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The High Cost of Eating Out

The cost of eating out is two-to-ten-times more expensive than eating at home. Yet, on average, we spend over a third of our food dollar on food away from home.

Restaurant Meal

We Americans love eating out. It gives us a break from sameness; it gives us a change of scenery. It's a lot easier than home cooking and cleanup. But it gets expensive fast. If you find yourself in a money squeeze, one of the simplest of all money saving techniques is to avoid eating out.

Consider this fact: Food at home costs $1.60-to-$3.50 per person, but mid-range sit-down restaurant prices easily can take $12.00-to-$25.00 per person out of your family budget. Of course, fast food (ordering pizza, grabbing a hamburger, etc.) can be purchased for less than $10.00 per person, but fast food generally is not healthy food – and poor eating habits can lead to expensive health conditions.

If you've run into hard times and need to commit to budget living, enjoy the low-cost, healthy taste of home cooking more often and restaurant food less often. Even if you can't be home for lunch, you can take a lunch bag or a lunch box and save your lunch money.


Why Do We Eat Out So Much?

Why do we so often eat our food away from home? In addition to the novelty of it, dining out is often a response to anxiety about what to cook. Here’s the scenario…

Kitchen Anxiety

To escape the anxiety we experience when the question, "What's for dinner", comes up, it's so easy to say, "Let's just eat out." But this option is not so good for your personal budget.

How much money can you save by eating at home? You can use the calculator below to get a better idea of your family's annual food cost (based on the latest U.S.D.A and U.S. Census figures). Multiply the result by .35 and see how much you can save.

Instructions: Put the numbers of people you feed at home in the light yellow boxes, then select a southern California county, or "National Average" if you don't live in southern California. You must click outside the last box you typed in to see your results.


Suggestion: Follow the Kitchen Peace Pattern as a way to plan ahead and avoid the anxiety of not knowing what to make for the next meal. Preparing healthy, low cost meals at home will become a streamlined process, and you will be able to save on foods by eating out less often.




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