No Delivery November
This post may contain affiliate links. I only talk about shit I really like and actually use. If you use these links to buy something I *may* earn a small kickback. Thankyousomuch! Right behind housing and transportation, food spending is often the largest line item in most people’s budgets. This is definitely true for me, and each month I reflect on my spreadsheet and am astounded at the amount of money I spend on food. In general, I only have to cook for myself (and my partner a few nights a week), so there are opportunities for improvement. The majority of the spending comes from grocery stores, but the takeout and delivery add a pretty penny to the overall monthly total. There are two months left of the year, and I’m trying to finish out strong financially. This means not adding any additional credit card debt while continuing to build my savings.
Inspired by this episode of Financially Naked, Stories from The Financial Gym, and my savings goals, this month’s theme at home is No Delivery November. Kadri and Joy talk about meal prepping and the root of why a lot of folks struggle.
What is No Delivery November?
Monthly challenges and themes are fun because it makes mundane shit, like cooking at home, something exciting It also inspires content for this blog. In addition to this post, I’ll be writing about how to not hate cooking, my favorite cookbooks, and other tips for staying motivated to reduce food waste and overspending.
The goal this month is to order NO DELIVERY. On average, I spend $230 per month on takeout and delivery combined. Instead of aiming for $0, I’m aiming for no delivery. This will give me the flexibility to still order takeout if I don’t want to cook, but I have to go and pick it up. Since I have a daily step goal, going to pick up dinner allows me to work towards a different goal that day. Delivery minimums and fees add up quickly, and generally, takeout is the less expensive option. To prepare for this challenge, I took a few steps over the last two weeks or so:
Deleted Uber Eats from my phone
Bookmarked recipes I want to try from my three favorite cookbooks
Saved recipes from online I want to try into my ‘RECIPES’ folder
Stocked up on some ingredients and spices needed for the dishes I want to try
Set a weekly budget to pick up any fresh produce or things needed
Set aside two blocks of time during the week to meal prep for the next few days and marked them on my Google Calendar
This challenge is also an opportunity for me to cut back on food waste. Even with the best intentions, there is always produce, leftovers, or other ingredients that end up spoiling before being used. With careful meal planning and smaller, more frequent trips to the store, I will be able to cut back on food waste while saving money. There are so many grocery store options within a mile of my house and I'm learning where I like to pick up certain things.
Planning Ahead / What I Plan to do with the $$ / Goals for the Month
One of the most important parts of these challenges is making a plan for the money saved from the process. My two biggest goals through the end of the year are to pay down as much credit card debt as possible and beef up the emergency fund. With the holidays coming up, inevitably some of the $$ will probably go to gifts.
In addition to saving money, I want to really lean into my favorite cookbooks, and try cooking with ingredients I don’t normally. Things like okra, cauliflower, and making bread from scratch. Fall is my favorite time of the year to cook, as it’s a perfect time to eat soups, chilis, and casseroles.
Have you ever tried a pantry or no spend challenge? Is this something you'd be interested in trying in the future. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org