Skip to comments.Five Days Below the Poverty Line
Posted on 05/09/2013 1:00:07 PM PDT by wbill
My wife Becky and I experimented with radically cutting our food costs last week as part of a fundraising campaign created by a hunger charity.
Under the "Live Below The Line" campaign sponsored by the Global Poverty Project, an Australian charity, for five days we spent $1.50 per person per day on food, which is the extreme poverty line globally, according to the World Bank.
Living in New York, we typically spend about $140 a week on groceries for our family of four. What drew me to the campaign was seeing if we could shrink that amount drastically. It was like trying to solve a puzzle, and if we got it right, we could make a charitable donation.
My wife agreed to do it, with a few stipulations. Neither of us wanted to include our children, who at ages 1 and 4 would gain nothing from losing all those calories. We agreed to "cheat" by not charging pantry staples - like cooking oil, seasoning, or even breakfast cereal - against our weekly allowance of $15.00, or $1.50 per person times five days.
And when co-workers offered us cookies, we gladly ate them.
But even with changes to the rules, the exercise still had integrity. Living in a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, New York, we have a small larder, so whatever we buy, we soon eat.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Mrs WBill and I would not eat well on $3/day, but we'd eat.
And, thinking about it.... I feed a family of 4 on around $100/week +/-. That number includes TP, and Paper towels, and laundry detergent, dish soap, etc etc etc etc.
Just figuring in *only* food, would get us close to ($1.50 * 4 = $6.00 / day or $42/week). We'd be in the ballpark, at least. And that's without being careful.
We go on austerity rations around here, when money is short. Eggs, rice and beans, and whatever’s growing in the garden. The big expense is milk, although one can cut that by using powdered.
Much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Offspring, but it doesn’t hurt anyone.
And the libtards ate food others offered them, like cookies and high-calorie junk like that.
Only liberals would say this is a valid test. You either do it 100% or you don’t.
They didn’t and I don’t care what they say.
Pigeons are tasty. Rats are plentiful. That still leaves one short on beer money.
This guy is a fool. Sh** like this, Earth Day, turning off the lights for an hour, throwing your change into a bucket “for Africa” are mere feel-good gestures for squishy metrosexuals.
First of all, there is a thing called “purchasing power parity.”
meaning $3 will buy you different amounts of the same goods (or substitute goods) in Manhattan vs. Mogadishu
Mostly though, if he wants to understand their poverty, he should move there, and get the full context - culture, climate, Government, religion, economic opportunity, etc...
I’ve done it - and have no time for this superficial yuppy crap.
What is it with all the crapola about living on buck fifty per day?
Who does that? Who decided that is the magic number to define poverty?
I daresay the average welfare mom and her kids do far better than I do with money spent on food.
Especially if its MY MONEY she’s spending on groceries.
“This guy is a fool. Sh** ... First of all, there is a thing called purchasing power parity.”
Thank you for the sanity.
Besides, with food stamps, no one has to live on that little per day.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t be seeing steak and lobster in the carts of the EBT zombies.
Oh, and another thing -
it didn’t matter whether they “did it” or not.
The point was how they felt about themselves for participating. That’s the sheeperals’ only goal.
Easy to do when you don’t “have” to knowing at the end of your quest you will return to “normal”. About as worthy as ben affleck living like a bum for a week. But hey. At least the felt like they were “doing something”. Asshats.
A couple of points.....
Most Third World countries significantly subsidize the price of food staples like rice.
That’s why they have food riots when subsidies are cut - because people actually begin to starve.
$1.50 will buy you WAY more rice in Vietnam than it will in new York.
Also, I’d like to see the menu for how the author feeds four people in New York at $5 per person per day.
Here in Seattle a half gallon of orange juice on sale costs $3, store brand yogurt is $2 for 32 oz, store brand bread is $2, a large banana is 50 cents.
When they talk about global poverty, they don’t mention the fact that $1US goes a lot farther in most places than NYC.
My wife was at a friend’s house and ate a bunch of the brie cheese she offered. Too much! So she bought some and brought it over to replace it as she knows money is tight for them. “Oh no. You keep the cheese - I get it on EBT anyways.”
Money is a bit tight at our home at the moment as well, so we cut out buying soda. The friend offered to buy us the soda with her EBT.
“Say, why don’t you shop my grocery list and I’ll pay you cash!”
Don’t think that doesn’t happen.
Perhaps you and I should write a self-congratulatory article like this clown did. Talk about how noble we are for being on austerity rations, and such. ;-)
I dunno about you, but I've had it tough, and I've had it good. Right now, it's somewhere in the middle, thankfully and least for the moment.
Given my druthers, I'll take "good" every time. There's nothing noble about poverty, IMHO.
I know a guy that cut his food bill in half by fasting every other day. He’s healthy and athletic at age 64.
Sounds like they’re from the Cindy Sheehan school of austerity.
It would certainly not be worth asking if they really got into the spirit of the exercise by walking at least a mile to a questionable water supply, cooking over an open fire made of whatever wood and leaves they were able to find, and not saving any leftovers in a refrigerator and re-heating them in their microwave oven.
Yep. We do the same type thing, when it gets tight. No out-to-eat. No snacks, desserts, soda, etc etc etc. .
We shop once a week. Even when things are going well, the general rule on 'non-essentials' like that is "when it's gone, it's gone". As in, we picked up a thing of ice cream while shopping on Saturday. We'll get another one next week, budget permitting. What's in the freezer is it until then. The kids whine, a little, but they'll live.
Saves a whole lot of calories, too. :-) Dunno about you, but I don't need 'extras'. lol!
...and don't get me started on your EBT friend.....
What a pretentious, sanctimonious little twit.
I realize this guy is talking 3rd world numbers, but the intent of the piece is to confuse folks with USA “poverty”.
By my reckoning, food stamps alone provides about $150 / wk for a family of four. Add in the freebie breakfast and lunch for the kids at school and pillaging the local private food banks and you have a lot of chubby “poor” children and adults.
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