A meal ticket - Idiom Meaning

Idiom "Meal ticket" depicted by a dinner plate & entry ticket for a lifetime 24/7 event with meals, housing, clothing & everything included. "She thought marrying a lawyer would be her meal ticket."


(be) a meal ticket 

  • A person or thing used to provide regular or permanent financial income.

Note: This idiom is informal and is sometimes used in a negative way to say that someone is exploiting another person for money.

Example sentences

— Unfortunately, a university degree is no longer a meal ticket for a financially secure life.

— My sister is disgusting. She's dating a surgeon and thinks getting pregnant will be her meal ticket.

— I'm hoping passive rental income will be my meal ticket. I buy and fix up distressed properties and then rent them out.

— I never dreamed YouTube would be a meal ticket but I've earned and saved more than two million dollars over the past ten years.

— He definitely married her for her money. She's been his meal ticket ever since college.

— A model's appearance is her meal ticket so of course she's going to undergo cosmetic procedures.

— As an athlete, my body is my meal ticket so I've taken out a lot of insurance in case I get injured.

— I hated my job and the bureaucracy but it was a meal ticket. Since leaving the government, I've been laid off two times.

— We were all certain the start-up would be our meal ticket but the business never took off.

— Who would have imagined a receptionist position at Microsoft would be a meal ticket? Well, it was. In 1990, my stock options allowed me to retire a millionaire in my late 20s.

— My dogs are my meal ticket. They're Instagram stars and we earn a six-figure salary.

— My mother's in her 80s and her boyfriend's in his 30s. It's hard not for us to think he views her as a meal ticket.


  • cash cow
  • golden goose
  • gold mine
  • gravy train

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