Pizza: Archnemesis of the Grocery Budget

I needed to write a post for this blog, so tonight, I laughingly asked my husband to throw out a finance-related topic for me to write on. As he shoved a slice of pepperoni deep dish in his mouth he mumbled, “I don’t know. Pizza?”

Wow, what a big help he was.

I rolled my eyes and began walking off, but he called after me: “No, seriously! I spent $30 on this pizza. That’s finance-related.”

I sat down to begin writing about something different, but then I started thinking. Pizza is very finance related. In fact, pizza is the easiest and most accessible grocery budget buster out there. Let’s look at why.

Ease and Accessibility

You can find a pizza delivery service in almost every area of the country. No matter where you live, you’re almost guaranteed that a pizza is a mere phone call away. In a country that wants everything instantaneously, pizza is as good as it gets. What beats a piping hot meal delivered right to your front door with all the trimmings? Pizza is mighty seductive when you’ve reached the end of your week’s grocery supply, you’re dog tired from a long day at work, and you have nothing much to eat in the house.

Most people receive circulars that include coupons for package deals at the nearest pizza place, but deals usually make little to no dent in the $30-$40 a pop ordering a pizza will run you.

Nneedless to say, I’m writing this article on a pizza night. I’m doing the week’s grocery shopping tomorrow, but tonight I had to work and there was simply nothing else left to eat in the house. This is precisely the scenario that pokes major holes in the family grocery budget – $40 in one night?! That’s almost half of our weekly grocery bill right there!

How You Can Fight the Urge to Dial

There are some ways to keep yourself from calling in the pizza man at the end of a hard week of work. Before you map out your grocery list, make a menu for the week. This ensures you’ll have every day covered with a meal until your next grocery trip.

Next, it’s time to add an extra layer of security. When you’re at the store, get everything on your list, but deviate a bit and grab one or two easy meals you can make with very little effort. Think hot dogs, tacos, and other super simple options you can store in your pantry or freezer as backups.

These meals will serve as your pinch hitters for nights when you’re just itching to call Domino’s. Life’s little extras are the things that add up to cost you big at the end of each month. My two cardinal sins? Pizza and Starbucks. Let’s see if I can knock out one of those temptations at the grocery store tomorrow. I’m not making any promises about the latter one.