Firstly, I thought I would check in with my June eating out spend – a pre cursor to July’s challenge not to eat out at all. There’s a few ways to look at the stats – what I would have paid, should I have ‘split’ everything to my share/their share. In this case, based on a 30 day month, I spent 6.28% of my usual take home pay (I didn’t factor in the recent additional overtime etc). If I’d paid for every meal, I’d be up for 12.54% (which would include a dinner for family five!) – without that family dinner, it’d be 8.08%. Well under my earlier predictions – I remember blogging about my grocery spend in February, where I predicted I spent 12-16% on eating out – and I wasn’t wrong in the first two weeks.
The first week, I came at 12.54% (this was when I was away for a weekend).
The second was 12.14% – a very modest improvement.
Weeks 3 came in at 8.11% &
Week 4 was about 7.2% (because I did these on Sunday morning, then got coffees, and then some sushi. D’oh!)
Weeks 1 and 4 are truncated as my week’s are done running from Wed to Tue based on pay cycles. It just makes sense to me). This compares to the 4% I usually spend on groceries (a six month average, and a break down on what I buy is here).
What do I think of my spending? It’s up to 3 times my grocery spend. But in a real dollar terms, I see it and think ‘well that’s not *that* much’. In any case, it’ll be a healthy bump to my savings each week until the end of July.
Here’s a split by meal type:
As for July, I have been invited to a birthday dinner, and RSVP’d yes. I think it’s $95 a head. So that will happen, but otherwise, the take out coffees, dinners and lunches, all nixed. And being the morning of Day 1 – already challenges, as my meal preparation on Sunday night wasn’t completed. There may be some very bland rice cracker or Cruskits in my lunchtime future, as I couldn’t find any of the spreads, other than honey, which I’m trying to avoid til the end of July.
Now to talk about the days when eating out would have been luxury! My memories of boarding school food, but first some background
I spent 7 years in boarding school, when I was 10-13, and again from 14-17 (so I had a year off in between). My parents started by moving to Vanuatu, a small pacific island, and my dad’s employer paid for my schooling. When my parents returned to Brisbane, I was devastated to be a day girl So when they moved to Wollongong (a town 1 hr from Sydney), I was asked if I wanted to stay in Brisbane, or go to school in Wollongong or Sydney. Wollongong didn’t offer an Anglican all girls school, so it’s likely I would have had to go to a school in Sydney. A 2 hr daily commute is rough on a teenager, so it’s possible I may have been a boarder in Sydney. But sometimes the devil you know is better than anything! So I went back into boarding school in Brisbane, and was there til graduation!
Boarding school wasn’t a punishment, for me or almost all the other 180 girls. We loved the camaraderie, and the opportunities – you can play so many sports, and there’s no car pooling in most cases. That being said, some boarding school stereotypes are definitely true! The food was… not ideal! In the 7 years I was in the boarding house, they had a few moments of ‘tarting up’ the food – it was all laid out like it was a photo shoot. For Melbourne Cup (a horse race that stops the nation) they put out a spread with non alcoholic wine, even. It was stolen. It was a coup. Anyhow, these times of improved conditions seldom lasted.
What has pervaded are these memories:
– White bread + butter + sugar at the dinner table
– Orange halves + sugar (you think they’d learn to not put sugar on the tables, right?)
– The best dessert ever: caramel tarts. And running to afternoon tea the following day in the hope of leftovers
– Icecream bars, wrapped in papery/plastic on Fridays
– Blueberry muffins for breakfast
– Crumpets, English Muffins and raisin toast added to weekend breakfasts
– Bacon and eggs on chapel mornings (Thursday and Sunday)
– Beef stronganoff looking like dog food, namely PAL (remember I mentioned this in my food dislikes list?)
– Creamed rice always resulting in rumours of maggots (especially after numerous repeat servings!)
– Milo (chocolate malt milk powder) stuck to benchtops
– Never having access to a microwave
It’s always interesting to speak to other who went to boarding school. One friend has struggled with eggs ever since. What about you? What are your food memories – particularly institutionalised food!