Near the end of our SNAP budget week, I asked my husband how, if at all, our experience would change the way we eat overall. Obviously we didn’t continue to limit our weekly food budget to $60 given that we went out to eat the next night. And I don’t think I’ll ever want to spend that much time planning a shopping list or weekly menu. I will continue to plan a weekly menu, but I’ll just base it around the sales ad, what basics we need, and the new recipes I want to try.
One new trick I managed to convince my husband to adopt was bringing our own food when we travel. We had planned a weekend trip to New York City and set ourselves an overall budget and saved for the weekend in advance. When the train tickets cost more than we has estimated, we were not sure what that would mean for our entertainment options. When I realized that our hotel room did not come with breakfast, I suggested we bring our own breakfast. He was hesitant at first. My husband travels for business with per diem to cover all his food, so of course he wouldn’t bring his own food from home. That’s more work, more thinking ahead, and more hassle. I turned on my womanly charms and applied logic that I knew he couldn’t resist.
First of all, since we were taking the train, there was no limit on liquids or other snarky TSA restrictions. Secondly, since we had agreed on a budget for the weekend, bringing our own breakfasts would save us money that we could use on more exciting things. Three breakfasts for two people would probably run us at least $45. That’s a discounted theater ticket from TKTS! And how exciting is breakfast food anyways? Okay, it’s one of my favorite meals, but there aren’t many breakfast foods that I can’t make just as well at home, which makes eating breakfast out less exciting.
So we came prepared. Half a dozen hard boiled eggs, half a dozen muffins, apples and bananas should make for three healthy breakfasts for two.
This made for a lovely first breakfast on the train, too.
I even brought some of my own almond milk for my coffee (in the thermos, from home) to make the meal complete. I doubt I’ll get almond milk for my coffee in the big city, but a girl can dream, right? Isn’t that what everyone goes to New York to do?
And yes, bringing my own breakfast (and snacks) on trips does make me feel like I am becoming more like my parents. But I think I’m okay with that for now.
Bringing your own food does save a lot of money. Better still, it ensures that you know exactly what you’re eating and you know it’ll be healthy, or as healthy as you choose it to be. There’s nothing wrong with being frugal! After all, think of all the things you can spend all the money you use to eat out on? Right?
Absolutely to all of the above! You have sparked a lot of thought for me, and I appreciate your honest feedback here and on your own blog. I’m not done processing yet (I can be a little slow at that), but when I am, I hope to give a thoughtful response.