Tray’s Anatomy: The 120 PHP Challenge (7-Eleven vs. Ministop vs. Family Mart)

March 15, 2019

When the clock strikes 12, I look around the office, searching for signs that my  officemates are as hungry as I am. We’re all eager to get off our seats and head out to lunch, but it’s always the same question that leaves us stumped; where to go?

If we’re looking to save money, there’s always the ever reliable Jollibee or McDonald’s or KFC, but then I picture the long queues we’d surely encounter, and my stomach grumbles in protest. Instead, today I go for another of man’s greatest inventions, the 24-hour convenience store (specifically, the ones right across my office building).

Since I squandered most of my December paycheck on my army of inaanak last Christmas, my wallet deserves a little break.I decide that for lunch, I’ll spend no more than PHP 120. But which among the three most common convenience stores can give me the best value for my money? Which establishment has the most unique offerings? Let’s find out.



I enter 7-Eleven and immediately head for their colorful DIY hotpot station. The base, which is a small clump of instant noodles, costs PHP 12 while the toppings (they range from corn to fishballs to lobster sticks) are either PHP 10 or PHP 15 per piece. You could whip up a pretty satisfying meal for the low price of PHP 50.

What else can I afford? Three pieces of their siomai (PHP 25), a large cup of Slurpee (PHP 25), then I throw in one of those not-so-fresh bananas (PHP 15) from the counter so I could pretend to call this diet “balanced” and “healthy.”

Total cost: PHP 112

Price: 3.5, Variety: 5, Flavor: 3, Quality: 2.5



In many of my Tray’s Anatomy articles, I’ve been bombarded with demands, constant insistent demands, to try Ministop’s fried chicken. When I finally did, it immediately made it to the top of my list, next to Pancake House’s Classic Pan Chicken and Jollibee’s Chickenjoy. Ministop’s version is as crispy and juicy as any other, and yet its got its own unique flavor to set it apart.

Ministop’s two-piece fried chicken meal comes in at PHP 105, but an additional PHP 6 also gets you a regular drink. I’m a fried chicken addict so getting the one-piece meal was never really an option. To make sure I stick to my budget, and because I want to get their Cheesecake Sundae Cone (PHP 15) for dessert (which is also a must-try), I decide to just drink water at the office and opt for the basic PHP 105 meal.

Total cost: PHP 120

Price: 3.5, Variety: 2, Flavor: 5, Quality: 4

Family Mart


It would be nice to have Family Mart’s California Maki for lunch, since they make really good maki compared to those sold at supermarkets. It would, however, eat up much of my limited budget. Instead, I opt for the Tender Juicy Hotdog Meal that comes with a hotdog, rice, and a regular drink, all for PHP 45. I add an additional hotdog for PHP 29 because, well, why not?

Family Mart’s hotdogs are not the best out there, I find them slightly undercooked. I’m actually more excited about their Blue Lemonade, despite knowing that it’s probably 75% sugar. Of course, I might be mistaken and it’s actually 50% food coloring. I also grab one of their adorable Asado Pig Siopao (PHP 20). Too bad it’s a lot less exciting once you take a bite of the poker-faced piglet.

I swirled some Green Tea Sundae into a brown waffle cone (PHP 25) for dessert and impress myself at how big and tall I got my ice cream tower. However, I take one lick and I end up disappointed at how watery the mixture seems to be.

Total spent: PHP 119

Price: 2.5, Variety: 3, Flavor: 2.5, Quality: 3.5

The Verdict

I still love Family Mart, but I’d need a higher budget to really enjoy the best of their unique offerings. On the other hand, while 7-Eleven allowed me more of a shopping spree, considering my limited funds, I still have to give this battle to Ministop. Despite the lack of choices, both Ministop products I tried were consistently good in terms of flavor and quality. For PHP 120, I got a truly satisfying lunch I’d gladly have again any other day.

Do you agree with the ratings? What would you buy for lunch if you were given the same budget for each of these stores? Tell us by commenting below!

Addi dela Cruz Addi dela Cruz

Addi writes nonfiction that reads like fiction and fiction that isn't meant for children. He lives for breakfasts, getting new stamps on his passport, and perfecting his yoga tree pose. In between episodes of MasterChef and Hannibal, he dreams of owning a café that would serve the best hot chocolate in the South and have 12 tables at most.

16 comments in this post SHOW

16 responses to “Tray’s Anatomy: The 120 PHP Challenge (7-Eleven vs. Ministop vs. Family Mart)”

  1. Nico Goco says:

    7′-11 for the hotdogs/hotpot, ministop for rice meals, and family mart if you’ve got extra dough to spend. Pero grabe lang talaga fried chicken sa ministop!

  2. Sergia Susana says:

    I’ve never tried the California maki at Family Mart (mostly because I always stock up on the tuna mayo onigiri when I’m there). Is it better than the ones they have at Cold Storage? 🙂

  3. Gag0 says:

    Wow.. P120 budget? Ridiculous. Bring a pack lunch instead.

  4. Cassy Isturis says:

    What I love from the convenience stores mentioned is their sundaes! I love ministop and 7eleven’s 15php sundaes! I could get a chocolate flavor, or vanilla or even a mixed of these two flavors (the presentation looks really cool on the cone) 🙂 I also love their siopaos, yum yum

  5. Nancy A. says:

    I very much agree on this. Though there are limited variety on what MS can offer. Their food are worth every penny. 🙂

  6. Sonny says:

    7eleven. hotdogs, siopao, hotpot, rice meals, and instant cup noodles. solb na ang lunch monday – friday. I really hope they bring back the authentic chili dog.. not the crappy sachet chili.

  7. Hope Reyes says:

    The Chili Con Carne rice thing at 7-11 is good actually, and it’s priced at 39php if i remember correctly. it’s a cheap, and quite yummy fix to fill your tummy 🙂

  8. MFMN says:

    In some areas, Ministop’s chicken is only 99 pesos! 7/11’s rice meals and hotdogs are the best!

  9. Volts Sanchez says:

    Ministop actually has decent fried siomai (if you’re into greasy goodness, that is). Two of ’em (PhP35 each, I think) + rice = lunch for less than a hundred. Tasty, tasty…

    7-11? I’d go with the boxed meals. The tapa ain’t bad (PhP75, if my memory doesn’t fail me).

    Family Mart? Go for the other ‘dogs (weiner?). They taste better, or perhaps I’m just not a fan of red food coloring.

  10. Nica Angeles says:

    San ang locations ng Family Mart? Puro 7-11 and MiniStop lang ang meron dito sa’min. I agree with the verdict. MS’ chicken is good. As is their fried siomai and those spicy chicken pops (can’t remember what they’re called).

  11. Migs Eslava says:

    Love these articles 🙂 For me, very reasonable and price ng mga Kariman

  12. Migs Eslava says:

    Love these articles 🙂 For me, very reasonable and price ng mga Kariman ng MS

  13. Notacheapskate says:

    family mart good as well as 711. ministop not good, aircon very weak most of the time, few selection, drinks and most perishables cost more than 711

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