The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it's more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don't buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles.I am going through some tough times as well. I have never liked to denigrate struggling people. Even if you don't believe in the idea of karma, it can bite you in the ass. That's my personal rule. With that said, you can still eat a healthy diet on a tiny budget, even today. There are yolk-free noodles with no fat and fewer calories, and there is nothing inherently wrong with potatoes. In fact, potatoes are very healthy things to eat. Chicken is still cheap. I can buy a whole chicken for about 4 bucks.
It's when the food is processed and pre-prepared. That's when it gets more expensive. I suspect that "they eat a lot of starches like potatoes" really means that they like to eat a lot of potato chips and McDonald's french fries.