Today I read a question posed by a 20-something-year-old that made me breathe a huge sigh of relief.
“How does a single person live off $100 a week for food?” a Reddit user in their 20s from Perth asked, before explaining that they currently fork out an average of $150-$200 a week towards food and would like to cut this amount down.
‘THIS IS ME,’ I instantly screamed in my mind.
As a 26-year-old who often spends $200 (usually more) on food per week, I felt comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only person from Gen Y who is completely failing at
life budgeting for food.
The Reddit user, who goes by the name LUCREHULK91 went on to detail how their food bill roughly ends up equating to this amount.
Image via Reddit.
"I know I've got to cut this down drastically. I could be saving so much money if I stopped buying takeaway foods and moderated my grocery shops," they went on.
Then almost immediately and rather predictably, the Reddit user was mocked for their inability to budget and labelled as outright 'lazy'.
"Jebus dude its mostly a life-style problem you got. Prepare to be ruthlessly mocked here and the other place," a fellow Reddit user responded.
"What the f***, $50 for a pizza?' after the original poster admitted they spent $50 a week on pizza when they are 'too tired or lazy to prepare something at home," said another.
So yes, while it might seem ridiculous, blowing out your budget on food is not actually not that hard to do. I'd even go as far as to argue that it's easy to do. Let me give you a rundown of what I spend per week on food:
- Once a week I have pre-packed meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered. I do this five days a week while I am at work which costs roughly $120.
- I buy a coffee maybe four times a week which comes to $20.
- On a Friday night my partner and I will usually order take away which can come to between $50-$80 dollars.
- I usually spend another $100-$150 if we decide to eat out on the weekend.
Crunch those numbers and they'll come out anywhere between $290 and $370 per week.
Before you begin to cry about how ridiculous that is, that it's overly indulgent, that it's a 'first world problem' and that I could save so much money by living on Mi Goreng and instant coffee, let me save you the time. I already know this, I might even agree with you. But there are many reasons why I spend this much per week on food and be assured, it's not because I am lazy. Far from it, in fact.
To begin with I don't know how to cook. I can do many things but cooking is not one of them, it's just not one of those skills that comes to me. I'm sure if I put in some time and effort I could probably bang out a decent meal but honestly, it's not something I'm interested in at this point in time.
On one rare occurrence when I did try my hand at cooking chicken schnitzel, I had to ring a friend to ask why the chicken breasts at Woolies were so ridiculously large. (Answer: You need to cut the chicken yourself before cooking.) On two other occasion I almost burnt down our office kitchen trying to make toast (technically not cooking but a true story none the less.)
The second reason is that I'm time poor. I work Sunday through to Thursday during the evening, often long hours and would rather spend the little time I have in the morning seeing my partner, catching up with friends, running errands or going to the gym, as opposed to prepping meals which would probably end up tasting like dirt anyway (see the point about not being able to cook.)
Did you too avoid the kitchen this ANZAC day? You need this fail-safe recipe in your life. (Post continues after video.)
The third is that *gasp* I enjoy the little things. I enjoy my coffee from the cafe across the road before heading into the office, I enjoy my lazy takeaway on the couch on a Friday night with my partner, I enjoy going out to a nice restaurant and ordering whatever I like from the menu every now and again. You know why? Because I work hard and I earned it.
Yes, I could be a penny pincher and save a whole lot more but realistically, those little things makes me happy. Maybe one day I'll learn how to cook, perhaps in the near future I'll have more time to put into meal preparation or might decide to reign in my spending a bit and put that money towards something else.
But for the moment I'm content and really, what's so horrible about that?
How much do you spend on food each week? Let us know in the comments...