For those who are new to budgeting or finance tracking, there’s one big area that everyone realizes was holding them back with often nothing to show for. I know it was one of the first things I thought when I started budgeting:
Why am I spending so much on food?!
FOOD. The big one. The fuel that enables us to do anything else. There’s a reason we have weak hands when it comes to controlling spending around food. For millennia, securing and scarfing down food was one of the most evolutionarily important traits we could pass down. Picky DNA was left in the dust while those who ate and ate everything in sight, often lived to recreate.
You’ll often find that you spend hundreds of dollars on “small, cheap meals” that really add up. A small lunch out for $9.50, when eaten 20 days per month, adds up to to $200! And how often do we keep within $9.50 here in NYC? Not often. “Yeah I’ll take a drink and a side.” Usually these meals are full of sugar and can be unhealthy, too.
Track your spending and figure out how much money is going to eating out. And figure out how you can recreate these dishes at home. You’ll often find that raw ingredients only come out to 1/10th or 1/5th of the cost you’re used to paying. A quick google search will reveal how to create those meals. Buy a food container, and bring your lunch! Over time you’ll be surprised at the savings.