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Old 06-02-2017, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
676 posts, read 1,475,123 times
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My real life experience: I spend around $700/month for me and my son, and we eat out at least every other day. If we ate only food prepared at home from the grocery store, it would cost around $300/month. I waste a lot of money eating out, and really need to work on reducing that.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excellent Point View Post
I read somewhere that eating out is perhaps the biggest money waster the average person does. If people just cooked their own food that they got at the grocery store, they would save thousands a year. Is this really true?

Yes, eating out at fancy restaurants is quite expensive and you could do much better with a cookbook and quality food from a nice grocery store. But as a single person, am I really spending much more money at a fast food restaurant than cooking a hamburger or chicken dinner? For mid-quality food, how much more am I spending at a place like TGIF or Ruby Tuesday vs, buying the food at the grocery store and cooking the meal at home?
Usually you can cook the same meal at home for 1/4-1/3 the visit of the same meal at a restaurant. And you will likely be abke to make two meals out of it.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Usually you can cook the same meal at home for 1/4-1/3 the visit of the same meal at a restaurant. And you will likely be abke to make two meals out of it.
Or get just the main item and bring it home to pair with a salad or whatever. Big upcharge on sides and beverages. That is their profit center.

If we weren't having a flood I was going to get chic-fil-a tonight. Just the chicken. It's amazingly cheap that way.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:54 PM
 
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There is a great classic by M. Bulgakov, Master and Margarita. In it, Satan visits 1930s Moscow. Satan has a brief encounter with eatery manager and brings to his attention that he will never ever be anywhere close to his outfit as food and, specifically, sturgeon, looked stale. To what manager responds - Not my fault, they supplied sturgeon of the 2nd freshness. Satan says great wisdom - Dear such and such, food can be only one freshness, that is - FRESH, and nothing else.


That said, I have a dumm question. What the heck is mid quality food?
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:30 PM
 
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Since we are talking strictly about costs, don't forget at least a 15% tip. Some posters like to tip 20% or more. Not sure if it's the norm but where I live there's an added 5% in taxes on top of the bill. Add in possible pay parking and gas, there really is a lot of savings to eat at home.
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Old 06-02-2017, 10:38 PM
 
Location: The World
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Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
I suppose that might be valid if they have an all you can eat buffet right next door where they can walk 1 minute, step through the door, and their meal is ready

Other that that, it doesn't take any more time to cook at home, because when you eat in a restaurant, you have to drive there, park, walk to the restaurant, possibly wait for a table, wait for the waitress to come around and take your order, wait for the kitchen to cook your food.

If someone prefers to not do any cooking, that's their business, but the excuse that it is cheaper to eat in restaurants simply is not going to fly. If you don't want to cook, say "I don't want to cook" Don't say "I eat all my meals in restaurants because it is so much cheaper"
I agree. It really is nothing but an excuse. Eating at home is cheaper the vast, vast majority of the time, period. People do not have to justify their choices about dining options to the general public, so there's no reason to BS and potentially lead people to believe that it's true.

That said, even though I prefer to cook and eat at home and even though I'm frugal, even to me there are some meals that I'd rather go out for. For us, it's fried seafood. I only like shrimp. My husband likes combination plates with fish, scallops, oysters, shrimp, etc. He will only eat seafood with fries and coleslaw, while I like salad and a baked potato. We're usually on the same page with eating or can meet in the middle, but not with this.

Soo...instead of buying seafood (not cheap, at least not in our area), having multiple pans going and frying 4-5 kinds of seafood and fries at one time, making different side dishes, dealing with the smell of seafood in the kitchen, etc., we just go out for it. At about $26-$35 (depending on their special that day, whether we choose to drink water or sweet tea, etc. That does include tax and tip, and it's usually at the lower end...I think we only spent $35 once or twice in eight years) at our favorite local place, it's a worthwhile "splurge" to me once every couple of months when we get a craving for it, since it's not something we want to eat often.

I also think dining out can sometimes be a good idea for things like ethnic foods, which one might not really know how to cook. Add in the cost of all of the spices and such that might not get used often, and even though dining out might not really be cheaper, it can make going to a restaurant really make sense, since the cost gap might be tightened a bit and since the experience can be so much better.

So, I do think that dining out does "make sense" in some cases; even if it's not necessarily cheaper, the cost and convenience can be worth it. Not for every day, though, not by a mile. I would say that 99 percent of the time, dining at home is by far the better option.

And when I dine out, I do at least like to order something that's a bit more complicated. I can't imagine spending $15 on a bowl of spaghetti; at least order the lasagna or something, at least with the cost of all of the cheeses and everything, it's something a little more expensive to make, and it is fairly time-consuming. Spaghetti is like the oldest budget meal in the book and is one of the easiest things to cook.

I did pay $15 for red beans and rice in New Orleans. It was delicious, no doubt, but I could have made enough of it to feed an army for what I paid for it. I do give myself a break on dining out costs when we're traveling, though, and the restaurant that we were at served a ton of seafood (in New Orleans style, of course), so the red beans and rice were really the only thing on the menu that I wanted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stockyman View Post
Since we are talking strictly about costs, don't forget at least a 15% tip. Some posters like to tip 20% or more. Not sure if it's the norm but where I live there's an added 5% in taxes on top of the bill. Add in possible pay parking and gas, there really is a lot of savings to eat at home.
Agreed. Tipping is NEVER something to be frugal on. A 15-20 percent tip should always be left unless the service really sucked.

Last edited by lkmax; 06-02-2017 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Ohio
5,627 posts, read 4,640,102 times
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My husband and I bought a steak tonight for $7 and could split it. Corn was 6 for $1 and then frozen broccoli was $1. So we ate for about $4 each, what would cost $20+ at Texas Roadhouse.

so yes it was cheaper.
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:01 AM
 
Location: The World
3,012 posts, read 1,813,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohky0815 View Post
My husband and I bought a steak tonight for $7 and could split it. Corn was 6 for $1 and then frozen broccoli was $1. So we ate for about $4 each, what would cost $20+ at Texas Roadhouse.

so yes it was cheaper.
Nice! We bought a pack of six small filets for $12 today, so three steak dinners!
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