By: Revanche

My variation on the Half Off Diet

August 30, 2010

I actually wasn’t interested in participating in Funny About Money‘s Half Off Diet for the purpose of weight loss, but I do want to share how my version of it is a money-saver.

As a kid, the only time we ate out was, ironically enough, at Vietnamese restaurants.

My parents were great cooks but there are a couple things that were always more economical in a time v. money aspect to eat out: beef noodles (pho) and the 7 courses of beef.  Go figure, the typically expensive red meat, right? 

The interesting thing about Vietnamese food is that it’s really so cheap and easy to prepare most foods that it would seem like you’d always save money by eating in. That hasn’t been the case for many years, though.  A bowl of good noodle soup cost less than $5, and it was hard to make the argument that it was worth your time making that broth from scratch and preparing all the side veggies and thinly sliced beef to save, basically, a few cents.

So if you were truly in the mood for pho, it wasn’t that costly a splurge. And honestly, we never ate out so that was definitely a special occasion for us kids.

These days, though, the price of a bowl has me staggering.  In the Bay Area, a single regular sized bowl runs you between $6.50 and $7.50.  That’s a 50% increase!

I can still afford it as take out, though. Always make sure to ask them not to cook the noodles, and order a single bowl to go: that single bowl can serve both PiC and me two meals – and we are big eaters!

PiC claims it’s because I order in the mother tongue, but I sincerely doubt it.  Let me know if you think that’s the case, though, and I’ll be happy to call in your order for you! 😉


My thanks …..

to Crystal for hosting this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance.  Be sure to submit to next week’s Carnival!

Last Day …. 

to win one of two $60 CSN gift certificates!

4 Responses to “My variation on the Half Off Diet”

  1. I love pho. The nearest is on the West Bank of New Orleans (where there is a Vietnamese community). So if I want it, I have to make it myself. And it is time-consuming.

  2. Drat! It sounds like too many people have figured out how delicious this food is!

    M’hijito used to subsist on Vietnamese and Korean food when he lived in San Francisco. Here we’ve found only one noodle place, and there’s one OK Korean restaurant but it’s quite a drive. Neither of them is anything like the wonderful holes-in-the-wall in the City. {sob!}

  3. I love the noodle house near my job. 2 Vietnamese egg rolls or 2 spring rolls make a great lunch. Their charbroiled meats with steamed rice is always delicious too! I like pho, but spring rolls with peanut sauce is like an addiction…

  4. I love pho, as well. I am part vietnamese, and I remember the days when my mother stayed at home and made pho from scratch. Those days were long over, but no matter where I go, that was still the best.

    In the meantime, I have come to really look forward to when my aunt makes it for a big family dinner, or eat at our local best. 🙂

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