The High Cost of Eating Out

by - January 14, 2020

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Back when I was growing up going out to eat was considered a real treat.  Times have changed though and these days the number of people who eat out regularly has grown to the point that grocery store shopping is declining. 

According to Eddie Yoon of the Harvard Business Review, grocery shopping and cooking are in a long term decline.  He's conducted a survey that determined Americans fell into one of three categories:

- 10 percent said they love to cook
- 45 percent said they hate to cook
- 45 percent are ambivalent about cooking


These days it is easier than ever to not cook at home and simply eat out. In fact, the average household spent an average of $3,459 on dining out in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Yoon states that "even categories that can hardly be considered “cooking” — such as cold, ready-to-eat cereal — are losing sales as people buy breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, or even Taco Bell". 

In response to this issue there are even companies today like Fresh Start Foods and Home Chef, which have have created prepared meal kits that include everything needed to cook a quick meal delivered straight to your door. 


Although some of these companies offer special low prices to new customers,  the regular prices can be prohibitive for many people.The downside to the food subscription services is that the you will pay dearly for the time you save in convenience with these services.

Meal kits can be cheaper than eating at a restaurant, but they are still more expensive than buying the ingredients and cooking yourself. 

And these calculations don’t account for the fact that grocery shopping can mean you’re left with extra food that you won't have when you use a meal delivery service. 

For those people with the means to spend money eating out regularly this might not be an issue. But the majority of Americans cannot afford to engage in such a costly habit. Especially when it comes to not having money to pay for everyday expenses like insurance, or an emergency, or having no money set aside for retirement.

Our food budget is one of our bigger expenses each month, which means that we’re very interested in ways to reduce our food spending while also adding variety to our meals. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~
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