THE Salvation Army's 2015 Economic and Social Impact Survey reveals three-quarters of battlers have gone without essential items - and those on the Fraser Coast are not immune.
Chronicle readers took to Facebook to share their tips on looking after themselves and their families on a lower income.
Joy Oliver said her family stuck to a frugal budget and did not venture out to activities.
Sandra Ellice Brown said, "I have (my bills) direct debited fortnightly... not to mention the water rates and all that goes out before food."
Anne Hare thought carefully "before we make major purchases."
"We had our fridge repaired instead of buying a new one," she said.
Gus Warde said he kept to a tight budget, thought before he spent and didn't splurge.
Luke Solly said he grew his own vegetables and "limited our children's quality of life experiences and holidays".
Emily Covet Russell said she lived on one meal a day to afford baby for Mula.
Shola M Saffy said: "It is very, very hard to save... you get by with what you got and most of the time you don't eat to make sure the kids eat."
Some readers, amid rising utilities and accommodation costs, said they skipped meals to save.