Things Are So Expensive Now, What Happened To Lunch For RM5?

It's hard enough to decide what to eat for lunch. Much less trying to decide while on a budget, especially now with GST. The question is, to be full or to be frugal?

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1. Looks cheap, sounds cheap, but not so cheap chap fan

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With so many dishes to choose from, the temptation is just too strong to stay within the RM5 budget, adding to the fact how unpredictable 'chap fan' can be. We used to be able to get 3 sides for RM5 but, it seems we have to be content with 2 sides now, otherwise it will exceed RM5. Fingers crossed the person charging you is in a good mood!

2. The not really economical mee goreng mamak

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When you think of round-the-clock cheap food, the go-to destination is always your neighbourhood mamak. However, a plate of basic mee goreng mamak in the Klang Valley has surpassed the RM5 mark. Even the smaller mamak eateries are inching dangerously close to RM5.

3. The nation’s favourite, nasi lemak

Ah, a good hearty plate of nasi lemak. What could possibly be more authentic than a fresh serving of coconut rice with must-have accompaniments of sambal and ikan bilis? Hold that thought. Top it up with sambal sotong, rendang and fried chicken and you've got a bill of close to RM10. Now how did that happen?

4. The simple comfort of chicken rice

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Obscurely located hawkers in Petaling Jaya and Cheras might still have them at RM4.50, but more often than not it's challenging to find chicken rice for less than RM5 nowadays. Many food courts offer this simple beloved meal for a starting price of RM6.

5. The futile search for a good sandwich within budget

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Sometimes you just crave a good, hearty sandwich for lunch that can get you through the day. That means opting for fancier premium bread choices like baguette or panini, but it's going to cost a dent of more than RM11.

6. The comfort of a warm bowl of soup noodles

On the rare occasions when you find a hearty bowl of soup noodles for RM5, the portions are probably not as generous as you'd expect, with pinches of ingredients here and there. If you were to opt for your beloved wantan mee or pan mee with generous portions, be prepared to pay anywhere from RM5.50 to RM6.50.

While RM5 lunches may seem like a thing of the past, there's still some hope...

Image via KFC Malaysia

We discovered the Zinger Rice Wrap, KFC’s latest creation that packs quite a punch for its size. The wholesome wrap contains a crispy chicken fillet, tomatoes, onions, cucumber and Colonel rice all wrapped in a toasted tortilla wrap. Best part? It fits our budget.

Eat smart. Bon apetit!

If you're feeling a little fancy (and not on a budget) however, definitely check out these 5 underground supper clubs:

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