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What It's Like For People Living In Extreme Poverty

A redditor posed the question, "What do insanely poor people buy that other people know nothing about?" The answers they received were informative, inspiring, and heartrending.

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"When you are broke, you can't plan ahead or shop sales or buy in bulk."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"Poor people wait to buy something until they absolutely need it, so they have to pay whatever the going price is at that moment. If 10-packs of paper towels are on sale for half price, that's great, but you can only afford one roll anyway. In this way, poor people actually pay more than others for common staple goods." —Meepshesaid

"My mom would buy a small personal pizza for my brother on special occasions..."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

" if he did really well on a test at school or something. Even though it was only like $2, she couldn't afford anything for herself so she would eat his leftover crust. She told me he would always tell her, 'Mommy are you hungry? Go buy one just for you,' and she would just say, 'No I'm not hungry, I only want a little snack.'" —ShotgunMeLove

"I buy 'fish' antibiotics online because I can't afford health care."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"...Amoxicillin and such. Mostly for [my] husband who has Lyme's disease. We can't afford our monthly health care rates. We are thirtysomethings in the U.S. Really feel like a 'bottom feeder.'" —Colorcoma

"My dad would get a bag of Reeses miniature peanut butter cups ... he'd eat one a night and the bag would last the month."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"For his birthday, he wanted a cherry pie instead of a cake. Mom saved up for the pie filling. Yeah. She SAVED for what was probably a $2 can of pie filling... I was helping her, legitimately, I accidentally dropped one of the pies. Splat. We didn't have the money to make another one. Man, I learned that day that when the money's gone, the money's gone." –felesroo


"I remember being 10 years old and our weekly treat was to go to the Littlewoods cafe..."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"...they did a 99p five-piece breakfast. We shared that among my mum, brother, sister, and me. One of us got the extra item; we'd take turns. As an adult I have made sure my children will never know poverty because of excellent memories like that. Nothing motivates you more than memories of fighting over a solitary sausage." —techytecherson

"At home surgery."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"Used a pair of needle nose pliers, a razor blade, and some antiseptic super glue to remove a cyst on my forehead. The secret is to cut it in a "cat's eye" shape, quickly push the skin back after you pull the cyst out (don't let it pop), and get the glue on fast. Burns like 10 bitches on a bitch boat, but it bleeds a lot and you have to get it on quick to stop the bleeding." —NuclearWabbit

"I had a 12-year-old car in college and when it blew a tire, I went to the junk yard and found a decent set of tires."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"Bought all four for $70, which reduced my food budget to $16 for the next two weeks. Some lady in the grocery store saw me with a calculator trying to figure out how much Ramen I could buy with $16 and handed me a $20. It made me cry. (I'm glad I'm not poor anymore. But I'll always remember that lady.)" —IAlbatross

"I know this is not ethical, but when I was just starting out ... I would frequent local hotels that offered 'free continental breakfast' to their guests."

Will Varner / BuzzFeed

"I was NEVER questioned as to whether I was a guest in the hotel; although, I did get a few strange looks from time to time ... I would eat my fill of Belgian waffles and doughnuts, stash a few muffins in my pocket for lunch, and then I would just have Ramen for dinner ... It really sucked being poor during that period." —BenKatz88

See the complete post and many more touching and informative comments here.