Cheap Eats

Recently I went on a couples trip with a group of close to mature mates and it was such a relief to learn we have all reached the point in our lives where we value Cheap Eats. No one was interested in spending our no longer disposable incomes on eating out or utilising the most used app for millenials who fall into the cashed up working professionals demographic – Uber Eats. Instead we all enthusiastically marched in to Aldi. We screamed across the aisles, the weekly specials and almost emailed France when we learnt cheese, not sourced from the South melbourne market, is more affordable than avocados.

Also, have you noticed there is the option to order Uber Eats while you’re in an Uber? This essentially allows you to be lazy on 2 occasions. Firstly your preferred mode of transport and secondly your preferred mode of food delivery. I can’t help but think that Uber are taking advantage of us millennials who fall into the cashed up working professionals demographic.

Now, as my friends and I stretch out into the realisation that a mortgage is still unachievable and perhaps I’ve missed the fertility boat and freezing my eggs is not an option, as they are too old to be frozen. Or that justifying whacking more items in my online shopping basket to get ‘FREE SHIPPING’ is the answer to financial security? It’s time I drastically change my lifestyle and spending habits before I end up living 80 kms from the CBD and becoming an Uber driver on the weekends!

Embracing this new hippie lifestyle has encouraged the boyfriend and I to take up a weekly ‘Cheap Eats’ competition. The aim is to make the cheapest dinner for the week, by carefully selecting ingredients from the supermarket or utilising what is already in the fridge.There are no rules about nutrition, how edible the meal is or how you source the produce. Scanning through avocados as tomatoes is not frowned upon and if you find a mouldy item in the back of the pantry claim that it’s penicillin and carry on! If you are the person to beat the record not only do you win the week but are awarded an all expenses paid trip to the 7/11 (*transfers not included).
The boyfriend is currently holding the Cheap Eats Champ title $9.60.

Cooked chook, Coles wholegrain wraps and almost off, on special, coleslaw

Cheap Eats Champ 

Close 2nd with the great Australian classic $10.50

Spag Bol – hope to Christ you have parmesan cheese in the fridge or you’re up for another $3.29

As if my Spag Bol looks like this!

I got lucky with this one everything was on special $11.69

Mexican burger beef patties, charcoal brioche buns (absolutely on special $0.70 for 2) and Avo, tomato and any other ethnic related condiments on hand

Pretend bacon is an ethnic condiment 

Desperately close to payday treat $12.00

Chicken chipees and a bottle of semi-fancy French bubbles from Aldi

Eating the entire box of Chicken Chipees is what childhood dreams are made of 

On the go unofficial winner for x1 $4.00

Maccas 3 for $3 small cheeseburger meal and add another sneaky cheese for $1

Ultimate Happy Meal 

After a month of this new hippie lifestyle and healthy relationship competitiveness I’m still smashing toasted cheese sangas and agreeing only to social activities that require me to recycle an outfit or pretend I enjoy FREE community events.

How do other people reach financial adulting success? High wages, savings, investments, budgets..? And what does the future hold for me… meal prep? 

because: budget

I read a bloody good Mamamia article (You can follow the link here) this week written by a Sydney-based married millennial. Basically she documented her social, active, city living life by tallying up her total weekly spend. This did not include expenses just her ‘on the daily’ needs… and sometimes impulsive wants. I was gob smacked that her total weekly spend came to $1000 (remembering this is less expenses) until I realised I’m probably just as frivolous with my money. I decided to back track through my week and tally up my total weekly spend. Here’s what I got:
Monthly expenses:
Rent $800
Netflix $8.99
Myki $80
Phone $105
Health Insurance $72
Interweb $25
Adult braces $320
Total monthly expenses $1410.99

Get a coffee on the way to work and accidentally also order toastie $11
Pay for a hen’s day $40
Go into the city during my lunch break. Need to get back to work ASAP can’t wait for Uber, get a taxi instead $12
Grab a sandwich for lunch $8.90 (Literally just a turkey and dust sandwich – nothing else)
Go for drinks after work with my mate Bridget $12 (Thank god it’s still happy hour!)

Coffee $4 (Go to the good place as you’re a Melbourne coffee snob)
Get sushi for lunch then are disappointed when it comes to $17.00 (I should have just got a $10 souvlaki!)
Bottle of wine after work to drink while watching the footy, even though it’s pre season, with the boyfriend and his mates $12 (Don’t care if it’s full of sulphites, it’s on sale!)
Ice creams from the 7/11 on the way home from watching pre season footy $8

I’m determined to pack my lunch all next week. I need ingredients for avo on toast, tuna salad and almond meal zucchini fritters. Like an idiot I get everything from the organic section of the supermarket $41
On the way home from the supermarket realise I locked my keys in the flat. Housemate is overseas so have to call a locksmith. Pay $120 for the privilege of getting into my own flat.
Pay for another hen’s $100
Spend the night (like actually the whole night 7pm – 6am) at White Night, go for a walk at 3.30am to stay awake, get sliders from food truck (also shout my sister but eat her share of the chips) $16

Go to Maccas on way home from White Night. Devo when I discover they are only serving breakfast (I just wanted nuggets!). Get an Aussie breaky burger instead… and 2 hash browns $11
Sleep all day and don’t leave the house until 4.30pm spend $0 doing so (YES!)
Go to boyfriend’s for dinner, get the organic wine $18

Go to yoga but forget to bring a towel, mat, or water. Pay for class and hire of items $28
Need a coffee because I woke up at 5.30am to go to yoga $4.50 (get soy because I’m still pretending to be a flexitarian)
NEED new white t-shirt as I spilt olive oil on the one I just bought so have a quick look at ASOS… $46 later
Teach dancing in Yarraville after work and get an Uber home $23

Transfer money out of everyday account into my savings so I don’t spend my rent money – forget health insurance and Interweb is coming out. Get an overdrawn account fee $15 (… it used to be $9!)
Coffee $4.50 – Consider giving up coffee but I hardly eat meat I’m not giving up coffee as well!
Teaching in Yarraville again tonight another Uber $21

Coffee $4.50 (realise that soy is now $5.00 so just get a skinny flat white)
Go for a walk at lunch, fight the urge to get a Diet Coke… Get one anyway – it’s only $2.50
Read Mamamia article about Sydney woman who documents where her money goes over one week and realise this is a great idea. I then go to supermarket to buy coriander and tomatoes and end up spending $48
Buy a bottle of wine as well but finally sign up to Dan Murphy’s club card $12
Total Weekly Spend $619.90

I’m no accountant but it seems my lifestyle doesn’t match my income. Kind of like how my education doesn’t match my ambition or my crockery doesn’t match my apartment. I’ve heard about these people that track their spending and adhere to something called a budget..? And after actually seeing how much I spend weekly, on nothing, I’m likely to be implementing one. Maybe next week though…

I’m of the firm belief that money doesn’t buy happiness and having smashed avo on toast, e’ry day, is the ultimate meme, I mean dream.


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