Budget Therapy Episode 1: Affordable Food Finds at SM Megamall, Ortigas

Budget Therapy Episode 1. Location: SM Megamall

So me and two other friends decided to undertake a little project during our get-togethers. It’s called Budget therapy, which is the complete opposite of Retail therapy. As we all know, Retail therapy, while it makes you feel better temporarily and gives you a good reason to gloat with your expensive stuff, burns a hole in the wallet. We’re trying to introduce a method of having a good time without spending a fortune. At the end of the day, it’s really being with the people that matters, and not what material items you have, or what costly buffets you go to (which comes out as excrement the next day.)

The budget is 100 Pesos per person. The mission is to be tummy-happy.

First destination: SM Megamall’s Food Court.

Empanada Nation at SM Megamall’s Food Court

My friends recommended to get a Double Empanada here at Empanada Nation, which was their biggest empanada size available. It also had two eggs inside, and it was fun watching the server skillfully prepare the empanada from scratch. The Double Double Empanada costs Php 95.

Double-Double Empanada from Empanada Nation

Unlike other Ilocos empanadas I’ve tried, this one was hardly oily at all! That could be a good thing, or a bad thing, because the lack of grease makes it a little dry to the taste.

Next stop: Kuya’s Special Lumpiang Sariwa at SM Megamall’s Food Court

I love Lumpiang Sariwa, and it’s my first time to see lumpiang sariwa served with Chia seeds! I’m so glad to be introduced to Kuya’s Special Lumpiang Sariwa. Their biggest lumpia costs Php50.

Kuya’s Special Lumpiang Sariwa (Php 50)

If you love greens like me, then you’ll be happy to have this for lunch. This is a heavy dish, so you can eat it on its own, and not as a side.

Total Cost: Php 250

My friends decided to grab two rice meals from Pao-Tsin. If you haven’t heard of Pao-Tsin, their specialty is friend dumplings over a heapful of rice for as low as Php 40-50/ meal. The total cost of their rice meals from Pao-Tsin was Php 100.

Budget Therapy Episode 1: Success!

We had fifty pesos left, so we decided to grab ice cream for dessert from the SM Supermarket. We quickly ate it before it melted, so I didn’t get to take photos. But it cost around Php 60 for three ice cream. So we went a little over the budget by just about twenty pesos, haha!

We’re still on the look out for cheap food finds. Hopefully next time, we won’t do it in a food court, because outside the mall is a treasure trove of affordable food waiting to be discovered. -HANA

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