I Delivered Food for $4

As you may know one from reading Even Steven Money, my personal finance leak is eating out. I would say my eating out habit is mostly in check, but Mrs. Even Steven might hurt our eating out budget a little more than me, but since we are married and we became one WE have a personal finance leak of eating out, which leads me to a little story about our week and how I earned $4 as a delivery guy.

Recently we took a trip to visit family in Columbia, Missouri where one of my family members coaches basketball. It’s our 3rd annual trip and we love it…..especially me, since I’m a big basketball guy. The travel time itself is about 8 hours with gas, lunch, and Angelita breaks (Our Siberian Husky). My early retirement goal is to live in a college town, similar to Columbia which is full of college students, culture, athletics, and much more. This allows me to get a taste of what I would like and dislike about the college town environment. The long weekend gives me a chance to visit with family, talk and watch basketball, and most important for this blog post eat out at some fun new restaurants and coffee shops.

We recently came back after President’s Day weekend most likely lagging from the drive and non-stop activity that we are probably not used to, especially going back to work for the short work makes you quickly wonder why I attend work every day or better yet why I am working to achieve financial independence and early retirement. The fact that it was close to 0 degrees the entire week might have had something to do with all my optimism for attending work. With all that being said after a busy long weekend turned into a long week at work and a few weekday night activities,  I was ready for a quiet night at home, actually I was begging for it.

Mrs. Even Steven asked if I wanted Sushi from a place in our neighborhood, about 2 blocks away. My defense systems were weak, I had taken out food to cook that night, but the mention of someone doing it for me and I was easily swayed. I’m sure you are thinking, Don’t Do It Even Steven! This is your personal finance leak, this is a gateway drug to eating out at big fancy restaurants, taking taxis to work, and getting bottle service at the club. Who am I kidding, I don’t go to the club, maybe when I was young and foolish or when I’ve had a couple craft brews and Mrs. Even Steven tricks me into dancing, but I have provided a couple to many details. What’s great is we have changed. Months ago this used to be a weekly occurrence, no text message or conversation on if we should grab something from a near by restaurant, we question our decision on spending $25 at a restaurant, we have bigger goals, we have changed.

Eating out at a restaurant has become an event out of the ordinary. Once or twice a week has stretched to once every two weeks to go out for a meal. This past Friday however we ordered out, we ordered from our local Thai/Sushi restaurant and we decided to order online.  While filling out the order we came to the last checkout before we paid, but we had 2 options: Carry Out or Delivery?  Carry out required me to put on some winter clothes and walk outside into the Chiberia temperatures that are similar to what Polar Bear’s dream about. The Delivery option would include a $4 surcharge for delivery plus whatever tip we would include. What would you choose?

After careful consideration I decided that paying someone $4 to drive 2 blocks and deliver the food to my house was borderline insanity. Mrs. Even Steven on the other hand being from Miami thought quite the opposite. Going outside into Chiberia in 0 degree temperatures was borderline insanity and couldn’t imagine going back out into the cold, $4 was not only reasonable she was already adding the $4 on to the bill. NOT SO FAST, we are trying to retire early and $4 adds up into millions based on the math of living to 104 and eating out every day and having the food delivered(actual math not done, but I’m guessing it’s millions). How about instead of paying someone to deliver the food to our house, how about you pay me $5 to walk and get our order. The negotiation included a little back and forth about tipping your delivery man, but we settled on paying me $4 cash to deliver our food to the house. Let’s just say I enjoyed making my $4 for 10 minutes of work. If you are keeping track at home, that’s $24/hr or about $50,000/year. Yep we have changed, eating out less, cooking more, convincing the wife to pay me $4 to avoid a delivery charge, all part of the Early Retirement Blueprint.

Have you and your significant other done something a little extra Frugal to save a few dollars?

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23 Responses to “I Delivered Food for $4

  • We ordered Sushi to carry out this weekend too…and it during a snowstorm. Like you, it just doesn’t feel right to pay for something to be delivered when it’s 2 blocks away! Plus, I find that you wait longer when you opt for delivery. Another factor was that I had a discount card and I’m not sure the delivery guy would have had the authority to give that discount.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Ode to My Frugal WifeMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Great point Andrew, we would have waited longer for the delivery guy, where as myself I am spot on time and deserve a raise!

  • When I was at college, we used to always either just get carry out or dine at the place when we got food. Everything was within walking distance and most of the places we went you did not have to tip (ordered from a counter). We saved a lot on delivery charges!

    Even my family which rarely dines out; it’s usually just pizza or chinese. And someone will go pick up the food instead since it’s extremely close.
    Debt Hater recently posted…Debt Avalanche MethodMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s a factor at least to be considered, I mean for the amount of food we ordered it was like a 15%-20% coupon for our order.

  • I’d have happily paid for delivery, especially in a snow storm, but to each his own.

    That’s the art of personal finance: intentionally making decisions that make sense for you.
    Done by Forty recently posted…Central Europe Travel HackMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Right on, I mean Mrs. Even Steven wasn’t going outside, you know putting the “personal” in personal finance. Snow storm, this was just a little chilly 0 degree weather;)

  • I did that not too long ago with pizza, although in fairness it was probably in the 60’s, but it was like 5 blocks away. lol! But I thought yeah I need to get my lazy ass up and go get it myself. I needed to burn a few extra calories anyway since I was eating pizza. 🙂

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      It’s the little things right! Yes in the 60’s makes me scoff at your walk, but 5 blocks>2 blocks that’s just math.

  • The only time I get food delivered is when I order pizza. Did it about 4 months ago when we moved in to our new place and had friends helping us moving. If I wasn’t too busy moving things around I would have driven to the pizza shop myself and pick up the order. In your situation I think it’s worth it to pay $4 to get food delivered though.
    Tawcan recently posted…Momentary sacrifices and financial independenceMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      $4 could buy me 2 coffee’s during the week, a $3 subway sandwich on special, or 400 tootsie rolls at the candy shop, now I think you will agree with me, save the $4!

  • Ha! I love the math on living to 104!

    I’d happily go out in the cold to save $4. The problem is, I’d be happy to do it multiple times a day. Yeah, we have an eating out problem as well, I’d say.
    James@StartingNegative recently posted…Your debt comfort levelMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Math was spot on wasn’t’ it lol. Yeah eating out is definitely the personal finance leak in our household, but I am proud to say we did not eat out at all the rest of the weekend.

  • I’d always opt for going and getting the food myself, but it’s also hard for me to imagine doing it in 0 degrees. I guess I feel like paying someone to make your food is already a luxury – the least I can do is go and pick it up from them! I don’t think I’ve ever paid anyone to deliver food to me. So it’s probably not so much a finance decision as a practical decision to not feel like I’m completely lazy…

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      You have never had someone deliver food for you?! Like ever? Is it because you are on an island……of investing? Yeah lazy is a really good point, I mean if I don’t pick up food that’s 2 blocks away, pretty soon I’m paying someone to walk my dog, feed me grapes, and drive my car.

  • We have the same problem with eating out. I really didn’t even know how big of a problem it was until I published my first financial report in January. We averaged almost $1,200/month on eating out last year.

    When I saw we spent $14,000 all I could think was…WTF????

    In January we did way better, only spending $630/month. We are working to get this down to around $500/month.

    The good news is that we are both aware of this and are actively making an effort to either go to cheaper restaurants or cook at home. The sad part is that we actually have always cooked most meals at home during the week. It was the Friday-Sunday’s that were killing us.

    Gen Y Finance Guy recently posted…My Love/Hate Relationship with Tax SeasonMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      I read a little about that one, definitely a personal finance leak, you are a smart guy I’m sure you will get it down to manageable.

  • Going out and getting it also builds character. Good for you, way to stick to your guns!
    Brian @ Debtless in Texas recently posted…Yearly Bonus, Gender Roles, and Why My Wife is a BadassMy Profile

  • Oh I admit I do this all the time. I almost always go to pick up food. Particularly, if it is only a mile or so away. There is no point in paying for tips and delivery fees that can upwards of $5-10. Maybe that makes me a bit too frugal, but it only takes 5 minutes.
    Jason recently posted…What Is Your Number?My Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      Eating out is already costing you/me extra might as well save a few dollars along the way right.

  • “My defense systems were weak” this is us. We get into a takeout rut and we go for it!

    We usually do January no eating out month and so far we’ve only done an IKEA breakfast and a coffee date this year, but I know it will ramp up again. It’s our weakness. It’s always around.

    Takeout is definitely the superior choice. If the Mr. gets takeout around here we say he’s gone hunting. Sometimes he takes the Little Miss along to scrounge something up. Where’s the fun in delivery?
    Emily @ Simple Cheap Mom recently posted…Early Retirement Extreme isn’t Our GoalMy Profile

    • EvenStevenMoney
      3 years ago

      No fun in delivery exactly. It’s always a tense moment for me, wondering when they are coming, will they ring the right bell, use the correct door. Will they be kind of awkward to deal with? Lastly when I tip them will they be happy, sad, think I’m a jerk. Carry out please.

  • This is pretty awesome! Not a lot of people know the way this all works so it is definitely hearing of a different perspective! I typically do not like ordering for delivery as I never feel right tipping below 20% when it comes to any sort of drop off, regardless of distance so carrying out is always the best option for me. Thanks for sharing!

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