Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Buying lunches and dining out

I bring my own lunch on most days.

I'd like to say it's because I'm financially smart but that's not entirely true. Doh... I bring my own lunch to work most days simply because despite weighing only 46kg, I had high cholesterol about 2-3 years ago!

What the....?!!!! After having analysed my diet, I realised the real culprit was my sweet tooth and tendency to eat out. Desserts are high not only in sugar, but saturated fat and trans fat - and the end result -cholesterol. Same with eating out frequently. I was buying my lunch almost every day. My lunch had consisted of gloriously rich, fatty food and on the odd occasion, salad sandwiches. We also ate out frequently instead of eating nutriciously cooked home dinners.

Ever since I found out I had high cholesterol, I cut back on buying lunch, eating out and buying snacks to munch on. Also, had to sadly cut back on luxury, gourmet chocolates. Simply because they were high in saturated fat.

The silver lining? Not only did my cholesterol drop back into the normal range, I realised that I was saving so much more when I didn't buy my lunch everyday and didn't dine out for dinner as frequently as I use to.

Now that there's a Japanese restaurant that opened up nearby, I could buy healthier food and I can see that I'm trending towards buying my food frequently again. Today, lunch cost $17. It was scrumptious and totally worth it, but not as healthy as a simple sandwich.

When I was bringing my own lunch, it saved about $160-$250 monthly. Life is about enjoying oneself in moderation. So since my cholesterol is back to normal, I find myself treating myself out more moderation of course :)

At our age, having worked for a few years now, we've all had an income for several years now and because of that, I have noticed that we have had lifestyle inflation. Our dinners in uni used to consist of yummy, decent priced restaurants which averaged out to $20-$35/person. Nowadays, our average dinners range from $30-$200/person. Most commonly we end up paying about $50/person.

Definitely the eateries are more upmarket and trendy. On reflection, buying lunch can cost between $7-$30/day whereas the cost of making lunch is $1 to $2.50/day. If I was really smart, I'd bring my lunch everyday but ....I have a weakness for Japanese food. Their food is so beautifully presented, is healthy and taste great.

Have you or anyone you known experienced lifestyle inflation?

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