Living off $5 per day…

Living Off $5 Per Day

It’s been a week since I started this journey and also a week since I started keeping a detailed record of both my eating and general living costs, and I have to say I’m pretty proud of my efforts so far. Giving up expensive takeaway food and coffee, two very regular habits which greatly contributed to my debt problem (or at least prevented me from resolving it) is a no-brainer. Conservatively if we said I bought takeout lunch three days per week at $10 per day, and coffee four times at $4.50 per day (because of course I had to have the “grande with extra shot”), that’s a ridiculous $48 per week, or $201 per month or worst of all, $2,496 per year! Throw in breakfast, cans of drink and various other snack/junk food and you’re talking some big financial waste. It’s for this reason that I have put a total freeze on all food related, non-homemade expenses on weekdays. The result? My personal food costs last week, for all meals, snacks and beverages totalled $31.50 which is an average of $4.50 per day! Amazing.

Without wanting to bore you with too much detail, I have summarised my weekly results below:.

Item $ p/Serve Serves p/Wk

$ p/Wk

Chickpea Masalla with Rice $1.42 4 $5.67
Signapore Noodle,veg,tofu $1.40 2 $2.80
Linda Mc Vegi Burgers $4.25 2 $8.50
Apples $0.30 5 $1.50
Coffee Pods $0.37 2 $0.75
Coffee Ground $0.12 7 $0.82
Potato Gratin $2.00 1 $2.00
Home Made Pizza $2.00 3 $6.00
Muslea bars $0.58 2 $1.17
Green / Peppermint Tea $0.02 3 $0.05
Protein Shake $1.03 2 $2.05
Toast/Bread $0.17 4 $0.67
Total $31.50
Daily Average $4.50

The funny thing is that on Wednesday last week I was in the kitchen at work waiting for the espresso machine to pump me out a delicious (and free!) cafe latte, when I overheard a group of middle aged business folk discussing a friend who was eating for less than $15 per day. Had I have known then what I have just calculated now, I would probably have chimed in over the top of their scoffs of disbelief and comments of “beans on toast” to share my own success.

Now I’m not saying everyone should live as frugally as I am trying to, nor do I suggest that my food plan would work for anyone else (e.g, my meal plan is clearly vegetarian), but what I would suggest is that there are huge savings to be made  by looking at how often you are eating takeout and the types of meal prep you are doing at home.

Do you think you could live for this little per day? Maybe you already do and have some great tips or recipes to share! Let us know in the comments, or shoot us an email to