A struggle to save

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People can still have a healthy balanced diet while spending just £12 a week, according to a leading academic.

Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition at Kings College London, thinks filling up on starchy fruits, as well as cheap fruit and vegetables, is key.

Meanwhile, millionaire actor Ben Affleck, along with thousands of others, are joining the challenge to live on $1.50 (98p) a day for five days.

The Live Below the Line challenge is an attempt to highlight poverty across the globe.

Organisers said: “We recommend doing research and creating a shopping list, sticking to generic staples such as pasta, lentils, rice, bread, vegetables, potatoes and oats.”

However, these shoppers in The Avenue in Newton Mearns think cutting back would prove a tough challenge.

Mike Francie, a 60-year-old retail worker from Newton Mearns, believes £12 a week is not realistic.

He told The Extra: “It’s just not plausible, £12 would barely buy you bread and milk etc. Even with planning it would be nearly impossible, especially when you are busy.

“There would be no room in your budget for meat and vegetables.”

Irene Bailey (48) has two kids, a 15-year-old and a 10-year-old, who eat, according to her, “far too much”.

The project manager from Newton Mearns said: “They probably eat £12 worth of food at least each day.

“I spend far too much — probably about £200 per week on food — but it’s difficult these days. Even the necessities are very expensive”. Sean Morris, 49-year-old martial arts instructor, says he “leaves the shopping to his wife”.

The Eaglesham man added: “I don’t really know how much we spend — that’s all her territory, but I would imagine it is a lot more than £12 per week. Children are very expensive — they eat a lot.”

Victoria Anderson (67), from Newton Mearns, says she spends at least “five times more” than the suggested £12.

She added: “I am at the shops every day. I don’t spend much on myself but the real expense is buying treats for my grandchildren — I like to spoil them.”