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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Reality Check: Could you live on $20 for a week?

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Ryan Nobles – bio | email

Could you live for an entire week on only $20? These tough economic times are forcing many people to make tough decisions when it comes to their everyday purchases.

To illustrate this point we put one local woman to the test, by challenging her to live on only $20 dollars for all of her food purchases for an entire week. The results were pretty interesting.

You can see the story and read an online journal of her experience by clicking here. You can also see extended uncut video blogs that documented how she addressed the challenge.


Written by Ryan Nobles

November 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. Talk about a whiner!
    I live on less than $20 a week for food almost every week.

    Sucks being poor, but you learn to deal.

    She could have gotten a bag of rice, a couple bags of beans, a couple chickens, a pound of egg noodles, and several pounds of vegetables and fruit and eaten well and healthily all week.

    You do have to look for sales. Fresh vegetables and fruit can often be had for about $1 a pound – cook up stuff and freeze it. Also look for sales on chicken – Kroger had chicken breasts for 88 cents a pound one week. One package of three large breasts is enough meat for one week.

    Even bags of mixed frozen vegetables can be cheap. I stir fry them and alter the spices I add. I buy frozen fish (frequently VERY cheap on sale) to go with the vegetables and add some rice or noodles.

    My food costs are about $2-3 dollars a day, and I am very healthy. I don’t bother with junk food, but even that can be bought cheaply if she needs a junk food fix.


    November 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm

  2. This is a bit off the subject here but relates. Your most critical comments would be appreciated.

    I have for some time been trying to get someone to hear and respond to an economic stimulus concept that would have our economy moving where it needs to, at the roots, within 30-60 days of passing. Additionally, the government would not have to write the huge checks to these large corporate heads with false hopes that one day it may trickle down to the small guy trying to work for a living during these times. Everyone knows, there is a tremendous amount of public opinion in the low to middle income sector where individuals are becoming increasingly frustrated at the fact that the government is allowing their hard earned tax dollars to be wasted, manipulated, and pondered by these large corporations without resulting in any jobs nor funding for the sector of us that create cash flow in this great country. What other country in the world will allow an employee to run a billion dollar company in the ground while receiving a multi million dollar salary and then collect million dollar bonuses to try to fix it or to just leave? Here is the general scope of this idea. I am preparing a full outline of this concept with much more detail but this will give you the general idea.

    Why not let the citizens of this country, whom are disgusted with where their tax dollars are going, spend their tax dollars stimulating our economy themselves through regulated avenues. Approved investments would have to be certified as performed and appropriate documentation sent in with their next tax return and, of course, be subject to audit with very stiff fraud penalties. These are merely examples and while the figures may seem absurd, they are no where near as much as what is being thrown out there already. For example, let say an individual will have for instance a $25,000.00 tax burden this year. Under this plan, he may take a straight line tax cut, not a deduction of gross income, but for simple understanding, a deduction of his actual bottom line tax debt in these amounts for investing in these areas. These are some examples:
    New home purchase $10,000
    New car purchase $5,000
    Used car purchase $2,000
    Home additions, renovations, and repairs $5,000
    Necessities for their children $2,000 each child
    Clothing and personal necessities per household $4,000
    General small commodities (items one would buy at the mall) $2,000
    Groceries $2,000
    Additionally, homes under financial distress, either by the bank or by the owner, make the loans assumable as they used to be years ago. Then they flip to the other side of the banks balance sheet and produce income. Could this be any worse than having them sit dormant getting destroyed or ruining some ones credit because they can’t get out from under them? These are just ideas. If you think about it, this economy came to a halt because the little man lost his security and affordability. If you dissect what makes him have job security and cash flow, this list could be a bit longer. While these things seem trivial, they make the small man be able to afford to and justify spending money, not to mention spend his tax dollars benefiting himself and causing companies to need to hire help to provide these commodities for him thus providing income and jobs for others at his level. This is an idea that reciprocates stimulus, jobs, and affordability at the roots that trickles UP to build companies stronger instead of blanket money that will hardly ever trickle down far enough or quick enough to avoid an even greater catastrophe. If you lay the average mans tax return down in front of him and give him the decision, shall I send it to the government or improve my life and the job market in my town, what do you think will happen? The only real concern I see is that inflation would have to be overseen closely.
    I would really appreciate an honest and critical analysis and response to this. I don’t know of anyone in the low to middle income bracket that wouldn’t benefit greatly from this, not to mention, the effect would begin immediately upon government approval and require the government to write NO CHECKS. How easy can a plan be?

    Mike Blake

    March 12, 2009 at 10:34 pm

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