Living on less than $2 a day

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OK, so I think most people know I am frugal.  But even I have had to think twice about this latest challenge that I have just signed up for: eating for less than $2 a day for a whole five days. And I would really love your support to motivate me to achieve this goal.

$2 bowlThis is not something random or freakish.  I am not trying to starve myself.  Instead, I am participating in the Live Below the Line fundraiser in support of Oaktree’s overseas initiatives.  Specifically, it supports programs for young people in Cambodia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea – basically places where many people exist on less than $2 a day.

So the basic rule is that you can only spend $10 for five days (my first day starts tomorrow, 4 May).  You can’t utilize free food – doh, this hurt as I have been gifted some wonderful things including home-grown persimmons.  I unfortunately won’t be eating them this week. Nor will I be consoling myself with chocolates or starting the day with a cup of tea.

rulesSo choosing what I would buy, and then shopping for it carefully, required thought.  Considerable thought.  In the end this was what I chose:

P1110147I came in just under $10.  Just.  This is the breakdown of what I spent:

Broccoli 0.38
rolled oats 0.99
eggs 2.59
plain flour 0.75
butter 1.39
potatoes 0.20
tomatoes 0.40
onions 0.50
apples 0.75
sugar 1.00
carrots x2 0.58
French onion soup 0.45

Most dry ingredients were from ALDI, with the exception of the French onion soup and sugar (Coles).  I had a wonderful time at the Trash n Treasure Markets at Jamison Centre (Canberra) selecting apples and vegetables. 2A were most bored so I chose quickly; after I bought the apples and onions I noticed cheaper elsewhere.  No matter, it was still good value and I could buy in small quantities.

Some items such as butter and sugar are a bit of a luxury.  I wish my food budget could have stretched to milk, because then I could have made yoghurt and splashed some on my morning porridge. I couldn’t do without sugar.  Sad, but although I know it is not healthy I couldn’t face morning porridge without a bit of sweetness.

I have some ideas for what to cook with this.  But tell me, what do you think I could make and bake with these ingredients?  And is it enough for five days?

I would really appreciate financial donations, big or small, to help encourage me on this goal.  You can make donations online at: 


  1. lizzygoodthings, I am only feeding myself on this challenge. I possibly could have included them as they often tend to eat only simple things like white rice and chicken soup anyway, but I think they are too young (5 and 2) to be subjected to such a drastic budget challenge. Maybe when they are a bit older we can do it together.

    1. It is so easy to spend lots of money on food. And to waste a lot:) I must admit that I was very good on this challenge, but I went back to my slacker ways the week afterwards. I hated throwing out food, and will be menu planning more to prevent it.

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