Most families cutting down on food items and avoiding food wastage

With rising prices and recession in the news, the debate around basic food and nutrition keeps coming back. A look at what families from different income groups are eating for dinner.

Devi family, Patna
Annual Income: Rs. 36,000

Family head: Munakiya Devi, 54, heads a family of rag-pickers residing on a footpath in Patna

Members: Nine - four adults and five children

Food on the plate: Plain coarse rice and potato curry.

Quantity: 1.5kg rice, 1kg potatoes, 50g of mustard oil for the meal. On some days even that is not available

Food bought from: Local grocery stores, some times on credit during the monsoons

Who cooks the food: Munakiya Devi

Cost of the meal: Rs. 50 - 60 approx

Dealing with leftovers: They just cook once a day. Some food is deliberately saved for kids

Cut downs (if any): "There are so many mouths to feed. We manage with rice, salt and chilly sometimes," says Devi.

- Dev Raj

Goyal family, Delhi
Annual income - Rs. 1 crore plus

Family head:  Navneet Goyal, 35, auto part manufacturer

Members: Four - Wife (runs design stores) and two children

Food on the plate: Starters (Quinoa munch, sprouts), Main course (Popeye's rolls, Spanish rice), desserts and juices

Quantity: Quinoa, sprouts, rice (250g each); cheese (300g); vegetables (1kg mix)

Food bought from: Supplies come from Le Marche or Godrej Nature's basket. "They have newest offerings and are stocked in organic supplies too," says Sagrika Goyal.

Who cooks the food: Cooks and helpers 

Cost of the meal: Rs. 2000 approx.

Dealing with leftovers: No leftovers as they have several workers in the house

Cut downs (if any): "God has been kind, so cutting down hasn't crossed my mind yet ," says Goyal.

- Zofeen Maqsood

Shivaprakash family, Bangalore
Annual Income - Rs. 1.2 lakh

Family head:  Shivaprakash P, technician

Members: Four - Wife and two children

Food on the plate: Rice, vegetable sambar, raagi ball and salad

Quantity: 500g rice, 300g raagi balls, 250ml curd, onion, 100g tomatoes and 50g onion

Food bought from: Street vendors

Who prepares the food: Wife 

Cost of the meal: Rs. 80 - 120 for a meal that includes rice, raagi powder, tomato, onion, curd and oil

Dealing with leftovers: Leftovers, if any, are used in the morning meal

Cut downs (if any): They eat ragi balls instead of rice to cut down the cost. They love to eat chicken, but now they can only afford it twice a month

- Naveen Ammembala

Maurya family, Mumbai
Annual Income - Rs. 20 lakh plus

Family head:  Arvindkumar Maurya, 30, merchant navy

Members: Joint family of six members

Food on the plate: Roti, dal, rice, vegetable and salad

Quantity: 200g dal, 400g rice, 500g flour, 1 kg potatoes

Food bought from: Local grocery stores

Who cooks the food: Wife, with help from mother-in-law

Cost of the meal: Rs 85 - 120 approx for a simple meal

Dealing with leftovers: They cook as much as required

Cut downs (if any): They have cut down on pav bhaji. "It uses many vegetables and a lot of onion. So, we now make it once a month," says Sangeeta Maurya.

- Nisha Shroff

Chellappan family, Chennai
Annual Income - Rs. 2.75 lakh

Family head:  Chellappan, 53, driver

Members: Four - Wife and two sons

Food on the plate: rice, curry (some times fish curry), sambhar and rasam

Quantity: 1kg rice & curry; 1l sambhar & rasam

Food bought from: Local grocery store, vegetable vendors and fish market

Who cooks the food: Wife

Cost of the meal: Rs. 150 - 175 approx

Dealing with leftovers: Used in the morning

Cut downs: Avoiding eating out and watching films in theatres

- KV Lakshmana

Mishra family, Lucknow
Annual Income - Rs. 4.2 lakh

Family head:  Shivendu Mishra, 45, teacher

Members: Four - Wife and two children

Food on the plate: Dal, rice, Bhindi (okra) vegetable, salad and raita

Quantity: 250g rice, 200g dal, 200g flour, 100g curd, 250g vegetables

Food bought from: Big Bazaar; street vendors

Who cooks the food: Maid (paid Rs. 1500) 

Cost of the meal:  Rs. 75 to 150 approx

Dealing with leftovers: Used in next meal

Cut downs: Reduced fruits, sweets and onions intake now

- Gulam Jeelani


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