What food would you buy for only $10 for five days?

Next Monday I will  be eating for $2 or less.  And I will repeat that every day until Friday.  Every day. No cheating. Not even on ‘free’ food such as foraged dandelion weeds or cake baked for morning tea by friends at work.  I have $10 to spend for five days and that is it.


Could you do it?  I did last year. It wasn’t easy, I was hungry and I lost $3kg.  I came away with a renewed respect for how people in dire poverty cope. It is quite monotonous cooking when you have limited ingredients and condiments.  And it is also hard to be creative when you are hungry and starving from lack of energy. I also found that I wasted next to nothing.  My loaf of sourdough bread was a disaster.  Yet I stubbornly chewed on for several days as there was no alternative.

My $2 day Live Below the Line challenge is to raise funds to support the charitable work of Oaktree, which involves young people seeking an end to global poverty.  Live Below the Line raises funds for education initiatives overseas to fight poverty.  And it also raises funds for campaigning work in Australia to enable young Australians to be active on poverty reduction.


Today I started to think about what I would eat, and to price out key staples. I am thinking of a brown rice and legume based diet for next week. If key macrobiotic practitioners can survive on a diet of brown rice, then if things get bad so can.

Plastic bins and staples for sale at the Food Co-op at Australian National University
The Food Co-op at Australian National University – lots of good quality organic produce but sadly most to expensive for my $2/day diet next week


I visited the Food Co-operative at the Australian National University.  You can bring your own packaging and only buy as much or as little as you need. I thought this might be a good option for my staples.  The quality is fantastic, but alas most of the produce is outside of my budget. I guess quality organic food costs a lot more than bulk mass produced. I may still go back for small quantities of select product, but not for most things.

Next stop will be scoping ALDI and Woolworths. I was surprised last year that while ALDI was cheaper overall, for some select staples such as sugar Woolworths was actually cheaper.

Yes, sugar.  I couldn’t go with it last year but this year I am thinking about whether I could make the sacrifice. It would probably do me good.

What would you chose if you only had $10/week to spend on groceries? Is there anything you couldn’t live without?  Could you go without sugar?  Chocolate?  Coffee?

I would love your help in supporting me in this challenge.  Last year I raised over $300, and this year I am aiming for at least $400.

  1. Power to you lady! All the luck and well wishes surviving this week. Cant wait to see how you go, what you make, how you feel. Keep us in the loop please. Also, does it count if food is given to you, or you get it free at work?

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