Diana Chiodo: Live Below the Line Participant Reflects on Living on $17.50

Diana Chiodo: It’s A Party for Two

What Diana and her boyfriend bought. The making of a good week.

What Diana and her boyfriend bought. The making of a good week.

1. You’re doing the Live Below the Line challenge with your boyfriend. What are the pros and cons of doing this challenge with one other person?

Well, there were a few benefits. One, we had greater purchasing power with our pooled budget of $17.50. Second, I didn’t have to eat the same three meals everyday. Third, doing this challenge with my boyfriend made it more of a social activity as we cooked our meals together. Fourth, my boyfriend and I kept each other accountable. Just knowing that we would be occasionally checking up on one another, ensured that neither of us wavered.

In terms of any challenges with doing Live Below the Line with someone else, it was sometimes difficult to divide the food 50/50. For instance, once my boyfriend suggested that he could have the half bag of pasta, and although I was tired of eating it, I didn’t really want to give it up. Also, it can be difficult to cater towards two peoples food preferences. As much as my boyfriend loves salt and pepper in his cooked meals, I am not too fond of it.

2.What would you say to someone to encourage them to participate in Live Below the Line?

First, I’d like to say that the challenge is worth the cause. Live Below the Line can get you to reflect on the power of choice. While grocery shopping, I caught myself reflecting on how certain foods I wanted to buy were unattainable because they exceeded my budget and I questioned myself as to why. Later, my reflections went deeper. I thought about how those living in extreme poverty don’t have a safety net if they are faced with a set-back, such as food getting spoiled or becoming ill. I myself was not prepared for any set-backs and thought about how much more difficult it would be to live in extreme poverty when life throws curve-balls your way. So, that being said, Live Below the Line is a great way to educate yourself, which is why I encourage others to participate.

3.Considering there is still time to participate in Live Below the Line (Sign up before June 30th), what advice would you offer to interested participants?

Just do it! Get at least one other person to do this challenge with you and do your research by going to the grocery store beforehand to really learn what you can purchase for $8.75. 

It’s not too late to participate. Live Below the Line will be running until June 30th. Sign up HERE and Donate HERE!

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