Living below the $2 line


For reasons now unknown to me, I signed up to participate in a one week challenge all in the name of charity. In this week, I could not spend any more than $2 a day on food for five consecutive days – this means cutting out coffee, also. It’s run by the Oaktree foundation and it raises money to helps fund education for people in countries like Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Timor-Leste. Although I am already a broke student living off $40 a week, I am absolutely blessed to be able to have access to universities while receiving government assistance, so I wanted to do be apart of something bigger.

Now, I love food. A lot. It was very ambitious of me to think that I could do this while maintaining my sanity, seeing as I was eating three course dinners at 11 years old with my parents and began drinking coffee at 12. Not that I was spoilt, I was just very appreciative of food and have been my whole life, so they’d take me and my matured palate along on date night because it was cheaper than a babysitter and I was never very vocal.

On the day before this challenge began, I ate an entire pizza, half a garlic bread and, greedily, half of my partners pizza even though I dislike supreme. I’ve come to terms with my gluttony, so should you.

Monday came around and I had forgot to prepare so, with haste, I visited my local Coles but assumed my $10 would go a lot further than it actually did.

I walked out with;

1x bag of Coles brand penne regatta

1x bag Coles brand muesli

1x brown onion

2x handfuls of green beans

2x tins of tomato

3x tins of beans

I’m sure there are about two things you can imagine doing with these ingredients, ignoring the fact I have indeed been eating muesli with cold water at breakfast for a week straight, but there was one meal I managed to make that was actually something I would recommend and it only cost about $1.70.


COOK for 5 minutes:

1x whole chopped brown onion, 1x can of butter beans, 1x handful of green beans


1x can of “Italian” diced tomatoes

COVER and SIMMER for a further 5 minutes.

And that’s it. Serves you for about 3 meals.


While the challenge was somewhat satisfying and I raised $100 towards the cause (just over enough to fund a students scholarship, which I am very happy about) I would never do it again – next year I am happier donating the $100. But hey, at least I survived it so they don’t have to! Now I’m going to eat an entire cheese platter with a bottle of noir and forget about it all.


Read more about it here:




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