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Article- Is eating out cheaper than cooking?

Discouraging... especially considering tight budgets... and tighter pants!


Mon. Oct 29, 11:47am

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I don't agree. Notice how the writer of the article twisted the budget to fit his desired results. He went and bought $30 in oganic veggies then compares that to hand-stuffed ravioli in puttanesca sauce. While that sounds all fancy ravioli and sauce are very cheap to make. He doesn't compare even regular fruits and veggies but the more expesive 'organic' labeled. In addition he factors in his time saved. Really time saved are you kidding me??? Whenever I go to dinner I have to drive there 10 min there and back, I then have to wait to be seated (he's not comparing to McDonalds) another 10 min, I then have to wait to order and get my foor another 10 min... look in all that waiting time I've spent 40 min to get my food now most families I think can cook a meal in that time. Plus when he could $17 plus tip that's just for himself now if you have a family of 4 I would hope you can make dinner for less than $70.

Feel free to make all the excuses you want to eat out, but it's still faster, cheaper and healthier to eat at home. Anything else is just excuses.

Monday, October 29, 2007, 1:02 PM

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Sometimes true, sometimes not.

I live in downtown Chicago, and there is not a night of the week in which there isn't a bar special for a burger and fries for $2, and there are 1000 places serving 25-cent wings. So, any day of the week, I can eat dinner for $2 + tax/tip at a restaurant. Healthy? Not at all. But, it isn't all that easy to cook for less than $3/person. It's possible, particularly when you're cooking for multiple people (easier to serve 4 people for $12 than it is to serve one for $3) and if you cook large portions and have leftovers, but, when my husband and I cook at home, we almost always spend more than $5-$6 that we'd spend if we went out for these bar deals.

Monday, October 29, 2007, 1:13 PM

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Sadly I think it is true most of the time,especially considering all of the dollar menu items.I have found when grocery shopping it is the same way,when you start stocking up on fresh vegetable you will spend way more than you would for a frozen meal. However you are not getting your nutrition and mostly fat.So look at it this way,Would you rather spend more for energy and fitness or less for fat?

Monday, October 29, 2007, 1:34 PM

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at safeway I can buy a hamburger bun for 33 cents. I can buy a potato for about the same. 10 patties cost me 10 dollars... so yes, I'll have to pay a little more for the garnish, condiments and oil to fry my chips, but I'm not looking at much more than $2 + tax and tip.

I guarantee you I eat cheaper at home than I do at a restaurant. What is interesting is the amount of people who are discovering food intolerances. Do you have any idea how hard it is to eat out with a wheat intolerance or celiac disease? It can be done, but rule out the sandwiches, pasta, and anything breaded. (Also usually rule out the breadcrumb infested hamburger patties...)

"Restaurant-association surveys indicate diners increasingly view restaurants as extensions of their own homes, and a large percentage would like to see table-top televisions installed at their favorite eating joints." This appalls me. Not only are we considering a business entity part of our home, we're further reducing communication between families by adding tv to eating out. When my mom made dinner, we ate at the table. When I cooked dinner for my bf, we ate at the table.

Monday, October 29, 2007, 1:41 PM

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I feed a family of six for an average of $8-10 per meal. Don't try this away from home.

Nothing I make for my family couldn't be made nearly as cheaply for just me, if I use a few simple practices. I can still buy in bulk; I just need to immediately portion and freeze all perishables, and portion and freeze things like tomato sauce as soon as they are opened.

The only things I buy in large quantities that I would have to spend more on for just myself are apples, potatoes, and carrots. They cannot be fresh-frozen. But all of them are cheap to begin with.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 11:17 AM

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Just how many restaurants are there that have natural, organic, free range meal options with no chemical additives, no HFCS, no hydrogenated anything? Not too many I'd guess. Which is why I don't eat out that often. And when I do it's just to be with family & friends, so I usually order a fresh salad with dressing on the side. The veggies are probably not organic, but it's about as natural a meal as I can get if I didn't buy the ingredients at the farmer's market or health food co-op & prepare it myself.

When grocery shopping, most people buy things that I don't even consider to be edible. So even though I eat as close to the bottom of the food chain as possible, it's not as expensive as you might think. I'm not spending any of my grocery dollars on sodas, powdered drink mixes, beer or alcohol, microwave popcorn, chips, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream, candy, deli meats, rotisserie chickens, frozen entrees, etc. So if you shop like I do, the $ spent weekly may be comparable to someone else's huge variety of processed food "products", and may make it look like what I've bought is very expensive, but it's all good healthy food items.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 11:39 AM

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11:39 how long have eaten like this- what motivated you to do it? Do you have a family- if so what do they eat? Have you lost weight since you started?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 1:27 PM

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11:39, yeah that's how I grew up, eating like that. Eating fresh veggies from the garden, buying at organic at the farmers market, checking labels, etc. My dad in particular is the biggest health freak. While my mom is not, she eats healthier than most people. On the other hand, growing up, junk food was off limits and we had to hide it from my dad, so it caused me to consume a lot when it was there. I was always thin for most of my life, then once puberty hit I gained an extra 20 pounds due to that and being an emotional eater. I'm 21 now and I'm losing it by implementing what I learned growing up, while at the same time keeping a balance and allowing myself treats and having a large meal without feeling guilty when we go out to eat.

Even if it's more expensive to cook at home, in the long run, it's cheaper because you won't have to worry about health costs from eating that garbage and you'll have the energy for more productivity in your life. Plus, you'll feel good and be able to wear whatever you want.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007, 2:26 PM

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