I spend too much money on food. This isn’t hard, living in New York City. But still, lately I’ve been a bit out of control.
Last year I signed up on Mint.com, a site that helps keep track of expenses and budgets and such. It sends me alerts if something funky happens on my account, if I exceed the budget I’ve set for myself for certain types of purchases, and other similar situations. The other day I got an email from Mint telling me that last month I spent over $300 at restaurants when I usually spend around $96.
I knew I’d spent more eating out last month due to a slew of different issues, but I didn’t realize I’d gone that much over my normal budget. This would explain why there was very little added to my savings account. Arg.
Most of my eating out spending happens because I have an inability to make anything at home that I want to eat for lunch at work. It’s a failing on my part, I know, but in the end any sandwich I pack is going to lose when I can go around the corner and get onigiri. Onigiri isn’t all that expensive and I can usually get enough to last the whole day for around $10. But onigiri is a bunch of rice and not that much meat, thus isn’t not a very balanced meal, nor does it help with the whole being overweight bit.
I’ve pretty much solved my dinner problem by eating dumplings all the time with a few other things thrown in like edamame or maybe a homemade hamburger every now and then. And since my roommate bought a powerful blender I’ve been doing the smoothie thing every morning. Still, every time I get all proud of myself for being healthy at breakfast and dinner, lunch comes and beats me up.
And if I am depressed about lunch, I’m much more likely to do something like go to a favorite restaurant for dinner, which means more money spent and nothing going into the WisCon fund! This cannot be.
So today I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up frozen fruit and dumplings when I spotted their soup section. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed these shelves before because the selection is small and unnoticeable and usually hidden behind the 12 Items Or Less line.
My TJ’s is really small, cramped, and inefficient.
Anyway, today I grabbed one of every soup I saw that I figured I might like, which turned out to be more than enough for a week’s worth of lunch. Between the dumplings, fruit, juice and soup, I spent less than $100, which is the budget I imposed on myself for food during the week. (That would be the other kind of diet.)
If I can keep under budget for the next month I’ll have plenty of money for WisCon in May even if I don’t earn anything extra. And that makes me feel less down already! Awesome.
Who knew that Trader Joe’s was the solution to all problems? Surely not I.