Pizza Delivery is for Millionaires

My son and I are having a beautiful Saturday night here at home. The sun is setting over the mountains outside my bedroom window and I’ve just finished baking a pizza which I am about to serve up for his dinner.

Although our day has been very simple, there has been an underlying magic within it that triggered an epiphany that I just had to write to you about. Because within this simple moment seems to be the secret to pretty much everything.

We woke up to a cloudless blue sky and were treated to summer-like warmth even though it’s November. I served up a French toast breakfast and then we ate together as we made plans for our day. We decided the first stage would be some computer work for him, while I went out to do some yard work and a bit of maintenance and cleanup on my construction van, to get it ready to lend to a friend.

Stage Two was our big walk downtown. Little MM wanted to get some shots of old buildings as part of an assignment for photography class, and I wanted to fix a minor leak in the roof of the MMM HQ Coworking building, so we decided to combine the errands. The walk was long and adventurous and we even stopped for some exorbitant ice cream cones on the way, courtesy of a gift card I received for helping someone last month.

We got it all done – Little MM got his 24 required shots, I fixed the roof and also ran into my co-owners Mr. and Mrs. 1500 who were setting up the building for a group breakfast tomorrow. So my boy and I strolled the 1.5 miles home through the sunny leafy autumn streets of Longmont and settled in for the night.

I popped one of my homemade pizzas into the oven. Because it was a big one, it was going to take at least 25 minutes to cook so I figured I’d use that time to shower off the day’s dust and sunscreen. But then I noticed my hair was starting to get a bit out of control so I gave myself a quick haircut before the shower.

And as I stepped out of my room, dressed in clean clothes and feeling sharp and healthy and arriving in the fancy kitchen I built last month just as the oven beeped to indicate the pizza was finished, I realized that this is the secret to wealth. Days like today. Monetary wealth for sure, but also every other kind of wealth.

We had just enjoyed an almost perfect day almost effortlessly, just by having the right habits in place.

We had a shitload of fun, socialized and exercised and advanced the projects that are important to us. But simultaneously, we spent very close to zero dollars, and left the world mostly unscathed as we finished our day.

The beeping of that oven full of homemade pizza was what really set off the epiphany in my head.

“Damn”, I realized, “even with all this excess money building up over the years, it didn’t even occur to me to order a pizza. It’s just automatic, and thus faster and cheaper and healthier, to make my own.”

Plus by avoiding the delivery I am saving my neighbors from one gas-powered car bringing an unnecessary extra serving of danger and pollution onto our street. It’s a three-way win with no losing involved.

Ordering a decent extra-large pizza including tax, tip and delivery: $20
Dad’s Homemade pizza: about $4
Difference: 500%

Sure, the difference here is only sixteen bucks, but I wanted to highlight the percentage difference instead. Because if you apply this philosophy of efficient, automatic habits all through your life, it really does tend to cut your costs so that your life becomes 2, 3, 4, or even 5 times less expensive.

So I thought to myself “WHY does anyone who is not even a millionaire yet, or even worse who has a mortgage or credit card debt, still do something as frivolous and easily avoided as ordering a pizza?*”

With that example drawn out in detail, let’s look at some of the other details of this day:

New kitchen in my latest frugal fixer-upper house in progress. Even the toaster is fancy!

My new kitchen which made that pizza cooking so enjoyable was built on a total budget of about $6000 including changing the floorplan, electrical, plumbing, cabinets, countertops and all the appliances.

This is less than half of what custom-ordered cabinets alone would have cost, and a full kitchen remodel of this type usually tops $25,000. But by getting assemble-it-myself cabinets from Ikea and my appliances from Craigslist and doing all of the work myself, I cut the cost by about 75%, while earning plenty of great physical exertion and satisfaction at the same time. Savings: about $20,000 or 80%

My son is in the public middle school rather than in the private school across town, which is where some of the other multimillionaire parents send their kids. If the private school were better for his needs, of course we could afford to send him there too. But we gave the local option a chance and it has turned out to be an incredible place for him. Savings: about $20,000 per year or roughly 100%

We chose walking as our means of transportation, and if we were in a rush we would have ridden our bikes. This habit of not driving doesn’t just save me gas and maintenance money, it also allows me to keep an older vehicle. I have a 1999 Honda van that is still in sparkling new condition.

She just reached drinking age, all cleaned up for her first can of Coors Light!

It stays new because I barely use it, because I have designed my life to be within an entirely muscle-powered radius. But this brand-new van is worth less than two grand and insurance is about twenty bucks a month. Maintenance is less than $10, registration is $5. Savings versus owning an “average” $35,000 American car and driving an average amount: about $600 per month or 90%.

We didn’t go “shopping” (100% savings), watched a movie at home instead of the theatre (100%), I cut my own hair for the something-hundredth time (100%), we advanced our health rather than chipping away at it (100%), and built this warm caring relationship with each other as well as with our friends (priceless).

And there were all sorts of other less tangible things working in the background too. I bought a commercial building and started this coworking space as a way to pass the time and spend time with old and new friends – the same reasons that someone might buy a vacation home in the mountains or at the beach.

But instead of costing me a few thousand dollars per month and requiring 100 miles of driving every time I visit, this building is just a pleasant walk from home and it generates thousands per month in cashflow and appreciation. It is great for the mental and physical health of all of our 75 members and growing, and we all save money by being a part of this community.

Mr. 1500 and I hosting a party at MMM-HQ for the first screening of the Playing with FIRE documentary, April 2019

The funny part of all this is that today was a completely normal day for us – most of my days are very similar to this one. The only unusual part was that I happened to take a step back and actually notice it. And that is really the point of this whole article:

We get used to our daily routine, and think of it as “normal”, even if it is completely ridiculous.

In recent months, I have just had my eyes re-opened as I have had more contact with people who are living more typical American lives than me. Their normal is different than mine, so when I visit I happen to notice the differences – more car trips and impulse purchases and pizza deliveries.

These people are not living lifestyles that appear exorbitant at all, and their houses aren’t packed with expensive things. But these little 5-to-1 differences just silently happen, quietly and consistently and add up to perhaps $100 per day, when compared with a more streamlined lifestyle.

And $100 every day becomes $36,500 every year, and if you invest that conservatively it will compound into about $520,000 every decade.

$520,000 per decade.
Just from the tiny mindset switch between
“hey lets order a pizza”
“Hey, let’s throw a pizza into the oven.”

I really think this is important, and as this whole “FIRE Movement” thing grows, some people are getting soft and complaining that Mr. Money Mustache is “too extreme”, and so we should take a gentler and easy path and let our spending get sloppy if that is what’s right for us.

The thing is, this is usually just wrong. It’s laziness rather than practicality. Because Mr. Money Mustache is already plenty spendy, and plenty sloppy – well beyond the level required to live a happy life.

I can afford to live this way, because I’m old and wealthy now. If you are still young and poor, you should be spending less than me, not more.

So, pizza delivery is for millionaires, and it’s also time to put away those car-clown keys and get back on your bike. We’ve still got work to do.

* Of course, this is a perfect-world generalization. Real life has room for joyful exceptions and imperfections. But you have to know the reality of what you should be doing, before you can safely start making exceptions like ordering your pampered ass a pizza.

  • Bill Muffi November 24, 2019, 6:47 am

    All this discussion on Pizza!
    Have you guys seen the Netflix Documentery called The Game Changers.

    • Dave November 25, 2019, 12:17 pm

      Mr money moustache man isn’t a vegetarian. He won’t be watching that

      • Mr. Money Mustache November 27, 2019, 8:08 am

        I’m just about to watch it actually, on the recommendation of a friend. I’m always open to having my mind changed!

        Currently my food philosophy is whole foods whenever possible, minimizing flour and sugar

        (remember that the pizza in this article is for my son, not me, and even then it’s because it is the only thing he will eat for dinner)

        And I try to stick with pasture-raised (expensive) eggs meats and skip the most environmentally harmful kinds (beef) when practical.

        As for the health pros and cons: I read both sides of the debate. There’s vegan activist Michael Greger on one side of it, but caveman lifestyle Mark Sisson on the other. I have lived like Mark for the last 5+ years, and as a result my health and body results are similar to his.

        I know you can get great results with vegetarian/vegan eating as well, but it takes some skill – you can’t just bust out a pack of bagels and wheat pasta and say “I’m healthy now because I’m a vegetarian!”

        • Ghassan Al Mamar November 27, 2019, 9:51 am

          All the skills you need to being vegan is following Dr. Michael Greger’s app “DailyDozen” :)

        • tjmando November 27, 2019, 10:39 am

          Hmm, vegan eating requires about as much esoteric skill as not dedicating your life to consumerism does. There’s nothing complicated: beans, lentils, tofu, spices, fresh veggies, rice, soups, salad, a gazillion obvious things. To not go vegan because of some lack of skill is reminiscent of the excuses people use to justify over spending. Thanks, as always, your blog MMM.

  • TraceyVA November 24, 2019, 8:17 pm

    Great article! Homemade vs delivery pizza is metaphor about the spending habits of our country.

    When my kids were young in the late ’90s/early oo’s, Saturday was homemade pizza night. We made the dough in the bread machine while we were out during the day with our various activities. Upon returning home, each child was able to create their own healthy pizza with toppings of their choice and we’d watch a free movie from the library as a family. Most of our neighbors had pizza delivery multiple times per week or would go out to dinner and movie. We could never understand the expense. And my kids never felt deprived by our economical choices. My family is proof that frugality is not restrictive and pays off in later years.

    Fast forward to the summer of 2019 where someone in my work organization had two 7-11 Slurpees delivered to the office via DoorDash. They paid more for the delivery than the product. I see more of this type of behavior from younger workers who are throwing away good money on poor choices.

    Your message of being aware consumers is an important one, MMM. Hopefully, this generation will start paying attention.

  • TheGreatFrugal November 25, 2019, 6:23 pm

    Back to the pizza—despite my mustachian proclivities I am often a pizza-ordering-in-er as I live in the best city for it (NYC). This post inspired a Trader Joe’s trip and now I am two pizzas richer for $10. To the point of opportunity cost—this was faster than the 30-45 minute wait for delivery.

    Thank you MM and the respondents for the inspiration, small and large, in this post.

  • SC November 26, 2019, 5:29 am

    Pizza dough is one of those things that is crazy easy to make in a bread maker. In fact, when my child requests pizza, I sometimes give him the option of the local discount supermarket chain’s, or my own (time-wise, it takes about the same, if I go out and get it). He always says, yours! I mix up the dough in the machine and sometimes have it frozen anyway. But we do go through it, so the key is to have flour/yeast on hand.
    I use 600 grams of strong flour, 340ml of water, one packet of yeast (think it’s 7g), 1-1/2tsp of salt and then a big glug of olive oil. Put it on the dough setting and let the magic occur. Stretch that thing out onto the pan (oiled and floured) once it’s done. Then a bit of sauce (leftover bolognese is nice), a mozzarella ball (or other cheeses are good too) and some quick toppings (whatever’s in the fridge that looks interesting), in the oven for 12-15 min at about 400 F.
    I work full-time but it’s just easier to make meals yourself. And cheaper. Last night’s dinner was chicken pie, which was basically Sunday’s roast dinner chopped, with a quick white sauce made and covered with a bit of pastry. Went down a storm.
    I find chopping things after a day at the office relaxing. Also, put the kids to work. They love a good kitchen task. Teaching kids to cook is a life skill. My dad taught me to cook and it’s served me well. We all have to eat, so it’s important to know how to feed yourself and your family, imho. And doing it with less waste is a good thing.

  • Katron November 26, 2019, 5:53 am

    Great story! Love those kinds of days. I have been mulling a question, would love your input. I am at a fork in the road:

    1. Stay at stressful job, where I am teathered to my phone day and night, but make pretty good money, no benefits though.

    2. Work at a job that promotes my health for 1/3 less of my earnings, no benefits.

    Thank you!

    • Mr. Money Mustache November 27, 2019, 8:02 am

      In situations like this, I always suggest going for the GOOD job, even if it earns less money. Because if you slave away in an unpleasant to earn more money, the only reason will be to be eventually quit. Then what will you do when you quit? Probably take up a low-stress and enjoyable job since you need to do something with your time anyway, right?

      Also, the earnings are probably not as different as they look on paper – because a lower stress job frees up more time to take care of yourself and optimize your life in other ways – including spending and entrepreneurship. And of course take care of your health, which should always come first, long before any job.

      So, good luck!

  • Pablo November 26, 2019, 8:12 am

    Hey MMM, congrats on the awesome kitchen. What is the countertop material? I just finished a kitchen remodel done by myself and saved probably 20 to 30k. Plus I learned a bunch of new skills. I also remodeled my two bathrooms with amazing showers that I learned from you with your blog. I upgraded the material and went with travertine, since I did the labor my self. Total equity on both bath remodels, probably another 30 40k in my area of Nevada.
    thanks for your guidance and wisdom!

  • MsCheng November 27, 2019, 12:32 am

    Okay after about two months of constant reading, i’m finally caught up! Thank you, mmm for such a valuable, fun, and insightful blog! Although i’m from a third world country of Cambodia where middleincome class earns an average of 500-1000$ per month, i still think ur philosophy of spend less on shit and save more is applicable anywhere!

    And although we have far lower wages, we also have as big of a heart! Whenever u need a guide for ur trip to Cambodia, just send me an email! I’d be glad to help!

    For the time being, i’ll stay a faithful reader!

  • Amir Koz November 28, 2019, 8:04 am

    I make Pizza for my family once a week.
    In Israel, where I live, Family sized pizza cost about 50-65 ILS(about 14-18$)
    and 80-90 ILS for special chef-a-like pizza (22-25$)

    The cost of some of the products in here is much expensive then in the US, but in the end it’s still about 30-40 ILS (about 9-11$) for 2 large pizzas. (about 70-80% of a family sized pizza in here).

    So even here my family gets fresh, healty good food in less money

  • Ms Blaise November 28, 2019, 10:13 pm

    I just watched the docs Playing with Fire that was recommended by MMM on twitter. Really good. The key takeaway was that the maths is easy but the psychology is hard: what is your life about if you dont fill it with paid “work”? etc.

  • Shelley Murasko November 29, 2019, 5:08 pm

    Love this article! In the end, simpler is better usually wins. Simpler is usually healthier, cheaper, greener, more efficient. MMM’s example of a day well lived is something – eat at home – add a dose of hard work on a project -practice new DIY skills – walk/bike to family/friends – eat at home, relish the simple moments of joyful living . Also, timely reminder for the chaotic holiday season upon us.
    In my house growing up, Friday night was pizza night (ordered out), Saturday night was popcorn/game night, and Sunday night was homemade pizza night. Though for some this may seem like borderline abuse, my mom hated to cook, worked full time, and raised us on her teacher’s salary. Looking back, I think her weekend meal trifecta was pretty smart for someone who was tired and hated cooking…and left us with terrific memories. In my working mom/mother of two world, homemade pizza w Trader Joes crust works best, the back up is store brand loaded with extra ingredients….love to be able to personalize the pizzas, and this works well with friends over, too. When we want to get extra fancy, we bake the pizzas on the closed BBQ.

  • Christina November 30, 2019, 8:09 am

    This post made me smile this morning. Thanks Pete.

  • MKE November 30, 2019, 11:47 am

    Next time, I am going to try reading the comments section first, and then guess what the article was about. According the comments, this is about finding a pizza recipe.

    From what I read, it’s about: 1) Not driving 2) Not using a cell phone or computer 3) not watching TV

    Going a day (or three or ten) without a car, phone, computer, or TV will be wonderful. Limit your use of these soul-destroying devices. Unfortunately, they can be good in small quantities.

    Pizza has little to do with it, but it makes a good headline. Focus on the big stuff.

  • Jesse December 6, 2019, 10:13 am

    I would love to learn some basic construction techniques taught by you. Also, I love reading your comments shitting on people that seem so lazy and disregard the simple instructions and time involved. Keep up the good work kind sir 👊🏽 and thank you for your continued teachings. I love riding my bikes :)

  • partgypsy December 6, 2019, 4:16 pm

    Dang I’ve gotten out of the routine of making pizza because a) have to have dough made in advance, and b) have the mozz on hand. Now I’m more of a frozen home run pizza when on sale person. When I was making homemade pizza, I recommend the Wolfgang Puck recipe. You can substitute up to 50% whole wheat. So good! https://www.thespruceeats.com/wolfgang-pucks-pizza-dough-recipe-101614

  • Dan December 12, 2019, 9:23 am

    Naan bread pizza! Cheap, fast, thin crust and delicious. Not just for Indian food anymore…

  • Patrick McCusker December 18, 2019, 7:34 am

    The wife and I learned years ago that homemade pizza is not only less expensive than take out/delivery, but it’s much cheaper/faster than normal dinners. We bought a $15 pizza stone (and later upgraded to a lavish $99 pizza machine) and a hand me down bread machine and our prep would go like this, while we were still wokring in the office:

    Sunday – Haphazardly throw all ingredients into bread machine and hit the dough setting. While dough is going cut all toppings we needed for the week and cook those that need cooking (you should precook your mushrooms to remove water). Divide finished dough into bags, our recipe makes 4 crusts for 12 inch pizzas. Freeze two and refrigerate two. Total active time spent: 30 minutes tops

    Monday – Thursday: Make pizza in under 15 minutes(less than 5 once we got the pizza machine), rotate frozen dough to fridge as needed. It works out to less than $2 a pizza.

    Highly recommended for near infinte at home pizza savings:
    Costco: Kirkland Tomato Sauce, Kirkland shredded mozzarella, Kirkland Olive Oil.
    Brevile Crispy Crust Pizza Maker or any pizza stone really
    King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour! 101 Cookbooks has a stellar and easy dough recipe using King Arthur White Whole Wheat. It’s whole wheat without all the heft and makes a dynamite dough. You can make this very easily without a bread machine. I have 4 in the fridge right now made by hand yesterday in 10 minutes.

  • Fairfaxbiker December 18, 2019, 1:11 pm

    Hey MMM, thanks for the reminder. This was perfect timing as I have been slipping back into “spendy old me” lately after five years of FIRE.
    You got me into this situation when I found your blog and am really glad you are still here for us. Keep up the good work and don’t feel that you always need to come up with some fancy new content to keep us reading. Sometimes getting back to basics is all it takes! Rock on!

  • Sly December 18, 2019, 1:27 pm

    Having just ordered a pizza of the XL variety price was $30-$45 for 1. The pizza was bout 22 and taxes and delivery was $8 and that was the non $45 place. Keeping in mind this was chain pizza prices, papa johns, dominoes, pizzahut. 2 Guys from Italy would have probably been closer to $40 and way better probably.

  • Ryan Turpin December 22, 2019, 2:15 pm

    You know, this is such a cool article and interesting perspective. I really had to let it marinate for a couple of days before deciding what I thought. And here’s what I think: if this appeals to you, I applaud it. #MillionaireMindset … On the other hand, given that life is not a guarantee, and neither is tomorrow, I think I prefer the route of “internalizing happiness” and then using that skill as an adaptation to any financial environment. Wealth, I think, is probably best measured by a person’s sense of privilege and fortune, not by their bank account.

  • Susan Murdock December 23, 2019, 7:48 pm

    It’s always a time vs. money battle. Which is worth more for personal peace? Spending now to ease the day along or investing a bit less in compounded interest savings for the long haul? Honestly, I do both, although, when my boys were little I cooked and cooked and cooked and baked and baked endlessly. With teens calorie ingestion is unbelievable. Luckily, my second husband is an excellent cook and pizza maker. He makes delicious tortilla pizzas, homemade pizzas, and occasionally, when we’re completely done feeding the masses, we get it delivered. Luckily, no one in my house needs gluten or dairy free foods, so our range is a bit wider than some. I hope, more than anything else, my children have learned to appreciate meals and food for what they’re worth: bodily sustenance and social engagement.

  • Julie January 5, 2020, 10:44 pm

    I made a pizza with wood-fired bread this weekend. It was the best pizza I’ve ever made. Couldn’t find a gluten free wood-fired crust, so ate the gluten. I cheat and eat gluten bread a few times a year (hello sourdough), because I do it so rarely I just deal with the side affects. Typically it is only on holidays and vacation that I do this. I likely spent more than most people do on a make it yourself pizza but it is a rare treat for me and I want it to taste amazing! Typically I have to have a consistent food craving for 1 month before I’ll give in to it unless it is a healthy choice. If it goes away before a month passes then it wasn’t that much of a craving, right?

    I spent about $300 eating out in 2019 and 75% of that was to celebrate birthdays, promotion, etc. with friends.

    I have addressed a weakness, the hunger that starts to set in a few minutes after leaving the gym. It used to be a temptation to buy some food and after one too many times of cravings I started bringing along a snack just in case.
    This goes double for any time I’m away from my place more than 2 hours, always carry snacks.

    It also helps to be on a fairly restrictive diet because it makes dining out a royal pain. I used to be low carb/high protein/no gluten or sugar. Started adding foods such as yogurt, cabbage, broccoli and apples thinking I was improving my health. Found out very recently that I may have an issue with high FODMAP foods, so started restricting those.

    If anyone has a wood fired gluten free crust recipe please share!

  • Mariano Wahlmann January 28, 2020, 10:09 am

    Have you tried Mint mobile? You can get 3Gigs of LTE + Unlimited data (3g) after for $15/mo. It’s a MVNO that uses t-mobile’s network.

  • Joe January 29, 2020, 11:06 pm

    as an independent pizza delivery business owner, I strongly disagree with this accurate post.

  • TC February 19, 2020, 3:01 am

    Really enjoyed reading this. Your intro to Your Money or Your Life led me to your website. One thing to mention – my dad recently became disabled having been a keen cyclist. It’s been a real eye opener, realising how inaccessible the world is for someone in a wheelchair and with brain damage, and how the way people talk (me included) can be just as alienating. Take my own slips this week that I’ve said to my dad – “let’s go for a walk”, “it’s only 5 mins walk away”. This way of talking assumes abilities he has now lost and reminds him again and again of the differences between us. The same is true of “get back on your bike” at the end of this excellent article. I’m learning that simple shifts like adding “if you’re able to…” at the start of sentences like that reassure people who can’t that they are not forgotten, that they still have a place. Thought that might be useful to share. Thanks again for all your work and good luck.

  • Bob Ross March 4, 2020, 3:07 pm

    Here is a great pizza recipe that will “deliver” great flavour. It is Neapolitan style pizza which comes from Naples, Italy.

    Buy yourself a kitchen scale with the setting on GRAMS not ounces.

    500 grams “00′” Italian Pizza FLOUR(Double zero)
    300 grams or 300 mL room temperature WATER
    15 grams fine SEA SALT (not table salt)
    5 grams Traditional Active Dry or Pizza YEAST

    Combine all ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. Mix the dough well until it is very smooth and elastic. In a lightly oiled bowl, place the pizza dough and cover tightly and allow it to sit for a few hours on the counter or overnight in the fridge (for more flavour).

    If the dough has sat in the fridge overnight, take it out 4 hours prior to using it. Form into 3 equally weighted dough balls. Buy a pizza stone and bake it either in a hot oven or on the BBQ grill.

  • Whutwhutwhut March 12, 2020, 12:09 am

    Dear MMM, something happened a few days ago which made me think of this post and I’m here to share it. My dad, who is now a retired multi-millionaire, was shocked when his colleagues suggested they should order Starbucks for the office. In his whole life, my dad never though he was rich enough to afford these coffees. He prefers the cheaper, homemade ones that costs about 40 cents. Even after a recent lucky investment in real estate that made our family skyrocketed our net worth from the average 200k to at least 8 million dollars by now, he still thinks he cannot afford Starbucks! I was thinking to myself, that’s very mustachian of my dad!

    A bit of more info about my frugal parents. Spoiler alert, they are Chinese-Cambodian, so they have the frugal Asian genes (as we like to say). My dad was orphaned because of the Khmer Rouge genocide. He grew up selling bread in the streets to afford schooling. His first job was a security guard as he was working for his degree in banking. He worked in the same bank for 30 years, rising from a security guard to a bank teller, to a branch manager, never earning more than 1k/month of salary in his whole life.

    As for my mom, she is illiterate. She started selling vegetables in a market, to selling shoes and sewing clothes for a living. They are a model of frugality, never eating out very often, and fixing everything in the house by themselves. They managed to raise three kids and provide us with good education all within a 1k/month budget. I think we never spent more than 400$/month for our five-person family our whole lives. My parents were never in debt or mortgage. They never bought what they could not afford. by staying in a small cramped third-floor house half of their lives. The very first savings they had, they invested directly into real estate since stock market is virtually non-existent in Cambodia. The land they invested worked. Some of it has risen to 100 fold due to the new flow of Chinese investment in the past two years. Over three months, we went from an average lower-middle class family (with about 200k of net worth) to multi-millionaires! That was a year ago, and it was interesting to note that not much has changed. My parents still wore their same old clothes (and by old, I mean OLD). they still ate at home. My dad loves woodworking, and my mom still pickles things and buys groceries at a discounted price.

    Even with a few millions in the bank waiting to be invested, and some other plots of land which total to about 8 millions in worth, my old-tshirt wearing, woodworking father still says Starbucks is too expensive for him.

  • Mike P March 17, 2020, 12:13 pm

    Dear Mr Money Mustache – I am working on redoing a kitchen in a duplex I live in. Can you send me a budget or more details on your kitchen? I have the time to work on it myself so I want to lower the cost as much as possible. Any tips you have would be great!!

  • Sayonara April 20, 2020, 1:56 pm

    Given the true message and lessons of this article, I propose the title really should be: “Pizza Delivery is(n’t even for) Millionaires”! :)

  • drplastickpicker June 21, 2020, 1:56 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful post. Sharing the beauty of a nonconsumerist driven life is very powerful. Thank you for doing what you do. I can see the carbon being sucked out of the air.

  • Aly July 7, 2020, 11:32 pm

    This is such an important mindset to have! We definitely need to work on our eating out budget (aka ideally not have one lol). I don’t think the problem is quite that single parents don’t have enough “time” – because arguably it can be extremely fast to make a healthy home cooked meal. Rather, I view it as a “mental load” problem – people of lower socioeconomic statuses often grew up in poorer homes where meals were also not prepared in a healthy way or where takeout or other cheap, easy, processed food was relied upon. This was me – I grew up in a very poor home where we wouldn’t have had food if my mother hadn’t smuggled us Taco Bell home (where she worked). I hardly ever saw her cook, but she did work three jobs, so I also rarely saw her sleep. She definitely had a deficit of time, but I would argue our deficit of money outweighed the time problem. The main problem was she didn’t know HOW to cook and learning a new skill can be a significant mental burden for people already stressed by other circumstances. I then grew up not knowing how to cook – it wasn’t until I hit adulthood and made a concentrated effort to learn that I developed that skill and have slowly collected recipes over the years. I have perceived myself to be at a significant disadvantage in the cooking department than my friends who grew up in cooking households, especially when I was just starting out, although now I have mostly leveled the playing field with my own efforts. I am also a well paid professional now, who has the luxury of time to hone such skills. I just think sometimes people think of cooking as such a natural phenomenon that they don’t realize it is a skill that has to be learned at some point – and some people never learn that skill in childhood, sadly. Much like financial management skills! (never learned those either in childhood, that’s for sure :p)

  • hans4797 January 21, 2021, 10:53 am

    I would like to add that simple optimizations can save money like buying a pre-made pizza from the grocery store instead of buying take-out. Sure, this isn’t as mustachian as making your own pizza from scratch, but Aldi sells a large cheese pizza for $4 (usually lasts us a few meals). You just put this in an oven on a Friday night and I consider this a relatively frugal option! The overall point still stands, you can get the same exact experience for a fraction of the cost!

  • Seth December 9, 2021, 1:20 pm

    An old SWAMI here… going back and re-reading some older articles this week and forgot how good this one was. This sounds like a typical weekend for me and my son. Having the right habits in place is key.

    Two things stuck out to me, though…

    1. Pizza delivery isn’t even for millionaires! You’re the millionaire and didn’t order out. Also if you get to become a millionaire via MMM-style principles, you again won’t be the type of millionaire to “splurge” and order out most likely. Therefore, pizza delivery is for… ? (not Mustachians, ha!)

    2. “Because Mr. Money Mustache is already plenty spendy, and plenty sloppy – well beyond the level required to live a happy life.” – Pete, I know you know that the “level required to live a happy life” is $0! As a Stoically-minded human like yourself, we’ve got to remember that we aren’t happy because of the money or things we have in life. I know what you meant but I’m being picky here.


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