February 2, 2009 by missmegany
Mac and I had been talking about this one dollar diet project for a while, and we decided to try a £2 a day version. That means we’ll both “spend” no more than £2 each for our food for the day. I say “spend” because we will be using things in the cupboard most of the time, but we’ll be weighing up everything to get a price on it all.
The reason why we didn’t try for the more ambitious £1 a day was because we wanted to keep our Riverford box. We either get the small or the winter box, which are 77p and 74p respectively. I thought 25p for the rest of the meals was pushing it a bit, so we settled on £2 a day. We’ll be doing this for a month.
So, what are the rules?
1. All food for the day must total no more than £2 for each person.
2. This includes drinks. (But with tea only being 4p per cup, we should be ok)
3. Any leftovers eaten the next day count as that next day’s total. (We’re planning to have LOTS of leftover)
4. We will aim to eat organic as much as possible within our price limit and will state when the ingredients are organic.
5. If we want to have people over for dinner (I’ve already offered this to Dave to make up for our weekly Friday lunches) then they’ll get a plate similar to ours with the same cost.
6. If someone is desperate to take us out to dinner or if we’re somewhere with free food, we will make up that meal after our month is over with whatever was left of the £2 for that day.
I think that the One Dollar Diet project focused a lot on “what’s available to everyone” to get their food. They wouldn’t accept free meals at conferences or work, for instance. The problem with that is that it assumes that what you’re doing is more realistic to what people who live on the poverty line are doing. That’s bullcrap. Most Americans are probably not living on $1 a day for food. If they are, they might not have access to a fridge or a stove. They wouldn’t have spices that cost $3.00 each to flavour their food (even if the spices added are only 2 cents for that day). They wouldn’t have beans bought in bulk to make them cheaper. To me, some of the rules create an artificial idea of their project.
I know that what we’re doing isn’t an exact replica of poverty. In the UK, poverty is very much relative. We are not a country where the majority of people live on $1 a day for everything, not just food. We have free health care, social housing programmes, free education, and benefits for people with kids, disabilities, and those on “job seekers allowance”. We have lots of people who probably live on very little, but we have lots of other people who live on very little and still afford satellite TV. I’m not saying that there aren’t people in the UK who suffer. BUT I cannot replicate their situation—I just don’t know enough about it.
I hope that what we’re doing will be to show people that organic food is NOT out of people’s reach. That for £4 a day (that’s the same as a decent sandwich and a drink), two of us can eat a mostly organic, healthy, nutritious diet.
Yes, it will take us quite a bit of time to prepare our meals; it always does. But it’s SO worth it! We both work fulltime. Even when I was teaching and would come home at six exhausted, we’d still cook. Maybe it’s because it’s a priority for us. Watching TV or playing on a Wii is not a priority. According to this study by Ofcom, the average person in the UK will spend 25.3 hours a week watching TV. 3 hours and 37 min per day. Maybe they should have more TVs in the kitchens and people would start cooking….