news

Meet the Brisbane woman who spent $0 on food for a whole week.

As food prices go up and up and the cost of an avocado becomes a national outrage, there are a few unsung heroes who take on the 2016 cost of living and emerge victorious.

One victor is Brisbane woman Lucy Sweeney who has eaten a week’s worth of food and paid zero dollars for it.

The food was not donated, saved from previous weeks or found – rather, Sweeney cunningly took advantage of ‘free meal’ birthday offers by local businesses.

Sweeney explains the mechanics behind the magic in the Facebook event she created to track her meals to share with those around her.

“Most of my Free Food Week venues offer their food through a rewards card that you can sign up for in-store or on their website,” she said.

“It’s taken me a decent amount of time to suss all of this out, but it never hurts to ask at your local place of eating if they have a loyalty card and what’s included – it could totally be a free meal!”

Day 6, Meal 3: lamb shanks and potato. Source: Facebook.

Sweeney has eaten out at several popular franchises and local restaurants in the Brisbane area such as: Nandos, Boost, Groove Train, Baskin Robbins and Salsas.

Sweeney documented the majority of her meals in the Facebook event, proving that savvy eating tactics can yield tasty results.

Sweeney embarked on the same campaign last year but admitted she took advantage of lunches and dinners provided by her work.

"Last year I had breakfasts and lunches covered at work, but 2016 means I'm going hard or going home," she said.

"I'm proving it is totally possible - with some careful planning - to eat amazing food, for an entire week - for free!"

Day 2, Meal 3: bourbon pork ribs and chips. Source: Facebook.

Sweeney said the only drawback to following her methods was that it required a great deal of sign-ups and bookings in advance.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Some make you book in advance and inform them of the birthday deal. Some only offer the deal on your actual date of birth - whereas others offer it anytime in the whole month of your birth," she said.

"There are a bunch of conditions here, but once waded through like a pig stuck in mud, you'll be one happy (and hopefully full) pig!"

There are many popular campaigns that encourage individuals to drastically alter their spending habits in order to understand their everyday privilege.

The 'Live Below The Line' campaign asks participants to spend only $2 on food a day for five days.

Sweeney's methods may require a bit of forward-planning but they represent one woman's victory over the cost of living, modern marketing and good ol' fashion thrift.

Hungry for more? Watch Those Two Girls take on the bake sale.