Monday, April 29, 2013

Living Below the Line - Making Progress

I'm continuing on with Living Below the Line. 

Five days - spend only $1.50 (or less) a day on food. 

If you're thinking, 'Hey, this is quite similar to the occasional 'Live on Food Stamps' challenge, you're right. But this one reflects more of the average world inhabitant, rather than the U.S. citizen. (The food stamp challenge gives you $7 daily for one, $12 for two -- more, quite frankly, than the Brick and I spend on our average budget for food. Those poor, malnourished welfare recipients...)

Am I being rude here? Yup. But honestly, I do believe that what's needed in this area is more education, rather than more money. That, and a resolve to eat and cook better -- not complain, because you can't just buy whatever you want, whenever you want. (Or refuse to cook altogether.) Our ancestors lived on far fewer 'luxuries' than we do. We could do it, too.

Speech done. Back to the meals:

Breakfast:   a fried egg and two 'cheese guys,' with a splash of salsa. (I've been clearing out our leftover Taco Bell packets.)

Lunch:  a bowl of beans, sprinkled lightly with cheese. A handful of baby carrots alongside. (They were on sale this week - goody.)

Supper:  Bean burrito, augmented with rice and red peppers. A couple of nights, we'll be having fried rice instead, with chopped veggies and an egg stirred in. (A refiguring of how much coffee we were actually using made me realize that we could also afford a teabag for the nightly cup. No cookies to go with it, though...ah well.)

Good, basic fare. A little boring...but honestly, with this week's deadlines, I appreciate being able to repeat some dishes. Besides, it's only for less than a week.

One unexpected side effect: I am having some trouble mentally assimilating the celebrities' take on this issue -- especially when they're wearing fancy makeup and expensive clothes, and being taped by professional cameramen. Couldn't some of the money expended on all those visuals be put where their mouth is? I don't doubt their sincerity -- I do wonder how much they're really sacrificing to help out.

     'Wait a minute,' inner self says. 'Who are you to point the finger - are you sacrificing?' We don't give as much as I wish we could -- but we do donate at least 10% of our income. We support a Brazilian 'son' through Compassion International, give to the Mennonite Central Committee (very involved with world hunger, and nearly zip of your donation goes to office expenses), and support others. Could we do more? Always. But we're doing something.

     Maybe we need to do more.

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