Food could be a major expense and one which will vary wildly from month to month. You may be very mindful about your spending one month, always visiting the foodstuff and discovering generic items or only items that are on sale and you finish up spending around $400 that month. Then the subsequent month, you move out to eat for each meal, have food delivered, and devour travel orders on your way home and you finish up spending upwards of $1000 or more (and this may not even be factoring in that daily Starbucks purchase!)
There’s a never-ending debate about whether going bent on gnawing at restaurants is better than cooking your meals at home. Some swear by cooking everything themselves while others would not be seized dead in the kitchen. For the solution to the current age-old question, let’s break it down.
Spending by the Numbers
The Bureau of Labor reported that a family of 4 can spend between $550 to $1,300 a month that breaking all the way down to between $138 and $325 per week on food as somebody with a group of three. It is quite evident that is a wide spread on spend. $550 to $1,300 is largely what we spend without delay a month. Add another month and that’ll go up a lot. And that’s not even taking into consideration living in a more affluent area where the cost of living is higher.
Regardless, the typical meal at a restaurant costs roughly $15, and if you extrapolate that over the course of a 30-day month, you’ll pay $1,350 to feed one person and $5,400 to feed a family of 4. That’s a lot of dough.
Cooking at Home
Studies have shown that individuals who cook at home do consume fewer calories, carbs, fats, and sugars than those that dine out which makes cooking your meals healthier, on average, than eating out. This makes a good deal of sense because you’re on top of things of the ingredients once you cook at home. You decide on whether to cook your meal with butter or vegetable oil. You’ll be able to like better to keep company with a leaner cut of meat that is healthier for you. You’re ready to choose a sugar-free option for dessert instead of rolling the dice at the Italian restaurant on that delicious sounding cannoli.
The main drawback to eating at home is how time-consuming it is. The more you cook, the faster you’ll be ready to adapt, but it still takes up lots of your time. You have got to go shopping for all of the ingredients, prep them, then cook the meal, and then clean up. If you’re just cooking for yourself, you’ll be able to probably escape by cooking a meal in 30–45 minutes, with about 10 minutes of clean-up. If you are cooking for your family, you are not doing it in less than 60 minutes.
Eating out does not only count as sitting down at a restaurant. It also includes reading an order to travel on your way home, having DoorDash or Uber Eats to deliver food, and swinging through a drive-thru at a quick food joint. All of those options are technically “eating out”. While they’re different, what they do share is convenience. A (hopefully) skilled professional will be making your food and they are also doing it at an A level that you just won’t be capable of on the fly.
Not everyone is a classically trained chef, or good at cooking for that matter. I do know some of those that struggle to use a microwave and can’t make one meal without burning something. However, once you venture out to eat, you’re able to experience food and flavors that you simply would have otherwise never tasted. You’ll even have a carefree conversation with your friends, family, or colleagues without having to stress about juggling the addition of cooking to your daily routine.
The biggest disadvantage to eating out is the price. You’ll be able to spend on one meal what people spend for a complete week or month’s worth of groceries. And if you extrapolate that over the course of a month, you’ll find yourself spending thousands of dollars on food when it could be hundreds.
The Comparison of Cooking at Home Versus Eating Out
The bottom line is that cooking your meals at home is significantly less expensive than eating out, and it affords you control over how to monitor your calories, macronutrients, and even vitamins and minerals. With some training and research, you can cook the identical dish at home that you’d get at a restaurant for a fraction of the value and still have leftovers for afterward within the week. If you’re looking to chop down on your expenses, maybe put a bit extra into your bank account monthly, it is worth it to invest the time into cooking meals at home.
However, if you aren’t strapped for cash, you’re pressed for time, or you have a demanding job, then eating out may be a more robust solution for your lifestyle.
Ultimately, one isn’t completely better than the opposite. Yes, eating home is cheaper, but ordering a takeaway is incredibly convenient and fast. Heck, you can’t really make the argument that eating home is healthier than eating out if you do your homework and eat out at those healthier, high-end, well-sourced restaurants. If you like to cook with butter, certain oils, or certain ingredients there are plenty of restaurants that have carefully crafted their menu to own healthy – and delicious – options for the health-conscious. Accordingly, meal portions at traditional restaurants are steadily returning to sane sizes rather than super-size-me portions.
If we glance at it from a value and health perspective, eating at home is healthier. If we glance at it from a convenience and variety perspective, eating out is the stronger alternative. What it boils all the way down to is what works best for you and your lifestyle.
The Market Price of Takeout in Each City
Seattle took home gold as the most expensive city to take out. At a lifetime cost of about $ 8,000 more than the second-largest city, Seattle residents have to pay a hefty bill to facilitate delivery.
Interestingly, Seattle takes on average only $ 11 more per month than Pittsburgh for takeoff, but for a lifetime, that extra $11 really does increase.
At the other end of the spectrum, the city with the cheapest takeout habits is Detroit. For just $142 a month to take out, this is the city where your takeout habits will put the least pressure on your wallet.
Annual Potential Savings from Home Cooking
Of course, we know we have to provide proof of how much you can save on home cooking, so we did just that. In each city, people order food at the grocery store, and based on the increase in the number of meals they have to prepare themselves, a research study was conducted to demonstrate the annual potential savings from home cooking.
Here’s what the by-the-city numbers show, in a nutshell: Seattle offers the most savings for home cooking instead of ordering. Just behind Seattle is Pittsburgh, followed by San Francisco and Miami. San Jose and Virginia Beach were also top cities for home cooking savings.
Takeout is a great option for those days when you are working late or in a pinch, but the cost of these slow nights increases exponentially, and in general, the options you are reaching are less healthy, leaving you less happy! In this way, last night’s pizza wishes didn’t stop you from fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions!
Cooking at home is a great first step if you want to meet the New Year’s resolution to spend less and eat better, and if you want to go one step further, you must know how your body processes food and exercise so that you can customize your food preparation for a diet that works with your body.
Wrapping Up The Discussion
If you are one of those who loves to eat at home, or if you have the funds to order the very detailed home delivery meal preps that are controlled down to the calorie, then you ultimately do have the ability to control more of what you put into your body at a granular level.
An additional benefit of this control is getting informed about what works for your body so you’re not putting pointless calories and macros into it, no matter if you’re eating at home or dining out. HealthCodes DNA offers a macronutrient ratio as part of its introductory genetic test for health and wellness that really helps you trim the fat, so to speak, so you aren’t wasting your time and effort on wasted calories and nutrition your body doesn’t need. No matter your dining preference of dining in versus eating out, a more informed lifestyle tailored to your body’s needs will benefit you tremendously in the long run and keep you sticking to your routines.