When poking around for some information on the costs of eating out, I discovered this article from the Mayo Clinic. According to the Mayoans, or the Mayoites if you prefer, McDonald’s can make me a burger for the same cost, if not cheaper, as I can make myself. This means I don’t have to cook, clean, or even eat with my husband if I don’t want to. Research done. But then I realized that I really only like McDonald’s every now and then (aside from Diet Coke), I actually do like cooking, and Husband is good people.
A lot of people are choosing to eat at McD’s just a little too frequently for their health, this isn’t news. But they aren’t just eating there; try Chili’s, Applebees, or CPK,you can see that their calorie counts are about par with McD’s and their prices are always higher (unless you order the 50 McNugget meal).
Money Money Money… Mo-ney!
Let’s do a little math. Assume you and your spouse eat out 4 dinners and, let’s get crazy with it, 5 lunches per week. This is about what your costs would look like:
The grocery list for similar meals would look approximately like this:
In one week, the difference between eating out and eating in is a whopping $94.48; over the course of a year that adds up to $4,912.96. If that doesn’t blow your mind, factor your kids’ (if you’ve got ’em) meals into this equation.
According to mealsmatter.org
Families eating meals together “every day” or “almost every day” generally consumed higher amounts of important nutrients such as calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins B6 and B12, C and E, and consumed less overall fat, compared to families who “never” or “only sometimes” eat meals together.
When you cook and serve meals at home, you have more control over the quality and quantity of your family’s food choices. Kids tend to mimic their parents’ attitudes about foods.
Food for Thought (haha)
- An extra benefit of eating in for me is the stress that cooking relieves. I’m no gourmet but I feel great when I can make something that people enjoy, or that looks pretty; preferably, but rarely, both.
- I really don’t advocate eating in EVERYDAY, just most days. The fact that you’re trying to be frugal doesn’t mean you need to be a hermit. Hermits are hairy and have their own problems.
- Check out these two diaries at cockeyed.com. One details one month of eating out, the other, one month of eating in.
- The USDA produces this recipe finder to assist food stamp recipients in finding nutritious, low cost recipes. The cost per serving and nutritional information are provided on each recipe. You may not have to go this far, but if you had to, could you do it?
You know my opinion on the matter, tell me yours. Ready go.