Aaaaah, the drive thru… That all-too convenient and even more enticing invention of the 1950s. What an all-American concept – food on the run!
WAIT! I bet you never added up how much you and the family spend on coffees, sodas, and fast food from the drive-thru. We never did (don’t judge me!). Then, I bought Quicken as part of my New Year’s Resolution to gain control of my finances. HOLY MOLY! In November, we had spent $40 on Dunkin’ Donuts alone!
When you are running through the drive-through, it seems like you are just spending a bit of pocket-change. WRONG! Even if you are just getting a couple of drinks, it can easily be over $5.00 a visit. If that is a daily habit, well, you can see how it adds up!
Armed and empowered with our newfound knowledge, we vowed to kick the habit…
Ways to Kick the Habit
- Take Stock. Like so many other budget-killing habits, the first step is AWARENESS. If you have Quicken (my new best friend) or another financial software program, run a report on how much you are spending on coffee, fast food, and sodas from the drive-through. Seeing the numbers in black and white will be plenty of motivation, believe me!
- Keep Water in the Car. This is a really simple trick for those of you who, like me, run around all day and simply want something to quench your thirst. I’d run through McDonald’s and grab a soda – if the kids were with me, that soda turned into a three sodas and Chicken McNuggets. On so many levels, this was a problem!
- Invest in a Thermos for Each Family Member. I picked up several – You can find them cheap enough at stores like Ross or TJMaxx. Or, see number four (below) to add in a bit of color. In the morning, pour in your coffee. In the afternoon, put in a couple of ice cubes and your favorite soft drink.
- Make it Fun. There are so many thermos’s available these days, that it easy to add a bit of fun into the plan. My daughter has two – one labeled with her favorite sports team and one with a military theme (she loves #eaCadets and JrROTC). Do a search on Google, and I’m sure you can find whatever fits your kids’ styles!
- Have Food, will Travel. There are plenty of food items that you can pack in a thermal bag or just bring on the road with you. Like so many other things, the key is planning and having these items on hand. Rather than that coffee and breakfast sandwich my son and his father would stop for each morning on the way to school, they now walk out the door with such things as a banana and a piece of toast with peanut butter or a frozen JimmyDean breakfast sandwich that (from time to time) we buy in bulk. If you are a granola bar junkie, keep a few of these in your purse or in the car.
Do you have other ideas? I’d love to hear from you at CashCrashBlog@gmail.com or leave a comment here! Keep #saving that #money! Keep sharing these posts! Follow this blog at https://CashCrashBlog.com. Let’s make #2018 the year for #saving money and #living well!