Hello Everyone, welcome back.
So the goal of this blog is to give you ideas on how to save money this year. You might want to save money for different reasons, whether it be to; have more money for the things you do want to do maybe like go out more or take more vacations. Or maybe you're like me and you really want to save money so you can pay off your debt faster. Whatever the reason, you have come to the right place.
In my two previous blogs I outlined how to save money by cutting cell phone bill and other expenses, and I went over all the expenses you should be looking to cut, so go check those two out to see that. The reason for that is because it would be too long of a blog otherwise and a lot of people don't like reading super long blogs, so it's broken up for that reason. Today I will go over food expenses.
Depending on your lifestyle, you might spend way more money on food than you need to. That was sort of the case for me but was actually not as much as I thought it would be, nor as much as people around me thought it was. Solely because I have a super bad eating habit.
A lot of people around me would see me order these super large lunches at work, spending over 20 to 30 dollars each day, and a lot of people thought that was crazy. I even had one person mention that I was broke because I spend too much on lunch. This is one reason why a lot of people are opposed to letting others know about their struggles, and was also not true because no one really fully knows my life. You might know I'm broke because I said it but you definitely don't know why.
Was that a lot of money for lunch? Yes. Was it the reason for me being broke? Hell No! This is because lunch was the only meal I ate each day. At the time I didn't cook, which people knew, and I guess they assumed I bought food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but like I mentioned before I have a really bad eating habit and I only ate at lunch.
So... let me explain. Most of my life I just couldn't do breakfast. Honestly that gave me some anxiety, because when you have to go to school or places early and you have to wake up early, you know you need to eat because then you have to wait hours before you can; but still I couldn't do it. I would have a stomach ache and feel sick when I even tried. Overtime I got use to not eating breakfast. Then as it relates to dinner because I work in retail for a number of years I begin to push back my lunches until between 3pm to 5pm and then when I got home I was either not hungry or I was too tired to eat. The great news is, because I bought large lunches, I would have some for dinner on the off chance I wanted to eat something and that would be anytime after 10pm. The point is, I ate once a day.
I spent on average $20 a day, more or less, because there were times when I spent 15 dollars, it would really depend on where I bought food from. So $20 for 7 days is $140 a week, which was still a good chunk of change. Most single people would spend about $80 a week, maybe $100 at most; when shopping for groceries for the entire week. So that leaves about $40 each week. Which would be around $1920 for the year. Maybe you can even squeeze out $2000 and that can go towards your bills.
For me I wanted to take it up a notch. If I was gonna now have to not eat fast food as much and probably will have to take trips to the grocery store and cook, I wanted to make sure it was really worth it.
After looking into many options, which included buying pre-made, pre-cooked and prepackaged food, so I didn't have to cook. Eventually I realized I will have to cook and this would be the cheapest way. What I wanted was to spend around $50 a week on groceries, which doesn't happen for other reasons.
For me specifically I realized when I went to the store I would spend more than expected and I would buy too much and ended up having stuff in my fridge that goes bad.
This would be like vegetables, seasonings like tomatoes, peppers, etc you know the types. I would buy too much meat or cheese ravioli which apparently expires, who knew? Milk etc. I also have a unique living situated that affects me, so I don't have a big fridge or deep freezer for excess meat and perishables. You might not have that problem, which for you it might work out. But I realized I created a lot of waste when I do try to cook. I tried buying canned products but I'm not gonna live on canned goods alone obviously.
What seems to be working for me right now, is doing a food subscription service where for a decent price they send you the correct amount of ingredients and you just make it. Be careful to compare lots of options and find the one that cost the least. Right now I'm using Dinnerly, and I'll also leave a link below for that at the end.
There are options like Ever plate, Blue Apron, Marley Spoon, HelloFresh, Freshly etc.. I can always do a separate blog on the different options, just ensure you do your research.
I think as I cook more, I will learn how much ingredients to buy that is right for one person, which is cool that I'm learning that with Dinnerly, however when I went to the store they don't really sell meat like that. The chicken would be a whole pack, shrimp is sold by the pound, beef would be a pack more suited for more than one person. The problem here is that I will not eat it all. I like eating different things every couple of days, If I buy a pack of chicken like that I can cook it, but I'll eat some and leave the rest in the fridge and then one day I'll look and go oh crap it as mold. Or I'll leave it uncooked and then three weeks later it's gone bad. At least I think it is, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be grey.
Either way for me it's too much waste. With Dinnerly they send me like 10 shrimp, ok maybe it's 20, whatever it is, it's enough for me. At first I was like nah... they are bugging if they think I'm gonna spend $40 on this, and then I had to go back and tell them to send me less food.
I started off with 5 recipes and then I moved it to the lowest selection of 3 recipes for 2 people, which is like 6 servings. Don't forget most often I'm eatnig once a day so it last for the week. By the time the last day is here, day number seven, here comes the box again.
Like I said, for you this might now be the best option, but consider ways to reduce how much you spend on food, and not just with coupons but something that's going to make a difference.
For me Dinnerly is working great, and sure there are some days when a recipe is so good I feel like I need more, but that's just my greed showing. On average I spend $30 to $40 on Dinnerly a week and it does last the week. However my spending does not stop there for food. One thing I do now that I didn't do before was buy fruits. I figured since I'm cooking now I might as well go all the way and be healthy. So now I buy fruits and they ain't cheap either, but I try to be smart. I also have to buy milk and water but I've found ways to get water very cheap. You can just drink tap water if you want, but I don't want to. One day I might though.
If you are still unsure what Dinnerly is, it's a food subscription company. They send you the main raw ingredients for you too cook at home. They have different plans for different size families. The ingredients comes in a box, frozen things are in a bag with ice packs inside that box to keep them cool. You get the box the same day it ships in a few hours.
I'm sure you are also wondering, but Dinnerly is not sponsoring me, I did not get paid to say this and they do not know who I am. However if you are thinking about doing Dinnerly, please use my link and help a sister out. I can get money towards my box which helps me save more money, so if you are deciding to try it out consider doing that, you'll get a discount so it will be a win win.
The great part about me doing this box, is that during this crisis with CoronaVirus, I don't have to leave my house. I left once to get fruits but I haven't gone out in two weeks. I'm really happy I don't have to. They leave my box at the door, I get it and whip my stuff down and I'm done. I am so glad I decided to do this, because I tried getting fruits by ordering it through whole foods, amazon fresh, and so many others, and none of it worked for me.
I wanted to go over the remaining ways to get expenses but this is getting long so I'll that for next time. Coming up is credit card fees and bank fees, and you won't believe how much money you get charged for those, and that could be the biggest thing holding you back.
Thanks for reading, see you next time.