how to eat for $2 a day [5 ingredients]

$2 day no-knead bread $2 day potato omelette

When an email popped into my inbox the other day with the title ‘What would you cook for $2 a day?’, my curiosity was immediately piqued. I mean $2 can’t even buy you a coffee these days, how could it be enough for food for the whole day. And why $2, anyway?

Delving in deeper, I discovered that the international poverty line is $US1.25 a day which today equates to $2 Australian. And that 1.4 billion people currently live on less than this. An organisation called The Global Poverty Project has started an awareness and fund raising initiative in Australia. ‘Live Below the Line’ invites people to live on $2/day in August to raise money for a program to educate Australian school students about the issues of global poverty.

The aim is to inspire students themselves to become leaders in the movement to end extreme poverty. Funds raised will also be allocated to open three schools in the poorest areas of Cambodia.

To help inspire anyone interested in taking the $2 challenge, on Monday I had a go at feeding myself on less than $2 for the day. While it did take quite a bit of thought and planning, I’m happy to say that I did not go to bed hungry, and better yet, enjoyed and was very thankful for my food that day.

The thing that surprised me the most was just how cheap some food can actually be. I couldn’t believe that the cheapest battery farm eggs were just $2.29 for a dozen or that you can get 250g butter for $1.29.

Unfortunately, this exercise did confirm by comparison how expensive fresh veg can be. I normally wouldn’t think about having an omelette for dinner without a salad or some greens. But with even the cheapest lettuce costing $1.95, it was a no-brainer to fill up on eggs and potatoes instead.

For more details on how you can help end extreme poverty, visit the Live Below the Line website.

$2 day peanut butter on bread

$2 day menu

a slice of homemade bread 11c
25g homemade peanut butter 20c
tea with milk 9c
broccoli soup (recipe below) 60c
slice of homemade bread 11c
butter 2.5c
potato omelette 85c
TOTAL – $1.985

important update!

Please see the follow-up post to this article How to eat for $2 a day WITHOUT resorting to battery hen eggs.
And a big thankyou to everyone who pointed out the error of my ways in the comments. Really appreciate it!

$2 day broccoli soup

[5 ingredients | 10 minutes]
broccoli soup

serves 1

I’d normally serve this with goats cheese, but to be honest it is lovely all on its own. The most surprising thing is just how delicious broccoli can be, without onion, or stock or butter.

The key to this soup is not adding too much water and being generous with the salt and pepper.

1 head broccoli 60c

Bring enough salted water, to just cover the broccoli, to the boil in a medium saucepan.

Cut broccoli into individual little trees and simmer until the broccoli is bright green and tender. You want to be able to cut it easily with a butter knife.

Drain, reserving the cooking water. Pop the hot broccoli in a blender and add a little of the cooking water. Carefully cover the blender with a tea towel and hold the lid on. Whizz until you have a soupy consistency. Add a little more water if it seems too dry. Taste and season generously.

Total cost per serve 60c.

$2 day potato omelette

[5 ingredients]
potato omelette

serves 1

The secret to this omelette is to cut the potato into very fine slices and cook the potato through before adding the eggs. I used the easier method of finishing it off under the grill, but you could also use the more dare-devil approach and invert the omelette onto a plate and then slice it back into the pan top side down.

You can serve this hot on its own or if you need to make it stretch further, use the omelette as a sandwich filling.

10g butter 5c
1/2 brown onion, peeled & finely sliced 15c
1 large potato, scrubbed and finely sliced 25c
2 eggs 40c

Melt butter in a small frying pan and add onion. Cook over a medium heat, stirring, until the onion is soft and golden brown. Add potatoes and a few tablespoons of water. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until the potato is soft but not broken up and mushy. If it starts to burn on the bottom add a little water and stir more freequently.

Mix eggs together with a pinch of salt in a small bowl for a few seconds then pour over the potato mixture. Gently stir so the egg gets well distributed under the potato and smooth the top so it looks pretty. Cook for a few minutes until the egg at the sides looks set then pop the whole thing under a hot grill and cook until the top is set all the way through and the omelette looks a little puffy.

Total cost per serve 85c.


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