If you’ve ever lived alone, you’ll know cooking for one is hard. Actually, it’s crap.
Batch cook, they say. It’s so cost-effective, they say.
But truthfully, there’s never enough room in the freezer to store the leftovers you’re probably not going to even want to eat for the rest of the week, resulting in your local Uber Eats cyclist knowing your home address off-by-heart.
It’s for this reason Emmie Martin, a New Yorker with a habit of eating out came up with one rule to help her save hundreds of dollars spent on food each month.
The rule is simple: She only spends money on eating out – or ordering in – if she’s with a friend.
“For every standout burger and innovative dessert [New York] has to offer, there are numerous opportunities to throw money away on food,” she writes for CBNC’s Young Money.
“That put me at a crossroads: Should I give up eating out even though it brings me joy? Or do I continue on the same path despite the threat of financial ruin?”
Starting in 2015, Martin cut out all food purchases made when she was alone, like the late-night burritos or bought lunches on work days, which she now estimates saved her $10 per meal, $20 a week and $1,040 per year.
"The rule allows me to maintain the social aspects of restaurants that I love — connecting with friends both old and new, expanding my palette, getting to experience some of the best dishes New York City has to offer... I stopped thinking of dining out as a commonplace part of life and started relishing it for what it truly is: a treat," she says.
"That's $1,000 I can now put toward planning for the future, saving for bigger goals or travelling to new places. My rule forces me to align my spending with my priorities. While I care deeply about sharing a meal with my best friend, mediocre Thai food ordered from a no-name restaurant on Seamless is almost immediately a regret."
If you think about all the times you bought lunch rather than taking 15 minutes to prepare it the night before, or ordered take away because you're too tired, it really does add up.
With some careful planning and dedication, this is the kind of rule we could absolutely get behind. We might even try it this weekend. Or you know, next weekend.
Do you think this rule would make a meaningful impact on your monthly spending habits?
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