My phone rings, and I jump off the couch. It’s the moment I’ve been anticipating for at least the past 30 minutes — the food is here. I hastily throw on a sweatshirt and pull boots onto my sockless feet. I throw open the door to my apartment and leap down the two flights of stairs just in time to catch the delivery guy, my shining star, peering up the stairwell while holding steaming bags of food. I thank him, grab the bags, and head upstairs to feast.
No, it’s not a special occasion — this is just my everyday life. My fiancé, Dan, and I share an apartment in Brooklyn, and we get delivery food about three to four times a week. The rest of the time, he cooks us dinner with whatever we have lying around or we go out. The number of times per week that I cook something? That would be a pure and simple zero. I never exactly made a conscious choice not to learn how to cook; it just sort of happened. My early twenties came and went, and still I lived on a steady diet of takeout and delivery. I met Dan at 27, and, while his good habit of cooking meals rubbed off on me a little, I’m proud (kind of? I’m a monster) to say that my bad habit of ordering in rubbed off on him even more. And that’s how we got here: spending about $40 on single meals multiple times a week, not to mention $10–12 Monday through Friday on chopped salad lunches at work.
Facts are facts, folks, and here are mine: I’m 31 years old, I’m getting married in the fall, and I live in the most expensive city in the world. None of my income should be considered entirely disposable, yet I dispose of it daily on expensive prepared food. I need to find a way to save some money...and also acquire the basic survival skill of feeding myself.