Do you find eating out, even in hawker stalls, starting to burn a big hole in your pocket? If you do, perhaps it is a good idea to start cutting back on the drinks you have with your meals. It is always a standard here where a waiter comes running over to take your drinks order the minute you sit at a coffee shop table. Have you ever thought why? Well, it’s simply because they make the most money out of your drinks! Drinks have the highest profit margin since they can easily charge you up to RM1.50 or RM2.00 for something which is essentially flavoured water! In cafes and restaurants, drinks alone can cost more than your meal for something simple such as ice lemon tea!
So, what can you do to save?
Simply bring your own bottle of water out with you whenever you eat your meals! I always see parents carrying a bottle of water for their children whenever they go out because drinks outside are always filled with colouring and sugar. So, if it isn’t good for your children, it can’t be good for you either!
It doesn’t take much effort to fill up a bottle of plain water before you go out for your meals. In the office, you can opt to carry a small bottle of water with you or wait till you return to your office after lunch to drink the water you have at your desk.
I know some coffee shops can be rather insistent that you order a drink but learn to say “No” and they will stop bugging you after a while. I have also come across coffee shops in Penang where they explicitly state on a sign that you HAVE to order a drink. My choice is to simply not eat in those coffee shops anymore. After all, there are lots of coffee shops around the place which serve equally good food so I don’t believe the customers should be forced into ordering a drink just to increase the coffee shop’s profit margins.
Research has also proven that drinking with your meals isn’t really encouraged as it slows down the digestive process. So, do try bringing out your water bottle or saving your drinks for before or after your meal for a cheaper and healthier meal. The savings may not seem like much on a daily basis but a little everyday does add up!