All you can eat – for £1

Sheffield Woman  Ruby Smith Who is Living on �1 A Day
Sheffield Woman Ruby Smith Who is Living on �1 A Day

Rising prices have seen many people cut down on their food budget – but one Sheffield woman has cut her limit to just £1 a day.

Supermarket own brands, pasta, rice and water have been the staple diet for Ruby Smith, who has been spending just a single pound on food and drink every day as part of UNICEF’s Live below the line’ challenge.

Participants are required to live on just £1 every day for five days, but 23-year-old Ruby has taken the challenge further by extending it to a month.

Ruby, of West Street in the city centre, said: “It’s not easy, but it’s so important to raise awareness of the issue of poverty. I’ve learned some important lessons about the value of food.

“I am more conscious of wasting food. I’ve realised how easy is it accidently to be wasteful of food and unnecessarily spend money on lots of food.”

Ruby, who is head of personalisation at South Yorkshire Housing Association, has undertaken the challenge in previous years – and always finds her active social life sees her fighting temptation.

She said: “One of the most difficult things is when my friends ask me if I want to get together for a coffee or family invite me around for Sunday lunch.

“I have quite a busy job, so the challenge at work is always quite easy, although I definitely notice the lack of caffeine at work and I am more tired. Weekends tend to be the hardest though.”

Ruby, who hopes to raise about £250, plans to mark the end of the challenge with a celebration day, but it mindful not to let bad habits creep back in.

She said: “I don’t eat any meat or fish during the challenge and am conscious when I’ve finished not to build things with lots of meat and fish back into my diet.

“I have a few days a week where I don’t it.”

Ruby’s typical daily menu comprises:


Cereal, normally cornflakes.

Water to drink.


Vegetable soup.

Water to drink.


A pasta or rice-based dish. Dishes include a vegetable curry with cauliflower and chick peas.

Water to drink.


Ruby said that if she has any money left over from her previous week’s budget, she treats herself to some teabags.