently living in extreme poverty.

Extreme poverty is characterized by severe deprivation in basic needs (food, safe water, healthcare, education, sanitation).

This week from April 29-May 3, I am participating in Live Below the Line, to raise awareness about extreme poverty.

“Live Below the Line is a campaign that’s challenging the way people in Canada think about poverty – and making a huge difference.”

For the next 5 days I will eat only those foods I am able to purchase within the a budget of $1.75 per day, the value set by the World Bank as the international extreme poverty line. Those 1.4 billion people living below this line must cover all their basic needs with amount, however in this challenge I will only budget for food.

The rules as stated on the Live Below the Line website:

The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of rice, sugar, eggs, etc. You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team though, as long as no participant spends more than their $8.75 budget. Of course a way to bypass this is to buy in bulk – to only buy what you need!

You must include the cost of any other food you get – from the pantry, the garden, or “donated” by friends.

Tap water is free!

To keep track of the amount we recommend that you spend the entire amount up front. But if this is not your preference then just write down every purchase and stop when you hit $8.75. Before doing your shopping we recommend that you do a bit of research and think about a basic shopping list – think filling, basic, and cheap staples, like pasta, rice, lentils, oats etc.

The most important rule – if at any point you feel unwell please stop the challenge and consult a doctor if needed.

In preparation, I scoured the flyers for the week’s grocery deals. I even took a trip a local discount grocery store just to price out food. Once I have firm grasp on foods and prices, I started brainstorming meal ideas. With the creative help (many texts later) of my dear friend Leah from the Brazen Kitchen I had a meal plan and a grocery list.

I will share the meals in the coming days;)

The foods I will live on for the next 5 days.

$8.75 worth of food

The final tally.

live below the line cost breakdown

What foods would you buy?

Learn more about Live Below the Line, or maybe challenge yourself? You can also support me in the challenge and donate to the cause.

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Live Below the Line: Monday »


  1. Posted on: 4-29-2013

    I find this challenge really interesting and look forward to following your week. I find it interesting that so many people seem to be going it alone. I think it would be easier to cook for 4 people for $35 than to feed one person for $8.75 because you could get more variety and split it among the family/group.

    • JaydaSiggers
      Posted on: 4-30-2013

      Annie, in hindsight I think it would’ve been easier too; to cook for 4. I have to admit I wasn’t sure I could do it and was concerned that it would be too (nutritionally) restrictive for my children. A privilege that is in the front my thoughts these last few days.

  2. Johanne Adams
    Posted on: 5-1-2013

    Wow, just realized how much I take for granted. Thank you. I am going to try this.

  3. Posted on: 5-1-2013

    This is really interesting Jayda. Looking forward to reading more!

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