Let’s face it, ordering takeout can be expensive. It’s okay to do every now and then, but the cost adds up. What’s even more expensive is ordering food to be delivered to your home. Sometimes it’s not easy to do, but there are ways to break your food delivery addiction
Growing up, my parents would sometimes order a pizza on the weekend and get it delivered to the house. Pizza nights were fun but they were few and only came around every once in a while.
Nowadays, you can order any type of food you want and have it delivered to your home. Sites like DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats contribute to a $34 billion industry that is steadily growing. While these companies are lining their pockets, you have to determine whether the convenience of food delivery is worth it to you.
For most of us, it’s not given our current goals. Using food deliver sites almost always doubles your purchase order. If you’re looking to save money but still enjoy tasty meals, here are some things you can do to break your food addiction.
1. Create a Meal Plan
Creating a meal plan is one of the best ways to organize your meals throughout the day and save money on restaurant food. Eating at home more is a habit that anyone can establish. You just need to be willing to plan and prepare in advance.
People often use food delivery apps because they seem convenient at the time. If you plan and prepare for your meals ahead of time, you won’t have to spend the money on food delivery.
I usually shop for two weeks and use a whiteboard on my fridge to plan out all of our dinners. I also have a plan for lunches and my family and I generally eat the same things for breakfast each morning.
Creating a meal plan allows us to diversify our foods so we’re not eating the same thing all the time and prepare for the next meal ahead of time.If you plan and prepare for your meals ahead of time, you won't have to spend the money on food delivery. Click To Tweet
2. Take Turns Cooking
If you don’t like to spend time cooking, you don’t have to do it often. Cook meals in batches that way you can have leftovers and also alternate cooking responsibilities with other family members.
If you can cook a meal for 2-3 days and have your spouse and/or an older child do the cooking for one day, you won’t really have to spend much time in the kitchen.
3. Buy and Prepare ‘Easy Meals’
My family and I have what we call ‘easy meals’ or ’emergency meals’ ready to go. I know that life can be unexpected sometimes and ordering food can seem super convenient whenever you’re tired, overwhelmed, or just don’t have the time.
I like to buy a frozen pizza or two when I go grocery shopping or another quick meal that I can whip up quickly. You can also try preparing meals in bulk and freezing them in advance so you just thaw the food and heat it up.
You can do this for foods like tacos, roasts, chili and so on. Your freezer can keep foods fresh for several months so take advantage of this option.
4. Delete the Apps to Help Break Your Food Delivery Addiction
Sometimes, you may just have to go cold turkey and delete all your food delivery apps and block the websites on your computer. Think back to what you did before food delivery was a thing.
Bring your lunch to school or work so you don’t feel tempted to pay for food delivery every day.
5. Allow Yourself Some Planned Take Out/Dining Out Days
You don’t have to stop eating at restaurants completely in order to break your food addiction. Allow yourself some planned days to indulge and dine at or order from your favorite restaurants.
Establish a monthly restaurants budget that you can use when you need it. Aim to either dine in with friends or family so you can enjoy the social aspect or pick up your own take out.
You’ll still get to enjoy the restaurant food but you’ll be saving money by avoiding food delivery apps. Sites like DoorDash charge a delivery fee of around $3.99. You still have to pay taxes and a tip in addition. This can easily make a $7 burrito bowl at Chipolte cost twice as much when you could just pick it up yourself.
6. Prioritize Your Other Financial Goals
When you think about your other financial goals, ordering food from an app probably doesn’t really align well with them. Focus on what you really want to do with your money and I bet this will expose any expenses that are deterring you from reaching your goal.
Personally, food delivery apps have always seemed expensive and overrated to me. Most times, the ‘convenience’ just wasn’t worth the extra money. There are ways to break your food delivery addiction out there.
I want to do things like pay off the rest of my debt, travel to new countries, and do some upgrades on my home. Those are the things that will bring me the most joy and food delivery doesn’t align with those goals at all. Trust me, it’s fun when you get rid of distractions and prioritize your other financial goals so you can make progress.
Do you feel you order too much food from apps like DoorDash, Postmates, and UberEats? What steps are you taking to break your food delivery addiction and save more money?