Post GST Dinners

These were my dinners since the last grocery run…

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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Sunday: Lamb slices, mushroom slices, bok choy, garlic and egg stir fry over some elbows.

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Monday: 炒伊面 Fried Yee Mee (Egg Noodles) with lamb slices, bok choy, mushroom slices, tomato and garlic

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Tuesday: 豆签 Dao Chim (Soy Bean Noodles) Soup with chicken slices, mushroom slices, romaine lettuce, tomato and egg.

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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Wednesday: Elbows, bok choy and chicken slices over prepacked Japanese vegetable curry.

Thursday (today, as I am writing this): A mug of BG22 oats with milk, an apple and an orange. Not worthy of a picture. I think the only meal that my mom would approve of is this meal without picture.


 

They all look lovely, don’t they? It would appear to most that I don’t seem too affected with GST. Except that if you know me, you would probably know that if things are that straightforward, I wouldn’t be blogging about it, would I?

You see, I lead a quite regimented lifestyle. I love to plan ahead for almost everything in my life, and that includes my meal budget. Over the past few years, I have been setting a budget of RM 500 per month for my dinners. This includes the cost of grocery for when I cook on most days, and the occasional eating out. I tend to budget higher for weekends and for eating out. To not bore you with details, let’s just say that I try to keep my home cooked dinners at a cost of between RM 10 – RM 12 per meal.

Now let’s closely scrutinize my meals. First thing I want you to notice is that there’s elbows, egg noodles, soy bean noodles, elbows again. All carbs. These are things that I usually have once or twice a week, not every day. But I had no choice but to use them if I want to keep the cost of my dinners same as pre GST times.

The lamb slices on my Sunday and Monday meals? It was a box of 6 slices of lamb. On pre GST times, I would use the whole box for one meal. In other words, the ingredients for Sunday and Monday meals would only be Sunday meal, without the noodles. But post GST, that box of lamb slices went from RM 7-ish to RM 11-ish. Plus the egg and vegetables and mushrooms and I would blow my budget by probably 50%. To not blow my budget by 50%, I had to split the ingredients in half and throw some noodles in to ensure that I do not starve.

Then you look at my Japanese curry meal. It looked alright, except that I only used half a piece of chicken breast. The other half went to the bowl of soy bean noodles soup the previous day. On better days, I would be using one whole piece of chicken breast. And I would add the mushrooms. And I would probably go overboard by adding a slice or two of bacon strips. There would also be only one third the amount of elbows used.

What I really want to say is, if you look at my post GST meals, they probably look much the same as pre GST and still pretty decent. And that is how (I think) the government wants us to look at things: look on the high level, everything seems okay, nothing’s changed, the rakyat (people) is still enjoying life as it is.

But if you cut through the bullshit and look into the details, then things are really NOT the same. And we are not talking about 6%, the real, final effect is way more than that. I think this round is much worse compared to the usual price hikes that come with petrol price increase.

I have two options next month. I would either have to start looking hard for cheaper alternatives, or I would have to start budgeting RM 800 for dinners. I really don’t fancy the first option, because the cheaper options are less yummy and if I buy those then I would constantly be angry thinking of how the PM always tell that big fat joke that we are going to be a high income nation by 2019. So I would probably go for the second option.

But there are some people who might not have the second option. For some families, RM 500 could be their monthly meal budget for the entire family. I worry for these families. I think for those of us that can afford it, we should really be on the lookout for ways that we can help our fellow countrymen that needs help.

 

18 Comments

    • And nothing much we can do except suck it up. Or migrate. But places like Aus and US has higher GST rate. And they also have tipping. So it is probably better if we stay put.

  1. When I started reading, I was wondering why your meals had so much carbs…and then I got to the end. So, RG, you can blame the GST…and the f**king government for causing you to gain weight ;D

    I’m totally with you on this, I’m so mad this time round that words I don’t normally use (it’s not proper for a lady, you know) have come out of my mouth!! 😀 😀

  2. yes, it certainly is not as simple as only 6% at all.. studies had not been properly done, voices had not been heard but millions had been spent on vague implementation and the “diamond ring, private jet and handbag fund” handsomely grow bigger..

  3. Wowwwww!!! You do have great dinners, variety is the spice of life! I’m not complaining about GST…or how the business people have jacked up the prices even for those GST-free items. Will just make ourselves miserable only – life is too short for that. Just have to learn to live with it, do without the things that one can’t afford or feel that they are not worth it…and eat at home, less at fancy restaurants and those expensive places.

    • I am eating at home, and I am feeling the pinch too. There’s no place you can hide. Yes, change lifestyle again. Sooner or later there will be nothing left to change, nothing left to cut back on. 🙁

      We’re just ranting and letting off steam during the transition period, give us a couple of weeks, life goes on anyway.

  4. You are right, to some, RM500 for meals is already considered a lot, let alone RM800! Everything up, even those cream buns my boys take everyday, increased by 5 cents, sikit sikit jadi bukit.. By the way, if I want to choose, I like your lamb macaroni and dao chim soup..

    • Minus the vegetables right? 😛

      Yan har la, few weeks, get used to it, then life goes on kot. In the meantime, just complain and release steam a bit. 😉

  5. I am already feeling the pinch. A day out at the mall can easily fetch a few puluh ringgit on gst alone. In a month, for my family on average, we’ll need to fork out at least RM500 extra. And that is the minimum. Damn…

    • That’s what I thought, for a middle class family… I won’t ask you to cut back on the malls and change your lifestyle, I won’t ask you to regress in your lifestyle, because sooner or later we will have nothing left to cut back. I don’t know what I can ask you to do. Maybe there’s nothing much we can do except suck it up.

  6. It is not true that cheaper options are less yummy. Sometimes in order to attract customers, the grocery stores will have some promotion for good food so you just need to lose some freedom to plan your dishes and only buy those good food on promotion to cook and then only plan your dishes with what you have at hand.

    Are you those who just buy what they want without looking at the price? I know some people who will go to all the grocery stores to see what promotion are going on and only buy those good items on promotion price to keep to a budget. Lose some freedom but save some money and yet have good food.

    • It might not be true for you, but it is true for me. I mostly buy fresh produce, and I only buy in AEON. The only promotion for fresh produce that they have here are for those goods that are near expiry (tomorrow).

      I look at the price if it is something that I rarely or have never bought before. If it is something that I am used to buying then I will not look, unless I get a price shock like what happens now. Unfortunately, I am not one of those who will go to a few stores to compare and do my shopping. You do that and you save on the grocery bill by a bit but you waste on fuel and time and parking fees. To me that is penny wise pound foolish.

      I think we have our priorities set differently, that’s why you are missing my point. Yes, I can work harder to ensure my grocery bill becomes cheaper (by a bit), and I will probably pay a bit of attention on this aspect for a few weeks while in transition to the new prices, but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy doing it. And that’s what most of us who blog about this GST sh*t is about, we are going to do it because we have to, but we are not happy to do it. The reason (I think) we are especially mad about GST is because the govt has the audacity to say many items actually decrease in price and the PM boldly claim that we will be a high income nation by 2019. This is like rubbing salt to our wound. What high income nation is he talking about? Instead of moving forward and getting more purchasing power with our salaries, we have to re-calibrate our expenses and keep going backwards with what we can or cannot afford. That’s high income nation?

      If they don’t spew these bullsh*t and call a spade a spade, then we would probably suck it up like how we sucked up the previous price hikes due to petrol price increase without much fanfare. Them spewing all these nonsense is what makes people so angry this time around (I think).

      • So your point is you are just angry with the you-know-who and this is just a rant is it?

        In response to your pound foolish and penny wish, my mother does her weekly grocery in the wet market and also in Midvalley where we only park for the min RM3 per 3 hours (no price increase for the parking fees) and she shops for the cheapest price in Aeon, Aeon Big and Cold Storage. Sometimes I am surprise by Cold Storage, fresh produce that is not near expiry date can be selling for less than Aeon supermarket during promotions.

        The thing is housewives have been doing this ages ago (even before whatever price hikes) – they have been comparing prices to get the cheapest price so that they can save some money from the budget their husbands give them since they do not have their own income and yet cook good food for the family and raise children. The wisdom of olden days housewives.

        • I should’ve thought of Midvalley! Yes, Midvalley is special case, you can do those comparison there LOL! 😀

          Yes, this is just a rant, I will probably be pissed off for two weeks, then get on with life…

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