back to article Reg hack to starve on £1 a day for science

As of next Monday, this hack will live for five days with just £1 a day to spend on food, having rather recklessly signed up for the "Live Below the Line" challenge. Inspired by the news that Ben Affleck will starve himself for charity - and also we presume in penance for his part in cinematic outrage Pearl Harbor - I decided …

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'and also we presume in penance for his part in cinematic outrage Pearl Harbor'

Don't you mean 'and also we presume in penance for his part in cinematic outrage $film'?

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JC_

Re: 'and also we presume in penance for his part in cinematic outrage Pearl Harbor'

Affleck went to the New Zealand and UK embassies asking for food, but they turned him away...

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Re: 'and also we presume in penance for his part in cinematic outrage Pearl Harbor'

He should have gone to Equadorian Embassy here...

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The question is, are you starting from nothing, in terms of food stocks you're allowed to have, and are you only allowed to spend one pound per day, or a fiver at the start of the week?

If the former, and starting with nothing, I really doubt you could successfully buy a meal a day with just a pound. You could probably buy a bag of rice (just) on your first day, but that would be it, no meat or veg or sauce.

If you can spend a fiver at the start of the week then It would probably be doable.

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According to the rules, you can spend all of you r money at once, you can even club together with other people as long as noones daily expenditure is more than £1. So if 4 of you got together and bought a 25KG bag of potatoes (last checked price £7 from the farm shop) you'd have to divide that cost between you and over the week

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Oh, and you can also buy stuff out of your store cupboard as long as you pay a reasonable price for it.

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Paris Hilton

Makes no sense

Is that 1 GBP at "western" price levels or 1 GBP in the boondocks of Somalia?

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Re: Makes no sense

I agree that your £ will get you more in impoverished countries, and there are other things to consider, such as, are you still using electricity / gas heating, are you still living in your nice big home etc etc....

BUT it is already a big first step in raising awareness, and really whether you are living for £5 a week or £10 or £15 a week it is still going to make a huge difference to what the normal western standard of living is.

Lester, good luck and good job!

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Re: Makes no sense

It makes perfect sense.

Why £1

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Http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/catalog/sectionpagecontainer.jsp?departmentid=1214921923813

11p noodles from asda, maybe 21p stuff if you're feeling rich. (don't know about Spanish supermarkets).

You could have 9 packs a day! Sure, I doubt that would be much good nutritionally, but it would probably chase away hunger, and you wouldn't use up energy doing all that cooking.

Maybe someone else can root an even cheaper 'meal'

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IT Angle

Spain - not cheap.

I've got some experience living in Spain, and food is generally more dear, and whilst UK supermarkets have their own brand, and then the cheapest-of-cheap 'white packet' brands, Spain knows not the latter. You'll be very hard pressed to find noodles for under 80 cents.

I did, however, spend a month or two, living (more like clinging on desperately) with about 10 euros a week, which isn't a lot more than a quid a day, but for sure, you can survive.

If you spend the whole 5 quid in one go, I'd recommend lentils, a couple of onions, rice, perhaps some eggs and bread, and maybe a little cheap chorizo - if it stretches.

You can whip up a big pan of lentils with rice and eat that + egg sarnies every day. Not very pleasant by day 4, but at least you won't go hungry. Drinking the tap water was a must as bottled water was unaffordable in my budget. that bad.

I got a lot of sympathy for anyone who has to live like this for an extended period of time.

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Anonymous Coward

I was just about to post about the legendary 9p ASDA noodles, but inflation has done to them what it did for Space Raiders.

I pretty much lived off four packets a day for three weeks at one point at University. By then end I was starting to doubt whether life was actually worth living any more.

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Pint

Re: Spain - not cheap.

Why would drinking the tap water be an issue (in a 1st world western country anyway). I don't buy bottled water and compared to £1/day my food budget is basically unlimited.

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Re: Tap Water.

Did you do any research?

http://www.idealspain.com/pages/information/water.html

I know the above is only one link or opinion, but the general impression seems to be that Spanish tap water varies from good, through "a little manky, but safe" to "possible pesticide contamination". Meaning it's hardly picky to talk about bottled water as a necessary precaution rather than a silly affectation.

I'm willing to bet that other first world western countries have worse water quality than Spain.

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Re: Tap Water.

The spanish have a rather unique approach to tap water, for many parts of Spain drinking it straight from the tap is a little risky unless you have a backlog of books next to the throne. I would suggest at least boiling it first.

Just out of interest, do you have to pay for a fishing rod etc? You can live pretty well for next to nothing if you live off the aina \ land. Crab can make excellent bait for free. Even these days there is plenty of good quality food to be had for free if you have a little knowledge and skill.

I will be interested to see how this experiment goes, good luck and well done for giving it a shot!

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Re: Tap Water.

In Madrid, the tap water is generally excellent (although a little pricy). In fact up in the mountains, you can drink the well water too, passes all the European tests without even boiling it first, although I wouldn't recommend that unless you get the tests repeated every week; you never know when things might change.

Elsewhere things may be different, and some zones & islands use desalinated water and it's not quite as nice to drink.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Re: Tap Water.

We've got a fountain here in the village - excellent water, so no problem there.

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Re: Tap Water.

Didn't you also make a well?

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Windows

Re: Tap Water.

If i'm catching crab it aint getting used for bait!!!!!!

You have crab(s), you may or may not catch fish with crab(s).

Therefore. eat crabs....

PS, please, no silly pubile (sic) jokes.

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Megaphone

Northern Manitoba.

I'm willing to bet that other first world western countries have worse water quality than Spain.

Like over here.

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Re: Tap Water.

That depends on the type of crabs, aama are ok if you are starving, but given the chance to catch a kala or aweoweo I'll take the chance every time :-) Plus plenty more crabs where they came from. If I were in the UK then it probably wouldn't be so easy a choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Soup.

Asda do soup pots. The ones on roll-back are £1, and each gives you two meals of soup. Lunch and dinner.

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Facepalm

Re: Soup.

Leaving you with no money for breakfast... all week...

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Re: Soup.

hmm... I'd suggest actually MAKING soup.

leak, potatoes, etc. You can make enough for 5 days for 3 or 4 quid. - I do often.

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Re: Soup.

Yes, make soup, have some rice, tomatoes and maybe some dried fish - should enable you to survive more or less indefinitely. Buy only the ingredients - i.e. no pre-processed products (other than dried fish).

Are you allowed to catch a pigeon or two? They'd be a free supplement...

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Re: Soup.

I'd suggest actually MAKING soup.

leak, potatoes, etc.

I tried this recipe, but all the soup leaked out, so I substituted leeks.

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Anonymous Coward

Easy

Some of us don't live on much more than that anyway, it's amazing what you can buy from supermarkets if you shop at the right time of day.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some of us don't live on much more than that anyway

Bollocks. Anonymous, unverifiable, and calculated to sound like this isn't a difficult thing to do when in fact you've never, ever had to survive on anything near as little as a pound a day. You sound like millionaire IDS with his "I could live on 35 pound a week if I had to" crap. Get back to the Daily Mail with your anonymous BS, they love it there.

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Trollface

@AC No.2

Your psychic powers are amazing. You knew all that was true just by reading his (or her) post!

If you do spoons too, then you are truly the successor to Uri Geller.

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Unhappy

Re: Easy

Yes and no. I unfortunately ended up in this situation for some time a couple of years ago and it was not fun.

It can be done but you will likely find you won't be living healthily. You won't be able to turn your nose up at store brand 'basics'., but you do get the pleasure of being a real vulture fighting your fellow man at the reduced price counter. Try not to get too enraged or hateful at those with full trolleys who grab things simply because they are cheap while depriving you of what you are relying on to live. If you are lucky, you will discover the absolute joy of finding a five pound note lost in the street.

Don't forget to spend one of your pounds on leccy and gas or turn those off. And don't forget to make at least one trip to the dole office; a ten mile round trip on foot or lose three days or more food spent on bus fare. Get a local to scream and shout at you if you don't get there for 9 o'clock in the morning.

To really experience the pain of what having little money means make sure you have no more than that £1 for food, a mortgage payment and council tax demands and a couple of utility bills in front of you. Maybe ask a debt collection agency to give you a couple of calls every day to encourage you to get a job.

A £1 a day for food is probably the least of the worries. Many people don't realise they are just one or two pay days away from losing everything.

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Re: Easy

when you do loose everything, you will know how to live on your giro money, and have all your vitamins so you can blip about on your http://uk.bikereserve.com/image/VTT/2012/mongoose-boot-r-expert-2012-2.jpg after your put a new crank on and made it freeride, and have the energy to take all the shortcuts

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @FartingHippo

Just pointing out that anonymous BS is valueless actually. You point counts for the first AC as much as the second....

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Re: Easy

Try not to get too enraged or hateful at those with full trolleys who grab things simply because they are cheap while depriving you of what you are relying on to live.

I hate those people!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just look at the rich boy downvoters!

Don't tell me, you were unemployed once too. Of course, you didn't have to sign on because you lived off savings, but nevertheless, that gives you a perfect understanding of poverty.

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3:00pm Sundays

In the supermarket- last chance for them to remove their perishable stocks before closing at 4. I used to hate doing "reductions" at this time on the 'floor because people act like vultures.

That said, I knocked EVERYTHING in fruit and veg that was packaged to 10p (full sacks of potatoes, bags of fruit, mother's day boquets, the lot), and half of the items would be fine for a week, the other half might want to be eaten within a day or two. You had to be quick - people would literally snatch items out of my hands once the sticker was on them.

It's luck of the draw though - at least one of my colleagues used the "reccommended reduction" button on the printer which knocked 10-15% off - resulting in a much larger loss for the store as we didn't sell it and had to pay for disposal, storage and the faster perishing of other food stocks sat close to them. Fine for use during the week, rubbish when you have 1 hour to move a quarter-tonne of produce.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some of us don't live on much more than that anyway

Oh dear, please check facts first, Tesco, yellow labelled meat can be as low as ten pence a pack, I've bought five pork chops for that price, punnets of strawberries for 2 pence, half pound blocks of cheese for 50p, bread for ten pence, veg for pennies as well, picking the right time and with a little luck you can fill a small trolley with enough food to feed one adult for a fortnight for under a tenner.

Anonymous because, quite honestly, I'm ashamed that I have to do this to feed myself and my family.

Admittedly it's not predictable and it really does depend when you shop but if you can cook and have a freezer you can eat well extremely cheaply.

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Forage.

Depending on where you live, there's a lot to be foraged for free if you know what to look for. There are websites about foraging with lots of info for the UK (I assume you are in UK as that is where £ is most commonly used).

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Re: Forage.

Here is a good resource: the Downsizer forum.

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Re: Forage.

Looked at the forum, clicked on Mushroom ID & saw picture of a mushroom next to a champagne cork for scale - how those 'downsizers' rub along on the other side of the pond!

http://forum.downsizer.net/archive/mushroom-id-please__o_t__t_76743.html

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Re: I assume you are in UK

because reading the whole article, where the author states he's in Spain, would be too tricky?

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Re: Forage.

Wild garlic is going mad right now if you know where to look for it.

Here's a great resource: http://wildandslow.com/food-templates/

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Re: Forage.

You'll also have to forage for an internet connection as, once you add in the landline, most UK broadband costs about £1/day

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Go

Re: foraging @ Lester

This idea has merit, but why not expand it to a bit of hunting? IIRC, your donkey burial was made more difficult by a resident mutt pack with a taste for wild boar. Perhaps this could be a time to harness the power of man's best friend and get your pork on? Having freed up your fiver for a nice box of vino collapso, you could channel your recenlty discovered drunken caveman heritage by dressing in a loincloth, covering yourself in mud and running around in the moonlight brandishing a spear with a pack of howling dogs. All in the name of science, of course.

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Dear God

I could not do that. I honestly could not, I mean, my diet consists of

protein shake > turkey meatballs with pasta and sauce -> turkey sandwiches -> meat and veg

and any other snacks I have throughout the day, and that's just food, there's drink too!

Lets see, what could I get if I went down to £5 a week... Okay after going through asda several times, it just isn't possible, I eat far too much to be filled by bread, rice, and not much else.

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JDX
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Re: Dear God

You need to learn about the reduced section and when the fill it up. I know a married couple who lived off £10 for their groceries as their regular life, and it wasn't even like they were just surviving, they could rustle up quite nice meals.

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Happy

Re: Dear God

Could be talking about me and my Missus. We gave up our jobs last year (our own choice so dont claim dole or anything) and challenge ourselves to find/make our main daily meal for less than a quid for for the two of us.

Best value is potatos/onions/rice/carrots bought by the sack. (2.50 for a 25kg of grade 1 carrots was my best deal). Our treats consist of anything we can get off the 'final, final reductions before we throw them out' counter. Had a smoked salmon starter the other day for 10p. Mmmmm.

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Re: Dear God

What would Margo and Jerry say!

One possible avenue for cutting costs is a decent animal feed merchants. Something like Armstrong and Richardson, one that hasn't been turned into a horsie girls version of Victorias Secrets. We used to get sacks of rolled oats and carrots for the animals and plenty of it may have found its way onto our plates. The 'horse carrots' differed only from supermarket ones in their size and shape. Usually larger and wonkier, such characterists plainly make them toxic, if not explosive! Now I'm not advocating you eat them due to the risk of being sued by anyone traumatised by a larger than normal carrot, but they're insanely cheap and often locally grown. Also whilst they can't be sold as organic, they are usually free of the vast majority of pesticides etc because it's simply not cost effective to use them.

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Tokenism

How about going for 5 days without 't internet?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tokenism

I'll be doing that on holiday next week.I'm looking forward to a whole week without the damn thing...

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Tokenism

That's not hardship - that's a luxury

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