You Can Have Your Smashed Avocado and a House, Too

I love a good story, especially one that for some unknown reason goes viral, setting off a media firestorm. Like this one:

On a recent episode of the Australian news show, 60 Minutes, property mogul and self-avowed millionaire Tim Gurner casually suggested that the reason millennials cannot afford to buy a house is they’re addicted to $19 Avocado toast and $4 Coffee.

Say, what?

I love avocados and I’m a big fan of toast, but I must admit that I’d never heard of this Avocado Toast—an apparent luxury item that has the younger generation so strapped, a good number are back living with their parents, destined to never having a home of their own.

Oh man, did that not sit well with a lot of millennials. The Internet was ablaze with snarky comments and every effort imaginable to set this Gurner fellow straight.

I read with a bit of glee as one money expert after another “did the math” to prove that giving up twice-monthly $19 Avocado Toast would not make a dent in a millennial’s ability to save a 20-percent down payment on a house. They did this by dividing $19 into a typical 20 percent down payment on an average American house. It got quite funny.

On the very day I was enjoying this avocado toast brouhaha, I had the occasion to stop into a local Garden Center which happens to be one end of a big supermarket. To get to the flowers, I took a shortcut through the produce department. And what to my wandering eyes did appear, but a display of the most beautiful Haas avocados for $.49 each. Where I live we call that a bargain and a half. I stopped long enough to bag a dozen.

Suddenly my mission expanded from flowers to figuring out this Avocado Toast thing. And figure I did. Here’s what my research turned up:

Avocado Toast consists of a piece of toast spread with smashed up avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Seriously? That’s it? I was expecting at that price for this controversial delicacy to be topped with crème fraîche and caviar.

There are variations in which you would top Avocado Toast with a perfectly poached egg, or Feta cheese; shrimp perhaps, or just go crazy by adding tomatoes and fresh basil atop a schmear of mayo.

Now that I have experienced the goodness of Avocado Toast, I’m going to side with the those who think this guy is out of his mind if he thinks we’re about to give up Avocado Toast anytime soon. And yes, I’m talking to you, millennials. Is there a house in the world worth owning at the expense of never enjoying Avocado Toast again as long as we live? I think not!

But wait just a minute. Nineteen dollars?! Or $17, $6 or even $3? No way. Eating out all the time is killing your future, not a couple of $19 Avocado Toasts a month. It’s that  restaurant-diner-coffeeshop-fastfood  habit that’s keeping you stuck in a paycheck-to-paycheck rut.

If you want to get your finances on track where you are consistently saving for the future (and a house if that’s the goal) while spending less than you earn, you’d best stop eating out. Yes, there is a reason for that room commonly referred to as the kitchen. It’s where you cook and prepare wonderful, delicious things to eat.

Here’s an idea: Learn to make Avocado Toast yourself. Make it a project to try every possible variation you can think of. By my best estimations, one slice of  bread plus a perfectly ripened avocado comes in at about $1.65 at the most, and that’s when avocados are less plentiful. And if you can find them for $.49 each? Well, you do the math. Amazing, no? I promise you can learn to make Avocado Toast that tastes even better than that chi-chi restaurant you used to patronize.

Now take that attitude and apply it to every area of your life and before you know it you’ll be finding amazing ways to enjoy the things you love and buy a home, too.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ann L

    That is a very entertaining article, and you are totally right about saving money. Make your own Avocado Toast at home. It is delicious, but I wish I could find them for $.49! I’d mash and freeze a bunch. Around here they are $.99 for little ones and $1.99 for regular.

  • Karen

    You are so right about eating out for young adults, and they don’t get it. Somehow they think they are being frugal to only eat out 2 or 3 times per week. I would love to know what you do with a dozen avocados? Is there some trick to preserve them for a longer period of use?

  • kddomingue

    This is too funny! All that fuss and bother over toast with a mashed up avacado on it? I also think it’s too funny to read all of these articles about millennials not wanting things, preferring to have experiences instead and being a bunch of lazy, nere do wells living off of mom and dad. I know quite a few millennials. Oddly enough, they all have jobs. They also all seem to have a lot of student loan debt whether they did or didn’t work while in college which might explain why some, though not all, are living with Mom and Dad. And many of them do seem to prefer doing things rather than buying things but all of the millennials that I know are working toward having a place of their own. And what’s so wrong about not wanting to buy a bunch of stuff anyway? I’m nowhere near being a millennial and I’ll gladly trade that new sofa and chairs for a monthly camping trip to somewhere I’ve never been before!

    Avacado toast, lol!

  • Cheryl Norton Sewell

    How do you go through a dozen avocados before they ruin? As the only avocado eater in my home, I’d love to know if you have some magic for making them ripen on a schedule or preserve them after they are ripe. Thanks!

    • Ted

      Try to buy most of them when they are still hard. An avocado is ready to eat when it’s ever so slightly soft, and if you buy ten, the hard ones will ripen at slightly different times. If you cannot eat the ripe ones as they ripen, put them in the frig, They will continue to ripen, but more slowly, and even a week later, they should still be fine. I’ve actually “lost” avocados in the frig and maybe two weeks later, they were still OK. Not ideal, but nowhere near spoiled. The one thing that seems unavoidable is, no matter how diligent you are, every so often, an avocado that seems perfectly fine will be spoiled when you cut into it, and to me, there’s is nothing more repulsive than a rotten avocado.

      • Cheryl Norton Sewell

        Thanks! I’ll buy a few and try it out.

  • Judy Bears-Portner

    I recently learned avocado can be frozen! Remove the shell and seed and mash the ripe avocado with a little lime. I freeze a large dollop in a muffin paper. When you thaw, make guacamole as usual. I had heard the texture was different, but I did not notice any difference. I too will be buying a dozen when they are on sale!

  • Beck

    I feel the problem is all over the map like buying XBox games, expensive phone/phone plans, cable and super fast internet. When we were growing up these things did not exist and we could save. Today they could still save but most feel they have to keep up with all their friends and just won’t. For others it is getting their nails done all the time etc. There is no shame in any of these things as long as you can still save but many cannot because there is no room in their budget once they pay for all of that.

  • Desiree Dogood

    My great aunt introduced me to avocado on toast 50+ years ago, and I’ve been having it ever since. Sometimes with a poached/fried egg on top. And half an avocado is plenty IMHO.

    I agree, splurging for this at a restaurant is really a waste of money – it’s so easy to make at home for breakfast. And my math says if I can get a 5% return on my investment of $20/month, after 20 years that’s $8,223 or almost double the money spent on that avocado and toast at the restaurant, which I figure would cost about $120 total if I made it at home once/month for 20 years. I think I eat it on average about 2 to 3 times/week, at a cost of about 60 cents/slice.