Live Below the Line: Day 1

I woke up this morning feeling hungry (not sure if it was because I ate an early dinner last night or the fact that I knew I would be challenging myself to live on $8.75 worth of groceries for the next five days). Either way, I set off on making breakfast for myself and sister. Omelettes were on the menu – more like two eggs each and water. I just fried it up with a teaspoon of oil and a sprinkle of pepper.

After breakfast, we set out to finish grocery shopping; to get some milk, soup mix, spices and zucchini.  As we were shopping, I was highly aware of the limitations in that we were on a strict budget and couldn’t just buy what we wanted. We only had $6.65 leftover from grocery shopping the day before. Also, it’s a lesson of only buying what you need and not wasting food.

For lunch, we made noodles with veggies – recipe below. It was great to be cooking and spending time with my sister, since she doesn’t live at home for most of the year. It was fun and we bonded 🙂

During the afternoon, I did start to notice that my energy levels were getting low and I was feeling tired to the point where I took a nap.

By dinner time, we were so excited to be cooking and eating again.  We modified the Lentils Shepherd’s Pie to include carrots (which gave it a little bit of sweetness).  Having never actually made Shepherd’s Pie before but it turned out great.

Recipes and pictures can be found below.

Looking forward to Day 2!

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Recipes (servings for 2 people)


  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Water
  • Dash of Ground Black Pepper
  1. Mix eggs and water together.
  2. Add oil to pan and fry the eggs.

– – – – –

Noodles with veggies

  • 1/2 pkg Egg Noodles
  • 1/4 Carrot (grated)
  • 4 leaves Cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 gloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Hot Sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp Oil
  1. Boil hot water and rinse the egg noodles with it – drain and set aside.
  2. Cut up cabbage, grate carrot and mince garlic.
  3. Add oil to pan and add cabbage, carrot and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add noodles to veggies. Mix soy sauce with a little bit of water and add it to the noodles/veggies.
  5. Take mixture off heat and divide into two portions. Add hot sauce if desire. We did since the noodles were bland.

– – – – –

Lentils Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe makes 4 servings so we’re planning to have this for two dinners.

  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Carrot (diced)
  • 1 cup Green Lentils
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 4 Potatoes (diced)
  • 1/3 cup hot Milk
  • A dash of Chili Powder, Basil and Garlic Powder
  1. Rinse, cook and drain lentils (instructions on how to cook lentils).
  2. Peel, cut and cook potatoes and carrot.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Add oil to frying pan.
  4. Add onion and cook for 7–8 minutes, until soft and golden. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, carrots, lentils and seasoning. Spoon mixture into an ovenproof dish.
  6. In a bowl, mash the potatoes and add the hot milk and garlic powder. Mash until soft and fluffy.
  7. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the lentil mixture and bake for 25–30 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned.
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