Survival Tip for a Month without Money and No Food

Hello Mates,

I just want to get some suggestions regarding my situation.
So the thing is i want to survive for a month without money and no food (only 2ltr milk and 3 small biscuit packs). Please give me genuine tips to spend a month without money.

PS: I understand some people might make joke of my situation by commenting rubbish.

Update: Thankyou people, i appreciate that some people gave really polite and good advice. Thank you again. In conclusion i have decided to buy rice & potatoes and probably some carrots to somehow survive a month. To be honest i do not have much friends here (asked for some money from 2 friends, got rejected already), so thought asking advice here regarding what to eat and buy, thanks people i love you.

Update 2 (7/4/19): Buyed 1 kg rice + frozen vegetable mix (peas/carrot/sweetcorn), let's see how many days it last. Again there were many helping hands today as well which touched my heart, but i rejected taking help.

Update 3 (9/4/19): Everything is going ok, following each person's advice per day. Till now followed some great advice and can able to afford 1 good meal per day. Not taking help (money/gc) from anyone yet because i am still able to satisfy my hunger. If my will power breaks then only i will take help. The motto for this post was not to steal other peoples money by creating false/fake situation, i just created this post because i felt i can divert my mind from negative thoughts to something meaningful. Hope people will understand me.

Update xx: Probably.



  • My local coles does fresh hot cross buns toasted for free, check to see if yours does it, would make for a good breakfast

  • Bakeries often throw out lots of bread at the end of the night. If you go and ask for it they'll probably be more than happy to give it to you

  • +1

    Mi goreng is your friend, like 36c each. White bread and milk. Also raid the local baker or supermarket chooks during closing. They give out heaps during cleanup, ask nicely and you shall receive

  • +2

    food trucks for homeless. they wont turn you away. all the best buddy

  • +48

    Hey there. I just joined as I am a lurker and felt like you need some help. If you message me your details I can give you $15 by PayPal or I have a heap of excellent quality rice. Canned food stuffs. Canned veg. I dont have a car but I live in Essendon area of Melbourne if you want to pick up. You didn't ask for money or stuff but sometimes we just need the edge taken off a tough situation. I can't message you as I am a new user but message your PayPal and I'll do right away.

    • +16

      To be honest i am in Australia since 1 year, this is the first time someone shown such love. Thank you, i do not have words, i respect you. I cannot take money, but thank you for showing this love to Non-Australian student. I will manage in 20$, that's what i call as struggle days.

      • when i was at uni many student groups had free BBQs at lunch times. see if you can find some of these. at the time i was more interested in the free beer but for someone hungry the BBQ would be a god send.

  • When I was struggling really bad a friend taught me to go into slower looking independent restaurants and ask if they had any food spare and explain my situation somewhat. It generally yeilded great results, but this was 15 odd years ago at least so be prepared to be knocked back sometimes.. I found better luck with nice looking italian places. Your diet may be an issue with this but still worth a thought.
    You say you can't take money which I respect, so I assume you won't be okay with free birthday hungry jacks whoppers minus the meat, but they are there if you really need something with a little salad.
    Good luck. I'm sorry you're stuck in this predicament.

    • My bday recently passed some month ago, that month i enjoyed alot by grabbing freebies mentioned here:
      I enjoyed hungry jacks, subway, spud a bar, and many more places.I cannot use bday offers again.

      • Subway asked me for ID…luckily it was my birthday! Hungry jacks don't although I've only ordered via the app. Not sure about others because haven't really tried them. Oh except a local pub with as free $50 birthday credit no min spend. So so good. ID required

  • +1

    Thrown in that that position
    My first solution would be trying to get some more money by means of doing some work - Airtasker, basking, cleaning car windows in high traffic or plain old begging.
    Second solution where you are limited to only $20 then ketogenic diet via good and bad nutrition foods will probably allow to get by on a meal day and source the rest from body fat.

    • +1

      Already suggested, and OP didn't respond so I presume they are too busy or not interested in cash-in-hand jobs.

  • +1

    Do you have access to cooking facilities? Rice is just about the cheapest way to fill yourself up. Under $1/kg for dry rice, and at 15,000kJ per kilo (about 2x what an adult needs per day) it's a really cheap way of getting by.

    Find your way to a Salvation Army store. They won't turn you away.

    Can you ask your embassy for an emergency loan?

    If the OP is willing, anyone here care to donate filling non perishable food? I'm not in Victoria.

  • +2

    Ask your study institute for help. Best if it is a Tafe or university for this. Maybe look for food co ops? Hare Krishna? They will feed you for free if you can't pay. Food coops are cheaper than normal. You can also volunteer to get cheaper food. Both had the best vegetarian I have ever eaten.

  • Start a go fund me…
    And if everyone here gives u $1, u will have $25 extra dollars

    • +11

      Not a good idea. Those platforms are for those who are in serious problem and cannot earn themselves. I am just a person who is trying to figure out what to buy for a month in $20 budget. After a month my position will be good.

      • +6

        Do u eat fish? A can of sardines in tomato sauce is only 60c, have that with rice (preferably brown) and its a really nutritious filling meal.

        Also quick oats is really filling and nutritious. U can get a bag for about $1.50 that will last you at least 10+ meals.

        If u dont want to go crazy with those 2 things and want to buy something else send your paypal or bank payid ill give u $40

  • +1

    Found this site, hopefully it might help you out.

  • +1

    Not sure what are your conditions or situation but…ask for help.


    Thats 0.80 a day, not in Sydney unfortunately go ask for a loan or help not sure how you got yourself in such a mess.

  • +11

    Hey mate. Happy to send you $20 if you message me your paypal or bank details

  • +26

    Post your location and I'm sure you will have many ozbargainers willing to provide you with some non-perishable foods to sustain you for the month.

    It is admirable that you are refusing cash donations, but you should welcome food donations as a charitable act displaying the compassion of others. There's no sense in unnecessarily trying to prove something to yourself, potentially putting your health at risk or at the very least impairing your ability to function.

    Asking for help is one thing, being wise enough to accept it is another. I'm sure you will have a chance to pay it forward at some point.

  • -1

    get instant soba + kewpie sauce. Cost like less than $1 per serving

  • -3

    Dude, call Centrelink. They're not going to let someone starve for a month. We pay taxes to help people in need at times like this. Find out where you can get this near you.

    • +2

      Not sure Centrelink would help as he’s an international student

      • +1

        They'll direct him to the correct area if not. This is Australia, not some third world country where the unfortunate are left to die like the USA.

        • +8

          As someone who has spent years wrangling Centrelink and have been repeatedly knocked back, I can attest that the unfortunate are frequently left to starve.

  • +1

    I would buy a loaf of wholemeal or multigrain bread for $1.50, and tins of home brand baked beans for $0.65 each. And bananas if there was any money leftover.

  • +9

    Hi Mate,

    Next time if you post a more accurate heading and description, we might be able to help you more and take you more seriously.

    Basically you are asking for help on: How to optimize $20 on foods for a month.

    In conclusion i have decided to buy rice & potatoes and probably some carrots to somehow survive a month

    In everyday life you would want to eat nutrient dense foods; on a limited budget, you might want to increase the calorie density of the foods, but you should still aim to get as much nutrients as you can.

    For best bang for buck:

    • 5kg bag of brown rice for carbs and fibre hopefully at half price at Coles/Woolworths
    • Cans of black/red beans (not baked beans) for protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
    • (Red if possible) Cabbage for vitamins and minerals. Also keeps a long time.
    • With any leftover money check the marked down veg in greengrocers (very ripe but still nutritious).

    Don't buy junk food like biscuits etc.

    • +1

      Canned beans are expensive when you consider how many beans you actually get. A cheaper alternative is to buy bulk dried beans from Asian/Greek/Indian grocers.

      • That's what we do, but people who don't normally eat them, don't know how to soak and cook.

    • Go to student clubs for free biscuits, some clubs always put on a spread of snacks.

    • +1

      ^ This - red (adzuki) bean and barley if it's on sale too - swell with water so don't need much. Don't buy all vegetables at once either, keep some $ aside for fresh vege halfway through the month if possible.

  • +3

    Rice $1.20/kg, pasta $0.60/pack, Frozen mixed veggies $1.60/kg, then some eggs or cheap meat if you can afford it.

  • +2

    Find a food bank distributor and tell them your situation. It seems like you don't want a handout so offer to volunteer in exchange for some food at the end of your shift.

  • +1

    Does it happen to be your birthday this month?

    Edit: I see someone already suggested similar.

  • +2

    Great timing. This video came out a few days ago from Australia.
    30 Meals for $20 || Vegan Meal Prep || Steph and Adam

  • if your in WA, spud shed spearwood are giving away spuds as an opening deal

  • +1

    Put the 7-eleven app on your phone if you live near one - there are some freebies each month.

  • +2

    If you are in Melbourne there are places that offer free food. Not saying you go there every day but it's good to eat proper meal once a week

  • +4

    Cheapest I can think of =
    10kg bag of rice (I only buy when half price= around $10 but if you cant get that it obviously around $20)
    10kg bag of flour (aprox $10)
    tin of dry yeast ($5) put in freezer)

    3kg of mince (freeze in 100gm portions for each day) $7 per kg at Aldi
    for greens= 500g of mung beans
    google how to sprout = usaually about 3-5 day turn around so stagger

    With the flour just make flat breads = greek pitta or Naan

    For more greens go to your local grocer and just say Ill give you $2 for things that you are going to throw away every few days or offer labor in exchange. Or find local plants that are edible.
    If you are near water go fishing every night, if you are near the beach dig for pipies (if in QLD borrow a cast net)
    Volunteer at soup kitchen (I did this when I ran out of money overseas many years ago as I was too proud to go there for food)

    PS may restaurants would be happy for an ongoing exchange of a free feed every day for washing dishes/prepping food

  • +1

    Sikh Temples appararently are honourbound to food hungry people who show up, perhaps only certain days or certain times of day.

    • +1

      Any time of the day :)

      Only issue might be getting there, most of them are a little far out.

  • +1

    There are a number of dumpster diving groups on Facebook that share locations, advice, and sometimes share resources. Places like Coles will throw out things like bread that didn't get sold that day, bruised or slightly over ripe fruit and veges, or other stuff with damaged packaging. I've also come home with frozen pizzas, canned soft drink, or half a vending machine worth of snacks.

  • +1

    I think as someone else suggested if you could post your location I’m sure we all have non perishable items sitting around that we could give you.

  • +4

    Hi OP, I'm sorry you're having a rough time but Ozharvest can help. They provide free groceries (just whatever has been donated/surplus) and you can get some food this way. It is located in Kensington (NSW) and not too far by bus from central. Hope things get better for you soon!

    • +1

      Beat me to it.
      It should be noted that it opens limited hours Tues - Fri 10am-2pm

  • Had an idea, search up places that give you stuff for your birthday ( food related), a lot of them don't check id, just a suggestion.
    if you to survive, learn towork the system, note are you working ? just asking, because if you have free time in the day, there are soup kitchens and organisation that give out food.. It would be worth searching that up for your local area.

  • @OP if you are short on funds, try making congee. It's basically rice porridge. One cup of rice can make enough for dinner for me and my two kids for 2-3 days. If you can afford meat and/or veg, use those with it.

    A large bag of rice should be about $5-10 (depending on the size of the bag and type of the rice) and should get you through.

    I've just been hit with a 2k vet bill for my cat so I'll be eating it for the next few months, myself.

    • +1

      Should have ate the cat (couldn't help myself)

      • +1

        He wouldn't last as long as a bag of rice so that's terrible value.

        • Was it a young/valuable cat? I knew a bloke who got a Maine Coin as a rescue and it got hit by a car and survived, massive bills, but yeah, sheesh

          • +1

            @SirMurduck: Nah he's old as balls and just a moggy. But he's been with us forever and my kids wouldn't be without him. This is the first time we've ever had to pay anything for him so we're doing pretty well. He's worth his weight in gold, anyway.

            • +1

              @MuchUsernameWow: Yeah that's tough I'm a softie with animals but Christ yeah hard when they've become part of the family

  • +7

    Sorry to hear, buddy. I've had a lot of experience in seeing this dilemma unfold within the Go8 uni space. I'll advise based on what I've seen…

    Go and talk to your university's International Student Welfare Group, be it either the student union or the internal department. It may also be in your best interest to defer from some of your studies as it's possible that you won't be able to take a full time load during a time of significant hardship.

    If you're too proud to take their support because it feels like charity, I can understand.

    Perhaps consider taking their help (as a loan to be repaid) and repaying it by contributing support to the next international student who has to walk your path. You can determine later how you'll do this.

    This dilemma happens to 1000s of students a year and regretfully, the students don't realise they are burning 10s of thousands of Australian dollars on tuition as they struggle to meet basic needs.

    9/10 times, this isolated event opens up a vicious cycle of poor grades that can never be recovered on an academic transcript, stress and additional debt events, particularly for students who don't have $1000 on easy transfer from mum and dad.

    Please do yourself a favour and call whoever you can for a small cash advance (even $100) to meet your basic needs so that you don't risk burning all that tuition.

    Imagine the damage that will be done if you fail 1 ($5k) to 4 ($20k) units this semester because you chose to live off $20….

    I'll leave you with that thought.

    Good luck!

  • Given your update. Maybe ask your friends for a bag of rice or basic food items (bread flour?) instead of asking for money.

  • +3

    Don't be ashame of accepting help and food from others when you are going through some hard time like that. The one who should feel ashame is the one who see someone else having hard time and just stand and laugh. It's not easy to be a student and most of people went through it. Accept the food donations and pay it forward later.

  • +7

    I second university international student society they will be able to help you or asking friends for food. Don't be proud - asking for help in times of need is a skill that everyone needs to learn that many don't.

    I urge you to accept a $2 donation from Ozbargainers. You can ask people to stop when it gets to $150 which should give you lots of healthy food for the month. Just set up a Paypal account and let us help you. One day, when you're in a position to help people you can just as we say, "pay it forward' by helping someone just as you were. It's kindness 101. In fact, when you and your friends are able - start up an international student food bank for other people in this situation, where they can access food when they don't have money. Please let us help a little.

  • +3

    find a gurudwara (Sikh temple) nearby, there are many in Victoria. There is fresh vegetarian food available all day. I used to go there a lot in my uni days.

  • sleep lots, sit lots, don't think much. drink lots of water. reserve your energy.

    • Exactly, since 6 days doing same, sleeping lot whenever feeling hungry, drinking lots of water, definitely reserving energy. (It's not like i am not working either, i am working lot but as i mentioned already payment will be late, no chance of getting payment early. :p)

      • How did you get into this situation? Can you ask your parents for money?

      • Is your employer following the law? How can you be working but not paid for the month?

        • I filled time sheet late, so payment which i suppose to get this week delayed, and when i inquired further, i found that there is some upcoming festival which extended payment further. The money i saved since long time i spend in education, i thought i can be proud of myself doing so, the drawback of that was it left me with 20$ in my account from which today i buyed 1kg rice + frozen mixed carrot/sweetcorn/peas :)
          So this is pretty much everything happened. Will keep updating what am i doing this month.

          • +3

            @Freeza: Just ask your employer for an advance on your payment. Most employers will do this if you ask.

            • @samfisher5986: It sounds like the employer has cash flow problems,hope it's only temporary for the OP and the money actually comes through.

  • +4

    If you are in Sydney, try and scrounge together $40 and head to twice (their bags are insanely good value - designed for low income people, they are perfect for your scenario). If you can't find that kind of money (and are in Sydney), IM me and I'll see if I can help.

  • There is a sub reddit called foodpantry or something helping people in a similar situation.

  • Join Facebook if you haven't already and join local groups. I'm not sure what area you are in but the in the local groups im in, people often give away free food you generally just need to be able to pick it up from their house. Or you could post a wanted listing to ask for some food, people are usually very generous.

  • Lots of charities will provide free food if you are in genuine need.

    (eg Melbourne, your profile is Vic)

  • +15

    Mate. Not sure where you live but please visit any of our sikh temples. We will feed everyone and anyone and you're able to take home food if you ask.

    Do try it =)

  • +9

    HI mate,

    As a couple of people have already stated. Any Sikh temple will be able to assist with food (obviously it will be Indian food). There is a food truck that parks outside Flinders St every Sunday which gives out hot rice and curries. Hindu temples such as ISKON (Hare Krishna) in Albert Park also provide free food. Im not sure where you live but there are definitely options. All the best.

  • +5

    I'm not sure if anyone else mentioned this but if you're close to melb cbd, the salvos run a free cafe that serves brekky lynch and dinner every day. It's called lighthouse and it's on bourke st. Anyone is welcome. You get a much better meal than milk. It's actually run like a cafe where you order the food (set menu) and they'll bring it out to you. It's designed to give the homeless and people in difficult situations a sense of dignity.

  • +8

    what suburb are you in OP, message me. if you are near where i live or work i can donate you some food. all i ask is that, once you can, you pass that favour onto someone else, who in turn will do the same.

    i also once upon a time had a tiny bank balance, the stress that comes with that isnt good. i vowed to never let myself get into that type of situation ever again. i hope you learn something from your current situation :)

  • +1

    Food bank just ask

  • You can get thousands of dollars worth of free foods:

  • Hope you are doing okay Adonix.

    If you want you can let us know which city you are in and I'm sure many of us would be happy to help you out with some non-perishable foods from our pantry.

  • -3

    go and talk negative about immigrants, aborignals or Muslims. Pauline Hanson or Fraser Anning will fund you

    • I don't remember much detail but i think i have heard this name "Fraser Anning" in recent news.

  • +2
    • Sikh/Hindu temples offer free food.
    • Download the Ritual app and use discount code "REALPEASD". You'll get a $10 credit and then another $10 credit after your first order.
    • Woolworths offers free fruit for kids.
    • Some restaurants offer food challenges, where you have to do a challenge and if you succeed you get your meal for free.
  • +1

    Op, accept some food donations from members, stay strong and healthy.

    If you just eat rice and water and sleep for a month your body is going to severely weaken and it will take you a month or 2 to recover.

    Instead of spending this recovery time when you have access to your funds go and donate some food or your time back to others in need.

  • +2

    This is just an idea it might not work. Walk around the park etc(this is risky since you will be burning calories) look for abandon bikes. Sign up for food delivery services, use the bike and start your job. Get paid.

    Less risky, instead of sleeping, do lots of online paid surveys. Get paid.

    Signup Airtasker, look for jobs around your area. Get paid.

  • +4

    PM me your PayID and I will send you some love.. or let me know if you around Sydney CBD and we can meet :)

  • +2

    What suburb/state are you in?

  • +1

    OP, you don't sound ok mentally, which is understandable given the stress you're under. You don't eat meat/beef-you're Hindu or Sikh or Buddhist or Jain. All temples have food. Take it, give back later. PM me your bank details or PayID, I will cover the price of some of your groceries at least.

  • Just like what everyone else have suggested - food bank, soup kitchen, charity cafe, uni, hungry jack and 7-11 apps, etc.

    You can survive a month on $20 of homebrand white bread (+ maybe some tinned tuna) or getting a few of those $1 trays from a market at the end of the trading day/ week a week but that's probably gonna do more damage than good.

    Swallow your pride and ask for help.

  • -1

    Clean some windows at traffic lights. $20 should get you started and you'll be able to pull in $100 after a few hours.

  • +2

    Local charities will feed you. The churches, the buddhists, etc. When I was a povvo student I used to get free dinners from the buddhists charity in civic - roti and dahl so nothing fancy but kept you going.

    The government will provide emergency funding. Simply go to Centrelink. Explain your case. They’re not monsters. They’re trained to weed out scammers. If you’re genuine and honest they will help.

    Only drink water. Not juice. Not milk. You can survive weeks without food. But you must drink lots of clean water.

    Student food for me was rice and beans. A 10kg bag of brown rice from the markets and a 5kg bag of black beans, lasted at least two months. Lots of work - you have to soak everything for hours to make it soft - and it’s boooring but that’s what most students ate. The rice has carbs. The beans have protein. Salt helps make it edible. Veggies are “nice” but expensive. Don’t bother. You don’t need them for such a short stint in poverty.

    Don’t eat white rice. Don’t eat canned beans. Far less nutrition in those heavily processed foods.

    $40 for a month is enough. I used to live on $10 a week adjusted and I did fine.

  • +1

    You could always use the free Macca's hack…

  • +2

    What is it with international students and their lack of knowledge of nutrition?

    My Nepalese buddist grad came in a few years back complaining of stomach pains. On questioning his previous 24 hours food intake he revealed he'd had 9 packets of Mi Goreng instant noodles. No added vegetables. No protein. Just carbs and salty flavouring. WTF? He hadn't eaten fruit for 6 months. He hadn't had any fresh vegetables (all frozen or canned) in 1 month. I had to explain to him how to prepare a nutritious meal and how to bake or steam vegetables and how to include lentils, tofu and chickpeas in his food intake.

    To the OP. If you are genuinely skint then approach some charities or church groups.

    If you need food and are totally broke then go dumpster diving out the back of supermarkets and fruit/veg shops.

    Raw / unprocessed foods are best for you. Learn basic cooking skills. Don't buy take-away.

    • Or rather, what is it with international students and their lack of preparation and education prior to coming to Australia to study English?

    • +3

      What is it with international students and their lack of knowledge of nutrition?

      It's all students living away from home for the first time, not just international. They've gone from an environment where mum/dad did all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, budgeting. Now they have to do it all themselves and they're hopelessly lost.

      I lived on campus - about 80% Australian students 20% international - and a huge majority of people lived on 2-minute noodles and peanut butter sandwiches. And you will get very sick eating 2-minute noodles every meal. People who recommend it have never tried it. It's a bad idea.

      Or even worse the people who lived on takeaways. Every meal was pizza, or burger, or pie. I swear those people looked visibly sicker ever week.

      • +1

        An interesting observation. Thank you.

        To be honest, reading the recommendations in this thread, I'm imaging the OP posting in a few weeks "I feel sick / my blood sugars are all over the place / I'm lethargic" due to the quantity of fast food being recommended.

        I'm not an academic person (more practical / hands on) but I have taught my kids how to cook a dozen different dishes and other "life skills". I thought I was a bit of a crap parent but maybe not…

        • +1

          OP posting in a few weeks "I feel sick / my blood sugars are all over the place / I'm lethargic" due to the quantity of fast food being recommended.

          Yeah, I agree, the number of people recommending instant noodles, potatoes, white bread… ridiculous. Bad advice and I hope the OP ignores them.

  • Go cruise through for any meetups that are on in your area over the next few weeks. They are almost always free to join and attend.

    Most of the tech ones meet monthly and they usually throw on pizza and drinks in return for sitting through an hour long talk.

    You never know, you may end up learning something while you are there and if not, you got a free meal in return for your attention.

    • Agreed this if a good option, but op, of you do this, please don't be a pig! I've been to a few meetups where some Uni students wolfed down most of the food.

  • OP, the free food apps have already been mentioned, but I thought I'd mention this in particular.

    The Hungry Jacks app allows yo to shake your phone for what is often free food/drinks.

    You should be doing it as often as it lets you.

  • +1

    head to a Sikh temple, there must be few near you. Enjoy the free kitchen. Free hot Indian food served with any discrimination of age/race/religion throughout the day.

    Just have to cover your head and be respectful to others.

  • go store to store looking for heavily reduced items the 95% off ones….

    as the manager if they are thrown any out

    go out back in the dumpster take what is thrown out

    ask for a cash job even at $5 a hour people will take you up on it to do what ever, wash dishes , serve, ect..

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