I just moved to New York City, where the cost of living is through the roof. They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, and that might just be true – or at least, as far as budgeting is concerned! I’ve got less wiggle room in my finances than ever before, and it’s an intimidating prospect. I want to be able to go out and have fun with friends, get drinks occasionally, go to concerts once in a while, all that good stuff, but most importantly, I want to be financially independent. And that means I’ve got to stop being a burden on my parents, and pay for the necessities myself.
Lol @ how confused this girl is by food. But actually! I feel like the most flexible area of my budget is food. The difference in cost between eating out for every meal and cooking for yourself is enormous, especially in NYC. But here’s the problem: I love to cook, and I love to eat healthy! Those might not sound like problems, but trust me: when you’re on a budget, they are. I want to buy all the freshest, fanciest ingredients, try elaborate new recipes, shop at Whole Foods, and stop for $12 freshly pressed kale-apple-ginger juices after work. Food is honestly where I splurge the most, because I tell myself it’s a necessity. But I know that if I decided to eat rice and beans for every meal, I could probably feed myself for a week on less than $10. Of course, that’s not at all a healthy idea, nor would I enjoy the repetition, but… thinking about it has left me wondering: should I start meal planning?
People rave about meal planning. It’s supposed to do wonders for your waistline, your wallet, and your busy work week schedule. So here’s what I’d like to know: does it live up to all the hype? It seems like a lot of work and careful planning to me. I do have the time to do it, but I’m scared that it’ll be tough to stick to, or that no matter how I plan it, I’ll have a hard time balancing cost and repetition of meals. I’m someone who can eat leftovers for 3 meals max (yikes, I kinda sound like a spoiled brat…) and then it’s just too much. Does anyone have advice for beginner meal planners like myself, or tips on how to eat well and save money at the same time? It would be much appreciated, and I’m sure there are other Vinglers out there who would benefit as well!