back to article Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse taunted with sausage sarnie snap

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge got off to a provocative start today, as Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Paul "Lord Shax" Shackleton sent over a snap of what we certainly weren't getting our laughing gear round this morning. Paul Shackleton's sausage sarnie Careful not …

  1. Bill Fresher

    Is foraging or eating produce grown in your garden really in the spirit of the challenge?

    Can you eat venison every day, so long as you shot the deer?

    What if you live on a farm?

    1. AMBxx Silver badge


      I keep 11 chickens and geese. Could live on eggs without losing weight. Would save on toilet paper too.

      Would probably lose my wife though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Farm

        "Would save on toilet paper too."

        Is this because you'd use the geese necks to wipe?

    2. Sykobee

      Well, living for a pound a day, when you can invest some money in vegetable seeds, is valid if you have a garden. Not so much if you living in a flat. However if you live in a flat, you might live near some cheap shops for supplies (supermarkets aren't that cheap for staples). On the other hand, garden tools aren't free. Presumably time would be, if you had to live on a quid a day! Also waiting for things to grow ain't going to feed you now.

      Keeping chickens sounds like a no-brainer, but the wood and mesh for their run and house isn't free either. Once built they would last a long time, so it's just the up-front cost. Using shipping palates could be an option. Rescue chickens are free.

    3. NoneSuch Silver badge

      Girl in Photo

      Shouldn't she have a pipe to make it an official El Reg photo?

    4. Bill Fresher

      Seems no-one doing the challenge wants to answer this question.

      Oh well.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Bill Fresher,

        Give people time...

        I personally haven't, as I live in a flat, so can't. But also I've tried to go for a balance of my rice, which is bought in huge bags every few months anyway (and people in developing countries are likely to do the same - or store what they grow) - and buying some things in smaller packages just to use this week. On which subject I owe Lester an email, a spreadsheet and a picture of my stash of "goodies".

        However, apparently the $1.50 a day figure is consumption at purchasing power parity. So this is supposedly a monetary value assigned to everything that people comsume each day - at a notional global standardised dollar's purchasing power. It's all very hard to work out - for example that figure includes housing - and I simply don't believe that you could get any kind of housing in the UK at rates of a couple of hundred a year, even a small concrete/brick single roomed one.

        Also my bank won't take a couple of quid for the week as my mortgage payment - and Thames Water are probably getting £2-£3 a week off me. Not to mention electricity.

        In the end this is a charity event, a bit of fun, and hopefully an excercise in thinking about what we have and what we use. It should be taken in a spirit of enquiry, with a sense of proportion, and with a sense of humour.

        Yesterday I spent about 30p on frozen veg (not available to people below the poverty line, but their fresh veg is probably cheaper than ours), 39p on 6 eggs, maybe 10p on half an onion and half a potato, a little butter and made a nice omelette. Which is big enough for a dinner and a lunch, for 80p. But that doesn't include electricity to cook it.

  2. aidanstevens


    Do those figures include the calorific content of the super strength lager shown in the first photo? Drink that on an empty stomach and you'll know about it.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Sauce

      I caught that too! Mighty powerful drink there.

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Sauce

        According to Shax, that's actually a pen holder. Hmmmm.

      2. Sir Sham Cad

        Re: Sauce

        That Oranjeboom 8.5% is the only one of those super strength brainbreakers that actually tases like beer rather than alcohol and syrup.

        As such I keep one in the fridge for emergencies such as Monday.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Sauce

          Chimay bleu is about 11% alcohol, but just tastes like a nice dark beer. It's very moreish. Sadly it's about £4 a bottle whenever I've seen it in the UK - so would make a bit of a hole in the week's budget.

          The strongest I've had was Carlsburg Elephant Beer, which is 13% from memory. Had it once in a Danish bar, and it was truly horrible. The danger with many Belgian beers is how many of them are so nice, and don't taste like they've got more than 7% alcohol. I guess that's why they come in half measures..

  3. Nick L


    > "Gwyneth Paltrow... recently failed to to survive for seven days on $29"

    Has she passed away? Shouldn't someone tell the papers?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Gwyneth?

      Have an Up Vote. I'd give two... to even out my downvotes when El Reg covered Gwen's attempt.

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Caipirinha, mmm...

    In a large glass... one lime, chopped; 1/2 fill with ice, 2 tsp sugar, and fill in all the remaining space with cachaça.

    The first one... lovely.

    The second one... I forget how to speak Portuguese.

    The third one... I forget how to speak English.

    The fourth one... I forget how to walk.

    But the fifth one is the worst: I forget to look at the girls on Copacabana...

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Caipirinha, mmm...

      I had 'em at my wedding. One of the guests necked an entire jug, despite being explicitly warned. I gather he woke up the next day in a ditch wearing nothing but his underpants.

  5. Anonymous Custard

    Non-cooking bacon?

    Bacon 3/5 of a Sainsbury's Basics cooking bacon pack – 69p

    One would have to ask what other sort of bacon there is aside from cooking bacon, at least if you're not Lady Gaga looking for a new outfit?

    Anyway best of luck one and all!

    1. Santa from Exeter

      Re: Non-cooking bacon?

      I believe that it refers to the fact that it comes in chunks, rather than slices. That does, however, make it perfect for adding to my Pease Pudding lunch for the week!

      All systems go (although I have made a couple of tweaks since e-mailing Lester my list).

      1. Anonymous Custard

        Re: Non-cooking bacon?

        Ah, what those of us who spend more time in France than we would like would call Lardons?

        Anyway good luck with the challenge, the pudding sounds quite enticing :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Non-cooking bacon?

      I'd imagine, with it being part of the "Basics" range, that cooking is prefixed to indicate that it's of a lower standard than you'd want for general consumption in, for example, a bacon sandwich.

      Other common examples of this practice include products such as cooking chocolate, cooking wine and cooking brandy! ;)

  6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge


    Twelve for £2 for reasonably decent ones in supermarkets near me. Entirely good enough to eat when not on a tight budget and affordable if one is.

    The problem is that one can't buy them individually at that price so it's either live only on sausages for a couple of days, pool resources with someone else, or choose something else.

    This is in fact the main problem faced by anyone single trying to survive on a tight budget. The cost of food tumbles when purchased in bulk but is ridiculously expensive in small quantities. It is a typical 'poverty trap'; one can eat decently on a quid a day if there is enough money up-front to buy in quantity to make that feasible. From a standing start one is limited to what one can afford to buy at that time.

    In the real world one can easily blow a week's budget just buying tea bags, a pint of milk and a bag of sugar.

    The more one uses the less one pays for it. Even buying to waste it can create a saving while attempting to be frugal is punished. It seems to me that the western world is ridiculously geared towards consumerism or otherwise completely screwed-up.

    1. Zog_but_not_the_first

      Re: Sausages

      Yes. Careful selection needed. There are sausages and sausages, so shop carefully. My local butcher's venison and cranberry bangers can be had for about the same price as Tesco "standard issue".

      1. BlartVersenwaldIII

        Re: Sausages

        Worth a thumb for mentioning the local butchers alone. Since we moved to within walking distance of a butchers we've a) stopped buying meat at supermarkets b) ended up buying more meat c) noticed how much better the meat from the butchers is and d) spent about 20% less money on meat overall. The butchers is so much better I felt like an absolute idiot for wasting what amounted to a lot of money on supermarket meat.

        Even better, most butchers will have a pot of bones from previously butchered animals that they'll give away for nowt. Pick up half a dozen or so to toss into a stock/gravy/ragu/anything else you'd like to have a deliciously meaty taste. Ragu I can especially recommend since a few bones will transform a few tins/packets of tomatoes from a tangy gruel into a food worthy of the gods. If possible, for extra convenience do a big saucepan once a month and freeze the surplus into supperwares.

        Well worth hunting them down and becoming a patron of your local butchers if you're lucky enough to have one nearby as sadly they've become an endangered species. The one my parents frequented did a roaring trade until their rents were doubled and they were forced to close, because apparently an empty storefront generates more money for the owner than a paying tenant....?

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: so it's either live only on sausages for a couple of days

          I see no problem with that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sausages

          As well as providing bones for stock, local butchers will often also sell offal such as hearts quite cheaply. Great for stretching your meat supplies when used in stews and casseroles.

          My local butcher does lambs hearts at about 50p each... great in a nice slow-cooked hot-pot, especially with some hand-picked brambles cooked into the stock to give it a bit of sweetness.

          Making myself hungry now... time to head home for dinner!

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Sausages

      Exactly the problem I had when I wrote the book; easy once you've started and have the basics in large enough quantities that you don't need to repeat the buy next week. I mean, you simply can't buy two shakes of Lea and Perrins. It's mean of the supermarkets, I know, but they do insist that you buy the whole bottle.

      It's Vimes' theory of socioeconomic unfairness as applied to food.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first

        Re: Sausages

        "I mean, you simply can't buy two shakes of Lea and Perrins."

        You can if you ask nicely at a local boozer where they have stuff in sachets for adding to the microwaved consumables. Lea and Perrins, vinegar, sauces brown, red and tartar, mayo (ish gunk).

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Sausages


      As someone who has spent a period of their life doing things like rummaging down the back of the sofa (and hanging around in order to pick up pennies in the street) just to afford the cheapest loaf of bread possible, the scale of buying "cheap" properly is one of the killers. It's also that horrible scenario of "We'll have the money for all this next week", "So what are we going to eat until then?" which can actually end up costing you MORE and putting you back in the falling-short-of-food category the same time the next month through no real fault of your own.

      And then you get the "Well, you can't be short of money because you just spent £100 at Costco" idiots. Well, yes. But that lot will feed us for two months. Maybe not fully, we might need to buy 16p loafs of bread here and there but that's purely because they just don't fit in the freezer with all the other stuff. Reduce our electricity bill? Sure, I'll pull the plug on the freezer and we can sit in the dark, and cold, AND have no food by the end of the week too.

      Some "big" items are necessary to make the small savings cost-effective. Fridges and freezers are one. Dishwashers you can live without, however. Even an oven/microwave (preferably only one of the two). But a freezer costing £40 from the local secondhand dealer will save you more than it costs in a year - including electricity - from food that would otherwise be lost or the cost of buying everything fresh. Hell, we used to buy potatoes by the sack, make one large batch soup, freeze it down, and live off it for weeks on end.

      The problem with "saving money", and especially things like Jamie Oliver's tips (where the "1p because we only used 5ml of tomato ketchup" thing is rife) is that they aren't actually doing this with a hard limit. If you don't physically have the ability to produce that extra penny when required, you can't have it. That's it. And few people understand that. And to "get" that penny somehow means calling in friend's favours (which are too precious to lose over a borrowed tenner), losing some valued asset of some kind (did an awful lot of eBaying of assets at cut-prices during those years), or having to pay back twice as much tomorrow and being in a worse position.

      However, it has to be said: If you're in this kind of position, and you have shiny new appliances, or the latest smartphone, etc. then you're cheating yourselves and others. I'd allow a cheap, second-hand computer. My ex- and I used to enter competitions online of an evening and that was our entertainment. We often won for no "cost" but our time. We used to get all kind of online discounts and vouchers and hints on how to save money and what offers were accepted where. She used to do online mystery shopping jobs and we often had to turn down retail mystery shopping jobs because we couldn't afford the £10 to buy an Argos Value kettle, return it the next day for refund, and comment on the service received (even if the company GUARANTEED repayment of expenses and costs, whether the refund was given or not). We didn't have a TV licence but we would have BBC iPlayer'd if it was around back then. The cost of a cheap throwaway machine saved you money. I was actually using an IBM Thinkpad 360 (with floppy and Windows 95) years after it was bin-fodder just to keep something in the house that could dial-up (local call rates with and later as a backup to our cheap-as-chips PAYG broadband) and pay a bill online more cheaply, etc.

      It's the people who literally start from zero that I worry about and would help out if I knew someone like that. But those who have a 4x4 SUV on the front lawn while moaning they can't afford a takeaway until the next benefits cheque? Zero sympathy. Stop having takeaways (except rarely when you've EARNED them as a treat), sell the car and buy something older and cheaper to run, and get on websites and start using your spare time to earn some money - or you'll be in that "hole" forever.

      1. foxyshadis

        Re: Sausages

        Condiments are important enough to making food worth eating that they just have to be budgeted for, once the necessities are bought. Becoming suddenly poor is easier, of course, then you'll likely have a well-stocked pantry. If you were kicked out of home or just released from jail, well, then you have nothing to get started but a silver tongue and maybe a willingness to nick a few little things that hopefully won't be missed. Hopefully you've got friends and family to help you out before you get to that point.

  7. Little Mouse

    Tch! - You don't want to do it like that, you want to do it like THIS...

    If you are holding back some rations for a morale-boosting last-day blow-out, why not treat yourselves on the Thursday instead?

    You'll be on a high on the Friday knowing that very soon you'll be pigging out on your vittles of choice - possibly even the brightly coloured crunchy stuff from the fridge or fruit bowl (cravings can be weird like that)

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Good deal on the mackerel

    Lester, get rid of the bread and go with a better calorie/price ratio like oats. Standard white bread is probably one of the worst things to have on the list.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Good deal on the mackerel

      Yeah, porridge would be sensible, but I do like my egg sarnies in the morning.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Good deal on the mackerel

        Who said anything about porridge? What's wrong with a nice bowl of gruel?

        You should lower the budget even more so you'll have to do without such luxuries! ;-)

        Where's the Oliver Twist icon when you need it? Or is there possibly now an emoji one?

      2. VinceH

        Re: Good deal on the mackerel

        " but I do like my egg sarnies in the morning."

        Interesting that you appear to have two eggs/four slices of bread.

        These days my breakfast behaviour has improved, having gone from a steak slice or cornish pastie (purchased on the way to wherever I'm working) to a couple of slices of toast. If I opt for egg on toast, it becomes just one slice of toast.

        If I went for an egg sandwich (which I'm unlikely to do for breakfast) I'd probably go with two slices of bread/one egg.

        Therefore - although I have absolutely no plans to participate in such a thing - if I was ever to join this low cost nosh posse, I'd have a bit of a head start on you at breakfast.

        OTOH, I can be a greedy fat bastard later in the day, so that's where I'd be at a disadvantage.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          'two eggs/four slices of bread'

          = two egg sarnies.

          1. JDX Gold badge

            Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

            = twice the calories you need for breakfast. Maybe more, depending on the bread. That's quite a big breakfast.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

              Yeah, two thick slices of bread is around 400 Calories in and of itself.

              For me though, the issue is less the amount of calories than the speed at which they are converted to blood sugar, so while there is a slice of toast for the initial wakeup kick, there are always oats.

              My word, you can get bored of oats...

          2. VinceH

            Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

            = two egg sarnies.

            Not in my book!

            For me, a single sarnie is what can be made with one slice of bread, folded in half with appropriate filling. As soon as two slices are involved (since I usually cut the result in half) it becomes two sarnies.

            Unfortunately, I've just had my toast... all this talk of egg sarnies has now given me a hankering for just that! Grrr!

            Oh well, best go and prepare my roast pork sarnies for lunch at the office... ;)

            1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

              Re: Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

              I feel a proper debate coming on here. One slice of bread for a sarnie? That can't be right.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                Isn't it a round of sarnies, which is 2 slices sandwiched, then cut in half to make 2 smaller sarnies? Or some such. Otherwise I've had that confusion with people before.

                Myself I'd say a sandwich is what you get with some stuff, and 2 slices of bread.

                This is before we've even mentioned the abomination that is the club sandwich, which always seems to use an odd number of slices. At which I always think, should you butter both sides of the slice that's in the middle?

                1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

                  Re: Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                  I think my granny considered a round of sarnies a two-slice sarnie cut into four. Some form of committee is needed here to discuss the matter.

                  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

                    Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                    There is no possible argument: a sarnie involves two slices of bread. Always and without exception.

                    And stuff in between them, even if it's only jam.

                    If there's only one slice, it's a smorgasbrod folded in half; a pale imitation of the real thing.

                    1. Santa from Exeter

                      Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                      Actually (as anyone oop North will know) one slice of bread folded around the contents is a butty.

                      Usually deployed as either Chip Butties or Jam Butties

                  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                    Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'


                    I think we agree on the round. Mine is a modern lazy round, where I'll often cut along only the long side to make the sandwich a bit more convenient to hold. The poncier the bread, the taller it seems to be, and therefore the more likely to flop over and dump the delicious contents all over the shop.

                    Whereas in the days of tea at my Nan's, it was sliced white all the way. Ham and cucumber or crab paste in fact. Much squarer bread, so makes nice squares (triangles if you're feeling all posh). A round would be the 2 slices of bread's worth, so either 2 or 4 sub sandwiches (sandwich-ettes, sarnitos perhaps?). This all to be followed by Mr Kipling's finest cherry bakewells and French fancies, plus Jaffa cakes, and/or maybe even fruit cake if she'd made some.

                    Oh, and dandelion and burdock. Foul, sickly stuff that coats your teeth and makes them go furry - but I did used to love it. Radio 2 on in the kitchen, the sounds of aircraft over South London, drifts away into happy nostalgia...

                    Anyway, you are correct. This is a vital question. We need to form a Nosh Posse Sandwich Sizing Sub-committee. Stat!

                    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

                      Re: Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                      I'd call that the Nosh Posse Sandwich Divisional Sub-committee.

                  3. Bunbury

                    Re: 'two eggs/four slices of bread'

                    I would concur with the inestimable ancestor.

                    My father was once going on a journey and had the following conversation with his daughter in law:

                    She:"would you like some sandwiches for the journey?" (being helpful)

                    He: "Yes please; but only one round will be enough" (being helpful)

                    She: "Oh.But I don't have any round bread." (mutual frustration and puzzlement)

  10. knightred

    But have you tried dehydrated milk?

    Look this is the one key question I ask when somebody tells me how they've survived on food subsidies. Have you drank dehydrated milk? Seriously, I think it's a true sign of poorness to have stomached this. I've eaten a damn many things, but the worst was milk dust in water.

    I like the comment about "if I shoot a deer does it count" heh I lived without power or water (it was a mile away to an artesian well)... I read a lot of books, chopped a lot of firewood and ate a lot of meat. Because when you're already living outside the system there's not much to stop you from trapping and hunting animals outside the season. But does that count? No. If you live in the city, you're screwed, there's no garden. There's no deer or rabbit or quail or duck or bass or catfish to take.

    But in the "city" you don't have the opportunity to "hunt for your food" you can barely grow a herb garden... the entire setup is against you with the concrete and all, in reality you should move to the country and grow a garden... surely you can find a job that you can do for some money. But people don't like to move, even when they clearly should.

    I don't know, I'm ranting... you want to feel truly poor? don't eat for three days. Walk two miles every day. Then finally eat half a pound of government peanut butter with crackers and drink dehydrated milk. Then go another two days without food while still walking two miles a day.

    And this all explains why my pantry is overflowing with canned vegetables, flour, salt, sugar, canned fruit, a freezer full of meat, a stupendous array of spices and dried chili, it's enough food for 6 months to a year... because apparently if you grow up with "food insecurity" it breaks your mind. You will always stockpile food. I never realized I was even affected until I saw a PBS program about food insecurity and I looked around.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: But have you tried dehydrated milk?

      Nature will eventually stop you hunting & trapping out of season. That's one of the simple population challenges for sustainable living. If predators are hunting faster than they can breed, eventually the prey runs out. If you live in a city, you're not screwed. Balcony or roof + trap = plentiful supply of pigeons. Then there's rat onna stick..

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