As I start preparing my income tax documents for last year, I have been struggling to come to terms with how I managed to waste so much money. Not only did I manage to spend a lot of money, I also have very little to show for it.
One major expense was a vacation I took last year, but that doesn’t come close to accounting for all the wasted money. A bigger expense that I need to accept is dining out and take out food.
Why I’m A Sucker For Paying Someone To Cook For Me
First and foremost, I love good, healthy, and sometimes not-so healthy food. I really enjoy trying new restaurants and indulging in my favorites from my local hot spots. I think my tastebuds must be wired directly to the part of my brain that tells me how happy I am.
I’m not particularly picky either. I love it all…fast food, sushi, chinese, korean, vietnamese, italian, greek, etc. My mouth is watering just listing this stuff!
Then the other half of my excuse is just plain laziness. After working all day and trying to fit website/blogging work into my free time, I just don’t want to spend a bunch of time cooking and cleaning up after it. Home cooked food can be just as tasty, but how do you fit in all that time every day?
Quit Telling Yourself It’s Nearly The Same Price At Home
Another excuse I like to tell myself is that at a restaurant it is sometimes barely more expensive than making the same meal at home. While that may actually be true with certain foods, most of it is much, much more money when you are paying someone to cook for you.
If you’re going out to a restaurant, think of all the people that they have to pay on top of the price of the actual food. Then add in the high price they pay for their location and all the other random expenses that they incur. After all is said and done, they are still making a hefty profit. Yes many make more money from drinks, but they still profit on the food.
If you think delivery food is any better on your wallet, keep in mind that you are paying someone to drive that meal to your house. Plus they are still paying their kitchen staff and miscellaneous things such as marketing.
Back in the day, only the very wealthy would even consider paying someone to cook for them each week. Now there are so many restaurants everywhere that people feel entitled to it at least once per week.
How I’m Weaning Myself Off This Addiction
As much as my bank account wants me to quit cold turkey, I am just not that strong. With the temptation everywhere, I just can’t find the will to resist. Besides, there is nothing wrong with treating yourself sometimes. It just needs to be done in moderation.
First, I am gradually moving away from the more expensive restaurants. I used to live downtown where you couldn’t walk around the block without passing by 3 or 4 top notch restaurants with chefs that cook divine food. That was very pricey. Next I moved to the suburbs and I was suddenly dining out far less. Unfortunately I balanced that out with take out or delivery food. If they weren’t going to cook right next door to me, I was going to make them come to me. Still I was gradually starting to cook more and spend less.
Eventually I want to move somewhere with even fewer dining out and delivery options. Since I grew up in a small town with very few dining choices, we cooked almost all of our meals. I need to transition back into that habit.
Besides moving to avoid the lure, I’ve also been trying to limit how many times I dine out each week. Really though, I should be getting more strict and keeping track of it all in a budget. I’m not sure if my procrastinating skills are at fault or if my stomach isn’t letting me take that step. At least I’m not in denial anymore. That is one of the first steps of dealing with addiction, isn’t it? It might take years to stop this addiction , but baby steps are better than nothing.
So what about my readers? Do any of you have weak willpower when it comes to food, especially your personal favorites? Or do you have some good strategies to ensure you cook at home more often?