Why this high-flying lawyer is living below the poverty line for a month

Piling on the pounds.

Pound sterling that is. Alice Biggar, a 26-year-old lawyer from Southampton, has set herself the challenge of spending less than a quid a day on food for a whole month.

Feeling the pinch?

Nope, it’s all for a good cause. “I wanted to challenge myself for the new year,” she said. “So I made my resolution to be less wasteful with money and live below the poverty line on £1 a day.” She will also be raising money for the Trussell Trust charity that helps to combat poverty in the UK and Bulgaria.

What’s on the menu?

Food salvaged from skips and items from supermarkets’ discount aisles, mainly. Own-brand basics feature heavily – and she’s boiled up a few soups using bones blagged from the butchers. “My best buy was probably a huge bag of parsnips for 4p which I incorporated into a Burns’ Night supper,” she said.

Cut-price cuisine.

Indeed – and it looks like it could take off. Biggar has been blogging her experience at challengealice.com and says interest has been very healthy indeed. And there’s support out there: she’s enjoyed a meal at Skipchen, in Bristol, which serves only food salvaged from supermarket bins.

What’s keeping her going – other than 4p parsnips?

“If I can get people to think more about what they spend on a meal then I consider this challenge a real success,” she said. “I would recommend everyone tries the challenge for a week – it makes you realise how much we waste on food and it really does make you appreciate what you have.”

And then there’s the thought of treating herself once the challenge is over. “I’m looking forward to having a wine, takeaway and film night,” she said.

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