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Meals and beer so cheap Aussies eat there 'four or five times a week'

You can get a craft beer in Sydney's CBD for as little as $4.50

Aussies have been understandably furious over the price of a pint of beer getting close to $20 and instances of pub classics like the chicken parmigiana nearing $40 but there are ways you can still score a cheap meal, you just might not know they are right under your nose.

The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the rising cost of living, particularly with another increase in the alcohol tax, but there's registered clubs like - RSLs, bowling clubs or golf clubs - dotted all over the country where prices have stayed competitive and in some cases are cheaper than a grocery shop.

Jim is a local at the Coogee Legion Club where you can get a schnitzel and schooner of beer for just $20, and he told Yahoo Finance the prices are so good, people are coming back multiple times a week for a cheap feed.

cheap pub meals
Cheap pub meals can be found at registered clubs all over Australia. (Source: Google/Instagram)

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“We get a lot of single guys … guys that might be older, retired people that live around the area,” Jim said. “Some live in affordable housing, some live in public housing, and it's cheaper for them to buy a meal there. They might eat there four or five times a week.”


To get these prices, you do need to be a member and keep an eye out for weekly specials. But it's not just Coogee you can score a deal in, it's all over.


Manly Skiff Club members can get $17 steaks and $14 chicken parmis, and North Bondi RSL is serving up fish and chips for just $18. If you're there on weekdays between 4pm and 6pm you can even get a vodka soda and lime for $5 (counts for beer and wine too).

A punter described a $17.80 price tag for a pint in The Rocks, Sydney, as a rip-off, but at nearby Club York you can get a $4.50 schooner of any beer - including often more expensive craft brew - or house wine between 5pm and 7pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Cheap chicken parmigiana on a plate of chips and salad with a schooner of beer nearby
Cheap pub meals are still out there if you know where to look. (Source: Instagram)

In the city's west, at Cabra Vale Diggers & Campbelltown RSL, "every hour is happy hour", with beers locked in at $5.50, a surf and turf $25 - plus your kids can eat for free.

There are thousands of registered clubs scattered around the country, and in towns big and small.

How clubs keep prices low for Aussies

CEO of Coogee Legion Club, Kristy Strong, revealed to Yahoo Finance how they manage to keep costs down for members.

“We stay true to the good-old ‘registered clubs are not for profit’ … we're not counting, printing off our profit and loss and balance sheets and rubbing our hands together saying, ‘Look how much money we made’,” she said.

“We're here for the community and to give back to the community because, let's face it, the community comes in here, our seats are full, we're putting on live music and stuff like that. They're coming to us and they're helping us, so why wouldn't we give that profit back?”

Clubs aren't just using the deals to get people in the door on slow days, with Strong stating they go throughout the week.

Becoming a member at these venues can vary in price depending on where you go. The North Bondi RSL sets you back $35 for a one-year membership, the Coogee Legion Club is only $10, while others are offering free deals.

Aussies no longer copping expensive eats

An Aussie pub owner recently told Yahoo Finance punters should never accept being charged $16 for a schooner of beer, and other venues should dump things from their menu before slapping customers with “ridiculous” prices.

Ben Johnson who runs The Lord Gladstone in Sydney, said he'd been forced to increase prices as the cost of running the venue continued to climb, but that owners had to draw a line in the sand and dump things from the menu if they got too ridiculous.

Australians are fighting back against rising costs in supermarkets as Coles and Woolworths face an investigation over alleged price gouging, one shopper this week noting takeaway was cheaper than buying just one item in Woolworths.

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