Thursday, September 15, 2005

My Eating Disorder, Part 2

I recently took a detailed look at my credit card expenses for food. Now I'll look at what I've been spending in cash. August was actually a pretty good month for cash expenses. The only things I tend to pay for in cash are daily coffee and lunch on workdays, maybe some fruit or minor groceries from a deli, and the occasional restaurant meal or drinks at a bar.
Groceries: $20.62 (3 items)
Liquor: $47.32 (3 items)
Dinner: $105.50 (5 items)

Breakfast:
On the weekends, I went to a diner once and bought a couple of bagels, totaling $14.50
Then on weekdays, I bought breakfast 18 times. Total $53.45, average per day $2.97. This usually buys coffee and a banana or a bagel or a hardboiled egg. In previous months my spending on breakfast had been higher, but I started eating cereal at home and bringing supermarket yogurts to work instead of buying expensive yogurt & granola at the deli.

Lunch:
On the weekends, I bought sandwiches or pizza or ate in a cafe a few times, totaling $40.33.
On weekdays, I bought lunch 6 times, for a total of $36.90, averaging $6.15 per day. This is really great for me. I was much better than I usually am about bringing food from home. Unfortunately I can't say I kept it up in September! I think I've bought pizza, a sandwich, or a salad every day this month. But $6-7 is still a typical daily lunch expense.

So total cash spent on food in August was $318.62. Add to that the $455 I spent on my credit card, and the total food for the month was $773.62, or an average of almost $25 a day.

My resolutions for the future:
Buy bananas by the bag instead of from the fruit man for .25 each? I'll have to see if they're really cheaper by the bag.
Make hard-boiled eggs at home instead of paying .75 each at a deli
Coffee: maybe I could live with a small instead of a large.
Lunch: continue to try to bring food from home at least half the time
Dinner: eat out at inexpensive restaurants no more than once a week, and allow myself a nice meal at a more expensive restaurant no more than once a month
Liquor: try to be less of a boozer, I guess. :(

4 comments:

Jose Anes said...

I think the key here is to try to find better, less expensive alternatives to what you buy. Not to cut back on it.

For example, the banana and the boiled egg help. Same product, less money.

The drinking at home, with close friends, may be cheaper than at the bar, for example.

A very good dinner at a good (maybe expensive) restaurant may be more satisfying than three cheap ones at a bad restaurant (cook more inside, enjoy food outside only when it is great).

Money And Investing

nyc money said...

Have you tried restaurant.com? I use their coupons that cost $4 or $5, and I get $25 off the meals. Plus I get to try out new places all the time.

The only way I manage to keep my food bill under $300 a month is because I buy all my groceries in chinatown, and eat there almost everyday. Booze is always worth it!

Caitlin said...

def cook a bunch of eggs at once (I am lazy!).

If you only have room for one egg container, mark the boiled ones with a penciled X or something so you can quickly and easily ID raw vs. HB. It helps me ;)

eggs. the perfect food. someday I will own chickens. But I digress.

thedebtfreeblog.com said...

Give up alcohol? What are you nuts or something? There are limits you know. ;-)

We don't eat out or go to bars very often (maybe once every few months), but I am guilty of buying breakfast and lunch at our cafeteria more than I should. I was buying breakfast ($2) and lunch ($6) every single day, which adds up to $160/month.

In August I made a resolution to only buy breakfast and lunch once a week. Otherwise I'm brown bagging it. I've stuck to it most of the time and it has created a $100 monthly surplus for us. A very nice little bonus I might add.