1. Set a budget
My lunch budget is now RM5 for mixed rice and IF I have to eat in those commercialised "kopitiam", my budget is RM10. How you may ask?
Seriously, it is not as easy as it sounds because inflation has gone sky rocket with prices of food going up over every single little excuse i.e. petrol increase, sugar price increase, electricity bill increase, shortage, etc. (And it never goes down back despite the price drop of the said reasons!)
Rule no. 1: DO NOT order any drinks. Go back to your office and drink warm water (it's healthier) or make your hot drinks. Sounds pathetic but a drink cost RM0.50 (chinese tea) to RM2.50 (milk tea) or RM8 for "so-called juices".
Rule no.2: Take smaller portion and less variety.
I actually have to test it out. The aunty who calculates the price of the dishes + rice is not consistent. Sometimes when I reduce to a small portion of rice, she gives discount and sometimes she doesn't. I try to cut down to smaller portion or even take vegetables + tofu instead of any meat to reduce the cost.
On the plus side, I hope I won't gain weight? Lol But sometimes my tongue craves for variety and I tell myself, yes you may have a RM7.50 Sub-of-the-day Subway Sandwich. Lol
2. Avoid Warehouse Sales
Seriously, avoid it like a plague. Preferably avoid even looking at blogs like shoppingnsales or newspaper. Once tempted, once you go and just take a look, once it's a bargain, you're hooked. You'll swipe the credit card and come out feeling happy for getting such a bargain till the bill comes, you're screwed!
Image borrowed from this blog.
On a side note, I found out MPH warehouse sales was over the weekend and it was such a bargain. My friends bought 10 Lonely planet books (quite recent edition) at RM10 each!! Sniff.. it cost RM100 plus over sometimes... Arghhh.... control... sniff... bookss...
3. Avoid Budget Shops
Actually, it'll be obvious what is my weakness... books! So when I found BookXcess in Amcorp Mall, I usually spend RM100-RM200 on books.... arghhh
Hence, that is the next rule: to avoid places with permanent bargains for at least a year. Lol
And perhaps try to finish up reading the books I already have.
4. Stop buying small items
Another shopping trap is Daiso. Seriously, you can get all sorts of little knick-knacks from there for only RM5. Mind you, "only RM5/item". So take caution when you happily throw in little cutesy stuff into your basket and it'll amount to RM50 and above for 10 items. That happened to me when I say all the dogs clothing sold there - so far I've bought at least 5 for my mum's new poodle.
Same goes for candies and drinks from convenient stores like 7eleven. You might think 80 cents for a tube of Polo sweets is nothing much but if you buy it daily... you get the drift.
5. Eating out
This is something hard to execute. When I go out with my bf, sometimes we like to have a decent meal to treat ourselves. But do you know it cost RM50 for 2 main dishes and drinks just for the 2 of us? Gosh.. if we eat out every weekend... say average, 4 meals (lunch & dinner) for 4 weekends, it will cost us RM800? No point eating poorly cooked, tasteless/over added MSG food in cheap kopitiams because it'll spoil your mood too.
You can save by eating at home. Try cooking and you'll never know your other half actually has hidden culinary skills.
Look out for discounted groceries after 8.30pm in Jaya Jusco supermarket e.g. their fish or even discounted sushi. Then again, some even pay for almost expired food (usually imported food like chocolates, biscuits, etc) to save but I don't think I'll do that ... yet. Lol
In short, if you're really focused in something, you will do it. I wish I could apply this in losing weight and toning my body instead. Somehow, laziness easily creeps in to make me opt for the bed and more shut-eye. ;)
Wish me luck!