In the last three years we’ve been on this personal finance journey, we worked hard to cut almost all of our expenses while also increasing our income. Because of this focus on increasing our income, we often prioritized the side hustling over meal planning. Consequently, we’d argue about who would make dinner or we’d collapse into chairs at a local diner.
Taking a look at our 2018 goals, we’d be inspired once again to pursue meal planning, which was exhausting and miserable when we did it. We hate to cook, prep food, etc. We hate to think about everything that’s involved. Buying one spice for that one recipe? Ugh.
What I hate most about meal planning is decision fatigue. Deciding what to cook, what we have on hand, what we need to buy, how food needs to be chopped, etc…so tiring.
To improve our diet and cut out the time and energy spent on most of our meals, we hired a personal chef for a couple of months.
Now, Chef Bill wasn’t really our personal chef, because having an in-home chef might cost a lot of money, probably more than we make. Chef Bill is more like a caterer and his catering service for busy professionals was awesome.
For years, I complained to Garrett about how much I hate cooking and how we should get a personal chef. We thought it was too expensive, so we continued to suck at food prep without doing a lick of research into personal chefs. Ah, the ignorance of youth…
So in fall 2017, we looked into a new solution and with one quick Google search we found Chef Bill.
Chef Bill made life super easy by eliminating almost all decision fatigue. Chef Bill sent us two menus on Sunday: one “regular” menu with pre-selected combinations of proteins, starches, and vegetables; and one “low calorie” menu with a la carte options. We simply reply with our selections (typically four meals each) and he delivers freshly prepared food to our door the following week.
For these eight meals, we spent $150 each week. While that seems like a lot, we didn’t have to meal plan, drive to the store, shop, drive home, prep food, and then cook. With all that time spent engaging in these activities, are we really spending more money?
While it was pretty awesome having Chef Bill’s personal chef service, we weren’t always using our time wisely. Thus, we couldn’t continue justifying the expense.
As the busy season of the biz came to a close, we were exhausted and we’d find ourselves on the couch watching some guy on YouTube eat chicken wings with other YouTubers. Hey, decision fatigue is real!
Anyway, we recovered and started taking care of ourselves. We started climbing at the indoor rock gym. We stopped working at night. We resumed meal planning and said goodbye for now to Chef Bill.
When we had lots to do for the biz, we were jumping from one task to another. Having a personal chef meant removing a bunch of decisions, freeing up valuable time and energy to spend on those biz tasks.
As the year slowed down, we weren’t using our time as wisely as we were before, so we couldn’t continue justifying the expense. Instead, when we think the week might present a struggle in terms of balance, we keep a couple of dinners in the freezer, just in case. 🙂