When I first started on this budget journey, my biggest problem was food. I would buy groceries for the house, then we would eat out instead because neither of us felt like cooking and we worked weird schedules. One of us would look at the other and say “We should go to PF Changs for dinner!” and the other would readily agree (What can I say, we like to support each other). The very first thing I did when establishing our budget was to go through our bank account and categorize every single charge for the previous month. It was painstaking. What I discovered was we had spent 1,600.00 on food in a month. How is that even possible??!?!?!?!? I could feed an entire village on that now. We tried unsuccessfully for the next several months to change things and we kept doing the same thing that we had always done. I started to think outside the box. I researched “Diet To Go”, which is a company that makes food fresh and you can pick it up twice a week. It's meant to be a calorie reduced diet plan that is nutritionally balanced.
For $131.59 per person per week, they give you breakfast lunch and dinner, all made fresh without being frozen. The portions are reasonable (for a diet) and the food was surprisingly delicious. Chugwater chili and ham and cheese sandwiches made with french toast were my favorites. You could substitute any meals that you didn't like and the menus are available here on their website. The food isn't frozen, it's made fresh and delivered to a diet to go pick up location. Ours was at my gym (at the time) – Gold's Gym in Lorton, Virginia. They also operate in PA, NJ, CA, and MD.
This cost us 1,056 dollars per month, which is a ridiculous amount of money to feed two people. However, I am so grateful that we did this. This started us on the path of making much better choices. It sounds silly, but we actually saved money that first month compared to what we had been doing.
By the end of that month, we both had lost weight (I can't remember how much now because it was so long ago-but we felt fantastic), we got used to eating proper portions, we stopped craving foods that were bad for us and we had so much extra time from not cooking, shopping and doing dishes that it made the next phase easy to transition into. After that month, I started making everything from scratch with whole ingredients. That lasted another month with the opposite affect. OH MY GOODNESS that was a ton of time spent cooking!
To me this has been a process… a long process that will most likely continue for years as we improve with each phase and always try to balance health and money. I'll always be grateful for diet to go for giving us the shove in the right direction.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click & make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps keep the Busy Budgeter up and running. Read my full disclosure policy here.