Existing on the bare minimum
necessary for survival. For example, most college students
are aware of having to consume massive quantities of Ramen Noodles
to survive. I never went to college but I grew up in a college town and I was poor, so I had a lot in common with the students.
I used to buy Ramen by the case. Two packs for lunch, two packs for dinner, and I was living high on the hog (flavored noodles) for about 80 cents a day.
I never garnered much support for my other poor-mans delight, rice and Ranch dressing, but it's really pretty good. You gotta try it.
Then there was the local bar that offered a hot dog and a Black Label for $1.25, so when I was feeling a little heavier in the wallet I'd have a few of those.