To Be Frugal Is Glorious: 7.3 RMB in 3 Days!

Photo originally from Jalopnik

(Photo originally from Jalopnik.)

After my bad start, I have managed to only spend 7.3 RMB (1.07 USD) in the last 3 days. The only things that I bought on Tuesday were 5 RMB of strawberries (going to make Mark Bittman’s easy sorbet) and 2.3 RMB worth of lettuce, scallions, and bean sprouts. I love living in China, it’s probably more expensive for me to grow vegetables in my container garden than to buy them from the local market.

Here is what I ate in the last few days, mostly shopping in my fridge and cupboards:

- Ate random things throughout the day, including roast potatoes with rosemary, oatmeal, and cereal.
- Shrimp fettucine, I happened to have some shrimp and Parmesean cheese from Sanyuanli market.
- Roast asparagus, very possibly my favorite way to eat asparagus.

- Oatmeal with honey from my local honey guy, that jar of honey that I bought from him lasted 4 months!
- Shrimp fettucine again for lunch
- Fried rice with lettuce, bean sprouts, scallions and Cantonese sausage
- Vegetable soup with a carrot, potato, and spinach.

- Oatmeal
- Fried rice again for lunch
- Vegetable soup
- Dinner was stir-fried broccoli and garlic and vegetable soup, with some freshly ground coffee (very free! as a friend of mine gifted me with three bags of Ugandan coffee beans a while back, bless him.)

- Going to eat fried rice and vegetable soup again. Discovered some frozen potato and sweet potato that I keep around for hotpot, so I tossed that in too.
- Haven’t decided what to eat for dinner yet, probably some winter melon and dried shrimp because I’m definitely craving it. Maybe this roast cauliflower and eggplant recipe because it is one of my favorite things to eat.
- Sorbet when I get around to making it!

Snacks during class, because you try sitting through four hours of Chinese class without starving!:
- Apples
- Edamame
- Celery

Tomorrow, I’m going to definitely have to buy some more vegetables. I never eat that much meat while I’m at home anyway, unless I’m in the mood to make stock.

To be honest, this is not that different from my normal life, as waking up at 6:30 every morning and getting back around 6-7 pm does not leave me a lot of energy or time to spend any money.

Thanks to a tip from Ashleigh that there is a bus system in Beijing!, I have been taking the bus more often, which costs 4 mao to 2 RMB for the subway. The subway is the biggest source of anger and aggravation for me here in Beijing, so I was happy to give that up. In the meantime, discovered that there is a bus that will take me directly from university to work, bypassing two subway transfers, a lot of people pushing and shoving, and years of stress. In fact, it is faster to take the bus, I even showed up at work fifteen minutes early instead of five minutes late.

Mapbar is a handy website where you can plug in where you want to start and end for a bus trip, and then it gives you all kinds of options for the easiest journey. Chinese-only, but a great way to practice Chinese!

And so on, if I can keep this up, not only will I make my goal, but heck, I might even save some money!

My total after 5 days: 209.3 RMB

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One Comment on "To Be Frugal Is Glorious: 7.3 RMB in 3 Days!"

  1. guo wei
    22/04/2009 at 12:14 am Permalink

    Maybe you really can make your plan be true.

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