Hello November. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have kept me busy lately; I’ve been burning the midnight oil, putting in 70 hour weeks at work, dropping a few more on the blog and spending every spare minute with the darling men in my life. The load started to take its toll last week and I found myself with the chills and sniffles. Daniel confined me to bedrest.
Being sick had its perks, I watched TV and ate chocolate in bed, but it meant skipping my Sunday afternoon meal prep session. With work being the way it has been, I did not find the time to cook during the rest of the week. So we ate out instead.
Canada’s Restaurant and Food Services Association reported that people aged 18-34 were likely to eat out twice a week. A survey by Visa Canada estimates that 20% of Ontarians eat, on average, three lunches out a week. Last week we dined out three times.
Eating out gets expensive quickly. Health issues aside, let’s take a look at the cost of eating out vs. eating in.
[table]”Eating Out (3 dinners, 1 lunch*)”
“1 Bowl of congee, vegetable stir fry, General Tao’s chicken, 1 bowl of rice”, $30.49
“2 Burgers from South St. Burger (no fries, no drink)”, $14.13
2 Bowls of Kamjatang (Korean pork bone soup), $18.06
Cost per meal, $12.53
*The order of Chinese food had enough for lunch the next day., “”
When I’m not a feeble incapacitated version of myself, our weekly grocery list looks something like this:
[table]”Eating In (5 dinners, 5 lunches)”
1 6-lb Chicken, $13.75
“1 Small CSA box, holding approximately one week’s worth of vegetables”, $25.00
2-lb Chinese vegetables, $4.00
2 Heads of brocolli, $1.99
1 Bag of carrots, $2.83
Herbs (parsley and thyme), $3.39
1.5-lb Sweet potatoes, $1.49
2 Salmon steaks, $9.02
3 Chorizo sausages, $3.39
Cost per meal, $6.49
While quick and easy, the three meals we had out last week were unmemorable. The convenience cost us $62.67, averaging $12.50 per meal. In contrast, eating in would have cost us about the same, but the amount spent goes much further (5 dinners and 5 lunches) which comes out to be $6.50/meal- that is almost 50% less than eating out! No question about it, eating in is definitely the more budget friendly option.
Apparently, 71% of Americans agree and find themselves saving money by cooking at home. More and more people consider eating out a form of luxury and are willing to cut spending in other places to dine out. Here are a few more mouth watering tidbits from a survey based on a Harris poll taken last year:
Infographic via TurboTax
A fresh start to the new month gives us a chance to hit the reset button on a costly week of dining out. I’ve still got a hectic schedule ahead, but this week I’m armed with a meal plan that’s back on track and a fridge full of groceries. If we can get the grocery spending down, who knows, maybe Daniel will consider the luxury of a tasting menu?
Is dining out worth the convenience?