According to Pizza.com, “93 percent of Americans have eaten pizza in the last month”. And I’m wiling to bet that many of those same Americans tend to have a “pizza night” almost weekly.
Doing our part as good Chicagoans, my own family enjoys the old “pizza pie” almost every week. However, I’ve noticed a trend that tends to correlate the types of pizzas we eat – and how much we spend on said pizzas – to just how our family is doing economically; I call it, “The Pizza Test”.
When things are good and there is discretionary income
When things are good and money isn’t as tight, I’ve noticed that we tend to go out for pizza at least once, if not several times a month. We might even order a few drinks. While the cost isn’t extravagant, such an outing can run between $30 and $35. Yet even such a minor event tends to illustrate that we’re a bit more relaxed about our financial situation and not so worried about cutting costs that we won’t spend a little extra to entertain the family.
When things are tight and extra cash is at a premium
When we’re looking to cut costs a bit and save a little extra money, we don’t find ourselves going out to eat. Instead, we do our own cooking. While we cook many meals at home anyway, we increase our at-home cooking even more during financial downtimes, and this includes our pizza dinners.
Often, we’ll buy a 16- inch, ready-to-bake pizza for $4.99 at our local Aldi grocery store. We add extra cheese to the pie for about another $3, which brings our total for the dinner to around $8. This is a significant cost savings (about $25) compared to going out for pizza, and the leftovers typically make for lunch the next day. Yet even this cost-cutting measure isn’t as far as we can go with our pizza savings when times get really tough.
When things are downright crummy
When times are particularly tight financially, we’ve taken to making our own pizza from scratch. I looked up a low cost and simple pizza dough recipe online during one such occasion.
With flour, a packet of yeast, a little sugar, salt, cooking oil, and water making up the ingredients of the dough, it is a base that only costs about 50 cents to make. With the sauce, pepperonis, and cheese, our total comes to about $4.00.
So while it might seem a bit strange to measure our family finances through the pizza test, it actually makes some sense seeing as how we change our eating habits according to our financial situation.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.