A Romanian woman caused a wave of comments with a miracle menu. “It costs only 74 lei for a week”

Romanians are the poorest Europeans, and Eurostat statistics show that despite a GDP that grows from year to year, the population does not enjoy them. And as Romania is the country with the highest inflation, and the prices keep rising, people are desperately looking for solutions to deal with the situation.

A Romanian woman discovered the miracle menu. PHOTO: Shutterstock

Romanians are the most exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat.

Thus, one out of three Romanians faces financial problems. According to official figures, among the EU member states, the highest share of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion was recorded in 2022 in Romania (34.4%), Bulgaria (32.2%), Greece and Spain (both with 26%).

Dan Popovici, the general director of OTP Asset Management Romania, goes further and demonstrates that Romania has an average financial wealth per capita of 5,823 euros, while the European average is 65,209 euros. Thus, Romanians would be 11 times poorer than the European average. Thus, even the Bulgarian neighbors are better off than us (7,778 euros), while the Hungarians (12,058 euros) are practically twice as rich.

In desperation, Romanians are looking for solutions to cope with the increasingly high cost of living, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems far away. On social media, people discuss the solutions they find to save money and cope with rising prices and poverty. On Reddit, a young woman is among those who come up with ideas and explains how she managed to save money and eat in a week on only 74 lei.

Since someone mentioned here about food for 10 lei a day, I thought of doing this experiment and I have some ideas. I mention that I tried to diversify, but I would have exceeded 75 lei… This is a menu for survival at the most basic level, not something healthy, where we take into account all the macronutrients, and it is advisable not to do this experiment for more than a month or two, if you care about your health. But I know that there are also people who are going through an impasse in life, or want to save on blood, so I think this alternative is useful for a while,” she began her post.

Next, she also explained what solutions she found and what her menu was for a week.

“Shopping and menu of 74 lei for a week (10.6 lei/day): a bread 2 lei, 150g salami Victoria, 6 lei telemea, 15 lei a salad 3 lei, 2 lei mixed vegetables for soup 4.8×2 lei . A whole chicken 15 lei, a bag of Magic Borscht 3.31 lei, a bag of noodles 1.5 lei, a kg of beans 7 lei, cabanos sausage (in bulk) 7 lei – about two sausages, a bag of cheap pasta 2 lei , a kg of potatoes 3 lei. TOTAL: 74.4 lei”continued the young woman.

She went on to elaborate and explain how she shared the food and what the menus looked like. “Breakfast that you can eat every day: two slices of bread, a slice of salami, a slice of telemea, 2-3 salad leaves + coffee (let's imagine you have it at home. Or tea). Lunch for three days: Soup from leftovers/whole chicken, made with vegetable soup mix, magic borscht, noodles + bread. Lunch for four days: beans with sausage, onions + the other bag of vegetables for the soup (goes). Dinner for four days: two days schnitzel (from the chicken breast, we imagine you have some flour around the house or we go to the neighbors), two days legs. Next we can add some baked/fried potatoes (assuming you already have oil). And the remaining three days only pasta with cheese for dinner“, she wrote on Reddit.

Start for controversy

Her post caused a real debate among netizens. While some agreed with her, others contradicted her.

Now Ciolacu comes and tells us that a Romanian lives decently with 1,500 lei/month”, someone wrote to him. “He already said that a family lives decently with 3,000 lei, that is 1,000 lei per person. At 1,500 they are already boasting in luxury”, added another.

Another was skeptical: “That food will last you a week if you weigh – 50kg and have a low level of physical / mental activity.” Finally, there were voices that gave him right, but also skeptics. “Where do you find bread for two lei and how many slices to take out of that bread?

“I will die in seven days if I eat two slices of bread and a slice of salami for breakfast,” someone else wrote.

You would be amazed to see that there are quite a few who don't eat breakfast but only eat two meals a day. My mom has been using this style for a year or more and says she feels much better than before at 3. She eats at 2pm and 10pm and then nothing. Because it's good to let the body rest for so many hours, she studied some diets and lifestyles”, was another opinion. “Intermittent fasting is called In addition to losing weight, it also has other health benefits. It can still be adjusted (10:00 PM can be late if you have time to sleep before 00:00), but basically you eat in an 8-hour interval and in the other 16 hours you don't“, added another netizen.

Another brought up the camps and starvation in countries like North Korea. “Some have perfected this method in extermination camps and later in various social systems, see North Korea. You show great concern for the citizens when you count their mouthfuls, regardless of which party you belong to. Anyway, it's sickening and insensitive who campaigns like this but doesn't vote to receive the minimum wage for serving in parliament. Change the post, it's outdated since Mona Muscă's time.”

A vegan menu for little money

And because veganism is fashionable for some who believe that omnivorous eating is not good and that nature has programmed us wrong, another young woman proposed an equally spartan vegan menu.

“With normal portions, you can eat even healthier than with a shaky omnivorous diet. The version I propose is vegan, in the sense that it is easier to make stews, etc. Of course, with time you should introduce other foods, the menu is made as an experimentshe said.

And he continued: “Daily breakfast for a week, one kg of whole grains without sugar 11 lei, 2 soy milk or oats or wheat 11 lei. Lunch for a week: soy stew 200 g – soy 5 lei, tomato juice 500g – 3 lei. Carrot, onion, a pepper approx. 3, 4 lei (Don't start because soy is unhealthy because it has phytoestrogens, etc., the net is full of studies, there is no point in debating the subject here.) 11 lei yellow pea puree – Yellow peas 500 g 4 lei , Carrot, onion, a pepper approx. 3-4 lei. 9 lei – roasted bean stew – Beans 500 g 3 lei. Carrot, onion, pepper 3, 4 lei”is the first part of the message.

Next, he also came up with some ideas for dinner. “Dinner for a week: 3 tofu from 10 lei, Cucumber salad with vinegar and sunflower seeds about 8 lei, Baked tofu with paprika and whatever spices you have around the house 18 lei. Total ~ 70 lei. If you still have nuts at home, it would be ideal to introduce them daily. Country nuts etc. In the evening, you can also combine it with one of the three stews instead of tofu. If you had an extra 10 lei, you could also make a soup for a few days for about 10 lei. You can also combine other grains, legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, soy. If you don't like soy for various reasons, you can replace it with whole wheat pasta and tofu and garlic. Approximately 10 lei. In addition, the ratio of protein and fiber is decent”she also wrote.

Between yes and no

Others doubt that an adult who has a daily activity and consumes energy both physically, but also mentally and physically, can cope with the demands with so little.

I'm not saying that there aren't people who live like this, but: I have a demanding job, it requires mental activity, including stress. I go to the gym and for that I need a certain amount of macro nutrients. And we can both agree that it's not healthy to live like that. You have to get all your nutrients from food, and sometimes it's hard with three meals, I can't imagine with two. I also had a period of two meals when I was not physically active and I ate more in those two meals than if I had eaten 3. You let it rest for a few hours, but I'm sure if it needs to be 8. In any case, each with his own diet, I have nothing to say here. But what he presents is not sustainable”was an opinion.

I also have a job that demands me mentally+I go to the gym, and I almost never eat more than twice a day. Usually around 12:00-1:00 a decent lunch (protein + carbs + vegetables, like chicken with baked potatoes and a salad, a chilli con carne, a duck breast with mashed sweet potatoes, etc.), and then on in the evening, after the gym, another meal, something like a sandwich + something sweet. I get to somewhere around 2,000 calories a day on the days I count them,” it was another approach.

“This is not basic survival. Sausages, salami, borscht have no nutritional value, they are only for taste or to fool hunger. With that money you get a 500g minced meat casserole. Ditch the bread, pasta and salad and have potatoes or rice and onions instead,” someone else commented.