Sunday, 17 June 2018

How To REALLY Survive On £1 A Day.

Yes, this blog post is in response to Alfie Deyes' latest video where he "attempts" to live on a food budget of £1 (for the day). I'm not a subscriber of his and never will be but the controversy was all over my timeline. I don't usually give my opinions on controversy because I'd rather stay out of it altogether but this video got to me. 
Now I know it isn't the worst thing a YouTuber has ever done but it is significant and is something I want to talk about.

I have personally struggled financially and growing up on a budget was tough (not that I knew it because my mum made sure to keep money worries hidden from her me) but from speaking to her as an adult I realise the struggles she faced and just how tight money was. 
Sometimes it was a case of choosing who gets to eat: her or her child and of course, the child wins.

That's a reality.

The reality is some parents go without food to feed their children.
The reality is the use of food banks has risen significantly in areas right on his doorstep.
Poverty is real even in a country as rich as ours.

The very people who helped him get where he is today are struggling and his ignorance infuriates me. He goes on in the video about how he can't drink his fancy coffee or his filtered f*cking water and it all feels a bit like he's taking the piss. If you're going to do the "challenge" then give it a real go and put yourself in the shoes of someone who really does live on that amount a day.

 Instead of highlighting the struggles of those living in poverty he seems to be making a joke of it. For him, this is a challenge, a money spinner for his channel but for many people they'll experience and live in poverty and it's a struggle. 

Today I'm going to show you that you can live on £1 a day without making a mockery of it.

The fact is, when you're living on this amount planning is essential so I've given myself a £7 budget for the week. The reality is the meals will usually be monotonous with little room for treats but hey, it's food and that's all that matters.The best thing to do is sit down and make a list of the meals you like and what you can reasonably afford.

I made my shopping list from Asda, mostly from their Smart Price range which is actually quite nice, Again, the fact is you do have to compromise on quality and nutrition to fit the budget. I've tried to keep things as balanced as I can but you know...

Shopping List

Porridge Oats - 75p
Strawberry Jam - 28p
Thick Bread - 55p
20 Sausages - 99p
Fish Fingers - 75p
Meatballs - 48p
Spaghetti - 23p
New Potatoes - 35p
Chicken Instant Noodles - 20p
Spaghetti Loops - 13p
Beans - 35p
Chopped Tomatoes - 29p
Cheese & Broccoli Pasta - 22p
Chicken Soup - 29p
Rice Pudding - 20p

1pt Semi Skimmed Milk - 49p
Tea Bags (40 pack) - 29p
Lemonade - 17p

All of this comes to £6.89 with the final three items being optional.

Below is a meal plan broken down into breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Obviously you can have tea and lemonade whenever.

Meal Plan.



Jam Sandwich

Sausage and Spaghetti Loops


Porridge with a blob of Jam

Chicken Noodles

Fish Fingers, 1/2 Can of New Potatoes, 1/2 Can of Beans


Jam On Toast


Meatballs and Spaghetti



Jam Sandwich

Sausage, 1/2 Can of New Potatoes, 1/2 Can of Beans



Jam on Toast

Chicken Soup



Sausage Sandwich

Cheese and Broccoli Pasta


Jam on Toast

Rice Pudding

Spaghetti, Chopped Tomatoes, Sausage (chopped, added to spaghetti/tomatoes)

And there you go. 21 meals, all for under £7. Nothing exciting but it is filling and you wont go hungry. That's what you think about when you have no money spare.

(I'm happy to do this for other supermarkets if you'd like. I'm pretty good at budgeting I've had to be).

Just to end this blog post I wanted to say that I'm most angry about what Alfie's video could have been. He is in such a privileged position and could have used this opportunity to highlight the struggles of those living in these situations where £1 a day is sometimes a luxury. He could have highlighted the issues surrounding living on so little but instead he chose to exploit financial struggles for his own personal gain, making money off of no less than 5 ads he has throughout the video.
In fact, i'm not even sure i'm angry. I'm just so very sad and disappointed that someone with such a huge audience can be so ignorant and out of touch with reality.

One part of the video I do agree with is when he said it's hard to eat healthily on this little money because that is absolutely correct. Managing your diet is so much harder when your funds are limited but as for the rest of the video, he can go suck it. 

I despise the whole concept of this video and find it highly insensitive.

What is your opinion on all this?


  1. This is an amazing post. You've done it right and showed people how to ACTUALLY live on £1 a day - by planning, budgeting and only buying necessities/avoiding luxuries. You've given examples of what to buy and even suggested meals to make with them.

    I never watch Alfie's videos but there was so much controversy around this one I ended up watching it out of curiosity. He really is clueless - the first place he went was Waitrose! Then to Krispy Kreme where he was given a free box of doughnuts because they knew who he was. That's not a reality for anyone else. The way to live on a pound a day isn't to go out and try to blag free sweets, it's to buy the most nutritious food possible within the budget you can afford.

    I also can't believe he monetised that video so he's making thousands from it!


    1. Thank you Nicola. I wanted to show the reality of budgeting and living life with that amount of money.

      I hope he donates the money he makes to make a difference to some charities and people around him. I'd love to see him get out into the community and see what life living in poverty is like.

      Thanks again for your lovely comment x

  2. Yes girl! what a great post and being true to your idea! You've done it the right way, that it is possible to live on £1 a day and mix up your meals best you can without just having sugary items and reall help this could help someone who struggles to come up with meal ideas.

    Well done lovely x

    1. Thank you so much. I just wanted to give the "challenge" a go and highlight the reality of it. I hope it does help someone.

      Thanks again x

  3. Ah this is a great post, and a great response to such a ridiculous video! I'm still in shock of the naivety, but alas there you go! This is a fantastic post, and the correct way to do a £1 challenge- in a way that highlights that it is a reality, and provide a solution! Well done x

    1. You and me both, the ignorance is real isn't it?

      Thank you Khloe x

  4. I've not watched the video but I've seen the backlash of it all over social media, it's such a shame that it was done so insensitively when it could of been done in a way to highlight what a lot people are dealing with. My mum like your's also went without food when I was growing up, we're lucky to be in a much more privileged situation but that's down to both my parents working full time, my dad working two jobs, and saving for many years.
    This is a fantastic response post of how the £1 'challenge' should be approached with respect, integrity and awareness.

    Emma x

    1. Thank you Emma. I just don't understand how someone can be so detached from the world around them. Clearly lives in his own bubble x

  5. I saw so much of this on social media recently, but I haven't actually watched the entire video. I watched some of it, and the beginning he goes to Waitrose?! Like, what? One of the most expensive supermarkets and he's surprised about the prices of the reduced stuff! Like what?! It really shows how much he hasn't really got an idea of whats going on with the fact he thought it was okay to actually post this video! Great post though, you explained it so well!


    1. Thank you Amy. Even Waitrose reduced stuff is expensive! Go to Asda or Lidl. It isn't rocket science! x

  6. Love that you're giving living on £1 a proof of concept. If you're living smart, it is possible. Wow, the prices are really good! I appreciate that you could still get the nutrition you need without resorting to something like instant noodles everyday.

    Nancy ♥

  7. This is such a great response to that video, I love that you've shown how it could be done rather than just criticising his decisions (which were awful). I did a very similar grocery challenge at the beginning of the year where I tried to eat as similarly to how I usually would on a very strict budget, monitoring nutrient intake etc. I managed about £16 for the week and that was on a vegan and gluten free diet. If he'd actually bothered to put thought into it he could have done it easily and actually helped people who were looking to gain something from that video x


    1. Thank you. I can't even imagine having to budget with dietary restrictions!
      £16 a week is actually incredibly considering the price of gluten free stuff.

      Thanks for reading Sophie x

  8. I have been fortunate enough to never have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, but unlike Alfie, I am not ignorant to the situation and plight of others. I find it horrific how he went about this "challenge" - what a whiny, entitled man-child! Boohoo, having to drink tapwater *gasp*. Bragging about overpriced items like a beard comb whilst being "scared" to drink coffee...bore off Alfie.

    This post was excellent and a great response to one of the most vapid, ignorant videos I've seen in a while. I'm a fan of the Sainsbury's Basics range and am very tempted to try this myself just to see if it's possible to eat healthily on their items.


    1. Hell to the yeah to this comment!

      Sainsbury's basics range is brilliant. So many supermarkets cater for a lower budget. You just have to work a bit harder and plan ahead x

  9. THIS is what Alfie's video should have been about in the first place! This is such an amazing post and you've offered such valid advice and suggestions. His video is infuriating but I'm loving all the "reaction" posts I'm reading. The worst thing was that he couldn't understand why people were angry about it.


    1. I have been loving those posts too. It's so good to see a community coming together and speaking up against his actions. I don't think he's a bad guy, far from it but he's just so detached from reality.
      How can he not realised the flaws in the video and concept? Ridiculous.

      Thanks for your comment Jenny x

  10. I completely agree, we wrote a post on our opinions on the matter. But although I don't think he meant it, he was really insensitive, this is such a great post showing how to actually do it. I feel like spending £1 in one day when you're just going to go back to your millionaire lifestyle the next is not really a challenge. I would love to see him trying it out for a week.

    Katie xx

    1. You did, I read it. I agree, I don't think it was malicious, I just think he didn't think but that's the problem. He couldn't and didn't consider anyone outside of his circle. He's oblivious to the daily struggles of the average person.

      I just hate that he didn't see the faults in the video before he posted it. I think that speaks volumes.

      Thanks for reading x

  11. This is fantastic! This is such a detailed and accurate post and would actually help people out there. I watched Alfie’s video and couldn’t believe it. He got free doughnuts just because he is a celebrity which would not happen in real life to average people. When he went and brought himself a beard comb and tshirts I had to switch off... it was madness. Thanks for sharing a realistic post and doing it properly <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. I watched the video via JaackMaate's channel (no adverts or money making there!) and was so shocked at the ignorance.

      Thanks for your comment x

    2. I watched Jaack Mates video too! It made me laugh, everything he said was spot on! xx

    3. It made me laugh out loud! x

  12. Yes Girl! This is exactly what Alfie's video should have been all about! Great post!

    Eleanor May ||

  13. This is such an amazing post! I haven't watched Alfie's video and I don't want to either I think it's disgusting how he exploits his 'fans' who are mostly young teenagers, I just saw all the tweets about it and was like 'here we go again' I don't know why anybody still watches his videos! This post may have helped a lot of people who are struggling to budget for meals for their family so well done for trying to help everyone, I hope this post does so well you deserve it!

    Jess //

    1. Thank you so much Jess, your comment means a lot.

      I just know from experience that when people in Alfie's position do things like this it just shits on anyone who really deals with that day to day. Thankfully I'm in a much better place now but times have been tough and the last thing you need is people belittling your struggle by making it a YouTube video.

      Again, thank you x

  14. Alfie just keeps getting worse and worse doesn't he. You are completely right, he should have used his platform to raise awareness, not create a video where he comes across as taking the piss. The this blog post and how you have shown how you can live on a budget, this is going to be really helpful for a lot of people! xx

    1. Well he certainly isn't getting better that's for sure. I'm sure his intention wasn't to take the piss but inadvertently he did. It's a shame he isn't using his platform to help people that live in poverty...

      Thanks for reading x