There are so many things to love about living in a big city, and one of the many reasons I love a metropolis is the delivery food. In the suburbs or rural areas, pizza is basically your only choice. But here? Thai? Yum. Artisanal Burger? Yes. Just-baked cookies and ice cream? Please! Roasted chicken with broccoli? Cool, I can get healthy delivery food.
Is it so wrong to delight in both the museums and the masala of city living? If it is wrong, then I don't want to be right. And yet, when I decided to start eating healthier due to a chronic health condition (which meant actually grocery shopping and cooking), I noticed quite a bit of extra breathing room in my bank account at the end of the month.
How strange, I thought. I wondered what changed but it wasn't hard to find the culprit. The same month that pressure on my bank account eased, GrubHub and I broke up. Some heartbreaks can have unexpected positive consequences and the ending of this relationship certainly did.
When we were still seeing each other regularly (and by regularly, I mean we had a standing breakfast, lunch, and dinner date every day), there was nothing not to like about our situation. My tasty paramour was easy, accessible, and always there for me with a ton of options. Day or night, my food boo had something to offer. I can't say it ever let me down.
Yet, for some reason, every month I was struggling with my budget. I wondered what the deal was since I had cut back on many things when I started freelancing full-time. To be honest, though, it wasn't hard to see how toxic our relationship was - once I bothered to take a look.
It is so easy to forget how much goes into ordering that spicy tuna roll (be sure not to forget the delivery fee and the tip) when the only labor I have to do is get up from the couch or my desk and buzz a delivery person into the building. But my bank account wasn't forgetting any of those charges (and neither was my waistline).
When I said a fond farewell to my online food orders, I radically improved my budget. It is almost embarrassing to admit that I saved hundred of dollars per month when I did so. A trip to the grocery store for roughly one week's worth of food is
Please know that I don't blame the amazing services. They have a great product that is super convenient but I was abusing it, plain and simple. I needed to see exactly how much havoc my lifestyle was wreaking on my bank account and health. Sure, as a freelancer, I am always at my desk (or typing from the couch) and pausing to cook or grocery shop can be less than ideal. But actually having the money to pay my bills is more important, as is my health.
Besides creating extra wiggle room in my budget (let's be honest, any room in my budget), ditching delivery also meant I had some more wiggle room in my favorite pair of jeans. I lost thirty pounds, which radically improved my overall health and most importantly, my chronic condition.
The only con? I think one of my favorite restaurants may think I died since I was ordering from them so often and then abruptly stopped.
The lesson I learned isn't just about delivery. Convenience comes at a premium. Sometimes it is money, and in this case that is definitely true. I also saw it take a toll on my lifestyle. From now on, I'll be sure I can pay the cost of convenience comfortably. The truth is, this isn't so much about the services available to me as it is about me. I needed to check myself. I needed to be aware of where my money was going. I gave my money away freely and happily…until I couldn't any longer. I was the problem in the relationship.
So long, GrubHub. Thanks for teaching me an important – albeit, expensive – lesson.