CALORIE COUNTER: Stephen O’Rourke learnt a few tricks as a student.
CALORIE COUNTER: Stephen O’Rourke learnt a few tricks as a student. Emily Smith

Cheapskate shares cash secrets picked up as a student

MACKAY man Stephen O'Rourke recalls the financial hardship he endured while hitting the books as a full-time student.

Now, 10 years on, he's watched his son follow in the same footsteps.

Mr O'Rourke said he wanted to shed light on how to make it through "struggle street".

Like many students and families struggling in today's economy, Mr O'Rourke had a very limited amount of cash to spend.

"I was a chemical engineer and I was doing business studies at the time," he said.

"It was a hard time for me. Money was very, very tight.

"But being a chemical engineer, you work everything out."

Mr O'Rourke figured out how to work out the amount of calories per dollar.

He would scan the content marked on the packaging, to get the most bang for his buck.

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"Basically, anything with your grains will be your cheapest, like oats or rice, they're cheap calories," he said.

"Then, you can up on calories like if you get an ice-cream from Maccas for $0.50. That's 150 calories. That's 300 calories per dollar."

"Your body needs 1200 calories a day to function, so if you eat high calorie foods, you need less of them and then it costs you less."

Mr O'Rourke's diet used to consist of meat pies, rice, oats and bran, as they only cost $0.99 and that's pretty cheap, he said.

"There's a lot of fat in your pies. I was on a push bike everyday and your body is working pretty hard, so you're chewing up all the rubbish."

The Daily Mercury will continue to publish some of the region's biggest cheapskates, just like Mr O'Rourke.

If you'd like to shed light on how to skimp on your daily shop, fuel or even entertainment, email news@dailymercury.com.au.


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