I recently reviewed my spending for the first couple of months of the year. Usually, I do this monthly. However, I had let things slide. Upon review, I immediately noticed that I must significantly reduce my food spending if I want to save money.
When Food Gets Emotional
Things got out of control with my food spending because I was having a rough time. I sustained a traumatic injury and a personal loss at the same time. Therefore, I went into a sort of numb place where I couldn’t focus clearly. This causes three related things to happen:
- I stopped paying close attention to my spending. It just wasn’t my focus.
- My eating became much more about immediate comfort than long-term wellness.
- Lacking time and energy, I often didn’t want to cook at home.
These things would swing back and forth, affecting my finances in different ways. For example, after eating comfort food for a few days, I would suddenly realize that I wanted to be healthier. However, lacking energy, I would resort to ordering expensive “healthier” choices instead of making something at home.
5 Ways I’m Reducing Food Spending This Month
The result, of course, was that I spent too much money on food. In fact, I spent well over $1000 per month on food for just one human. I can’t afford to do that. So I’m significantly slashing my food spending this month in these five ways:
1. I Deleted Postmates
I spent a lot of money on food delivery in the past couple of months. Sadly, I also wasted a lot of food due to over-ordering. I pay for the service itself, the food including what I waste, plus the delivery tip. It added up to so much money. No Postmates for at least the next month!
2. Stringent Dining Out Budget
It’s not realistic for me to say I’m not going to dine out at all. I know this from years of personal experience. Whether it’s because I’m too tired to cook, have a specific craving I can’t get over, or am just out and about and need to grab a snack, at some point, I’ll dine out. So, instead of saying “never”, I have to be selective. Therefore, I’ve set a maximum $200 budget for dining out each month. That includes coffee, drinks with friends, take out food, etc.
3. Eating From The Freezer
Not all of that extra food I ordered from Postmates went to waste. Lots went into the freezer. It’s time to eat from the freezer in order to reduce my food spending for the next few months.
4. Skipping Some Deliveries
I receive my groceries from HungryRoot and Farm Fresh To You. Because I’ll be eating from the freezer (and the pantry), I’ll be able to skip some of the deliveries. I’ll skip at least one week per month of each of them. Moreover, if I stagger the deliveries from week to week, I might actually be able to reduce my grocery spending by almost half.
5. Doing the Psychological Work
Finally, now that the initial trauma/loss has passed, it’s time for me to start digging into those emotions. If I don’t do the underlying work, then eventually I’ll revert back to comfort eating. And if I do that, my food spending budget will go out the window. Therefore, I must commit to doing this work in order to save money both immediately and over time.
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