It turns out that eating on $2 a day is more than possible — if you buy in bulk and don't mind eating the same thing every day. I know because I tried it in January. I was inspired by a young Elon Musk, who gave it a whirl as a teenager to see if he had what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
While I don't recommend this nutrient-starved lifestyle — and neither does Musk — if you're curious as to how I did it, here's what a typical day looked like. I also included the cost and caloric breakdown to give you an idea of just how far you can stretch $2:
Every morning started with oatmeal and a banana — topped with a Sugar in the Raw packet, which I scavenged from various places.
I typically ate a second banana mid-morning to hold me over until lunch, which was normally a tortilla loaded with peanut butter.
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Snack cost: 1 banana = $0.19
Snack calories: 1 banana =100
Lunch cost: 1 serving of tortilla ($0.25) + 2 servings of peanut butter ($0.36) = $0.61
Lunch calories: 1 serving of tortilla (120) + 2 servings of peanut butter (380) = 500
My mid-afternoon snack — sunflower seeds — held me over until dinner, which was anywhere from three to five servings of pasta topped with a heaping tablespoon of butter.Snack cost: 1 serving of sunflower seeds = $0.14
Snack calories: 1 serving of sunflower seeds =200
Dinner cost: 4 servings of pasta ($0.48) + 1 serving of butter ($0.10) = $0.58
Dinner calories: 4 servings of pasta (800) + 1 serving of butter (100) = 900
All in all, the typical day consisted of 1,970 calories for a total cost of $1.91. "Luxury items" — a sweet potato or an egg — made an appearance two to three times a week, starting in week three, and altered the numbers slightly.
Cost: $0.50 per sweet potato, $0.23 per egg
Calories: 115 per sweet potato, 70 per egg
While it certainly is not the most glamorous or nutritious way to eat for a month, it's more than possible with strategic shopping and a healthy dose of willpower.