There’s no doubt that food delivery services have made life more convenient for many households in the Philippines. With a few taps on your phone, you can have food from your favorite restaurants delivered straight to your doorstep. However, this kind of setup does come with a few drawbacks—especially in regard to finances.
Most food delivery companies include extra costs for the added convenience. Certain restaurants may also charge more for food deliveries. Additionally, these fees can rise if a restaurant is far from your delivery address or if you’re ordering a meal during high-volume hours. As such, having food delivered can increase your expenses significantly.
If you keep a close eye on your expenses and visualize how much you’re really spending on a monthly basis, you may find your personal finances straining under the weight of your food deliveries alone. Luckily, there are ways to reduce these costs and get your budget back on track. To help you get started, below are five easy tips to spend less and save more:
Prepare Simple and Nutritious Meals in Advance
Cooking meals at home is one of the best ways to save money on food deliveries. Making home-cooked meals is also much healthier than dining out. This is because you have more control over the quality and quantity of your food ingredients.
All you need are some basic kitchen implements and a trusty appliance to help you cook—if you don’t have one yet, you may want to buy gas range or an induction cooker. Granted, preparing your own meals can seem like a tedious and time-consuming task—especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. Don’t fret, as there are ways to make quick home-cooked meals without much effort.
Begin by planning your meals ahead of time so you don’t have to think about what to cook on the day itself and can purchase the necessary ingredients in advance. You can search for recipes online that are easy to put together in a few minutes. You can also try recipes that utilize leftover ingredients you might already have in the pantry or refrigerator.
Try cooking dishes that produce multiple servings, so you can keep leftovers in the fridge for your next few meals. Freezer recipes are also a popular option since their ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, placed in a zip-top bag, and frozen for future meals. You only need to pop them in the oven or microwave to enjoy a convenient yet nutritious home-cooked dish.
Save Up for More Important Expenses First
Failing to budget correctly can also encourage frequent food delivery. Hence, you may want to allot your savings for high-priority expenses first. For example, if you’ve been planning to purchase a new TV or renovate your living room, set aside money for these important goals whenever you receive your salary.
Once you’ve finished saving for high-priority expenses, you can use the remaining budget for other things like food takeout. This not only helps you save up faster, but also prevents you from ordering too frequently. By budgeting correctly, eating out becomes an occasional treat rather than a habit.
Make the Most Out of Discounts and Promos
Plenty of restaurants and food delivery services offer discounts or promos that could help reduce your expenses. A quick internet search or browsing through digital platforms can lead you to some great special offers. For example, certain restaurants might offer cashback if you use a particular credit card.
Some food delivery services also offer discounts on delivery fees or digital points with every purchase, which can then be used to redeem vouchers. If you have a favorite dining spot, try checking if they have a rewards program. Becoming a member of their program may come with great benefits, including freebies, birthday treats, and big discounts.
Opt for Self Pick-Up, Rather than Delivery
Skip the hefty delivery fees entirely and opt to pick up your food instead. This not only saves you money, but also reduces the amount of time you’ll spend waiting for your order to arrive. If you’re ordering from a restaurant that’s very close by, you can choose to reach it by walking, which helps you stay active before enjoying your meal.
Order Smart When You Dine Out
When you do decide to have food delivered, it’s best to order smart. Try purchasing smaller dishes—like appetizers and sides—instead of entrees. Oftentimes, these items are priced much lower and make for a satisfying meal when combined. Alternatively, you could order bigger dishes that serve more than two people. This way, you can split a dish with a loved one and cut the total cost of your meal in half. If you’re eating alone, you can also keep the remaining portion in the fridge for future meals.
The next time you feel yourself itching to open your food delivery app, take a step back and consider your expenditures in the long term. While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in the occasional take-out meal, you’ll save a lot more money if you opt to follow the tips mentioned above. By cooking at home, budgeting correctly, and choosing more economical ways to order and receive food, you’ll be well on your way to healthier spending habits.