Skip to main content

Does anyone else have a bad money habit they're trying to break? My bad habit is ordering UberEats. For a while, it was easier to justify. I wasn't going out much due to the pandemic. I was freelancing like mad. Now, with prices for everything getting so out of hand, I'm realizing I need to scale back a lot. It isn't just about money. I eat so much healthier and feel better when I cook for myself instead of ordering out.

I reformed my UberEats habits once before. I even wrote about how I changed my ways in early 2020, when I answered a question from a reader who was wasting about $400 a month on food because she hated cooking. https://www.thepennyhoarder.co...sting-money-on-food/

I realized how badly I'd fallen back into my old back habits a few months back when my friend stumbled upon that column on Facebook. He called me laughing about the progress I claimed to have made. Fair point!

In all honesty, I wrote that column before the pandemic. Swinging by the grocery store on my bike on my way home had become part of my routine. I'd get just enough to cook something simple for that night's dinner and maybe have some leftovers for dinner. My habits changed drastically when I started working remotely.

So now I need to start forming new habits. I tend to fail when I do a lot of shopping at once. For me, thinking a meal or two at a time tends to work best, though that's probably because I'm a single person. I think I also need to give myself permission to indulge a little bit. Ordering UberEats once a week seems reasonable. But ordering it five times a week is not.

Does anyone have any good tips for breaking a bad financial habit? Or building healthy new habits? Any wisdom for grocery shopping and planning meals as a single person is also much appreciated!

Robin Hartill aka Dear Penny is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Okay, young lady, from one single male to one single female. Put down the cell and step away from your computer. I'll do my best at helping you. Delete Ubereats from your computer and your cell also any other food delivery service or business you have installed on your devices.

Riding your bike to buy a day or two's worth of groceries is crazy, bike riding for exercise, Awesome. I had to be at work daily during the Pandemic, so never had an option to work from home (public transportation employee). If you want to save money while shopping go in person, and never use the internet. When I went online to my local grocery store (HEB) all the high-dollar stuff was listed first, took me forever to find low-cost food items. So I walked into the store to find things I needed not wanted, then comparison shop, name brand vs generic, I choose generic 99.99% of the time. Money saved. Generic milk cost me $3.68 a gallon, name brand milk $4.98 a gallon, hey it comes from a Cow, and the cow doesn't care if people get ripped off. I buy family packs of food and spilt them up. Steak and ham don't have brand names ?!? Unless you're in the Deli section, crazy. Chicken for some reason has corporation names on packaging. I look for the store(s) name.

Next thing, I look for free or discounted items. I don't buy mustard or ketchup or BBQ sauce or spices or cleaning agents or cleaning supplies at the grocery store, I buy those items at Dollar Tree, for $1.25 instead of $2.00 and above and I buy in quantity at Dollar Tree. Taste the same to me, plus Dollar Tree has name brand items, and most come in the same size packaging too. Buy lettuce and apples etc from a roadside farmer at lower prices or buy in stores at higher prices, hmm cheaper please. These are examples to save money.

About female products, sorry young lady you're on your own.

I have not eaten at Mcdonald's, Burger King, KFC, etc in decades.

As a side note, I thought PC stood for personal computer until I was told Politically Correct and the word Woke, I thought the 20-year-old kid at work said he woke up from sleeping. I asked my 33-year-old daughter why there is a picture of a shopping cart on websites, she said they are called carts dad not shopping carts, me, what's the difference ?!? I've only shopped online 5 times in the last 12 years and was lost. Lol.

Indulgence, Only when I go on a date, she gets to order whatever she wishes to and I pay for everything.

Sorry for being long-winded, but I hope that I made sense.

LoL @Big Lew. HEB is my main go-to as well, and it's definitely cheaper to go into the store, but I often opt for pick-up. When I do go into the store, I tend to go around 6-7 a.m. or at night around 9:45 p.m. (beat the heat). And generally, generics have my name on them.

Okay, @Dear Penny. You're preaching to the choir. I'm single as well, and I spend way too much time hitting up outside food. I have a budget category of $30 for food outside of the home but go over that limit often. The sad thing is I love to cook and regularly cook in bulk and freeze. The problem is that even though I enjoy the food I cook, I just want something else. I think it's also because I live off of a main thoroughfare (Westheimer Rd in Houston), and there are just too many tempting choices. Look at Big Lew's advice because I'm probably no help. The both of us need to buckle down😉.

@sthom posted:

LoL @Big Lew. HEB is my main go-to as well, and it's definitely cheaper to go into the store, but I often opt for pick-up. When I do go into the store, I tend to go around 6-7 a.m. or at night around 9:45 p.m. (beat the heat). And generally, generics have my name on them.

Okay, @Dear Penny. You're preaching to the choir. I'm single as well, and I spend way too much time hitting up outside food. I have a budget category of $30 for food outside of the home but go over that limit often. The sad thing is I love to cook and regularly cook in bulk and freeze. The problem is that even though I enjoy the food I cook, I just want something else. I think it's also because I live off of a main thoroughfare (Westheimer Rd in Houston), and there are just too many tempting choices. Look at Big Lew's advice because I'm probably no help. The both of us need to buckle down😉.

That is the only way to shop at HEB, besides the cooler temps in the morning, the fresh stuff is getting put out there first, and sometimes it is me, myself, and 2 others shopping early. Also same thing at night, hardly anyone in the store besides employees, again restocking, they are both no brainer times to shop for fresh items.

Yes, food delivery is all-too-prominent in my household, but we have cut back recently. My recent credit card bills are a bit shocking, letting me know I'm not being mindful of my day-to-day spending habits. So I currently took my credit cards out of my wallet until things are under control (i.e. no debt). Having to use my debit card or cash has curbed my spending so far!

@Big Lew Definitely if you can avoid ordering food and groceries online, that's half the battle. Great tips as always! I hadn't heard of HEB. Had to Google. I guess we don't have them in Florida. I went to Trader Joe's last weekend and stocked up. Not the cheapest place, but still a lot cheaper than Publix (the big chain around here). Haven't ordered out once since then, and I still have at least a week's worth of groceries. I love TJ's since there are plenty of options to heat up quickly in a pinch.

Add Reply

Post

Related Content

Loading...
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×