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How I lived a week for 700 rubles
How I lived a week for 700 rubles

The author of Lifehacker checked on herself whether it is possible to live a full life on 100 rubles a day.

How I lived a week for 700 rubles
How I lived a week for 700 rubles

Lately I've started to notice that I spend a lot of money. Whether this is due to high prices for everything or to the fact that I am a spender and cannot save, I don’t know. I think many of you are faced with this problem. Therefore, I decided to check whether an ordinary person can live for a week on the very minimum amount. This is how I started my challenge "Live seven days for 700 rubles." I'll make a reservation right away that I live in Ulyanovsk, an ordinary provincial town.

To begin with, I have identified the most frequent items of expenditure. It turned out to be food, transportation and entertainment.

I go to the grocery store every day and spend about 500 rubles. Every day. Potatoes, sausages, sausages, bread have not been in my diet for a long time. I try to eat right, so there are always fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs in the fridge - all this is quite expensive, especially out of season. I am also very picky about food. For example, I won't eat ordinary pasta for 30 rubles, I'll take it for 100, with a label in Italian. Well, often I don't have enough time to prepare lunch in advance, and I run to the store next to the office for a snack. Extra spending turns out. As a result, I spend about 3 thousand rubles a week only on groceries.

I get to and from work every day by public transport. This is mainly a minibus. The fare is 20 rubles. If I go to a meeting, cinema or cafe and stay up late, I take a taxi home. On average, about 500 rubles are spent on transport per week.

Entertainment in our city is tight. My typical vacation: going to the cinema or theater, cafes with friends, pub quiz every two weeks. For a week, entertainment takes 1.5 thousand, if you round up.

As a result, it turns out that I spend 5 thousand rubles per week. I am writing this and am in shock. I spent 5 thousand a week, and lived on 700 rubles.

How I saved on food

I grew up in a family where food is one of the most important pleasures in life, and I am not used to saving on food. But for the sake of the challenge, I had to find ways to cut costs. Here's what I did.

1. Determined the budget for the day

I had to spend 60 rubles a day for food (another 40 for travel). It was difficult, I had to give up my usual products. One pack of cottage cheese, which I eat almost daily, costs 75 rubles, so I had to refuse such products.


  • I ate more seasonal vegetables and fruits.
  • The food in my refrigerator did not linger.
  • I learned how to cook dishes from what we have.


  • Without a clear list, I only bought what was included in the daily budget.
  • I ate a lot of empty carbohydrates: sweet, starchy foods. Because these products are cheap.
  • Didn't save. If I had money left, I spent it on the same empty carbs.

2. Made a list of the necessary products

Realizing that daily trips to the store do not help to save money at all, I decided to make a list of necessary products and buy everything in one day.


  • A clear list keeps you from spending too much.
  • Saving time. Spent an hour in one day and didn't go shopping for the rest of the week.
  • The availability of a variety of products inspires culinary experimentation.


I spent my entire budget on food at once, leaving nothing in reserve

3. I went to the market

I decided to check how different store prices are from those of private manufacturers.


  • Some vegetables and fruits are cheaper than in stores.
  • Natural products.
  • You can choose any quantity, but in the store you won't go to the cashier with one tomato.


  • Talkative grannies who can easily blow anything you want.
  • It is not very convenient to get to the market.

4. Used the application with discounts

In addition to applications with discounts, you can use coupons and promotions for products you are interested in. Many stores have personal loyalty cards, bonus cards, with which you can save a lot.


  • You can see great deals.
  • You can compare prices in different stores.


The only one, but bold - not all discounts are indicated in the applications. From personal experience, I was convinced that in stores more goods can be found cheaper

5. I went to visit

You can chat and eat.


  • Delicious food for free.
  • Chat with friends.


  • You need to ask for a visit.
  • You cannot take food with you.

How I saved on transport

From home to work, I take a minibus about 40 minutes. One way fare is 20 rubles, after 8 pm - 24 rubles.

1. I went by tram


Saving. The cost of one trip is 18 rubles, when paying by card - 17 rubles


  • Lack of comfort. The old trams are uncomfortable and cold.
  • The trip takes longer than the minibus.

2. Walked


  • Wasted a lot of calories.
  • I saw many new beautiful places.
  • I pumped up willpower.


  • I was very tired and dropped out of life for two days, because I had no strength.
  • Wasted a lot of time.

3. Asked colleagues for a ride


  • You can get there quickly, comfortably, in a pleasant company.
  • Is free.


  • Ask colleagues who could give you a ride.
  • Adapt to a colleague and start work from home.

How I saved on entertainment

I'm not a particularly party person, I spend most of my time at work or at home. I only have fun on weekends. But if you want to spend time interestingly, in our city and with paid cool events it is tight, to say nothing of free ones. Therefore, I was faced with a very difficult task.

1. Attended free events


I discovered quite interesting places for myself, such as museums, which I would never have gone to otherwise


Free events in the provinces are often primitive boring amateur activities

2. Walked


  • Burned calories.
  • I saw many new and beautiful places.
  • I listened to a lot of audiobooks.

Cons: not found


For seven days I spent 683 rubles.

Overall, I am pleased with the results of my test. I clearly tracked my budget, gave up the habit of buying the first thing that caught my eye, realized that you can have a good rest without spending a single ruble.

Of course, I do not urge everyone to live on 700 rubles or even 1,000 rubles. Everyone has different needs and opportunities. But I advise you to try this experiment. Not in order to feel how awful it is, but to understand that you can easily live without the usual expenses and at the same time save good money.