Hi anonymous, I can't say that I was ever poor, because I was fortunate enough that my family did pretty okay. Even when my dad's business folded, and my mom got retrenched in her prime... I was lucky that I managed to score bursaries and scholarships to fund my own education, and eventually put myself through university. So growing up, I never experienced poverty like a lot of less fortunate Singaporeans might have had. And I'm grateful for that. However, I did live in Thailand for a while as a research assistant , back when I was still in poly. And I did it on my own dime. FYI: when I entered on a scholarship, I wasn't taking a single cent from my parents, and worked during the school holidays for pocket money. Granted, the programme and my school paid for my accommodations in a hostel as well as for my air tickets. And the research institute did give me a living allowance. But I certainly wasn't living like a king there and I wanted to make sure that whatever money I had lasted for as long as possible. Even though things in Thailand were cheaper than in Singapore, the living allowance (about THB6,000 or ~S$264) wasn't that much either. For context, if you ate at the university canteen or on the street, you'll spend about THB100 to 150 per day — this was back in 2007 - 2008. And since accommodations are taken care of, technically can survive lah... I did miss home-cooked food though (my grandma's cooking to be specific). But I can't fly her out there. So with my limited funds, I would always make sure that I have a bottle of this: ! Source: Sinhua Hock Kee Trading (S) Pte Ltd Yep. That's a bottle of Triple A Pickled Lettuce . Or if you live in a typical Chinese household, like me, then you would probably know this as cai xin. A bottle costs about S$1.50 to S$1.65 and you can easily find it in your local supermarket (or I'm guessing... any Asian supermarket worldwide). And that's something which my grandma would pair with rice porridge for a very simple lunch. ! Source: cookpad.com So that's what I did too for a cheap meal or when I missed home (and my grandma). Plain rice porridge (or jok) was super easy to find in Thailand, and was really cheap (about THB30 or S$1.32). If I'd like a little protein in my jok, I would get some pork meatballs or an egg cracked in it. And it'd only cost THB40 or S$1.77. So... what's my favourite poverty meal that I'll eat regardless of my financial status? Rice porridge with a side of cai xin ! Because it reminds me of my times as a research assistant in a sleepy university town north of Bangkok... and of my grandma.