Recipe: Blueberry Banana Protein Waffles

300 AED Challenge | The Result

The Challenge:

Spend less than 300 AED (500 DKK/82 USD) over the next 7 days!

The Rules:

I can’t “pre shop” before starting this challenge to fill the fridge or cupboards.
To be frank, I am a food-hoarder and I have most basic items in the house at all times. I’m allowed to eat or use anything I have in the house already.
I’m allowed to go out with friends that invite me and offer to pay, but I’m not allowed to tell them about my challenge or to ask them to pay for me. I’m also not allowed to ask them to pay for me this week in return for me paying for them next time, as a way to get around the challenge.

I took out 300 AED from the ATM and that’s all I was allowed to spend this week.
(The only exeption to this strict budget is gas for my car, which I’m allowed to spend as much on as needed. The company I work for reimburse my gas expenses and it’s necessary for me to drive around to my clients every day, so it’s unfortunately not an expense I can cut out of my budget.)

Any other expense, necessary or unnecessary, is included in the budget of 300 AED.

If you have any questions about the challenge just let me know in the comments!

Day 1:

Today is the first day of the challenge. I’ve got the 300 AED in my wallet and that’s all I’m allowed to spend over the next week. Usually I spend around 200 AED per day, so I’m feeling quite anxious about this whole thing.

But back in Denmark I was a student living on a tight budget, so I’m used to looking for good deals and being mindful of my spending. My biggest concern at this point is how I’m gonna survive a full work week without Starbucks, lol.

I took a look at what foods I had in the house before I went on my grocery haul. Not surprisingly, I have a lot of stuff in the cabinets. Like I said, I’m a food hoarder, and I rarely let myself run out of anything.

I even found a box of shake ‘n bake rye bread from IKEA – the perfect, filling and nutritious base for my meals over the next couple of days! Turns out I don’t need to get anything but fresh veggies, proteins and dairy products at the grocery store.

I spend a total of 75.66 AED on veggies, cheese, sliced turkey breast, white fish and yoghurt.
This, in addition to what I have in the house, should last me the next three days.

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Right now I’m feeling like this challenge is gonna be a walk in the park!

Buuuuut… After I finished work in the evening, I got the biggest cookie-craving in the car on my way home. And I strongly believe in treating yourself after a long day at work, so I made a stop to get my favorite Cinnamon-Raisin cookies from the bakery at Carrefour. And some tomatos that I forgot earlier… Totaling at 28 AED.

Total spend: 103.66 AED

Day 2:

After spending 1/3 of the weekly budget on Day 1, I went into Day 2 determined not to spend any money…

I made protein oats for breakfast with vanilla protein powder, oats, milk, 1 banana, walnuts, liquid sweetener, pink himalaya salt and cinnamon. All ingredients I had at home.

Lunch was rye bread topped with slices of turkey breast, cheese, salad, red onion & tomato. On the side I had baby carrots and 4 cookies

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Dinner was rye bread with home made tuna salad.

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After dinner I went to my friend Helene’s house to hang out… She’s doing the challenge with me, so she told me to bring my own food, haha!

I brought a shaker and my Shake n’ bake Protein Pancake Mix, added some oats and water to the mix and cooked 5 delicious pancakes in extra virgin coconut oil. Yummy! Served them with a big scoop of Nutella that I hustled from my friend. But I’m sure she didn’t mind sharing ;)

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Aaaaall the things are stuff I either had at home, bought yesterday or hustled from my friend, so I got through the day without spending a single dirham. WIN!

Total spend today: 0 AED
Total spend: 103.66 AED

Day 3:

I’m doing the challenge with Helene, so she told me to bring my own food to her house, haha!

We sleep until 8 am and then we do 1,5 hour yoga before breakfast. I have another round of rye bread with home made tuna salad and of course a big cup of coffee or 2!
This keeps me going for the next few hours.

In the evening I’ve been invited do dinner and a movie in my favorite cinema Theatre by Rhodes in Mall of The Emirates. I’m planning to have a starter, main, dessert and lots of caramel popcorn, so I works out fine that I’m keeping my intake light during the day. Lunch is around 500 g. of mixed baked broccoli, pumpkin & red onion fried on a pan with two eggs.

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Total spend today: 0 AED
Total spend: 103.66 AED

Day 4:

I came home from the movie at 3 am and was SO full from all the food. So today, I end up eating breakfast at 6pm.
My body is used to fasting for at least 10-12 hours a day, which makes this challenge a bit easier than I thought it would be. It’s easy for me to wait until I get home to eat, or to plan to eat more food when it’s convenient and stick to cheap, simple foods when I’m on my own.

My “breakfast” at 6 pm is one slice rye bred with turket breast and cheese plus around 250 g. of mixed baked broccoli, pumpkin & red onion fried with one egg.

A little later, my friends messages me and wants me to come out with them, and I really want to go out. I just know it’s going to be tough to stay within the budget. But with almost 200 AED left for the next 3 days, I figure I might as well try… My best friends and I generally don’t pay much attention to who pays what, and whenever we go out one of us usually just offers to pay the taxi, another one pays first round of drinks etc… So my sneaky plan is to not say anything, and just let them oay for most of tonight… The rules of the challenge are that I can’t tell them that I’m doing the challenge to maked them pay for me, but if I dont say anything and just keep quiet and let eso eone else pay, it’s withing the rules… So that’s my plan.

We end up going to Lock Stock and Barrel in JBR where we know someone who sets us up with a good food discount and some free drinks. I end up spending 140 AED on the whole night including food, drinks, shots and taxi rides… I don’t know if my friends noticed that I let them pay most of the time tonight, as noone said anything. I did pay our whole food bill, so I don’t feel too bad about letting them take care of the rest… But it’s not a great feeling either. I don’t really like being cheap to my friends.

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Total spend today: 140 AED
Total spend: 243.66 AED

Day 5:

Today I’m moving into my friends house for the next 10 days. She and her family is traveling and I’ve promised to watch the house and their pets while they’re away.

I have to bring sooo much food from my place to the house, to make sure I have everything I need to cook some proper meals, as I can’t afford to go to the store for the next couple of days. On the plus side, she tells me I can eat anything I want of what they have in the house, and they have a big freezer with lots of veggies (and a big tub of ice cream…) in it, so I don’t have to go shopping for veggies again for the rest of the challenge.

My breakfast today is yet again one slice rye bred with turket breast and cheese plus around 250 g. of mixed baked broccoli, pumpkin & red onion fried with one egg.I’m starting to get bored from having the same foods over and over again and I am in desperate need of a mani/pedi, eyebrow threading and a facial!

I also keep filling my online cart at SheIn with stuff, then closing the tab before I can buy anything. The challenge is starting to annoy me and I can’t wait until it’s over!

I spend another 13 AED on cookies today and my dinner is cookies, ice cream, grapes and microwave popcorn.

Total spend today: 13 AED
Total spend: 256.66 AED

Day 6:

I’m so so hungry today and for breakfast I get creative and make the most amazing and moist banana/blueberry protein waffles.
I also have some egg/veggie scramble with a bit of shredded mozzarella and ketchup.

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I eat exactly the same thing for lunch a few hours later.

When I get home from work one of my friends stops by the house and has brought healthy take out for us. I literally have the best friends!
If he hadn’t stopped by, dinner would’ve probably been microwave popcorn and ice cream.

Instead I have delicious edamame rice, chicken, broccoli and sweet potato fries from Natalie’s in Sports City.

After dinner I have this craving for ice cream, so I finish what was in the freezer and I have no regrets.

Total spend today: 0 AED
Total spend: 256.66 AED

Day 7:

FINALLY it’s the last day of this challenge! I just have to make it through today and I have a total of 43,34 AED left of my budget.

I’m running out of a few things so I make an online order and normally I would buy in bulk so I don’t have to other again ithin the next few days, but today I only get some of the things I actually need for this week, to make sure I stay within the budget…I spend 41 AED including delivery.

Breakfast is once again protein oats made with vanilla protein powder, oats, milk, 1 banana, blueberries, raisins, walnuts, liquid sweetener, pink himalaya salt and cinnamon.

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Lunch is 4 pieces of whole wheat crisp bred with butter, ceese and jam plus a stir fry of veggies and leftover edemame rice and chicken from last night.

For dinner I’ve been invited to a friend of a friends birthday dinner at Play Restaurant and Lounge and after the week I’ve had, of the same mediocre foods again and again, I couldn’t say no to an amazing dinner ;) So I’m ending this week in the best way possible, with amazing food and company on a monday night.

Total spend today: 41 AED
Total spend: 297.66 AED

Conclusion:

The conclusion is that you actually can live a pretty normal, social life in Dubai, spending less than 300 AED in a week. But I’m also aware that I’m very blessed to be surrounded by extremely unselfish, generous, giving people who doesn’t care who pays when we go out as long as we have a good time.

Living off of 300 per week is possible if you don’t mind being mindful when grocery shopping and cooking at home every night. Going out to eat on such a low budget is almost impossible an my one night out cost me half my budget even though we got a great discount at LSB.

As soon as he challenge was over I spend and additional 170 AED on groceries and went to the salon for a much needed mani/pedi,, and I’m sooo happy to be able to buy coffee on the go again.

Would I do it again?

I actually didn’t feel too restricted and living off of 300 AED wasn’t too diffucult for me. It was annoying that I couldn’t just take a cab when I wanted to go out and that we had to choose where to go based on where we could get a good deal, but it’s not like I don’t have to watch what I spend in my regular life anyway. If I were to do this challenge again, I would make it more challenging by lowering the weekly budget. I think 150 or 200 is doable, so maybe I’ll give that a go in the future ;)

Would you like me to do more challenges like this? Leave a comment!

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2 comments

  • Mette Lodberg

    Hej 😀
    Flere udfordringer ville være så godt.
    Nu hvor vi snart nærmere os sommer.
    Knus

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Recipe: Blueberry Banana Protein Waffles