Cheap eats: surviving on a $2-a-day diet

Could you survive five days on these rations?
Could you survive five days on these rations?

If Families Minister Jenny Macklin ever wanted to attempt to live on $35 a day, she would find it is possible to survive spending just $2 a day on food - but only just.

That is what Australian women's cricket vice-captain Alex Blackwell did last year, when she existed for five days on $10 worth of food to raise awareness about people living in poverty.

The project, called Live Below the Line, left Blackwell feeling depressed and cursing herself for not budgeting for teabags.

"I was really struggling at work, to keep up, and around time for a tea break. I had to have hot water with a slice of lemon," she said.

"I regretted buying cage eggs. Felt bad buying them but I'm not sure I would have managed without my morning omelette."

Blackwell, who is in Melbourne captaining NSW in a series of limited overs matches against Victoria this weekend, undertook the project at a time she was not in training. She raised $1600 for educational programs in Papua New Guinea. "So it was worth it," she said.

She stressed that it was at a time of no training, as the diet would have been inadequate for her regular physical demands.

What Alex Blackwell ate each day:


Omelette with coriander and onion


Pasta with pumpkin potato and carrot stew

Afternoon tea

Hot water with slice of lemon


Dahl or pumpkin potato and carrot stew with pasta

This story Cheap eats: surviving on a $2-a-day diet first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.