Expensive in a Couple of Ways

If I were to admit to a major vice that costs me more money than it should, it would be food. I love food – all kinds of it. One of the only reasons that I consistently go to the gym is to offset my habit of overeating on some weekend days, work “pot lucks”, or just a random Tuesday night when I decide it would be a good idea to hit an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant (these aren’t consecutive food adventures, just inadvisable choices made from time to time).

The problem with eating out is that the cost of the meals adds up to
quite a bit of money over time. The cost isn’t enough to change my savings plan significantly, but between the money spent and the unhealthiness of most of the stuff I like to eat (because who I don’t normally choose healthy food), it’s not the best thing to do.

Six and a half days out of 7 days, I’m able to pretend to be a responsible adult and eat at least home-made food. My lunch staple is ground beef in either some sort of taco / burrito bowl (lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, maybe some avocados, and refried beans) or a pile of frozen vegetables, depending on how ambitious I am the night before. I make my lunch food the night before because I give myself basically enough time in the morning to make coffee and run out the door.

We buy our beef in bulk from one of my friend’s mom, and have been buying half a pig from a local farm over the past few years to add to our freezer stock.  Because of this stockpile of meat, we usually have enough food sitting around the house that I really shouldn’t be eating out at all. I know how to cook a lot of food, most of which is both delicious and much cheaper than something comparable at a local restaurant – I just choose not to some days.

Instead of taking 15 or 20 minutes at night to put together a lunch, which would result in me eating locally raised grass fed ground beef with healthy vegetables, I choose to continue watching baseball or football and shovel some of the worst food possible in my face. It’s one of the things that I do that makes neither financial or health sense, and could be easily remedied. Over time, this “habit” is probably costing me about $20 a week, just so I can eat food out that I already know how to make at home.

I try to spend my money efficiently, and me being lazy and semi-addicted to bad food is kind of the opposite of that. In the past, I’ve been able to talk myself into reducing the number of times I go out to eat to once every couple of weeks, which seems to work until I decide that I “deserve” more of the fun food that I want.

Given more time, I would probably cook for myself 100% of the time – something I look forward to when I’m done working full time in retirement.  I can figure out how to cook some fairly elaborate meals as part of a hobby, instead of rushing to put things in lunch containers for the next day. For now, I just battle my “vice” as
much as possible.