I Gave Up Grab, Samgyup Dates to Survive Inflation

Inflation art
PHOTO BY Echo Antonio

Jilian, who works in advertising, stopped using GrabFood to save up to P8,000 a month. Her savior app of the pandemic had to go, she thought, if she were to survive soaring inflation that's choking household budgets.

Like Jilian, many Filipinos are recalibrating their spending as monetary authorities say prices will stay elevated in the near term. Among the first to be cut back are small luxuries that bring joy, but add up at the end of the month when the bills need to be paid.

For Jilian, a quarter of her P40,000 salary is reserved for condo rent. In place of a Grab car and food delivery, she now hails an Angkas motor taxi and cooks her own meals.

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"I used to think P1,000 was enough to get me through a week but it feels like it's just equivalent to P100. Between all of the commute, high food prices, and basic necessities, ang hirap na mabuhay," she told reportr.

Jilian said deleting Shopee and Lazada helped her save some P5,000 a month on budol finds.

"I feel like it's either we strive to earn more income to sustain our expenses, or we really have to cut back on some of the minor luxuries we had before for us to survive," she said.

How are young millennials and Gen Z coping with inflation?

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Goodbye, Starbucks

UX/UI designer Marcus used to spend around P400 for at least two cups of venti latte only to kick the Starbucks habit for a French press at home. Buying beans at P600 per kilo from a wholesaler means he can save more of his monthly takehome pay of around P50,000.

"It just gives me satisfaction na I get to save money and get better tasting coffee.... I find it really therapeutic grinding beans and brewing coffee in the morning, so maybe I was attracted to that benefit as well," he told reportr.

Hello, bike commute

Marcus said he switched to biking to and from work so he wouldn't shell out P500 per day for a two-way GrabCar trip inside Makati. It helps that Ayala Avenue has bike lanes, which also allows him to clock in more time for exercise, he said.

Goodbye, Netflix

Jilian said Netflix and Spotify were the first ones to go to help cut down on expense because they're "something I can live without."

You can also keep it as a stress-reliever, said Angge, a corporate worker who shares accounts with four others so they can split the P549 monthly bill. For Twitter user @mihanappa, he kept Netflix to avoid going to the mall or nights out that could cost more.

Goodbye, budol

@MCHyunhye on Twitter advised letting items in virtual carts simmer for a couple of days. "Mare-realize mo na hindi mo pala talaga gusto o need 'yun, kaya delete-delete na."

Bia Flores on Twitter said she waits for a week before she makes the purchase. 

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"I would buy it if I remember it after seven days pero if nalimutan ko, hindi ko siya dapat bilhin."

Hello, generic medicine

Virtual assistant Ivy said she buys generic instead of branded medicines because it's cheaper. According to the DOH, generics are safe to use and as effective as branded ones.

Until next time, milk tea

Gail, 26, said she spent some P1,000 a week on Foodpanda for lunch and milktea. When prices soared, she cut back on her favorite boba drink to once a month. To help curb her cravings, she said she reminds herself she needed a lifestyle change.

Incoming Ateneo student Isabel Novicio said she started supporting local milk tea shops like I Love Milk Tea which offers drinks for almost half the price that of Serenitea and Gong Cha. "It’s also our way of helping out these stands around us."

Goodbye, extra rice

Did you know extra cup of rice in Jollibee costs P42 via delivery? No more extra rice for @jvtnjc, he said. If you're @eryhirai, you can also bring your own extra rice.

"'Pag kumakain sa labas lagi na ako nagdadala ng sarili kong kanin. Binabalot ko sa plastic. Ang mahal kasi extra rice!"

For @jjesguerra85, "no more go large" for fries and drinks for now.

Hello, water tumbler

Instead of buying bottled water in restaurants, 29-year-old Ivy started bringing her water tumbler with her. She saves at least P320 monthly if she dines out four times a week, she said.

Cut back on electricity

Sleep early like @ecdancel because it "cuts the time in spending online and watching TV." 

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@AngelM1373 said she uses the toaster oven sparingly and kept away her microwave oven. She also used the lowest setting on her shower heater, she said. 

MORE ON INFLATION:

Why Your Salary Just Can't Keep Up With Inflation

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Hello, ukay

Your P1,000 yields more clothes, even branded ones, in ukay-ukay compared to one to two items in malls, said @keepslayeyn

Hello, Samgyupsabahay

College student Lou said her family allots at least P2,000 a month for unli samgyupsal meals every month. Now, they eat samgyupsal at home where she said their leftovers can still be eaten the following day.

Rina Benliro said she buys meat from Korean stores to cook samgyup at home, while Twitter user @mjfgnilo said he learned how to make his own kimchi at home.

Hello, pizza at home

Juris Go, who spends some P2,400 on buy one, take one Angel's Pizza every month, said he learned how to cook a simple cheese pizza via YouTube. Basic ingredients for two pizza cost P375, he said. It's also less greasy, and other ingredients like yeast "will last a long time" for other baked goods like bread, he said.

Don't grocery shop when hungry

If you do this, your shopping will be based on your hunger pangs, according to this study. Instead, make a grocery list and stick to it, said @marianpascal8.

Hello, cheap finds

Go to the wet market instead of the supermarket. "Mas fresh at mas mura," said @shalalamie.

For those who cook, practice cooking without expensive ingredients like sesame oil, or at least find cheaper alternatives, government employee Alex said.

Hello, home spa

Nail spa, massage, and other self-care appointments can be reduced, said @arnstamatic, who also limited her makeup purchases because it's "non-essential." 

Regrets on nights out

Content designer Cee deleted her social media apps to make it more difficult for friends to invite her for a lunch out. Before, she would go out three times a week with different groups of friends. She said it's week 3 and she had been out just once.

"I just think of the financial goal I have for this year and I feel way better."

Goodbye, takeout

Stephen Francisco used to reward himself with takeouts every payday. Now, it's back to cooking at home and bringing packed lunch to work, he said.

"Hindi na rin makatao ang takeout para sa akin.... Kung maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot, malalagpasan natin ito."

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