The cost blow-out after breakfast is recovered. Hot dinners and ice-cream close out the day and all money is depleted.
Normally, 2 halves are equal to the whole, but at Subway, things are different. A 12 inch sub divided into two, is cheaper than two six inch subs. Why? I suppose it comes down to the labour involved in preparing two subs compared with preparing one sub and cutting it in half. So if you’re prepared to agree on fillings with one other person, you can spend very little on lunch. We drank only tap water which we brought with us and so was free. Our lunch spending is below $5 per person and we are back on track for achieving the $30 limit per person for the day’s food.
It’s amazing how restrained the kids are about buying lollies when it’s their own money. We visited IGA supermarket where I bought some Kit Kats and the kids picked out a couple of packs of fruit tingles paying for them from their $30 budget.
Southgate food court provides a great place to sit down by the river side and watch the world go by against the striking backdrop of Melbourne’s city skyline. For the price of a coffee, this is what I consider to be one of Melbourne’s great value pass-times. Elsewhere in the world, you would pay a pretty Euro for the privilege as exclusive cafes and restaurants dominate the best vantage points. It’s technically not OK to bring supermarket food into a food court but by buying a few coffees from Coffee Minded at the food court it justifies the use of the table.
For an inexpensive dinner in Melbourne I had one particular strip of restaurants in mind. Just short of the top end of Swantson St is where you’ll find a string of inexpensive Vietnamese, Japanese and almost any “nese” restaurant you care to mention. They exist to serve students, city workers, tourists, shoppers and locals which means they are always busy. Their constant high turn over of hungry diners means they can offer top value casual dining since fixed costs such as rent are spread across a greater number of customers. These few city blocks along Swanston St between Little Lonsdale St and Little Bourke St are the frugal place to eat.
We settled on the Vietnamese Grill Bar and we weren’t disappointed. Most main dishes are below $10 which leaves room in the budget for soft drinks and ice-cream deserts for the kids. Staff are friendly and responsive. Meals are delivered steaming hot. The Fried Koay Teow lands at the table from the kitchen still sizzling. I can’t fault my Beef and Mung Bean Noodle and the kids ate every bit of their noodle dishes. An average of $15.30 each was spent at dinner bringing the total to just under the $30 per person limit for food for the day.
Hooray we passed the challenge! We spent only $30 per person for a whole day of eating a variety of food in Melbourne. The boys each politely accepted the few meager coins remaining of the original $30 they had held in their hands not 12 hours ago. Hopefully their crazy cheapskate dad has not introduced a simmering childhood resentment which will cost me much, much more in therapy in years to come. I prefer to believe the day has ended with better understanding of the value of money and appreciation for good food.
You've just read Part 3. Have you also read:
Part 1 - The Kids Learn How to Budget While Having a Fun Day Out
Part 2 Breakfast - The Kids Learn How to Budget While Having a Fun Day Out