While spending $20 to $30 over beer and wings, four Edmontonians decided to find out what it’s like to live off a food budget that’s $80 a month.

After coming up with the idea, Tracy Hyatt, Jeff Gonek and two others have taken on what they call “the working poor diet” this month to find out what Edmonton’s less fortunate can afford in groceries each day.

After doing some number crunching, Hyatt says the average person living off Alberta’s minimum wage can only afford about $80 a month on food.

And forget processed foods like Kraft dinners — a regular staple among college students. Hyatt says that’s too expensive. She says foods like flour, potatoes, carrots and rice have long shelf lives and can serve a lot of meals over time.

“I can’t afford to spend $5 on a bag of tortillas — you only get eight in there,” Hyatt said, adding that all members of the group are trying to follow Canada’s Food Guide.

“We spent $5 on a big bag of flour, and (making tortillas from that) it fed three of us. I probably used 25-cents of flour.

“This is all about thinking what you can do with how little you have,” Hyatt said, who tried to hold back tears after sharing her learning experiences with Metro.

The group is also raising money for the Edmonton Food Bank and has created a blog at theworkingpoordiet.blogspot.com.

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