Living on £1 a Day: Poverty Makes You Fat

Day six and I’ve accepted my fate – I've turned in to one of those giant land whales you see tumbling out of Gregs, stuffing their faces with pasties and calorific fizzy pop.
Publish date:
November 30, 2012
money, finances, cost of living, living in london, living wage

Day six: Saturday November 10Today I supped on soup which either tasted better the day after or my taste buds have mutated to enjoy gelatinous gruel and finished off the toast and muffins.

Was still feeling a bit down so asked xoJane readers how I could cheer myself up. Decided to indulge in their suggestions of facemasks, then, for reasons I can't explain… CUT MY OWN HAIR. Well, my fringe anyway.

Did an appalling job and had to go to the hairdressers to get it fixed. Luckily, most salons offer free fringe trims, even if you're not a customer.

Later on I had some friends over again for a 'pot luck' dinner. The game: you all bring one dish, be it a starter, main, side or dessert. If you end up with four trifles and no main, so be it.

I provided my guests with a delicious array of super-sweet foreign liqueurs from the back of a cupboard, sausage rolls from the freezer, baked beans and crackers with homemade salsa using up some leftover bit from the freezer. I'm thinking of entering the Great British Bake Off next year.

Not being able to be generous with people is really hard for me. I love having people over or going to their houses and producing a bottle of tequila, a bunch of flowers, or a box full of kittens (kidding… ). Plus, I don't want all the lessons I learn from this game to be 'trick your friends in to buying you stuff or just don't leave the house.'

My skin is looking brighter from the facemasks and am getting used to the new fringe.

Weight: You can't make me look Products bought: NONE. Money spent: 0p Amount of five a day I managed: FIVE – huzzah! Money I potentially saved: £50 on not going out.

Day seven: Sunday November 11It's a pre-Christmas miracle! Today I weighed myself and have seemed to have magically lost 10lbs. My £1 a day diet obviously burns carbs. Just burns all your carbs up. Instead of a Sunday hangover brunch I went to Whole Foods today to smell the bakery section. I'd been hoping there would be all the free samples that money-saving websites rave about, but nada.

Saw 5p on the floor, resisted the urge to pocket it. I may be poor, but I have my dignity.

Feasted on donated spaghetti bolognese for breakfast (don't hate) and soup, then my long-suffering boyfriend came round to cook me dinner.

I also have had an epiphany: rather than spending money, I can just use the stuff I already own. For instance… When my phone charger broke I dug the spare one out of the bottom of a drawer, rather than go and buy a new one.

Do more people know they can do this?! I may have single-handedly resolved the world debt crisis.

In all seriousness, I have realised how much money I waste by being lazy: buying a new charger rather than trying to dg out the old one, buying lunch every day, paying homeless men to carry my handbag – ok, I made that last one up… But you get my drift.

Weight: 131lb - WTF?! Products bought: NONE. Money spent: 0p Amount of five a day I managed: Five Money I potentially saved: £10 on a new charger, £8 on brunch out

Day eight: Monday November 12Started the day off by making myself a delicious banana pancake from store cupboard flour, eggs, etc. and perfectly good bruised banana that someone was just going to throw away. It tasted like crap.

Thought it might taste better if I added someone baking powder and cooked it like a cake. I got this…

So packed myself a lunch (a salad made with lettuce, eggs and seafood sticks – these babies last forever. When the zombies come, I'm stocking up) and headed to the office to take advantage of their free tea and biscuits.

Went to a friend's house for dinner – guiltily explaining that I couldn't stretch to a bottle of wine, but would she like a Capri Sun? She declined my kind offer and we drank tea instead.

Turns out… You don't need to drink to have fun. I know, I know, I'm full of pearls of wisdom.

The urge to buy clothes has become too much to bear. I miss being able to fall in to Primark, wiggle around, and come out having purchased whatever stuck. I want rings that turn your fingers green, ill-fitting dresses and fabric that is so flammable I combust when my thighs rub together.

Weight: 131lb Products bought: NONE. Money spent: 0p Amount of five a day I managed: Three Money I potentially saved: £10 on wine, £3 on coffee

Follow Periwinkle Jones' tales of poverty and woe on Twitter @peachesanscream.