In the Me vs. Food Spending competition, the statistics are currently thus: Food Spending 10, Me -3
Fighting a never-ending battle with food costs
In November 2010, I spent $336 on Food & Dining ($185 groceries / $151 restaurants). In December 2010, I spent $297 ($78 groceries / $219 restaurants). In January 2011, I spent $279 ($20 groceries / $259 on restaurants). Granted, some of these splits might be biased because CB tends to pick up groceries on his way from work, and I will often pick up the check at restaurants to make up for the difference.
Still. For someone who had a ~$200 food budget just a few years ago and who had expected cohabitation to decrease food costs (because we can split groceries! and magically bond over cooking like characters in romantic comedies! – I was obviously not in my right mind), these numbers are a little hard to accept.
The truth is, I don’t like to cook after I come home from work. I find cooking time-consuming and thankless. *CB thanks me when I cook, as I do when he cooks, but on the whole I think this whole daily-grind-cooking (as opposed to special-occasion-cooking, such as a dinner party or a lovely brunch), is one of the most thankless jobs out there. Mom, I don’t know how you did it.
I’d rather pick up extra freelance assignments, or work longer hours and try to get a bigger bonus – in other words, I’d rather make more money to afford buying good food than try to scrimp and budget in that regard. But making more money takes time, while resisting the 6th restaurant visit in one week can be implemented immediately.
Resign to the higher food budget? Or make an extra effort to cook more?
On the one hand, is $300/month food budget for one person really that unreasonable? On the other hand, I can easily cut $50 or $100 out of the budget if I just cooked 3-4 more nights a month. Is cooking 3-4 more nights a month really that difficult? I know CB is also finding that our profligate dining out habits to be a drain on his finances. Given that neither of us lack things to save for, isn’t it worth more effort to cook?
I don’t know the answer to this. But I do know that I am hungry.