Being “poor but well-fed” is not just about being well-fed. Another major principle is figuring out how to eat well with the least amount of money, being resourceful and creative.
Although Fang Sisi’s desire to eat out has decreased, whenever she wants to eat something, like various snacks or milk tea, her first reaction is, “How can I make this myself?”
In earlier years, she was an expert in milk tea reviews. She used to think that a 4 yuan cup of lemonade from “Milk Snow Ice City” was cheap and delicious, and it held the highest position in her mind. Later, she realized that it was just lemon, sugar, and mineral water. By making it herself, it only cost 1 yuan. Now, even “Milk Snow Ice City” has been abandoned by her.
In the office, sometimes treating each other is a necessary social activity, which poses a challenge for the “poor but well-fed” group. In Fang Sisi’s company, colleagues often treat each other to milk tea or ice cream, but she thinks, “The money they spend treating others is equivalent to my weekly grocery budget,” and she can’t bear to do the same.
So, she bought the necessary tools and made shaved ice for her colleagues in the office. When considering all the expenses, she can treat the entire office to shaved ice for only 5 yuan.
In this way, she fulfills social obligations and saves money at the same time.
When it comes to dining with friends, she usually invites them to her home. Once, two friends came over, and she made stuffed eggplant, lemon shrimp, Orleans chicken wings, some chicken meat, and fruit drinks. The cost of the meal was over 70 yuan, but the three of them ate to their heart’s content and couldn’t finish it all.
The next day, Fang Sisi brought the leftovers to work to eat. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I can let my friends taste my cooking, and we can chat and have a good time while saving money.”
Therefore, she keeps learning more and more recipes. She has learned to make fruit jams, bayberry juice, pickles, and even Tom Yum soup.
In comparison to Fang Sisi, who rarely eats takeout, another young person, Dong Yue, pursues the best cost-effectiveness when ordering takeout.
Dong Yue works in finance and sets a daily limit of 20 yuan for her meals. Friday lunchtime is special for her. She treats herself to takeout as a reward for her thrifty cooking throughout the week, as if it were a ritual.
During this ritual, she checks various delivery apps to see if there are any coupons available, ensuring that the total cost stays below 20 yuan. Her most satisfying experience with takeout was when she ordered bullfrog, which originally cost over 30 yuan, but with a coupon, it was just a little over 10 yuan.