Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Food and clutter

Your New Years Resolution (if that's the sort of thing you do) should be to eat in more, eat out less. Refer back to my post on Pizza. By doing this, you'll bank more money, eat better, and thereby be healthier in body and finance.

The only thing that eating in is more expensive than is eating fast food. Fast food is ridiculously cheap and subsidized by my taxes (grr, thanks a lot Farm Subsidies!) If you eat a lot of fast food, reduce it to four times a year (or zero). That stuff is bad for you. The average US household burns about 7% of their income on eating in. The French, in contrast, are at 14%. Salaries are lower in France, so it might be hard to push the US average up to 14%, but if you're closer to 7%, try to push it up to 10%.

What's that? The Minimalist is advocating spending more money? No, I'm advocating reapportioning the slices of your income pie. Spending more on food does mean that something else will have to give, but that could be driving less (biking or walking more or telecommuting), turning down your heater or hot-water heater, buying fewer new clothes and more thift store items (you'll look trendier :-), and the big underline of all Minimalist advice--live within your means. Emphasis on live. You won't have much fun with Type II diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, no matter how much money you've saved. And since Americans also tend to spend what they've got (our national savings rate is terrible), we're eating bad food and buying useless unused crap to clutter our garages.

More food, less junk. You can do it! I even found that once I started eating better, it made me want to even more delicious food. And the more stuff I give away, the more I want to unclutter my life.

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