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A Week-Long Money Diary Inspired by “Food is Life”

You know, I spend a lot of money on food but only because:

1)  I don’t spend excessively on things like clothes, and other material luxuries or services.

2) I’m pretty simple; I pay my bills, save some, and eat most of what’s left away.

And how can I feel bad, when the food treats me so good?

I remember reading a food blog a few months back that really flipped the switch on how I thought about my spending priorities.

In a piece about grocery budgeting (an area I struggled in), Cassie from Wholefully said between her and her husband they spend around $800 dollars a month on groceries– A MONTH!.

Why?

As the phrase goes passed on by Cassie’s grandfather: “If you want to know what’s important to someone, just look at where they spend their money”

My account is lined with purchases on the one thing I care about most: the experience of eating good food.

And why should I feel bad?

When I choose Mike’s American Grill for the third time in a month instead of buying those pair of pants from the Reformation I’ve been eyeing for months, or taking my car to the shop; it’s my choice to make.

We all have our indulgences, don’t we?

Maybe you blow half a paycheck on whatever comes out from Fenty Beauty or wigs, or going to every tour stop Beyoncé has or some other rock star, bowling every day or traveling to some far-off wonderland; I don’t know.

Everyone has someeee-thing.

Read below to see how I responsibly manage my spending.

 

May 14th

Zaxby’s 5-Count Chicken Finger Platter

$9.51

Let me explain; when in SC, I do as the South Carolinians do and eat Zaxby’s at least once — maybe even twice– while I’m there.

Something about those dry, salty chicken strips, heavily-dusted fries and under-toasted Texas toast just give me a sense of never ending nostalgia.

 

May 15th

Sandwich Republic Turkey Club 

$11. 85

I have a sandwich eating problem. There’s something to be said about a woman who eats a 12 dollar sandwich  more than twice a week, but won’t pack lunch because groceries are too expensive.

I’m not saying I’m right, but what I am saying is the sandwich is a viable trade-off to microwaved leftovers more times than not.

 

3 Kind Bars + Bottle of Water

$6.91

A lot of mornings, actually just about every morning I skip out on breakfast.

Breakfast Nazis please don’t come for me.

How many fingers do I have? 10, right?

I could count on TWO HANDS how many times I’ve ate a real breakfast before work in the morning in the last 3 months.

Instead, I buy these.  I can eat them in 2 minutes flat, get a decent amount of nutrients  and keep on going until lunch.

 

May 16th

Struggle Bagel

$5.29

Preface: A few days earlier, I skimmed a Serious Eat’s article on what makes a perfect bagel.

According to bagel-aficionado Kenji from Serious Eat’s,  a bagel must:

1. Show some crustiness and bumpiness, sort of like the tiny acorn-shape nodules on a speed bump.

2. Never be toasted to taste good

3. Have a dense and chewy crumb, but easy to bite through.

 

A day later, as if in a spell-bind, I parked  in front of a run-down bagel shop with an exterior that reminded me of the Pizza Palace from Toy Story..

Never judge a book by it’s cover.. Never judge a book by it’s cover.. Never judge a book by it’s cover” echoed in my head.

Barely-there service, nothing fancy-schmancy but a bagel shop doesn’t need to be; it’s all about the bagel!

And as for the bagel:  A long way from home as far as taste is concerned.

Sorry for all the build up, just to disappoint you.

 

 

Chipotle Burrito Bowl + Guac

$10.92

Yes, I still pay for an itty-bitty cup of guacamole and quite possibly may be addicted to Chipotle as well.

 

May 18th

Sandwich Republic

$12.44

One for me.

Sandwich Republic

$13.01

One for the boyfriend.

 

Chicken & Whiskey’s Peruvian Half Chicken + Yuca Fries

$15.29

I’ve had A LOT of Peruvian chicken, the good and the downright disrespectful.

Chicken & Whiskey is a whole nother breed, the pink Starburst in a haystack of cherry Starbursts of sorts.

At Chicken & Whiskey it’s safe to ask for white meat, and leave with your sanity in tact after paying an extra charge.

Because unlike A LOT of chicken joints who scorch the  white meat to hell and back, Chicken & Whiskey ensures your chicken is spitting juice from the first bite.

The flavor profile is orbiting Jupiter.

That first bite didn’t have me at hello, but once it becomes one with your taste buds the 12-hour brine creeps in, seeping into every crevice.

The  savory flavor, the subtle sweet, smokiness of the chicken and the sauce has a bite like a pit bull .

If parking weren’t near impossible, I’d ensure my patronage more often.

 

 

May 19th

Mike’s American Grill $65.58

House Salad + Bacon Cheeseburger
Chicken strips + Coca-Cola
Dessert Apple Pie

Every now and then, casual, passing-through joints just don’t cut it on the Richter scale of unpredictable cravings.

Sometimes I want to sit down and have a really good spread, you know?

One where everything is taken care of and I can stare into my boyfriend’s soul and pose the question“Are you gonna eat that last piece of bread?”.

Mike’s checks off all the boxes, every time, in every way and I never regret the money I spend.

 

Weekly Spend: $150.80

 

 

Asiah G.

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