Eating on $2

Why $2?

Imagine what it would be like going about your everyday life with just $2 to spend on everything. That’s food, accommodation, transport, medicine - $2 for every single cost. That’s the reality for people who live below the extreme poverty line. $AU2 is the Australian equivalent of the extreme poverty line, adjusted to reflect the real cost of items in Australia.

It’s All in the Planning

Planning ahead is essential. You’ll need to plan carefully to make sure your food is nutritious and filling, and make sure to drink a lot of water while you’re taking the challenge. We recommend eating regularly – no skipping meals – to maintain your energy levels and satisfy your appetite.

Shopping Tips

1. Do your shop in one go - it's easier to find a few bargains in a $10 budget than it is to set out with $2 every day

2. Head to the market near closing time - there'll be heaps of discounted bags full of fruit and veggies

3. Buy as much as you can in bulk! Think loose rice, flour, herbs and seasoning from grocer's bins and supermarkets. That way, you're only paying for what you use

4. Anything you can split with a friend? If you both want butter but can't fit it into your budget, split a stick for half the price! 

Hear from the pros.

Did you know that Masterchef winner Julie Goodwin is something of an LBL veteran? Julie shared her experience and LBL meal plan with us.

Trying to produce 15 meals for under $10 means shopping differently to how I usually do. My eye is only on the price – not the quality, not the origin, nothing but the price. I guess when you are living hand-to-mouth, with so few resources, that’s the reality – getting the food for yourself and your family is the only concern.

Living with empathy is probably the most effective way to truly understand the plight of the humans in our world who suffer. Experiencing even the tiniest part of what they experience is a window into a world where there should be enough for everyone, and still there is not. I congratulate everyone who has taken on the challenge to Live Below the Line, I wish you the best of luck. 

Shopping List

  • Eggs: $2.79
  • 900g bag of rolled oats: $1.87
  • Onion: 54c
  • 1 washed potato: 70c
  • Small head of garlic: 70c
  • 500g pkt of pasta: $1
  • 400g tinned tomatoes: $1.20
  • 500g salt: 98c

Total: $9.78

Meal Plan

Breakfast: Porridge made from boiled oats.

Lunch: Tortilla Easpanola make a Spanish omlette using 1 potato, ½ onion and 6 eggs. Add salt to taste.

Dinner: Pasta Napolitana cook up your pasta in sauce by simmering the tinned tomatoes, ½ onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Add salt to taste.


Want more?

  • Check out your Participant Dashboard for more recipes and tips
  • Follow along with the Live Below the Line blog
  • Join Live Below the Line Connect where participants are sharing their food experiences!