Chapter 206 Keep Your Food Costs Down to the Bone Too
I learned an interesting thing. When you are hungry, it does not matter if you are eating at a five star restaurant, or a $20.00/person are at Olive Garden or Applebee’s, or a $4.95 Chinese Carrry Out, or even a 20 cent “cup of noodles” (with maybe a 30 cent Tuna can). If you are hungry, most all food tastes good. But if you choose to satiate your appetite with expensive foods, the key is again, is you have to be trading your “free” time for indulging on a seriously expensive meal, by working longer hours in a soul sucking job.
Those prices “going out to eat” add up like crazy. Say you eat out every night at least for one meal. You are most likely going to pay $25.00 with tax and tip at an average dine out restaurant. That amounts to over $750.00 per month! Just to cover that one “average priced” meal per evening, you have to work a 40 hour minimum wage job with overtime, just to cover that one expense!
I admit I eat very frugally. I NEVER buy food at a restaurant. I always go to cheap grocery stores like Aldi the Dollar Tree and buy the very basics. You need of course the basic essential amino acids, and a little food from all four food groups. Mostly, I have trained myself to eat so simply. I eat usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a ramen noodle package (20 Cents), some whole milk, oatmeal and other cheap fare. And I keep my daily food cost down to less than 5 dollars per day (which is easy). This amount to about $140.00 per month…very doable. Once in a week, I’ll buy things like meat at the supermarket where the price of beef is cut WAY down because it is nearing its expiration date (mind you, the meat is perfectly good and fresh, but it has to be marked down legally.
I enjoyed a rib eye steak for just $2.10 the other day, and similar price reductions on any foods you like is found in the same way. There is a store around me called Jerry’s Fruit and Vegetable Market and they sell vegetables for so cheap too. The key is to cook for yourself. Take a few minutes watching cooking shows on Youtube.com or on the cable channel, and you will find how easy it is to bring your food costs down to nothing.
Again, the relation to equanimity and peace again there is obvious. If you are starting down a credit card bill with all of your “eating out” days and it is $600.00 (easy to do if you eat out or buy lunch regularly every day), then that inhibits your freedom in so many ways (because all your dollars are being siphoned off to pay for your meals), and your free time is thus sacrificed. Instead of doing and engaging in this you really want to do (again for me it is writing), you have to drag yourself to work daily and work more “soul-sucking” hours at a job that kills your creativity and eats you alive like a virus from the inside out.
We discussed “shelter” two chapters ago, and now we discussed “food” and for the next chapter we will discuss “clothing”. Those three pillars are what you need to take care of to survive. Once all three areas are addressed, you can then free up your life to point in a direction where you wish to go.