Margaret Linley, a journalist at the Geelong Advertiser has a great task to do this week - to only have $14 for food for seven days.
adapted from article by MARGARET LINLEY GEELONG ADVERTISER MAY 10, 2014 12:00 AM
Living on $2 a day.
STRIPPING back to basics on $2 a day meant no
coffee this week and no glass of wine with dinner. Obviously meat was out of the question. Ditto
chocolate, sugar, spices, salt and fruit.. The reason for this
meagre spend on food is I was joining 10,000 other Victorians in the fight
against world poverty by getting involved in the Oaktree Foundation’s Live
Below the Line campaign, this year for Timor Leste.
Another rule is people aren’t allowed to give you food. So no
sympathy coffees or cake. And you’re not allowed to consume things that are
already in your kitchen or vegie garden. But the challenge I loved. I made
decent food that filled me up. Okay it was light on for flavour — soup made
with water is not quite as scrummy as stock-flavoured soup, and curried lentils
without curry and coconut milk is really just lentils — but it was nourishing
If you would like to throw some dollars at the campaign to support
the educational opportunities in Timor Leste, please go to livebelowtheline.com.au and search for Margaret Linley.
HOW I MANAGED ON 60 CENTS A MEAL
I BOUGHT lentils, rolled oats, eggs (cage, ouch that hurt), pearl
barley, a kilo each of brown onions, carrots, peas (frozen) and a cauliflower.The
best places to buy are Aldi and Wholefoods in Lt Ryrie St. Aldi because it’s
super cheap and Wholefoods because you can choose the quantity you want, thus
buying less of more things.
I thought carefully about what would fill me up (barley, the
lentils, soup); what would provide a bit of sweetness (peas); what would
provide a satisfying crunch (carrots); what would work well as a snack while I
worked at my desk (carrot sticks); and what would provide flavour (onions).
I wanted my precious food items to be versatile. So that
cauliflower was used in three different dishes. The florets went into the
lentil dish and the barley and vegie soup and the hard stalky bits and the
remaining florets went into soup. Same with the peas.
I had a big cookup so I was able to have a few courses at each
meal; smaller quantities of a several dishes felt less boring, more satisfying.
It also meant there was food there ready so I wasn’t cooking when I was hungry
and tempted by the pantry.
Breakfasts were a Scotch cake; a pancake-y thing made with crushed
rolled oats bound with egg. I’d have another for lunch along with a couple of
little serves of other food.
One evening watching the telly, thinking a bit of chocolate might
be nice, the pea soup came to the rescue. It gave me enough sweetness to keep
me on the straight and narrow.
---------------------- That’s all about Margaret, now to talk
about our family in Geelong.
Now, how to cook for seven people using $2 per person for breakie,
$3 per person for lunch, $4 per person for the evening meal and add $4 a day
for snacks. That’s $13 per day per
person, $91 a day for seven of us. So it’s $91 x 7 for a week which is $637 which does sound a lot. We just couldn’t feed the family on $2 a day
each. So here’s the breakdown:
Breakie – mainly a cereal and or toast and
marmalade/peanut butter/an egg/tomato/cheese.
for each person usually)– yoghurt, biscuit and cheese, grapes, buns from the Chinese shop, mandarin, bread, chocolate
biscuits, and drinks – coffee/tea/milo/cordial/fruit juice.
Midday (or after school for teenagers) tomato soup
plus added vegetables and bread, pizza, egg and bacon, noodle based soup plus vegetables,
pita bread and curry, French toast, fried chicken wings, chocolate, pancakes, Fijian
Evening – ( a different person cooks each night) choose
from - roti and curry (e.g. meat and eggplant)
rice and chow mein, pasta and
tomato/meat sauce and cheese, taro and fish
soup in coconut cream, cassava and mussels and mixed seafood, roast chicken, potato, pumpkin, onion, and
green vegetables, chips and fishy bites
from the shop plus corn, potatoes and
bone and vegetable soup, lasagna from NQR, sweet potato and fried spiced chicken breasts/wings,
sausages and hot spicy baked beans. Add
green salads with some meals, other lightly cooked greens with some meals.
Not usually a pudding, sometimes icecream and fruit salad.
AND SOMETIMES THERE IS NINE OR MORE OF US AT WEEKENDS. And it's great when the Mum comes home from Lorne for the weekend and makes a lovely pudding such as a
coconut pie or cheesecake.
AND SOMETIMES TWO OF US OR MORE WOULD SNEAK OUT AND BUY TAKEAWAY – AT HUNGRY
JACKS, PIZZA AT ALFIO’S OR CHINESE IN THE MALL.