My housemate survived off £1 a day for a week


This is my housemate, Laura Garn (aka Garn).

ain't she a peach?

Ain’t she a peach?

To raise awareness and funds for Action Against Hunger, she decided to try and live off the same amount of money as people in developing countries have to – a measly £1 a day.

As you’d expect, this resulted in her buying a lot of Tesco Value and generally not enjoying life for a week. Although she rose to the occasion wonderfully, there were times when we all thought she would either punch us or eat us.

Day 1

Spirits were high as Garn trudged home with her Tesco Value tinned spoils. “I can completely do this” she said confidently.

“We should really buy more Tesco Value stuff, it’s so cheap!”

Please note: Garn works at Waitrose. Not only that but she loves all things fresh and healthy so going to work twice this week was extremely painful.



Day 2

“I can’t go to the gym this week”

off to a flying start

Off to a flying start – egg fried rice

Day 3

“Amanda did you leave spinach on your plate??”

This is genuinely when we said goodbye for summer

This is genuinely when we said goodbye for summer

Yes it’s true, I put too much spinach on my plate as a garnish (pun intended) and didn’t eat it all. Garn had to go and sit in her room for a few minutes to avoid an argument/the end of our friendship/her suffocating me with spinach.

Day 4

“I long for some fresh veg.”

This is probably the day when she realised just how ill eating only tinned/frozen Tesco Value food makes a person.

Breakfast and lunch consisted of porridge with bananas. Normally Garn loves almond milk with her porridge, so she wasn’t best pleased with the effect cow’s milk had on her oaty goodness.

it just looks so stodgy

it just looks so stodgy

Day 5

“I’m going to bed for the day.”

Exhaustion began to hit as Garn realised this diet is about as sustainable as it is fun.

Lunch was tomato, carrot and pea soup – this soup almost never came to be as Garn spent a long time trying to blend the soup, finding out after about 20 minutes that in her delirious state she hadn’t put the blades in the blender.

She didn’t appreciate it when we laughed.

This actually looks pretty good

This actually looks pretty good

Day 6

“The tinned new potatoes are weirdly delicious.”

An unexpected high as she saw the light at the end of the tunnel, Garny and her coursemates who were also undergoing the challenge made plans to eat copious amounts of pizza at midnight on the last day.

Day 7

“I’m so hungry but I’m not eating that curry because it’s disgusting.”

Oliver Twist wouldn't even ask for more

Oliver Twist wouldn’t even ask for more

We have no idea why Garn was eating curry first thing in the morning. We tried to ask, but all she said was she was out of all food before shoving the bowl in the sink and muttering something about pizza and moving out.

What happened next?

Garn consumed a pizza, a doughnut, mozzarella sticks, frozen yogurt, a red velvet cupcake and her first cup of tea in seven days (apparently this was the biggest relief, I take credit as I made it).

However, this copious amount of food took its toll the next day where we found her collapsed on the sofa in the same pyjamas we’d seen her eating curry in the day before.

All joking aside, Royal Holloway PIR soc raised £800 for a great cause, though it may have come at the small price of my housemate’s sanity.