Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
How to eat healthily on £1 a day (bbc.co.uk)
140 points by xSwag 1667 days ago | hide | past | web | 153 comments | favorite



The problem with this article is that a lot of things that are cheap for one serving go stale before you eat the second.

For instance, on day one, he adds some mint which cost ~50p to buy, but he calls 1p because he only eats a little. He does not eat the rest of the mint that week, so it cost him ~50p, i.e. half the days budget.

I am poor and eat very cheap. I do that using dry bulk foods and frozen veg. This is important because there are opportunities for free meals (e.g. if customers at work do not eat all the sand witches and biscuits, that can be lunch for 2 days). Friends invite you for dinner too. If you buy food that spoils, opportunities like this come at a price.

How about this for a suggestion - mix lentils, buck wheat, brown rice, dried beans, quinoa. These come in 500g bags for about a pound. You need 6 spoons of this mix per meal, so 10 pounds of mix will last you several months. Put in a rice cooker for 40 min (some beans need soaking first), with a chicken stock cube. Cook for 20 mins then add mixed frozen veg. This will cost you about 30p per meal, and is pretty much complete [1].

I eat the above most of the time, and take free food whenever possible. At the end of the week, I treat myself to a ready meal. You can add curry spice or other herbs for variety. After a year of this I feel pretty healthy.

As an aside, supermarkets are machines for making you overbuy. Between BOGOF offers and big packs of meat (or small ones at a huge premium), it's very hard to shop there on a budget because they are designed to trick you into making 'bad' choices. Avoiding them by living on a non-spoiling diet saves tons.

[1] I think. The key to a healthy diet is variety, but if your basic meal is healthy and cheap, you can make sure to be eating other things from time to time.


Entirely agree, when you are poor your biggest problem is not actually quantity of money. It's the flow of money.

So the problem is often not "I have £50 to plan food for the rest of the month" but "I have an unexpected expense and now I have £2 I found behind the sofa and a bare cupboard/fridge to feed myself until I get some more money".

I also found that when I am poor I am much more reluctant to go out and buy in bulk. Even though it would at least give me food enough to last, there's something scary about blowing your entire budget in one go.

If you are poor it is also harder to get to places that sell things cheaply in bulk (because perhaps you don't have a car) and you are more likely to get things from a corner store as needed where there is a higher markup on prices.


The poor also make bad financial emergency decisions like using payday loan companies and loansharks, so a significant amount of their actual income just goes to paying off debts.

I lived in the "poorest postal code in Canada" and it was full of guys who traded food to each other like they were still in prison. If you didn't pay the huge interest payments you found yourself assaulted, unable to work, and deeper in the hole


I don't think it's necessarily poor financial decision making that leads to payday loans. If you are poor you are unlikely to qualify for a regular loan and you might not have family who can lend you the money you need.

If you find yourself with a week until payday and £0 in the bank it may be difficult not to consider the option.


Yeah, this is an important point. When I said bulk, I meant £10 of stuff, rather than the massive quantities you can get from Amazon.

I think instant pay day loan companies like Wonga have done a lot for the cash flow problem. Personally, I've never used them, but if you have a bill and need to avoid a £50 late penalty, you can get a $100 loan at 1% interest a day, which is a brilliant value proposition if payday is a week away. I've seen a lot of criticism of these companies, but I think it's from people who don't understand the problem.


1%?? Lol they charge 150% where I live until the regulators clamped down on them and class action lawsuits happened. Now it's $50 maximum per week they can charge, but they get around this with NSF fees and late charges.

They also hit bank accounts with EFT withdrawal up to 3x per day if the first one didn't clear, which is $40 NSF charge each time. Unfortunately because these lenders signed a piece of paper allowing for automatic withdrawal, the payday loan company then steals all your money the day before you are paid, so your account will be debited -$200 for a $100 loan you missed a payment for, factoring in all the NSF and late charges. Since most people are paid with direct deposit nothing they could do to stop this. Bank will also charge interest on the overdraft.

So on payday you have nothing, and are forced to go back to the payday loan company just to survive but are now paying even higher interest, because you defaulted once. Sounds like they are well regulated where you live but not here they are still loan sharks.


1% a day is 360% a year, which sounds very high, but is less than missing a payment sometimes. You would use them when it made sense, and borrow an amount that you could pay back. Many people are paid weekly, so it might cost £5.

Things were very bad in the UK until recently, and in many ways still are, but the companies have come under a lot of regulatory pressure, and are being... better. I'm afraid that sometimes you have to choose between 2 evils.

People are not dumb, and 1.2 million (3/100th the population) took a payday loan in 2009. You could credit a lower number to individual poor judgment, but these are rational economic operators borrowing small amounts at high interest rates to avoid hunger or larger losses due to cash flow problems.


WONGA, one of the most popular in the UK quotes APR of 4214%!

Of course that sounds worse than it is because the loan is short term.

Still though, I wish there was a more reasonable solution to this problem. I wonder how much of these rates are due to the risk involved in loaning to the sort of people who take these loans and how much of it is "because they can".


I believe that's the real tragedy (the last phrase)

My bet is that most of the people that use these services couldn't make a simple interest calculation


Most of these sites will show the amount of interest due so I don't think it's so much that issue as it is the issue that taking out one of these loans increases the chance that you will need to take out another one of these loans the following month which is a much harder calculation to make.


If you go to www.wonga.com, you can fiddle with the sliders and see how much a payday loan costs in the UK. For instance, if you borrow £100 for 10 days, you're paying back £115.91, which is just over 1% per day. I can definitely imagine someone accepting that to pay for an urgent cost.

I expect that if you don't repay when you agreed, though, you're going to end up paying a lot more.


150% a DAY??


And the loan companies cry that it makes them impossible to do business if they're capped at still wholly usurious rates.


Payday loan companies are f'king evil and ruin peoples lives.


>but "I have an unexpected expense and now I have £2 I found behind the sofa and a bare cupboard/fridge to feed myself until I get some more money".

It seems that the most common of these unexpected expenses include automobile related repair expenses (which come once every few years that even the best of us tend to forget to budget) and health expenses. Are there any others that come to mind?

Of course, automobile and health costs are the ones that are typically mitigated by insurance to some degree. Oh and what do the poor in countries like the United States rarely have? Insurance.... :(


If you are very poor, even smaller expenses like a power bill that is higher than you expected, having something that you rely on break (maybe the HDD in your computer fails and you relied on using your computer for some portion of your income) or you get a hole in your only smart jacket etc can throw a spanner in the works.


And the poor are typically the people who need a car the most, because they don't live in neighborhoods well-served by public transit.


Fully agreed - IMHO this article again shows how removed from reality some people are and seemingly nothing is left out to polarise society further (a/k/a the poor are only to stupid - look here they can live a healthy diet on even less).

a few thoughts on this article:

(1) compare the energy / fat / etc in this article with the rations given to the British people during WWII and shortly afterwards - I estimate the article's diet is even below those and nobody would ever dare to deny those enduring that time lived in abundance or a healthy diet.

(2) one more "... live on xxx £ for a few days" - Hypocrites, a few days does not make a difference. You can easily live on a few sugar cubes & apples (plus water) for 10 or more days. Most people would not feel different after that, and in our obese societies some even pay thousands of £s for such a minimal diet to loose some weight. The difference comes from 2-3 months or a year. When you're actually poor like many in the UK - being in such a situation (for indefinitely or until you win the lottery - about the same) adds a massive psychological toll on top that should not be underestimated. Hint to understand: If I tell you at the beginning of a 2 months software development task that all code you're going to write during these 2 months will be dumped unseen, ask yourself how much of a great coder you will be - so much about motivation and psychological toll.

(3) it is generally no fun to be poor even if some tell you otherwise - you're excluded from society, constantly humiliated and shown that you're worth nothing. This is even worse if you have children.

(4) With the changes in the social systems during the last decade(s) in Europe there is almost no chance to get out of this situation by yourself particularly if you're over 50 or have been unemployed longer than 2 years. And you get there much quicker than any politician would publicly admit. If you're self-employed, a few people not paying their bills, a few new contracts not signed - bang you're there.

There is a petition running at change.org that already more than 475'000 Brits have signed to asked bigmouth IDS (work & pensions secretary) who claimed he could easily live on £7 a day to actually do it and do it for longer than a few days - sign it to at least show you disregards with these politics ( http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/iain-duncan-smith-iain... ).


I agree. Some of the meal choices were pretty ridiculous too. Toast and jam as an entire meal? And the title of the article is "How to eat healthy"??

There is one absolute best way to spend less on groceries, and it is something that everyone can do, regardless of where you live, what diet you're on, or how much money you have.

What's the secret? When you're shopping, write down the cost of every item before putting it in your cart.

You will be amazed at how your food choices will change. For example, once I started doing this, I shifted to buying fruit and vegetables that were in season (and thus less expensive), rather than just buying things randomly and oblivious to the cost. The same goes for choices of meats, fish, and even non-food household items like soaps, detergents, toiletries, etc.

This is by far the best method of spending less on groceries that can apply to everyone. If you've never done it, I challenge you to try it just once. And if you have any suggestions on how to make this strategy even more effective, please let me know!


I would go a step further - it looks more like the usual spring weight-loss plan plus some cynical spitting on the poor.

The Victorian age is back in the UK and seemingly not only by wealth distribution (that has already been achieved a few years ago). The NeoCons would say we're half way there (on the journey back to times before the Age of Reason).


Which soaps are 'in-season' and when? ;-)


I obsess over price per ounce of my food while I am in the store. (Though it gets harder as I age and my brain weakens, and as prices and sizes get intentionally harder to compare)

Even still, I myself that groceries I eat are super cheap compare to food I throw away and restaurant meals. (And I avoid packaged meals and name brand cereal, which are near restaurant priced)

Every now and then I remember that the vast majority of people don't or can't think about food costs, and shudder. Paying $2 for a bottle of water with a scoop of sugar poured in. $5 for a box of Kellogs instead of $3 for generic. $4 for the frozen brocolli with fake cheese sprinkled top instead of $2 for plain. Etc


I totally agree, because I used to be one of those people. I just added to my cart what I was going to eat for the next week and whatever the price was at the register, that's what I paid, often in complete surprise (and horror) at how much the bill was.

Now, we consciously look at prices before putting items into the cart, and like you said going for store-brand and avoiding packaged food. (On non-packaged food: I am continually astounded at the ridiculous amount of fruit and vegetables you can buy with just a few dollars.)

In this way, we save literally hundreds of dollars per month. It is downright incredible!


Your claims are a little surprising, at least from an American perspective. Our various welfare programs are so generous that our poor can (and often do) eat like gluttons.

I was under the impression that UK welfare benefits are far more generous than those in the US - is that incorrect?

(Full disclosure - I've spent a grand total of 5 days of my life in the UK, most of it in zones 1-2 of London. I know virtually nothing about your situation, which is why I'm asking.)

[edit: citation on poverty and gluttony. I'm surprised that this is still a controversial fact.

http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa11/hstat/hshi/pages/210oo.html http://mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa11/hstat/hsa/pages/221oo.html ]


This is rather political. I think you can probably find something similar in both the UK and the US: some 'poor' people are getting enough money that they can afford to eat a lot of cheap, unhealthy food, while others genuinely struggle to get enough to eat. The difference in money isn't all that much when compared to factors like whether you have children, which area you live in, and which benefits you're getting.

The right uses the former group to claim that welfare programs are overly generous, and can be scaled back. The left uses the latter group to claim that the safety net is barely adequate, and should be strengthened. I'm more inclined to agree with the left; I'd rather the safety net was a bit too cushy for some than that people went hungry. In the last few years, the number of people using foodbanks in the UK has increased dramatically, for instance.

Of course, politicians regularly try to tweak welfare to reduce both extremes. But reality is too complex, and you always end up with some people not getting enough while others get more than they need.


At least among children (the only group for which I could find this data, see the citations I added to the post you responded to), this is not correct. The number of poor children who don't get enough to eat is virtually the same as the number of rich children who don't - about 5%.

In the last few years, the number of people using foodbanks in the UK has increased dramatically, for instance.

This does not mean people aren't getting enough to eat. The human body responds in very predictable ways to food consumption - do waistline measurements suggest anyone is lacking food?


Most parents probably prioritise feeding their children above almost anything else. Then there are provisions like free school meals. So I wouldn't really expect the statistics to show many children not getting enough to eat.

You seem to be focussing on the correlation between poverty and obesity. That's well known, but there are a couple of key differences from the discussion at hand:

First, the poorest category is generally quite broad. I'm looking at one of your citations now, and it lumps all households below about $20k into the 'poor' bracket. The fact that obesity is more prevalent overall in that bracket doesn't mean that everyone in it gets enough to eat.

Secondly, getting the food you need isn't just about calorie intake. After all, a cup of vegetable oil has almost all the calories you need for a day. People need a balanced diet, including vitamins and protein and so on. So waistline measurements alone aren't enough to determine how many people aren't getting adequate food. News stories such as tinyurl.com/cqw7r43 suggest that poorer households are cutting back on fruit and veg as money gets tighter.

Finally, when people can't afford enough food, they are likely to turn to unconventional sources like foodbanks and dumpster diving. That people need to rely on charity and scavenging is a failure of society. We don't need to see people literally starving to death to accept that people have a problem getting enough food.


I'm looking at one of your citations now, and it lumps all households below about $20k into the 'poor' bracket.

That's actually very likely the right thing to do. Thanks to various wealth transfer programs, anyone with earned income <$20k has consumption of approximately $20k.

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ce/standard/2009/income.txt

We don't need to see people literally starving to death to accept that people have a problem getting enough food.

Are people even becoming slightly less fat? That will happen long before anyone starves.


Calories are not nutrition. Food loaded with sugar and preservatives is much cheaper than healthy foods, and it also happens to be more readily available. Many poor neighborhoods don't have grocery stores where one can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables, but they do have convenience stores where you can buy all the candybars and junk food you can eat... at a considerable markup.


So if everybody eats potatoes and bread all day... that's enough for you because it satisfies an incredibly obtuse quantitative metric?


If someone gets fat off potatoes and bread they are consuming too much. They could reduce consumption of potatoes/bread and spend the money they save on vegetables.


This whole discussion is an example of why reductionism should be handled with care.

Have you considered how easy it is to stuff yourself with simple carbohydrates? Do you


Fat people have lots of fat. Muscle and bone amd cardiovascula health and brain mylenation are another matter.


very much doubt that only 5% of poor children don't get enough to eat. citation?


Government definitions of "poor" don't necessarily equate to what you and I would call "poor," due to politics (basically, getting more people identified "poor" helps you get votes if you're the party perceived as better able to help the poor, and in the US one party has dominated the poverty issue and used this strategy for a number of decades).

For example, someone I knew in high school (a number of years ago now) qualified for the school lunch program, so nominally his family was poor. But they lived in a house, with a yard; had cable TV, computers, and Internet. I would say they're working-class, or maybe even lower middle-class.

If the lowest-income 20% of the population is labeled as poor for the purposes of this statistic ("nominal poor"), but the number of people who are so poor their children are starving in the streets ("desperately poor") is 0.20% of the population, then it's not so surprising that statistics over the nominal poor much more closely resemble the general population than the picture of the desperately poor.


During my teen years, my dad made a pretty good software engineer salary, and we lived in a paid off house with a big yard and lots of computers. But with 8 children (and the associated tax exemptions) and substantial charitable donations, we often had net taxable income that was well below various "poverty" thresholds.


Income is a poor approximation of wealth, indeed.


It's the same citation I added to my original post. You'd know this if you bothered to read the post you just responded to.

http://mchb.hrsa.gov/chusa11/hstat/hsa/pages/221oo.html


Read it, I'm not seeing it either.


I'm guessing he's referring to the fraction of underweight children, 5.1% below the poverty line and 5.7% above 4x the poverty line.

Not sure whether 4x should qualify as "rich", but more importantly, being underweight is pretty low bar. For example, I am underweight.

The actual number as reported by USDA is 1%. The keyword to look for is "very low food security", formerly known as "food insecurity with hunger", which is the lowest range of food security measured by USDA. (The second lowest range, "low food security", formerly "food security without hunger", means poor diet but no reduction in food intake. Note that even among the "very low food security" households less than half reported "lost weight" and less than a third reported "did not eat the whole day".)

One interesting observation: "Typically, households classified as having very low food security experienced the condition in 7 months of the year, for a few days in each of those months." I'll go out on a limb and hypothesize that these few days are the last few days of each month. So one thing to try to reduce that number would be making welfare payments daily, instead of monthly. (I read that welfare these is delivered electronically, you carry a special card which looks like a credit card and a certain amount appears on it the first day of each month. So it shouldn't add any overhead to switch to daily installments.)

Sources:

http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/foo... for the definition of food insecurity levels.

http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-r... for the 1% number.


That depends, for the most part being on welfare doesn't allow for an extravagant lifestyle at all. Especially if you are a single person living alone.

Job seekers allowance (the standard benefit for the unemployed) will net you around £50 per week. Out of that has to come all of your expenses including energy , food , travel etc. You may be able to get rent covered by separate housing benefits.

Of course the right wing press will often print examples of families on benefit who are pulling in large sums of money from the taxpayer. I think in most cases these are cherry picked cases.

You do of course get more money if you have children, so perhaps if one can produce enough children to benefit from economies of scale it becomes more likely.


>Job seekers allowance (the standard benefit for the unemployed) will net you around £50 per week. //

Our family live on far less than that each per week after housing and we're working ... clearly we're not doing it right but it seems that is more than sufficient. Indeed my experience is that those I know on benefits can afford to live quite badly, wastefully.


How do you budget for that?

By the time I've used Energy/Gas + Internet + transport I've taken a huge bite out of that, not to mention food , phone etc.


In the US, public transport is at least $20 per week, for a minimum commute.

x2 for 2 wage earners.

$1/day(!) per person is another $5 each.

Replacing worn out clothes adds a touch.

Water/sewer is ~$5/wk/person for very light use. Energy for light/heat/cooking is similar.

That is bare minimum for survival.


Your citations show a link between poverty and obesity, not gluttony. If welfare programs were generous poor people might be able to afford fresh vegetables and other nutritious foods less linked with health issues, rather than the cheap, high-calorie, low-nutrition foods.


Obesity is a direct product of gluttony (i.e. eating more than you need). If the poor were really financially constrained, they would eat a smaller quantity of high caloric density foods.

(There is one exception to this - tall muscular people. This is a known problem with BMI.)


> Obesity is a direct product of gluttony

It's also a product of low exercise (common if you're scraping by with two minimum-wage jobs), depression (common when you're poor), eating (cheap) junk food instead of fruits and vegetables, etc.


Low exercise doesn't cause obesity. Low exercise combined with high caloric intake does. I.e., eating more than you need.

I successfully maintain a healthy bodyweight through periods of low exercise (typically resulting from injury). Right now I put in the effort to eat 4500 (reasonably clean) cals/day. When I'm unable to train, I cut it to 3000.

People suffering depression may choose gluttony at a rate higher than others, but that doesn't mean depression causes obesity. Gluttony does.

If a person were truly financially constrained, they couldn't engage in gluttony if they wanted to.


I think poor people often do eat calorie dense foods.


Sorry, can I just get a clarification here?

Are you saying that it's impossible to be malnourished and obese?

If so, that's provably untrue.


I'm aware that one can be obese and have scurvy or something along those lines.

From what I've read, the primary diet-related medical problems that the poor suffer are diabetes, heart disease, and similar things. Scurvy and B12 deficiency are very far down on their list of problems.

Feel free to do a google search and prove me wrong.


"Our various welfare programs are so generous that our poor can (and often do) eat like gluttons."

Ah, the T-bone steaks and Cadillacs meme.


"Our various welfare programs are so generous that our poor can (and often do) eat like gluttons."

This statement surprises me, as it contradicts a lot of what I've heard of poverty in the US.

Do you have a citation or several I could look at?


I added a couple to the post above. The link with "women" in the title also includes data on men under the data tab. The gist - poor women are more likely to be gluttons than non-poor women, no big difference among men.


You've added a couple of links on obesity. Nothing on "gluttony" or the generosity or lack therof of the US welfare program.

Five minutes' Googling will make it abundantly clear that "they're fat because they have a moral failing" is a seriously unhelpful point of view.

(For anyone interested - the phrase "obesity-poverty paradox" is a good place to start.)


I used to live on 700 €/month for three years, where I spent 310 €/month on rent (including warm water and heating for a 1-room + kitchen + bathroom flat of 40m²) and saved a further 100 €/month, plus ~50 €/month for university fees (~250 €/6 months).

So I lived off (700 - 310 - 100 - 50 = 240 €)/month, which I found to be no particular problem – ~150 €/month on food, toothbrushes etc. (general groceries), 30 €/month on telecommunications, 35 €/month on electricity which left me with 25 €/month for eating out once or twice plus clothes.

Hence, I’d say that 7 £/day is perfectly possible, provided that rent is covered by other means (as it is for German long-term unemployment benefits of ~350 €/month).


Did you have a similar mix and quality of clothes at the end of tht period as at the start? Similarly, was you washing machine (if you had one) of similar quality? T.v, computer?

It is relatively easy to live on a budget starting from a position where you have all relatively new stuff, and where you have a full closet of relatively new clothes.

Also: €25 for eating out once or twice plus clothes?


You can get jeans for 10 €, lasting about four months (so a year if you have three), shoes are roughly twice the price, three t-shirts usually come in at 5€ (Aldi is wonderful at that – thinking of which, I mostly bought my clothes there, including them in the general groceries category[0]). I bought a used washing machine when I moved in for 90 €, which had to be replaced after two years, so this would be 3.75 €/month. The oven came with the flat and worked fine, I got an old fridge from my grandparents which was still functional when I moved out, but likely sucked up far more energy than necessary.

Tech was relatively decent (used X300, used X41, a weird desktopy-mediacentery thing) when I moved in, I got a T410s after two years from the money I had saved when the battery in the X300 failed and sold the latter for 500€ (350 after replacement of said battery). Trips to my parents were usually paid directly by them, but they obviously weren’t strictly necessary either.

You can get a döner and a drink or two for ~8 € – surely not eating out, but not eating in either.

[0] I spent about 25 € there per week, which would give 120 €/month for strictly groceries and a further 30€ for extras (cheap pans, clothes, paper etc.).


You could do much better on clothing. A single pair of Gap jeans on sale for $40-50 will last me over a year wearing them almost daily. Or go to a thrift store and pick up a pair for $5. You can get free swag shirts at any tech event.


Three 10 € jeans lasting a year in total is still less than one 40 € jeans lasting a little more than a year – not to mention that at least two jeans are usually a good thing to have.

I also didn’t mean to imply that I had found an optimal solution, but merely a solution satisfying the constraints.


It's really not that difficult. I live on basically the same budget (also a student in Germany), as do many others I know. I have a washing mashine which is over ten years old, but still works fine. Got it from somebody who bought a new one for free. My tv is really old, I got it from a friend who got it some years before that from their grandmother. About once a year I buy a new jeans and 1-2 tshirts.


(3) "Being Poor" and "Living/Acting (on the surface) as if you are poor" are completely different things, since the former carries not only social stigma and alienation like parent mentions, but also because these social stares and prejudices will incite all sorts of mental/psychological insecurities in a person that just aren't desirable.

(4) Brings to mind the "Unfit for work" report on America's "disabled workers" (non)solution for those who are effectively no longer employable given their skill set and physical state: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5424241


It reminds me of Pulp's Common People, poverty tourism doesn't provide a ton of insight if you don't account/control for your ability to leave it all behind at any point.


"a/k/a the poor are only to stupid - look here they can live a healthy diet on even less)."

Agreed. George Orwell explored this one in his Road to Wigan Pier, ch 6.

I would encourage people to shop at their local food market. I can get all the fruit and veg we need for a week for £5 to £6 relatively easily at Birmingham's Fruit and Veg market.


I make a decent wage myself(well, its shitty for the field I work in but I have more than many do), but I live in one of the poorest parts of the U.S.. A 3 pound bag of apples costs about 4-5 dollars here. The farmer's markets are probably a dollar cheaper. I guess that's enough apples for a week, but I wouldn't consider myself to be stocked up on fruits and veggies.


There are only two of us, and in UK prices, 5 large apples is £1, you get 3lb to 4lb potatoes for another £1. Bananas £1 'a bowl' (about 5 large ones). Cabbages (savoy) two for £1 when in season, or broccoli. A few courgettes, peppers, and an Aubergine another £1.50. Carrots/parsnips whatever in season £1. Tomatoes £1 a bowl and OK I'm over budget. Add in rice, pasta, tinned tomatoes for cooking, tinned pulses, cheese &c bread and wine and we eat ok.

The market is significantly cheaper than the local supermarkets in Birmingham, I suspect because of proximity to the main wholesale market for the region and because the stuff might be 'grade 2', i.e. not pristine looking and all the same size. This is not a farmers' market (in the UK farmers' markets tend to have organically grown or very high quality produce from specialist growers sold direct). It does have organic stalls (I buy kale and lovely onions from one of them sometimes, but they are more expensive).

I'm a teacher on good hourly rate but currently working half time for family reasons so I am watching the budget a little.

PS: I can't edit my original post any more. I meant of course that I agreed with user fpp's point that it is unreasonable to expect people to live on emergency budgets for long periods of time.


If you're on a budget and you're buying fresh mint, then you're doing it wrong. Mint grows like a weed, in a patch of garden, or on a windowsill. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, mint, coriander, basil you should always be growing.


This is so true. We grow all those herbs in small pots. We also grow chives, beans, peppers, tomatoes and squash in a few medium sized pots and topsy turveys. No traditional garden needed.


Mint literally is a weed in the meadow behind my house.


The article also excludes the cost of electricity/gas to power the stove/microwave, the cost of water to cook e.g. pasta and clean the pans after, the cost of the pans amortized over your meals, the cost of plates and utensils...

If someone else is paying utilities (say, your local university, or your landlord), and you already own kitchen equipment (say, hand-me-downs from your mum) perhaps this is a reasonable assumption. But for those who are actually in poverty, the upfront capital cost of cooking tools and the hidden costs of energy in cooking might be prohibitively expensive.

That said, cooking in bulk is indeed cheaper. So if you're trying to conserve, it might help to find two or three good friends and cook your meals together.


true, I also don't like these articles when the guy magically has a rice cooker, strainer, pots/pans and all cooking utensils ready to go.

these articles should be done starting in a single room occupancy hotel with a hot plate and nothing else, because that's what you get when you are poor: nothing.


That's if you're lucky enough to be in a hotel, and not out on the street, where you'd be lucky to have access to even a hot plate.


The guys who sell flatbread on the street here cook it on reused refrigerator condensers on top of a bed of charcoal, which can be on the ground between rocks, or more commonly, in a metal pan atop a (presumably stolen) shopping cart. This is better than a hot plate if you can reliably find nontoxic wood.


I use a Lodge double dutch oven that is cast iron. It is a combination where the lid is a skillet and the bottom is a 5-quart pot. You can cook everything imaginable in this combination. It is far superior than the nonstick pans that are toxic at high temperature.


Cast-iron cookware is very expensive here, and therefore scarce. If you're cooking in a shopping cart it's unusual for cast iron to be a viable alternative.


Actually, in first world, not even an homeless gain less than 2$ per day. So we can safely leave all the expenses for fuel and cookware out of the math.


If you think there aren't homeless people (and others) who don't gain any money at all, you are living in a fantasy world.

Some don't get $2, not even $1. Some are lucky to get $0 instead of losing money every day.

Sure, some homeless people get assistance from public or private sources, but many others are too mentally ill, depressed, or self-destructive to seek, find, or even accept aid (when aid is available, which it not always is).

And yes, these people do die of starvation, exposure, malnutition, illness, suicide, drug overdose, etc..


I'm talking about a mentally sane person. You can find 2$ (actually a LOT more) simply opening the trash bin near you.


Sure, if you're depressed or otherwise crippled, you can earn nothing. But I assume $2 is still about 200 beer cans at Reynolds Aluminum Recycling in the US, right?


The extreme poor area I lived in was also full of drug addicts who spent all night going through trash bins and cleaning out anything of value to support their habit, so if your plan is to mine for recycled bottles and cans to return then you're in for a surprise when you find out that hustle has already been cornered by violent drug addicts and alcoholics who won't let you near their garbage 'turf'.

They also rob each other when they walk out of the recycling depot with cash in their pocket. Since you live in an alley you don't have security


So, why you don't move to another (better) area? It's not like you have an house or anything else that bind you there.

To be clear, I'm not saying that is an easy life, I'm only saying that is difficult die of starving in a modern first world nation


They do move around, and are typically arrested and ticketed by police for doing so. If you were to move to a suburban area a resident would complain about the hobo pushing a shopping cart and squatting in the woods so you would find yourself being given a "starlight tour" which is when the police drive you to the middle of nowhere and kick you out of the vehicle at 2:00am.


You have friends there. You can live without a house, but you can't live without friends.


The better areas are taken by those with money. You can move to a better area, but the police will turn up before long to move you on.


Obviously is not a simple life. Dangers are everywhere from drug dealers to policeman. But to keep this short the fact is the same: For a mentally sane man (or woman) in USA is very difficult die of starvation.


At some point the assumption of sanity breaks down, in this lifestyle.


The cost of electricity is quite low. If you are actually so broke you can't afford it, there's probably places you can leech. It depends on where you are, but 10c / kwh won't be a huge cost. Say 5c to cook a bowl of soup.

Then there's the rice cooker - good for a year, and costs $20. That's another 5c.


My poor friend eats rotting veggies. She only buys food from that rotting stand in the grocer with the 75% off stickers. That plus rice and frozen veggies. Nobody poor buys mint.


Fascinating, this is almost exactly the recipe I use, except for the buck wheat. What does that add? I also always add ghost chili powder and a little butter or oil since the dry grains don't have much savory flavor on their own.


I'm somewhat surprised by your assertion that you're "poor". 25k in London might be a very low salary for a software developer, but it's still way above minimum wage, and that's higher than what most people on benefits live off.


I know this is inappropriate but I got a kick out of imagining your customers dining on sand witches. Brilliant!


Yeah youre right. This article is total BS. He is not actually living on that amount of money


This article should be renamed "How to sustain yourself on £1 a day". It's amazing how the word "healthy" can mean different things based on your knowledge of nutrition. This article is a perfect example of someone whose nutritional knowledge involves skimming some articles in popular media that are laden with grain and sugar industry advertisements. It's more a recipe for getting diabetes, not being healthy.

Biscuits and margarine are certainly not healthy. On one hand you have a high glycemic, gluten-laden processed food that turns into sugar as soon as you eat it. Then you have a highly inflammatory industrial vegetable/seed oil with a very poor fat profile.

Better options are to shop at farmers markets, grow your own garden, get bulk stuff from Costco, buy cheaper cuts of meat and braise them, ferment your own veges, and make bone broth.

Good health rarely comes from a package in a supermarket. The only packaged items I buy are ghee, coconut oil, butter, and canned wild sardines.


As a bad but persistent cook, I'm convinced eating healthy is generally cheaper. A lot of the healthier food I eat is cheap: legumes, [sweet] potatoes and other root vegetables, broccoli, bananas, oranges, water, eggs, oats, frozen vegetables (spinach!), brown rice, tomatoes (canned if not locally cheap). I think people intentionally mix up expensive with more work...


I agree. Local seasonal veg from a good greengrocer or market is cheap and healthy.


depends on the part of the world where you live in. In Latvia where I live, tomatoes grow in July/August. The rest of the year we can have Spanish tomatoes at 3-5$/kg or locally grown in a heated greenhouse, at $10/kg


The amount of highly processed carbohydrates is frightening and far from "healthy"[1]. It's unfortunate, but to eat healthy costs more, because healthy food spoils.

I look at it like this: if a food doesn't spoil[2], it is most likely because bacteria and fungus can get no nutritional value from it. Do I want to eat that?

1. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Scienc...

2. There are some exceptions, of course, but surprisingly few.


it is most likely because bacteria and fungus can get no nutritional value from it.

Here are two other reasons bacteria might not be able to eat something you can eat:

1. They can't stand the chemical environment -- pH, poisons, salinity. You're just eating it, and can compensate for a lot; they have to live in it! Examples: Honey, garlic, onions, hard liquor, vinegar, salted butter.

2. It's too dry; you can drink extra water, but they need it to come from the environment they live in. Examples: Any dry food, really, but stale bread and dried meat are good examples.

. . . and cheating a bit, here's one more:

3. The food could spoil, but is in an otherwise inhospitable environment -- too cold, too hot, no oxygen, already sterile/sealed. Examples: Frozen food, food in the slow cooker, canned food.

None of those have much to do with nutrition! You're just a more robust organism than bacteria, is all.

Even "poisons" in the first one is misleading -- a lot of what the microbial world sees as poison, you and I see as tasty. :)


For moist food at room temperature maybe, but a lot of healthy food resists spoiling by being stored dry or cold.


The higher cost of healthy food may have something to do with the shelf life, but I think subsidies have a lot to do with swaying consumer choice. It's deadly especially when coupled with the fact that obesity is a slow and gradual change that can go unnoticed for years.


> but to eat healthy costs more, because healthy food spoils

Brown rice and dried beans don't spoil and are extremely cheap. Most other foods can be frozen to prevent spoilage.


It all sounds great until you think about how much they actually spent. It's more like "How to eat healthily on £1 worth of food per day, but spending a lot more because you aren't eating the majority of the food you have bought, which cost a lot more than just £7".


This reminds me of a project I did in November of 2006 when I decided to eat for $1/day for the month. The whole thing is chronicled here: http://www.hungryforamonth.blogspot.com/

I wouldn't say what I did was exactly healthy though.


Wow, this is really good.

> [...]I’m consuming less than half the amount of food I used to and I don’t even notice it.

> Lately I’ve been thinking about anorexia. Not because I’m anorexic by any means, but because this month has shown me how a person could do it. Before, I assumed that anorexia meant constantly being hungry, so hungry that you were in constant pain. I never understood how people said they just sort of, “fell into the disease without realizing it.” But now I understand that like a lot of pain, the human body adapts around it. Like I said, if I wasn’t carefully monitoring my calories, I could easily eat way less than I should be eating and think it perfectly normal. If you were to add to that the psychological pressure to get or stay thin, I could definitely see how it happens.[...]


In the bbc article the woman's diet for day one consisted of:

Breakfast:

- one piece of toast and margarine (6p - cost of tea)

- one cup of tea (6p - cost of toast - cost of margarine)

- one "unethical" egg (8.7p)

Lunch:

- one ham sandwhich, presumably just bread and ham (29p)

Snack:

- one "value" scone with jam (6p)

- one apple (free?)

Dinner: (37p combined, I imagine there are some more "free" ingredients in here)

- 1/4 zucchini

- 1/4 bell pepper

- 35g bacon

- 100g spaghetti

- 50g peas

- 10g "value" brie cheese

- 1 clove of garlic

Apart from some lemon juice and spices she added to her dinner, that's about it.

What I consider to be a scone costs about $1 alone where I live here in Canada. I would be a bit worried to eat one that cost over 10x less and the seller was still able to make a profit.

I remember paying ~$4 for an apple once when visiting France. Brian got his for free somehow. Perhaps he has a tree in his backyard.

Not to mention the massive overhead costs involved here with the fact that he could easily boil water to cook his spaghetti and a nice knife and cutting board which allowed him to make his sandwhiches. Plus a fridge to keep those remaining 29 unethical eggs in.

At the very least, it's a good read to get people thinking about efficiency.


UK supermarkets tend to have 3 ranges of own brand goods.

Cheap, which they call value.

Expensive, which they call finest or luxury.

Regular.

Here's a link to the scone product. (https://secure.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=25828...)

Here's a link to a price comparison website. (http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/grocery-categories/Scones_in_...)

So, you can get value scones at 50p for 10, with these ingredients {Wheat Flour,Water ,Sugar ,Vegetable Oil ,Sultanas (7%) ,Whey Powder ,Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate) ,Pasteurised Whole Egg ,Preservative (Potassium Sorbate) ,Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids)}

Or you could get Tesco Finest Butter And sultana Scones at £1.50 for 4, (37.5p ea) with these ingredients {Wheat Flour,Sultanas (21%) ,Buttermilk ,Cornish Unsalted Butter (11%) ,Sugar ,Free Range Pasteurised Whole Egg ,Cornish Clotted Cream (3%) ,Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate) ,Salt}

(https://secure.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=25384...)

Some of the value items are good. But you need to be careful. As you say, these value scones are not nice. Even the finest scones aren't great, compared to scones you can buy in cafes.


> I would be a bit worried to eat one that cost over 10x less and the seller was still able to make a profit.

A lot of supermarkets, at least in the UK, sell various basic foodstuffs as loss leaders[1], so they are making a significant loss on each one they sell. They do this to get you into the shop, in the hopes that you'll buy other more profitable items once there. Also, in university towns supermarkets are prepared to take a loss in order to secure the long-term brand loyalty of students who are shopping at supermarkets for the first time and forming their opinions, and will go on to become professionals who can afford the more profitable products.

If you are smart you can take advantage of these to get food very cheaply indeed.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader


So I wasn't the only one that noticed the free apple... Around here a single apple is $0.50-$1 depending on the size. I too can eat for less than a dollar by simply not counting the expensive parts.


Perhaps she scrumped it?


Not sure where you bought that apple, but I'm pretty sure that's more expensive than a full kg an a grocery store.


It most certainly is. A kilogram of fresh apples costs $2 to $4 here in Canada. $1 if you can get it from an orchard. I was just trying to exemplify that Apples are not free.

When I paid $4 for that apple: it was the middle of winter in Paris, France. I was in a grocery store, or Paris' equivalent of one at least.


I added this up, using Wolfram Alpha's calorie count and the Tesco scone linked in this thread. It's about 1600 calories. That's a full meal less than I usually eat.


If you buy a single fresh scone individually at a supermarket stand or at a bakery - that's going to cost a dollar. If you buy a bag full of factory made ones in mold proof packaging and full of other preservatives, then you'll have the budget cost version. If your grocery has them, they'll be bagged up in quantity right next to the bagged bread. Definitely not that expensive artisan bread in the loose bag, though.


Note that £1 is $1.54 and that pricing is not necessarily the same in the US and the UK, where I found the UK to be more expensive than Germany when it comes to groceries – tight competition really does help to bring prices down.


I found your blog engaging and also a more honest attempt to try this out.


Bread, jam and biscuits is "healthy"?

The ridiculous dietary-fat-fearing, obsessed-with-fruit Food Pyramid looms large in this article.


Here[1] is a similar experiment, which initially started with a $1 per day budget for 30 days.

"Here are the rules:

  1. All food consumed each day must total $1 for each of us.

  2. We cannot accept free food or “donated” food unless it is
     available for everyone in our area. (i.e. foraging, samples in
     stores, dumpster diving)

  3. Any food we plant, we pay for.

  4. We will do our best to cook a variety of meals; ramen noodles
     can only be prepared if there is no other way to stay under one
     dollar. (We have six packages and will buy no more)

  5. Should we decide to have guests over for dinner they must eat
     from our share; meaning they don’t get to eat their own dollar’s
     worth of food.
"Each day one of us will post an entry here with a photo that details how things are going..."

[1] - http://onedollardietproject.wordpress.com/2008/09/01/it-star...


When I was 19, I spent about six months pretty much eating ramen, rice, and apples... It sucked a lot.


I've always disliked the perception that poor people necessarily eat poorly. Rice, wheat, barley, oats, beans, and root vegetables are grown in abundance in developed countries and so are inexpensive; they do not spoil quickly; and are very healthy. Most vegetables will keep for weeks in a refrigerator and months in a freezer. Sardines (fresh) and eggs provide much better protein than meat.

I think the cost of "healthy food" is mostly rooted in ignorance and a taste for simple sugars:

"For a Brit, there can be no greater comfort food than a custard cream."

There's your problem.


The way to eat cheap is to have 49 friends. Costs are much lower if you buy a lot of something. Soup kitchens as they are called in the US (and elsewhere?) do this. There are self sustaing ones in the US that charge $1 for a meal which is prepared by those who eat there. As a community center $1 for a meal is doable. And with the pound being worth more than the dollar, one should be able to do that on a 1GBP as well.


A loaf of bread where I live is $4. Blew his daily budget with one purchase. Cant buy single eggs even from a local farmers market here so thats another $4-6. Cheese is probably the most expensive item at $10. If you bought everything this guy ate youre looking at $60 or so and it will last about 5 days, which is 7gbp per day. Must be cheap food in the UK


Well, the author bought everything in larger quantities while conveniently not taking into account limited shelf life. He also makes trips to 5 different supermarkets to get the cheapest prices, which takes a lot of time (research & shopping) and gas.

One of the best ways to cut costs is to not cook for one, but to cook together with others. Then you can buy in bulk like the author suggested.

I live alone and I do cook for one. I probably spend more on food than most. However, I chose to live in a compact city with relatively low rents. This way I don’t need a car. I live in walking distance of supermarkets, health food stores, farmers markets and bakeries. I live 1 minute from a bus stop, 5 minutes from the main train station. What I spend more on groceries, I make up for in low rent and using public transport instead of owning a car.


You can get by basically anywhere in Europe without a car. Sure, you might have to walk 20 or 30 minutes or so (one-way), but the wear on your shoes from that is absolutely negligible.


That is simply not true.

I live in the third most densely populated country in Europe (after Monaco and Vatican City), the Netherlands. It has 1287 people per sq mile. Yet, the country has plenty of rural areas from where it takes hours to walk to the nearest town or even the nearest shop. Belgium, the UK, Germany, and Italy are ranked 4, 5, 7 and 9 respectively. They too have large rural areas.

In the less densely populated European countries, it’s even more problematic to live outside of a city without a car: Iceland (8 people per sq mile), Russia (21 people per sq mile), Norway (41 people per sq mile), Finland (48 people per sq mile), and Sweden (60 people per sq mile).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_de...


On one hand, I cannot recall a single village of more than, say, 1000 inhabitants (in Germany) which did not have a decent supermarket (Aldi, Lidl etc.) – at most, it might be at the other end of the village a few kilometers away, but, well.

On the other hand, you ignore that bicycles are perfectly fit for use as transportation, especially in rural areas with little traffic, reducing the need for a car even further. You can get as far as 20 km easily by bike (about an hour, tops), and I will be very surprised to learn of places where the next shop is more than 20 km[0]

Additionally, you ignore that the average population density of a country is no measure whatsoever of how said population is distributed – if the vast majority of the population live in villages and cities, it doesn’t matter whatsoever whether there are fifty trillion square miles of forest around them or not.

Futhermore, I have to admit that I did not necessarily consider Russia and Iceland to be part of Europe in this regard.


You’re moving the goalposts. I indicated I moved to a small city specifically not to have to own a car to shop for groceries. You seem to think that one can live anywhere in Europe and be within 2 miles (a 30 minute walk) of whatever amenities you need. That is simply not true.

My sister’s husband owns a home on an island in Norway which has been in his family for several generations. They spend several months a year there. There are no shops on the island at all, it takes more than an hour by boat to get to a supermarket. I’ve never visited Norway, but I’ve been told this is quite common.

“if the vast majority of the population live in villages and cities, it doesn’t matter whatsoever whether there are fifty trillion square miles of forest around them or not.”

It does matter to you, if you happen to live in or near a forest. In Iceland, two-thirds of the population lives in the Reykjavik area. If you live outside of that area, you absolutely need a car.


Living in Germany I can assure you that there are towns and villages spread out so far that getting to the nearest supermarket takes hours by foot. Bicycles are not an option, if you know what Mittelgebirge[1] means in practice, you know why and if you use public transportation in rural areas, every trip to the supermarket turns into an event that needs to be scheduled.


I didn't know what a ‘Mittelgebirge’ was, so I looked it up. Translated, it means ‘mid range mountainous area’, and there are plenty of those in Germany. In those areas, you definitely need a car to get to the nearest supermarket.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mittelgebirge


Clearly the commenter means in cities or towns, or generally inside the public transportation system.

I'm from Spain (and I have been to several other countries in Europe from the list you give.) I live in a small town (22000 inhabitants) and I don't have a car. Anything I need for day-to-day life I can find in town, for anything else I use public transport to get to Barcelona, which is just 30 minutes by train.

In most of Spain, except for the most rural places there are public buses that can get you from unheard-of-on-sea to closest-big-town without many problems, and my experience in Germany and UK is the same.

Of course Iceland and Norway are completely different, specially Iceland (I was there for 18 days) where from "big" city to the next you can count on seeing just a few farms, at best.


“Clearly the commenter means in cities or towns, or generally inside the public transportation system.”

I doubt that’s what he meant, because that wouldn’t be much of a statement to make. When you live in a town or city, of course you can walk to a grocery store – that’s not unique to Europe.

I lived in rural northern New Mexico, the 6th least densely populated state of the 50 United States. Even there, I could walk from my home to Wal*Mart, a nearby gas station/taquería or farmers market. Walking on the side of a state highway just isn’t much fun, especially at night.


There was a 3rd clause there: "or generally inside the public transportation system."


I didn't mention it because outside of built up areas, public transportation is practically non-existent. A bus service that runs every few hours and not at all on Sundays simply doesn't count. Also, OP spoke of walking, not of public transport. If I use a bicycle, motorcycle, airplane, or rocket, I don’t need a car — that wasn't what was proposed.


I guess in the US may be different, but in Europe people usually make the weekly food shop either during the week (after work or before work) or on Saturdays. Almost everything is closed on Sundays. Also, what do you mean by built-up areas? In Spain, Germany and UK (countries where I've spent most time) you can get to almost any place with public transportation. Maybe they come once an hour, but for planned shopping this should not be a problem.


This is the comment I responded to:

“You can get by basically anywhere in Europe without a car. Sure, you might have to walk 20 or 30 minutes or so (one-way), but the wear on your shoes from that is absolutely negligible.”

Ask yourself whether you agree with that statement, because it’s quite different from what you have been presenting.


I do. The original comment talks about living without a car. You may need to walk 20 or 30 minutes to get to the public transportation to get you to your destination, and this is what I have been presenting all over.


You'd have to walk for hours to check all the prices and work out the cheapest from various supermarkets though. Also, the more calories you burn walking across town to find, purchase, and carry home the very cheapest food, the more you need to eat...


Five kilometers sounds like a very sane maximum distance for shopping, which is manageable in one hour (two hours round trip). You don’t have to visit every shop each day, as the prices will be roughly the same and you can note new ones as you get to the shop the next time. Walking requires nearly no energy, compared to the standard energy requirements of the human body.

Also note that a bicycle for as little as £20 can speed up transportation immensely at nearly no cost (of course, you might want to invest a further £3 in chain lube, but, well).


The trick to the author's math is this:

A loaf of bread has, say, 24 slices in it. If you ate two of them, then the cost of bread was that day $0.34, when you amortize the loaf of bread over twelve days. If you can find a $2 loaf of bread with 24 slices, it's only about $0.08 for a slice of bread.

But yes, I agree -- if you actually had to maintain this budget, you'd probably buy one kind of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and eat it every day for a week.


> The trick to the author's math

That's the trouble with this article; With the dependence on buying everything in bulk (and somehow using it all up before it goes off), it appears to be more of a fun theoretical calculation than a practical weekly diet.


Here's a loaf from Tesco for fifty pence (seventy-seven US cents). Looks like twenty or so slices, so call it 2.5 pence per slice; about four cents a slice.

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/Product/Details/?id=262358089

As I recall, however, you have to be quick. The cheapest bread tends to vanish from the shelves within minutes of being put out.


Also, you have to pretty much vacuum seal them yourself to stop them going off in 3 days.


Red peppers, bacon, brie, Greek yoghurt? This woman is living!

Where are the old days of baked beans on toast and either oatmeal with salt or sugar?


I see some of these posts as more of experimental (just like the motive of the 5000 Brits) than practical. You don't eat solely to sustain yourself or avoid hunger. Enjoying the food and being comfortable with whatever you are eating really counts as well..

"But when it is your way of life, and you haven't got any choice over it, it's not a fun experiment."


Here's a more realistic experiment about being poor (in India): http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/Harsh_Mander/barefoo...

Appendix: Rs. = Indian rupee; 1 USD ~ 55 Indian rupees


I see a lot of anger in the comments, some of them questioning the practicality of it or the actual approach you'd use if money was an issue in your household.

The BBC didn't do this in order to educate people on how to eat cheap. This is just a flashy piece intended to provoke the "oh look how easy is to make something cheap look nice and healthy" reaction.

In that sense its similar to the "deconstructed McDonalds meals" by famous chefs or the "how to substitute x by y and make your children eat y" ones. No one who has to leave on £1 a day will look here for practical advice and discussing the practicality of it is, therefore, pointless.


>No one who has to l[i]ve on £1 a day will look here for practical advice and discussing the practicality of it is, therefore, pointless. //

If it was actual advice on that then yes I would have found that useful.

The BBC should be doing better than this sort of Broadsheet newspaper piece - they're probably employing poor people, perhaps they should have spoken to some of them about it.


The problem is that it is now being retweeted by wingnuts as proof positive that the benefits system is too generous.


It's a fun exercise. I do the "A Buck A Plate" blog http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com


Why is this on hacker news, I don't get it - most readers here would earn a decent wage - what's the interest in super cheap eating. Is it because people want to self-fund their projects and live as cheaply as possible while doing so?


I did the math before to see how cheap I could live on a slight deficit and I got $2.00 CAD for 2000 calories (about 75 grams of fat, 200 carbs and 125 grams of protein)


In the state I live in, there are a plethora of $1 stores that sell all types of fruits, vegetables, cheap meats, and pre-packaged food for $1. They even sell Breyers half gallon vanilla icecream for $1. The local big grocery store sells mass quantities of bananas(20) for 99cents. I have seen 3lb potatoes going for $1 as well. You could easily live off a dollar a day. It might not be the healthiest thing to do, but it's completely doable.


The easiest way for everyone to save money is to cut fastfood out of the picture. Another way is to invite friends over for Friday night instead of drinking at the bar. Personally, I went through a period where I got lazy and worked sporadically for a year, and only worked to pay bills and survive. Life was honestly pretty crappy that year looking back on it.


>The easiest way for everyone to save money is to cut fastfood out of the picture. //

That's not going to work for _everyone_.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: