Cheap Life in an Expensive City

I’ve been in Melbourne for seven weeks now. Been experiencing some ups and downs, happy and sad days, lonely and with friends, rich and broke. But no, hungry is never on my list. I’m always able to afford my foods, no matter what. That’s because living in world’s most livable city doesn’t always make your wallet unlivable. There are several tricks and tips I’d like to share, who knows one day you might end up in Australia like me.

First, most foods in Melbourne cost you above $14 per portion. But, there are also so many delicious option under $6. Yes, you hear me. And this is the list:

  • KFC’s $5 Lunch

Everyday before 4 pm, you can grab a $5 lunch at all KFC branch. See my receipt below, and you’ll know what you get with $5. A drumstick/wing, chicken sandwich, mashed potato with gravy, french fries, and a can of Pepsi. Crazy, isn’t it?

$10 for two lunch packages


  • Domino’s 5$ Pizza (per Pan!)
No caption needed.


This one is even crazier. It’s 5 cent cheaper, but I think it’s slightly better than Domino’s.

You can’t say no, can you?


This cafe ruins the market pricing. When every other place sells $7 shitty pie, they serve $4 pie full of meat, mushroom, and spinach. And it tastes so good. Need something sweet afterwards? Their lemon custard pie is so big and will only cost you $4. Damn.

Cheap desserts galore!


Japanese fast food restaurant never tasted this good. My favorite menu is their curry rice. So good, lots of chicken slices.


Not only being wise in spending money for foods, budget cuts can also be applied in other sectors. For transportation for example. If you travel a lot around the city, it’s cheaper for you to buy a weekly $37.6 Myki pass to have an unlimited access to trams, buses, and even trains. Don’t buy the daily one, because it’s around $14 more expensive. And if you only travel in the city center, you don’t even have to own a Myki card; because it’s a free tram zone!

The most loyal travel companion

You’re a movie freak like me? Bad news, because movie ticket in Melbourne is freakin’ expensive: at least $21 per show. But I also have a good news, that on Mondays at Cinema Nova, you can enjoy your the show for only $7 (before 4 pm) or $9 (after 4 pm). Oh, your favorite movie isn’t playing there? Go to HOYTS on Tuesdays. It offers $14 ticket (normal price: $23).

Cheap thing comes to those who wait… until Monday

Feel like buying a new clothes? In Melbourne, there are sooo many “opportunity shops” aka charity shop. If you have more time to take a careful looks to their collection, you will find good cheap stuffs. You know what, last month I bought a $795 Peter Jackson suit for only $10. Yes, ten freakin’ dollar. It has an awesome cutting and flawless material. I bought it at an op shop called Vinnies. You can also try Sacred Heart or the biggest one, Savers, that claims themselves as a recycle superstore. All money these op shops earn will go for charity.

From $795 to $10. Insane!

And last piece of advice, if you’re looking for a job in Melbourne, try restaurant. I repeat, restaurant. Not cafe. Because the law requires every restaurant owner to give a free staff meal after your shift ends (and you can choose anything from the menu, except the super expensive ones). I work at a restaurant, and I eat delicious meals everyday. And you also can get 25-50% discount when dining in.

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