Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eating on a Budget

As I contemplate starting on July's budget, which will have some financial challenges built in, I am reminded that the single thing I do that is costly and stupid is eating out, especially eating fast food.  I know that fast food is bad for me and that there is almost nothing redeeming that comes through their window to my car window, but still many times per week, I find myself going through a drive through. This is either because of (perceived) lack of time, craving or laziness on my part, depending on when I'm doing it.  The same goes for eating dinner out. There are some nights where I feel the need to "treat" myself or I'm on my own and don't want to cook, or I just want a certain food (tacos or wings come to mind). Of course, I could make wings, but I just won't, so I supposed it's not going to kill me to get wings once a month, but I could make tacos at home (though they wouldn't have the amazing shells of the place from which I love to buy tacos.

I am also starting to use a new budgeting program. I have signed up with Mint.com a long time ago, but never really set up my budgets. In looking at it yesterday it looked a little cumbersome to set up, but my accounts are already on board and it hooks up nicely with Quicken. Another friend has recommended Mvelopes, but I haven't starting working on that budget yet. Since I already use quicken, I wasn't sure how it work out. I guess the real idea of having a budget is actually telling yourself NO when you run out of money in a category. Or, actually taking money from somewhere else to fund the category where you overspent.  Or telling other people in the family that they can't spend any money on food if all the food money is gone (that is a hard one)

One of my best tools is emeals.  I have a slow cooker plan right now called Clean eating and I'm really enjoying it. Peter doesn't like crock pot food much, but it's one way that I can control what I put into my body. All of this has to do with health and weight loss as well.  If I'm eating my food, I have a better chance of achieving some of my long sought after weight loss goals which may also help meet some financial goals.

On a different but similar subject...check out Earndit. If you sign up, please use me as a reference as I will get more points. I have a gotten some really cool food deals from this website through the rewards program. Earndit gives you points for exercise and you cash in the points for real stuff. It's pretty nifty. I have discovered Rise Bars, Nature Box, Peeled snacks and some nifty novelty items through the coupons I have received from this website.  I just got a box of savory meal bars called Journey bars and I'm very curious about those.  They have strange flavors like Pizza Marina, coconut curry, sesame and rosemary.



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