If you ever went to college or university you probably could relate to the term “starving student.” Although I am working full-time now and have a grocery budget, I buying food can still be expensive. It drives me nuts when grocery stores raise the price of certain items, then drop the price down to its regular price and consider it a “sale”. I keep track of many of the things I buy in a price book so I know when a “sale” is really a sale and when to stock up on certain items.
I went away to school so that I would be far enough from my parents, but close enough to come home on the weekends. When I came home, I stocked up on food big time. There were even times when my parents would come up to visit me and take me and my roommates grocery shopping. Alright fine, so I wasn’t exactly a “starving student”. But at times, especially during exams, it felt like it when I was running low on supplies. Who has time to grocery shop and cook when you’re in the middle of studying for finals? Of course there is the more expensive option known as the meal plan….which I resorted to using from time to time.
The Dollarama Diet
I have never bothered to check out the food aisle in Dollarama. In all honesty, just the thought of making a meal with food bought from Dollarama grossed me out. Thanks to my common law partner though, I’ve tried a couple of snacks such as chocolate covered pretzels and gummy candies. Needless to say, the price matched the quality. They weren’t too pleasing on my taste buds.
One university student, Jonathan Lemieux, took the term “starving student” to a whole different level by living off of food sold in Dollarama for three years. I love Dollarama. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. There is so much stuff you can get for a dollar (or more). The closest I’ve ever gotten to buying food from Dollarama was pop and candy. But food? Actual food? The same canned goods and non-perishable items you would find at your local grocery store? Except these items would most likely be brands I’ve never heard of, made by companies I’ve never heard of.
Although Lemieux would still go to the grocery store to find discounted meat and produce, about 90% of the food he was living off of was from Dollarama. He used his creative culinary skills and even made a thrifty version of seafood paella using canned mussels and oysters and beef jerky instead of chorizo.
While a Dollarama diet may not be the healthiest due to the high salt content, there is no doubt that it is the cheapest. Lemieux managed to survive for three years on a monthly food budget of $75!
What’s even more amazing is that by the time he completed his second degree, he accumulated over 90 self-tested recipes to create a cookbook entitled: Survivre avec une poignée de change (Surviving on a handful of change). This cookbook is currently sold only in French. I hope they come out with an English version soon or I’ll have to brush up on my high school French to figure out just what exactly can you make with Dollarama food. Then maybe, I too, could try out the Dollarama diet.
For a week or two. That’s it.
Do you think you could live off of food mostly from Dollarama?
Related: Saving Money on Food