Compare the Cost of Living- Then & Now

I felt like I stepped into a 1960s Texas diner a few months ago, when I visited Thunder Gun restaurant. Guests streamed in, were greeted by name by one of the jolly staff members and seated at their favourite tables. Men had their feet up on the benches outside, watching the rugby and boisterously voicing their opinions of the ref. Admittedly, this was not my usual type of Saturday night hangout, but I’d heard too many good things about this spot not to give it a try.

Open since 1968, Thundergun is a classic steakhouse, serving up generous portions to its loyal patrons. The restaurant goes through 2.5 tons of ribs and serves over 10,000 people each month. We didn’t think twice about going with the manager’s recommendation, and ordered the pork ribs, R116 for 600g. After the first bite, Thundergun immediately won the title of “best ribs in JHB” in our books.  The ribs were tender and meaty, with close to zero fat on them. Other popular dishes include the “Big Gun Burgers”, which are served with chips or baked potato and a 150gram patty, R60, as well as the 300g “Super Rump”, R115. Even if you go hungry, you’re likely to leave with a doggy bag for lunch the next day.

Jozilicious Meat Lovers 2

Something pretty interesting caught my eye- a menu propped up on the wall from the 1960s- their very first menu. I know the picture quality is bad, but if you look closely you can see the prices of things, a burger for 55 cents!


Also check out the infographic below for more crazy comparisons (The code is there incase you want to use the image), imagine a car for R2300! It got me thinking about how prices of food have increased way more than our salaries do.

Then-&-Now-Infographic (1)

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Then and Now Infographic by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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Since I’ve resigned, I’ve been a lot more conscious of the way I spend money and I have a few tips that may help you too.

  1. Meat at Woolies is EXTREMELY expensive. I know. I too get freaked out when I see blood and cartilage on my chicken and I’ve been buying meat at woollies for as long as I can remember. Lately, the prices have just skyrocketed and they’re easily double the price they should be. Instead, go to Spar which in between Woolies and PnP when it comes to meat.
  2. Buy what you know you’re going to use. This sounds silly, but often I do a weekly shop of stuff I THINK I’m going to use that week, then life gets in the way and I end up going out or meeting friends instead and the food gets wasted or thrown out.
  3. Be innovative! When following a recipe, you don’t have to follow it religiously. I substituted coconut cream for fresh cream recently (I happened to have a half used tin in my fridge) and it was perfectly delicious. The Old Me would have gone out to buy fresh cream, used half the tub and thrown away that plus half the coconut cream a day or two later.
  4. Shop around. A friend had to replace her brake light- VW charged her R300. Only later did she find out the actual light is only R3 and one can easily replace the fitting themselves. Use websites like Hippo for online insurance comparison quotes to price around for things like car insurance and medical aid.


Do you have tips on how to save some cash? Let me know in the comments!

xx H