Money Smarts Blog
Take Back Your Spending: How to Quit your Food Delivery Addiction
May 4, 2021 || De'Laina Miller, Financial Coach
There’s no denying that restaurants offering a delivery service provide lots of convenience to busy people who don’t have the time or energy to cook. Unfortunately, the food delivery habit adds up. And, spending regularly with food delivery apps can negatively impact your savings account.
There's also Meal Kits. Everything you need is delivered to your door, then all you have to do is prep and cook. It's true - these kits eliminate the need to meal plan, shop for groceries, or even measure out ingredients making them super convenient. But the limited amount of food at a higher price point doesn’t make sense for a family with hangry (yes, we mean hangry; hungry + angry) teenagers.
Your best bet, is to cook at home. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between time spent on food prep at home and healthier diets. And this option beats all others on one important point: cost. Grocery shopping and cooking at home was found to be the most cost effective option with healthy homemade dinners coming in around $4 per person.
If you’re tired of eating up all your money with food delivery apps and meal kits, and you’re ready to make a change - here’s what you can do:
1. Figure out your budget.
Track what you spent on food delivery apps over the past 90 days and add up the total. Once you add up what you’re spending, you can see what your food delivery addiction is costing you. Then, think about your annual salary or hourly rate at work and compare it to your food delivery purchases. How many hours did you have to work just to be able to afford all that takeout? What else could you have done with the money instead?
2. Plan your menu, with a focus on weekends.
Let’s face it, most people feel the urge to dine out and order food on weekends. We get it! You’re busy and just want to relax. Try meal planning in advance so you feel prepared and don’t resort to using delivery apps. If you’ll be out all day, consider packing a lunch to bring with you. Consider preparing a delicious batch meal (multiple servings) to enjoy for dinner over the next few nights so you won’t have to cook. It only takes an extra hour to meal prep for busy days during the week, but the savings are worth it.
a. Pro-tip: Buy snacks in bulk to help curb your appetite between meals.
3. Delete the apps
It may be tough, but you might want to go ahead and delete all your apps at once. You can still dine out occasionally to make the transition easier. Added bonus -- you’ll skip out on the hefty delivery fees.
Food delivery is an expensive addiction to have. To break this habit, you’ll have to be motivated and understand how much it is costing you. Think about purchases you’d have to push off due to your excessive take-out habits. Are you ready to ditch your food delivery habit? Give it a try. Your savings account will thank you!