Pub boss lives on £ 1 food budget to show struggling Brits are ‘surviving not living’

Craig Harker, 35, from Stockton on Tees was inspired to try and survive on a £ 1 a day after hearing a Tory MP suggest people try making meals for just 30 pence

Craig was inspired to challenge himself after hearing a Tory MP suggest people survive on meals worth just 30p
Craig was inspired to challenge himself after hearing a Tory MP suggest people survive on meals worth just 30p

A pub landlord has claimed “no one should live like this” after he fed himself with just £ 1 a day for a week in a bid to raise awareness of rising costs.

Craig Harker, 35, decided to take on the challenge of feeding himself for less than the cost of a Big Mac each day after hearing one Tory MP had suggested people could make meals with 30 pence.

The dad-of-three from Stockton on Tees, Co Durham, is used to spending £ 200 a week on food and claims he lost eight pounds in weight from the overhaul to his daily intake but added it wasn’t a ‘healthy diet’ .

After sticking to the diet meticulously, Craig was forced to cut out expensive luxuries such as dairy and meat, instead loading up on cheap carbs, Lancs Live reports.

He said: “The rising costs of everything has been popping up on social media and on the news everywhere.







The pub landlord was forced to get creative to survive
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Craig Harker / SWNS)

“People are cutting back on everything and almost every person is feeling it. Everyone is saying we need to budget – and then the Tory MP came out with his thoughts on the matter, but I wanted to find out my own answer.”

Craig who was 15 stone eight pounds was only a fiver down on his final day (Friday 20 May) but weighed just 15 stone – losing a staggering eight pounds in five days.

The landlord has used his experience to share his top tips for successful budgeting and says preparation is key.

He hopes to use his large following on social media to “raise awareness” of the rising cost of prices and help families adopt the best methods possible to keep their costs low and not going hungry.







Craig Harker
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Craig Harker / SWNS)







Craig survived on just £ 5 worth of food for five days
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Craig Harker / SWNS)

He said: “What I’ve been doing is not a healthy diet but I’m trying to show people that you can survive on that budget.

“Everyone is struggling to get out of this difficult financial situation but if you are on a budget of feeding your family for £ 5 a week – there are ways you can eat.

“But luckily for me my dad was a chef and I am not in a vulnerable position.

“No one in the UK or Western World should live like this. This experience has made me feel really grateful and appreciate what I’ve got and it has taught me a lot of lessons I’ll be implementing into my life moving forward.”

Craig, who run his chain of George Pub & Grill venues across Teeside, took to his pub’s Facebook page on Monday 16 May to share his experiment experiences and revelations with his quarter of a million followers.

On the first day of his challenge, he admitted: “After visiting the first supermarket this is already going to be a lot more difficult than I thought.

“I knew it was going to be hard – I knew living off a £ 1 a day, £ 5 a week for food would be a struggle and that’s why I was up for the challenge.”

An average day of eating for Craig normally would consist of a full English breakfast, a packet of biscuits with tea or coffee, a burger for lunch and dinner from a fast food chain, like McDonalds or KFC.

But leaving his luxuries behind, the dad was forced to get creative and even turned a free burger into a spaghetti Bolognese meal.







Craig even turned a free fast food burger into spag bol
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Craig Harker / SWNS)

Craig included a sachet of porridge for breakfast which he got for 79 pence from Aldi, a cup of tea, rice and curry sauce and his burger-turned-spag-Bol.

His favorite meal of the week was a jacket potato with hoops and grated carrot on the side.

He said: “I tried to find the cheapest options possible – everything I bought didn’t look like a meal, the nutritional value was not great but it’s what you do with it that matters.

“I also got a free burger from Burger King who were giving them out this week, and took it home, diced it up and used the ingredients to make a spag bol. I was being creative and using what was there at my disposal – anyone can do any of these at any point. “







Craig lost 8lbs during the challenge
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Craig Harker / SWNS)

Before starting his project, Craig revealed he completed hours worth of research into supermarket costs but found the increasing cost of budget line products a issue when shopping.

He said: “I am a big fizzy drink lover so one of the first things I did was find the cheapest lemonade can prices – which were Tesco at 17 pence.

“But when I went to buy them, they were 23 pence – that was not in my budget so I couldn’t afford them and these prices are going up all the time!”







His favorite meal was a jacket potato with hoops and grated carot
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Image:

Craig Harker / SWNS)

Since finishing his experiment, Craig celebrated in style by buying a whole trolley of food and donating it to his local foodbank. He added: “I want to help others now that I’ve experienced first hand how difficult it can be on a low budget.

“I’m feeling so grateful for everything I have but know one day budgeting like this week could be a possibility and take nothing for granted.

“Its been a real eye opening and no one should be forced to survive on what I’ve had.”

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