Millennials are three times as likely to use food delivery apps as their parents. That’s partially what’s fueling the online food delivery market, which is projected to grow from $17 billion to more than $24 billion by 2023.
To boot, new delivery app services like DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats have taken it to the next level. With these apps, you can quickly order meals from your phone to be delivered to you at work, home, or anywhere else.
Unfortunately, the food delivery habit adds up. And, spending regularly with food delivery apps can definitely negatively impact your savings account.
If you’re tired of eating up all your money (literally) with food delivery apps, here’s what you can do to quit your food delivery addiction.
Actually visualize what you're spending
One thing you can do to motivate yourself to quit is to actually look at what you’re spending. Track what you spent on food delivery apps over the past 90 days and add up the total. You may be shocked by the numbers you see.
For example, Uber Eats charges a flat rate fee which is usually under $5. However, sometimes they tack on a ‘busy fee’ during high volume times. Postmates, on the other hand, charges a $5.99 delivery fee (which is reduced to $3.99 for partner restaurants) for orders under $20. These noticeable fees add up each time you place an order.
Once you add up what you’re spending, you can actually see what your food delivery addiction is costing you. Then, think about your annual salary or hourly rate at work and compare it to your food delivery purchases. How many hours did you have to work just to be able to afford all that takeout? What else could you have done with the money instead?
Delete the apps
It may be tough, but you might want to go cold turkey and delete all your apps at once.
You can still dine out occasionally to make the transition smoother. This way, you can indulge a little but you’ll be actually be leaving your house for the social experience of dining out. Better yet, you’ll skip out on the hefty delivery fees.
Plan your weekend meals
Let’s face it, most people feel the urge to dine out and order food on weekends. Maybe you have a busy schedule or perhaps you just want to relax.
Instead, try meal planning in advance so you feel prepared and don’t resort to using delivery apps. Prepare a simple breakfast like oatmeal and fruit, or homemade avocado toast and eggs before you head out for the day.
If you’ll be out all day, consider packing a lunch to bring with you. You can also buy snacks in bulk at stores like Costco to help curb your appetite between meals.
Lastly, consider preparing a delicious batch meal (multiple servings) to enjoy for dinner over the next few nights so you won’t have to cook. It only takes an extra hour to meal plan for busy days during the week but the savings are worth it.
Pay yourself first
Do you have other financial goals that you need to reach? I’m sure your main desire isn’t to spend a ton of money on food delivery each week, right?
To start, narrow down what you really want to do with your money and then, start paying yourself first to save up.
For example, if you’ve always wanted to take a tropical vacation, start saving money whenever you get paid. If your dream has always been to remodel your kitchen, pay yourself first and set aside money for this project each month.
These goals are fun, exciting, and motivate you to pay yourself first. I love this concept because it ensures that you will be able to afford your most important expenses. From there, you can budget with whatever is left. If you still want to dine out or order food occasionally, you can do so without feeling like you’re overspending and neglecting what’s important.
Prepare freezer meals for emergencies
We all have those situations where it’s been a busy day and there’s no plan set for dinner. In the past, you may have resorted to ordering food on Grubhub or Postmates.
Instead, prepare some emergency meals in advance to stick in the freezer. The ‘freezer cooking’ trend is huge on Pinterest and you can find tons of recipes and meal ideas to prep.
Imagine the convenience of being able to pull a healthy meal out of the freezer to warm up for dinner. It will only take minutes and save you tons of money over time.
Don't fall for the convenience factor
Food delivery is an expensive addiction to have. To break this habit, you’ll have to be motivated and consider how much it is costing you.
So, think about purchases you’d have to push off or smart financial moves you couldn’t make due to your excessive take-out habits. With this in mind, you’re more apt to consider deleting your food delivery apps or at least cutting down and trying some of the alternatives mentioned above.
Are you ready to try ditching your food delivery habit? Give it a go. Your savings account will thank you (and possibly your waistline too!)