Friday, May 09, 2014

Margaret tries to live on $2 a day for food

from w
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 and filling.
If you would like to throw some dollars at the campaign to support the educational opportunities in Timor Leste, please go to and search for Margaret Linley.
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.
Snacks  (different 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 topoi (dumplings).
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.


Post a Comment

<< Home