Save Money & Eat Like You Are Broke!

by Kristina Tahnyak on January 9, 2012 · 6 comments

Good Morning DINKS! If we can learn to live on less to save money, then we can learn to eat less to lose weight. If we eat like we are broke then we can do both! I personally spend a lot of money on snacks, Starbucks and lunches during the week. I try to live on a $2 per day budget, but that rarely works out as planned. Some nights I am too lazy to prepare my lunch for the next day, and some mornings I am too tired to wake up a bit earlier and eat breakfast.

From Monday to Wednesday I can live on spending only $2 per day. Sometimes I buy an iced coffee, sometimes I buy a bagel, and sometimes I buy a yogurt parfait with fruit. Before I installed my $2 a day budget I would buy all three items and spend up to $10 a day on snacks and food. Now I (try to) live on a $2 per day budget for snacks. Every Thursday I still splurge and buy my lunch up to a maximum of $10.

This only includes spending during the work week. Very often I pick up dinner on my way home for my boyfriend Nick and I which could be up to another $20 at least twice a week. I don’t understand why this habit is so hard for me to break. The commercials for World Vision say that we can feed a child for only $0.30 per day, so why can’t I stick to a $2 per day food budget?

If I saved my $2 per day instead of spending it on snacks, if I didn’t spend $10 per week on my Thursday lunch, and if I stopped spending $40 per week on my Dinners I could save $52 per week which is over $2700 per year!

Other than my (maybe excessive) spending on food, I don’t waste money on any other vices. I do not drink alcohol and I do not smoke (anything). So I try to justify my snack spending by reminding myself that it’s better to spend money on food than it is to spend money on drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.  Spending money on food rather than addictive substances is definitely better for our health and well being, but neither of these spending habits is better our budget.

Here are some quick tips to help you Eat Like You Are Broke:

  • Don’t Order The Combo. We don’t need it, a soft drink and French fries are just extra calories and an extra $2.50 on our bill.
  • Don’t Give Into Temptation. We may want something just because we see it, but if we aren’t really hungry then we shouldn’t buy it.
  • Make Sure To Bring More Food. It’s better to have extra food than not have enough food because if we get hungry we will go out to buy snacks.
  • Don’t Keep Money in Your Wallet. Money is easier to spend when it is readily available. If we don’t have money in our wallet we may be less likely to go out of our way and make the effort to hit up the ATM when we get our morning or afternoon cravings.
  • Order a Kids Meal.  Your budget and your belly will thank you later.

Photo by Calgary Review

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daisy January 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

I used to be terrible for doing this. I found out that if I left my wallet, except for my ID, at home I wouldnt have the means to buy anything.

I would only do this if I was going to work, which was 7 minutes away from my apartment. In an emergency, I could walk back home without a hitch, so it’s not like I’d need money to buy a cab. It worked like a charm!

2 Heather January 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

I completely agree! This is what I’ve been working on lately, is bringing my lunch and snacks for the day from home. I’ve also been bringing tea bags to have in the afternoon instead of buying coffee from the shop at work. I go with tea, since I do hate instant coffee, so I won’t bring that in!!!

3 Carrie - Careful Cents January 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I recently changed my eating habits too. I don’t purchase the combo meals anymore, and buying the Junior meals helps a lot. I cut out sodas completely and not only did I save $2 per drink while at a restaurant, I saved a ton of calories. I was also able to get rid of my migraines because of the sugar overload. Like you said, it’s a win-win for your wallet and waistline.

4 Donna Freedman January 10, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Don’t forget: When you order a kid’s meal, you get a toy!
When keeping food at work try to make it healthy, obviously. But if you know you’re going to give in to chocolate from the vending machines, get your junk food from the clearance tables after major holidays. You’ll get 50% or more off and Hershey’s Kisses et al. freeze well.
When the “candy season” ends there’s a drought between Easter and Halloween. Watch for sales and sale-coupon combinations at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, et al. Those places also have sales on nuts, dried fruit and pretzels — all of which make a better mid-afternoon snack than, say, tortilla chips.

5 Kristina January 10, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Great Tips Donna. Thanks.

6 gina January 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

Preplanning meals has got to be the best way to save money. My husband and I are getting rid of the credit card debt and have instituted no spend week. This is it.. from Sunday to Saturday, we don’t buy anything, no lunches, gas, dod dads, Darn Girl Scout cookies, nothing. So far we are on day 4 and it has worked fine. Preplanning meals is so important, we both have free coffee and tea at work, so that is not a problem. Don’t stop at the drug store to look and be temepted, or Walmart or Target, work and home. Two more months and the credit card will be gone. February will be no DINING OUT month, that will be tough!

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