VAT isn't applied to kids' stuff such as clothes and shoes, nor proper food. Therefore the bottom decile MIGHT BE spunking it. Possibly on McDonalds.
We were poor. Potless. We never asked for handouts. We're not poor now, thanks to education and determination.
So by way of a contribution which will no doubt be taken as patronising, here is something my mum used to make for us when we were sprogs, and it's bloody brilliant. And cheap.
Mum called it pea and ham soup. There are no peas in it, and no ham either. Great. I, my brother and both sisters still make this, a lot. Trust me, it's the dog's bollocks. Or, at least, the pigs feet.
Ham Hock. Ham hock is knuckle, the bit between the pork and the trotter. Trotter is OK too but tends to have been tramping around in pigshit for most of its life, so use hock. You can buy it from posh shops such as Waitrose, so I bet TESCO (spits) sell it. And butchers used to give it away - bet they don't now.
The same weight as the ham hock in each of: carrots (the rubbishest carrots you can get), onions (any old rubbish onions), and lentils (red ones). The lentils is the dearest bit. Assuming you had a one pound hock, you've now got four poiunds of the best bloody dinner you can buy. Plus spuds.
Boil this ham hock, which looks like a piece of football. Boil it for an hour or so, reasonably vigorously. Add water if it dries up. Keep the water, and remove the sorry-looking thing from the pan. Put it onto a chopping board, and attack it with a sharp knife; it will fall to bits and you will be left with pinkish meat, bone, and leather. Cut up the pinkish meat (including the fat) into chunks. Chop up the onions, carrots (don't bother peeling anything) into chunks too, shove it all in a casserole dish (or slow cooker if you're lucky enough to have one), sprinkle all the lentils over the top, slug in some of the evil juice from the hock-boiling, and make up with water. If you can handle it, do it all with juice, but it comes out strong. I mean strong.
Add the bone (there will probably only be one), and the leather, in a lump. Add salt to taste. If you use Lo-Salt you can haul it in, unless you've got kidney problems in which case you shouldn't really be eating this at all. Add pepper if you like it, black freshly ground is what I prefer. And, to be honest, anything else you like in the way of herbs and spices, especially if you grow them in the garden/pots/bathroom.
Turn the oven onto about 120C. Shove it in. Or put the slow-cooker on low. Leave for anything between 5 hours and four days.
When ready, pull it out, remove the bone and leather (which the dog will chew and eat), stir it, and serve on a blanket of mash.
Simples! Makes your kids big and strong. You can keep it for ages without the fridge, as long as you make sure it's boiled again every day. None of us have died.
 Mash - take some potatoes, peel them ... I don't REALLY have to do this, do I?