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Living Below The Line

I typically scoff a bit at this sort of thing, because how, in five days, five weeks, or even five months can you possibly understand what it’s really like to live below the poverty line?

How can you understand, just eating that way, what it’s really like to live in fear of eviction, your power being shut off, sleeping on the street, or any other number of things?

Unless you’ve been there, as many have: you really cannot.

Still, I also believe that raising awareness is a great thing, and this piqued my interest, admittedly because I had a look at Tom Hiddelston’s buys for the week. Here, let me show you:

Ah, bless him.
I thought. Free range eggs, even!

And I fully understand the why on free range- but when you’re poor, really poor- scruples become a little problematic. Let me show you:

I’m not counting the farmer’s market prices- because our nearest farmer’s market happens to be in Rolla, which is about a half an hour’s drive away. On five bucks a week, give or take, when you’re poor: gas money to get to these places is a consideration. Our local grocer is Country Mart, so, I will go with that and this is going on memory alone- I will update with the actual prices when I go in to buy my goods for the week.

Dozen eggs: $2.00

Dozen free range eggs: $4.00

Owch. Now, the other consideration I’ve got to throw in there is that I am a nursing mother. I feel reasonably sure there are plenty of nursing mothers out there, living below the poverty line- but, while nursing will take nutrients directly from my body’s own stores- there’s a caloric and fat intake to consider. If I don’t, my supply will drop.

So, this weekend, I will go to the store, that in mind: and buy my week’s worth of groceries for the UNICEF Living Below the Line 5 Days. (You can find the link on our Facebook page.)

If you were purchasing food for yourself for 5 days, on only $1.50 per day: what would you buy? Why? What considerations would you have to take into account?

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