Meal Flops for Dummies

25 Mar 2017

We’ve been there at least once in our lives, balancing one too many plates of foods until one inevitably falls leading to PURE. AND. UTTER. DEFEAT.

But what if this happens during Live Below the Line? We can’t just order a replacement dinner or throw together a responsible adult meal of cereal and milk.

Brought to you by yours truly, here’s your guide to meal flops during LBL: how to prevent them and how to deal with them when they occur.


- Watch food when you’re cooking it! There’s nothing worse than having porridge boil over, toast burn or pasta turning to mush.
- Walk carefully and beware of tripping hazards. You don’t want to cook a filling meal only to end up like the above photo.
- Choose food that you actually like! Year after year I am lulled into a false sense of security by cheap rice prices but when challenge week rolls around I remember that I can’t stand it!
- Practice your LBL meals before the week! Plain tuna rice may sound great in theory but in practice it may be a bit gross. Also make sure you meal plan is feasible. There’s no point planning to make - - - dumplings with poached eggs if you can’t poach eggs and have never made dumplings before.
- Plan ahead. There’s nothing worse than walking into Coles at 10pm before you start LBL, grabbing random ingredients and then not being able to come up with any meals or recipes from them.
- Buying older food near its expiry is a great way to save some $$$, just make sure that the food is still in an okay condition (aka bruises are okay, mould is not).

‘Curing’ Meal Flops

- Burnt toast can be scraped gently with a knife to remove the burnt sections.
- Food stuck to the bottom of a pot or rice cooker can be ‘rehydrated’ and unstuck by adding small amounts of water and stirring it or letting it cook over a low feat so it absorbs the water.
- If you burn food and have budgeted for things like tomato sauce, tomatoes or sugar, adding a bit of them will help mask the burnt flavour. Otherwise try to remove the worst parts and then dig in. Also transfer the food into a clean pot as soon as possible!
- Always bring some kind of food if you when you’re going out. You don’t want to have a 30 minute errand turn into a few hours with no food to keep you going.

At the end of the day the best cure is prevention. So recruit your housemate/ sibling/ pet dog* to do LBL with you can as a team you can help prevent meal flops!

Find out why LBL is better in a team

But seriously, don’t make your doggo do LBL, there are plenty of hoomans around instead.

PS. LBL food can be pretty appetising as well!

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