The Billfold (a money-saving website) examines Lovecraft’s frugal eating habits

“I never spend more than $3.00 per week on food, and often not even nearly that” — November 1932.

That’s $46 (USA) or about £25 (UK) a week on food, in 2010 prices. Later, as his poverty increased, he appears to have been down toward $2 a week…

“I do most of my own laundry, cut my own hair with a patent device that hitches on to a Gillette razor, never spend over two dollars or two-fifty per week on food, and wear my clothes for ever.” — Selected Letters V, 1934-1937.

When working out what he would be spending on food in today’s money, we also have to take into account that food has become very much cheaper for us, since the 1920s. So while £25 a week might sound liveable, if very frugal, to us, remember that we now have the advantages of food made cheap by modern efficient techniques in breeding, production, transportation, and storage.