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(MSN Money)   Vindication for only having beer and hot sauce in the fridge: Eating out is cheaper than cooking   ( articles.moneycentral.msn.com) divider line
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21595 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Feb 2008 at 2:33 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-02-15 03:03:42 PM  
Author is obviously not an Aldi shopper.
 
2008-02-15 03:03:44 PM  
robisfunky:

Fark that. Leftovers get old FAST. I make a decent living, eating is a great pleasure in life, not gonna paas up that pleasure to save a couple bucks eating leftovers out of nukerware.

You're doing it wrong.

Leftover chili or sauerbraten is even better than the first serving. And there's nothing like the envy you get when you bring in leftover jambalaya and drunken chicken, especially when the office hens all have their little Lean Cuisine whatevers.

Captain_Sissypants:

Are you all a bunch of broke bastards or something?

I prefer to put my money towards things besides Burger King and Subway, like bike parts or Wii games or my retirement fund.

Why is it so unfashionable to pinch a penny, particularly when there's no reduction in quality of life?
 
2008-02-15 03:03:52 PM  
Lisa: There's nothing to eat for breakfast.
Homer: You gotta improvise, Lisa: cloves, Tom Collins mix, frozen pie crust --
Lisa: Maybe mom just doesn't realize we missed her. We could go down to the casino and let her know...
Homer: Oh, come on, Lisa, there's no reason to -- [takes a bite] -- let's go see Mom.
 
2008-02-15 03:04:11 PM  
eat me.

i like your style OZONE. placenta all around!
 
2008-02-15 03:04:17 PM  
JDAT: Money = money. Anyone who says time = money is one who exchanges time for money which is a losing proposition.

I prefer the saying, "time is the ultimate commodity". 75% of the crap I buy saves me time in one way or another so I can enjoy the other 25% of crap that I buy.
 
2008-02-15 03:04:20 PM  
This is what happens when people get their "news" from MSN.
If you want to eat off of the dollar menu three times a day (done it) then, yes, you might save a little but healthy meals will always be less expensive to prepare at home. I spent $100 last night @ Target and Krogers and that amount of food will last me for the next two weeks. And im a vegatarian so the bulk of it was "expensive" Amys and Morning Star products.

//so much bullshiat
 
2008-02-15 03:04:29 PM  
I save money by making all the white spider meat I get from forest lurkers into spider sausages. Healthy? Heck yeah, +12 stamina!
 
2008-02-15 03:04:48 PM  
I imagine it may be difficult for some to put out a decent meal at home in a city cheaply. But I think it's because they are lazy. We sit down at the table every night together and have great meals for about $90 a week. Tonight is citrus marinated grilled chicken breasts, steamed asparagus (I know it's out of season but couldn't resist), and smashed redskins with bacon for about $6. Last night was NY strip steak (organic from down the road- I buy a steer each year), fries, and salad for about $5. And that's for four. Both meals for four took/will take about 30 minutes to prepare. And as a stay home dad I can say that's about $70-$100 each meal when one considers the value of my time.

/tomorrow we're going out tho, date night
 
2008-02-15 03:04:52 PM  
Super awesome bachelor tacos:

3lbs burger meat $4
8 taco shells $2
Colby/Jack cheese $1
Hashbrowns .25c
Electricity $.75


That's about two $4 meals that some would describe as better than sex. At least it is after smoking a bunch of weed.
 
2008-02-15 03:04:55 PM  
Wrong, depends on how you do it.

Sure if your comparing Burger King to having lobster at home then yea your doing it wrong. But as frugal as me and the wife are we have closely counted how much it takes per meal to feed the two of us, both kids and usually my mother (needs lookin after). On average we do about 15$ a full meal for all of us at home. The usual rotation is Pasta, Some rice or noodle based asian dish, Fajita's, outdoor barbeque, outdoor hotdogs/hamburgers, seafood and we always have leftovers. $15-$20 maximum, occassionally we bust out +$25 for steaks or something special. We hardly ever drink soda's.

For the same meal out to eat to feed all of us is $30 for non-Mcdonalds take out chinese/burgers or pizza.

You rich people crack me up.
 
2008-02-15 03:04:56 PM  
"When I add my hourly rate, the time to cook at home, I can instead take my family out to dinner, and it comes out pretty even," said Paul Howard, a manager-instructor at Café Laura, a restaurant run by college students at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa.

Why is this guy using his wages to determine what his family's meals are worth? Is he charging them for his services? Does he bemoan the fact that he just "lost" $100 when he has to change an electrical outlet, because that's what the electrician would charge?

Some people know the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.
 
2008-02-15 03:05:17 PM  
wildcardjack: philwz: Fun fact: Cheaper food is worse for your health.

What do you think they are using at the restaurants? If you get out for less than $10 a head, then it's a sure thing they are taking shortcuts. Most restaurants serving batter-fried things don't even have batter. It's all par-cooked, you'd be better off with the same crap in a cardboard sleeve from the freezer case.


img148.imageshack.us
 
2008-02-15 03:05:22 PM  
NSFW the benefits of cooking at home (new window)

The chick on the right needs to make some homemade mac and cheese, eat it, and not throw up.
 
2008-02-15 03:05:46 PM  
Savage Belief

Did you follow it up with baby-seal ice cream smothered with sauteed red panda tenderloin?

hell no! seals are cute! orangutans on the other hand...
 
2008-02-15 03:06:08 PM  
MuppetPastor: The King of Farking Around: I don't believe you can cook a healthy, interesting, and flavorful meal for 4 for $5

4 potatoes: $0.50
4 carrots: $0.25
1 onion: $.50
8 oz of cheap beef: $2.00
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar: $0.10
2 TBSP olive oil: $0.01
Salt and Pepper: $0.05
8 oz mushrooms: $1.00

Saute beef in olive oil to brown, then remove from pan. Add potatoes, carrots and onion (all cubed) to pan with 1/4 cup of water. Steam for 15 minutes.

Add beef, vinegar, seasonings, mushrooms to pan. Cook until mushrooms are tender.

Feeds 4. Total cost: less than $5


Where do you shop?! I'm not knocking you, but those prices are no where close to what I pay in Northern NJ. The beef maybe if it is on sale.

Also, I'm starting to wonder if some of the disagreement is due to variety and different expectations? For example, I grew up in a household where a meal consisted of a salad, a starch, a protein and one or two fresh veggies. I don't cook that way for myself. It really is too expensive. I make one main dish that contains everything.

The one exception is soup. When I make soups or stews, I make a lot and freeze individual portions. Then it's easy to take out a serving and havit it with a salad or something else.
 
2008-02-15 03:06:09 PM  
TheFatManCometh: I must say though, Pizza and Chinese/Thai food is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS cheaper than you making it... and it will taste better too. Homemade pizza or chinese/thai never comes out very good. Perhaps this is why these restaurants dominate the delivery industry.

For cheap Thai or Chinese cooking, find an Asian market or a store where immigrants flock. These tend to have cheap produce and ingredients. Forget a Vons/Ralphs/etc... where a little container of basil costs $3. I'm talking the places where you can buy a bundle of herbs for 25 cents a piece and where typical Asian sauces are a couple bucks a jar. Once you build up your common ingredients of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, peanut oil, etc... your next recipe will only require you to buy cheap produce, dried rice or noodles, and some meat. If you eat Asian stir fry a lot(like I've done) then this will end up being cheaper then going out all the time. Of course one's geography does factor a lot into this.

It's harder to make pizza at home that's cheaper then a chain, but every time I've made my own it's come out much tastier. The quality of the ingredients you buy at the store are better then what chains by from say Sysco, and you tend to put as much as you want on. Just make sure you get actual, fresh pizza dough instead of the ready made stuff. Whole foods will sell you fresh pizza dough for a medium sized pizza for $3.
 
2008-02-15 03:06:32 PM  
soze:
Leftover chili or sauerbraten is even better than the first serving. And there's nothing like the envy you get when you bring in leftover jambalaya and drunken chicken, especially when the office hens all have their little Lean Cuisine whatevers.

 
2008-02-15 03:06:39 PM  
I can use that one $18 piece of meat as part of about 30 meals. I be diggin on my huge sacks of basmati

**fapfapfapfapfapfap**
 
2008-02-15 03:06:42 PM  
As with everything, a COMPROMISE is best. The most cost effective way of eating is a combination of dining in, and eating out throughout the week.

Do the numbers.
 
2008-02-15 03:06:43 PM  
kid_icarus: I'm almost always on the run and usually half to eat on the road anyways.

That can make a difference.

My husband is on the road 7 days at a time and I know he doesn't really eat like he should. Even if he has access to the stuff I don't think he feels like messing with it.

Luckily he has me at home, otherwise he'd be eating frozen pizzas and burritos most of the time, lol.
He is truely someone that is cullinary challenged. His mom cooked for him the majority of the time and when he moved out he just ate pre-made crap. I would honestly be scared if he tried to actually cook something since when we first moved in together I told him to boil some water and he said "How?".
I think he might have been kidding but not so sure...hmmmm.
 
2008-02-15 03:06:56 PM  
Telos: but don't actually mention the steak or other meats to go with that pismo.

I will be putting this in my profile. A pismo IS steaks, jackass. You just need to spend the time to carve it.
 
2008-02-15 03:07:20 PM  
When I go out to eat its the cost of alcohol that gets me every time. Cheaper to stay home cause the misses and I are lushes.
 
2008-02-15 03:08:00 PM  
4 potatoes: $0.50
4 carrots: $0.25
1 onion: $.50
8 oz of cheap beef: $2.00
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar: $0.10
2 TBSP olive oil: $0.01
Salt and Pepper: $0.05
8 oz mushrooms: $1.00

This would cost 95 dollars in Hoboken, NJ.
 
2008-02-15 03:08:15 PM  
SlothB77: Time is moot because the time spent cooking is not mutually exclusive with the time spent working on your job.

Huh? You get paid at your job for cooking your meals?

Plus the time spent cooking is not much more than the extra time spent driving to restaurants, ordering food, waiting in line/ for a table and waiting for food.

This depends if I am going to a sit down restaurant or like a taco shop.

Cooking at home takes a min 30 mins to cook for the simplest meal.
I also have to clean up which is about another 10 mins and shop for groceries.

Going out only takes 15 mins total for a fast place maybe 20 mins for a sit down place. (I am not counting eatting time for both eatting out and in)

I am back home from a close sit down restaurant usually in about an hour. I would say that eating at home it's a bout an hour too but that's not including the grocery shopping.
 
2008-02-15 03:08:19 PM  
"When I add my hourly rate, the time to cook at home, I can instead take my family out to dinner, and it comes out pretty even,"

Yeah, well if I add my hourly rate, then it's expensive as hell to drink a few beers at a bar. It's also a very unrealistic way of figuring out how much it cost me to do that drinking.

The way this guy calculates it, a 3 hour movie costs $100 even before you buy popcorn.
 
2008-02-15 03:08:21 PM  
Hey JDAT, This hoolindaise sauce you speak of... it is good? The name intrigues me.
 
2008-02-15 03:08:26 PM  
Tissot: As with everything, a COMPROMISE is best. The most cost effective way of eating is a combination of dining in, and eating out throughout the week.

Nope.
 
2008-02-15 03:09:32 PM  
I have to echo the "load of crap" comments.

FTA:"By the time he's driven to the farmers market, bought the organic veggies and spent an hour cooking a meal for himself and his wife, Mark Chernesky figures he's spent $30."

Here's a handy little tip to reduce the cost of cooking. Buy a lot of ingrediants for many meals at once. Think in advance. When at the store, buy fresh foods for that day and the next, and frozen and non-perishable for the rest of the week. My wife and I always have a spare box of Mac and Cheese when we are tired and need something warm and delicious.

If you have to grocery shop every single day, you're doing it wrong!

Also- leftovers. Cook a lot, don't eat it all at once, and save it for next time. That way mean #2 takes very little time. Leftovers halve the cost of the meal. (Of course, telling people about leftovers is like trying to tell them about saving money- eat less than you cook, spend less than you make. Foriegn concept for some.)

For lunch during the week, I cook a giant pot of food and then parcel it out so I can have a good helping of homemade food throughout the week. It costs me nothing to pop it in the microwave at work. Again, I eat well for very little. It's healthy and tasty. Just today, I had fresh tortellini.

Apparently the moran in the article has no concept of future planning; he probably used to work for the Bush Administration (zing!) Either that, or he's the type that looks down on simple food and has to make every meal a spectacle. What a drama queen.

Has no one told this guy about TV dinners? For much less than the price of a restaraunt meal, you can get a Marie Callander's meal that is full of WIN. No cooking needed, just put it in a microwave or oven and set the timer. Done.

Finally, here's why eating out is never cheaper. Drinks. You pay $2 for soda, which is often watered down and never as good as from a can. At home, you can get the same amound of caffenated goodness for a lot less, assuming you thought ahead enough to buy a 12 pack and put it in the fridge. (Again, that pesky foresight comes back into play.)

Overall, this article is full of Fail. This

/long rant over
//looking forward to more leftovers
///Mark Chernesky is doing it wrong
 
2008-02-15 03:09:35 PM  
"Buy a crockpot and a clamshell grill and your problems are mostly solved."

George Foreman grill FTW
 
2008-02-15 03:09:39 PM  
Here is some SFW inspiration to grocery shop:
www.pinoyspy.com

I'm not entirely appetized by what she's cooking but I DGAF.
 
2008-02-15 03:10:05 PM  
ArgusRun: MuppetPastor: The King of Farking Around: I don't believe you can cook a healthy, interesting, and flavorful meal for 4 for $5

4 potatoes: $0.50
4 carrots: $0.25
1 onion: $.50
8 oz of cheap beef: $2.00
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar: $0.10
2 TBSP olive oil: $0.01
Salt and Pepper: $0.05
8 oz mushrooms: $1.00

Saute beef in olive oil to brown, then remove from pan. Add potatoes, carrots and onion (all cubed) to pan with 1/4 cup of water. Steam for 15 minutes.

Add beef, vinegar, seasonings, mushrooms to pan. Cook until mushrooms are tender.

Feeds 4. Total cost: less than $5

Where do you shop?! I'm not knocking you, but those prices are no where close to what I pay in Northern NJ. The beef maybe if it is on sale.


i am assuming when he buys these ingredients, he pays more, but doesn't consume the whole bottle/ box/ package/ etc in one meal. like, i don't put a whole package of four sticks of butter in each meal. four sticks of butter can last me months. so for each meal, i am only using a few cents worth and that's all i need.
 
2008-02-15 03:10:21 PM  
and unless this dickwad only eats at fast-food joints, you still have to factor in the time of WAITING for the chef to cook it... (and food takes the same time to cook at a restaurant that it does at home, plus you don't have to wait on the hostess, waiter, etc.)

it's not like theres some special restaurant fairy that just magically knows what you want and hands it to you when you walk in...
 
2008-02-15 03:10:28 PM  
MuppetPastor: Oh yeah, and my recipe above is probably about 200 cal per serving. Suckit "cheap meals are bad for you" crowd.
If that is your main meal of the day, that is not enough calories.

I don't believe in the oversized portions that most tend to serve, but 200 calories is 10% of a maintenance diet intake. This might work if you are trying to lose weight, or if you are serving something else with the dish, but 200 calories per person per meal is not healthy.
 
2008-02-15 03:10:46 PM  
What a load of crap - for example:

Last night my wife and I had filet mignon with vegetables and wine that I made her for Vaalentine's day.

Meat - @$15.00
Frozen steam in bag vegetables - $2.50 (and frozen retains more nutrients than fresh)
Spices/etc to for vegs and to make reduction sauce - @$1.00
Bottle of decent Cabernet - $12.00 (on sale)

Total cost = under $30.00 for a gourmet meal that is as good or better than anything I have paid for at an upscale restaurant.

The same meal would set me back $70.00 or more at a restaurant. Typically the two of us eat a good homecooked dinner for about $10.00 or less - McDonald's crap would cost that much. And I have worked on my cooking skills over the years so that I'm to the point where I don't even enjoy the fare that most places have - I get it and immediately realize that I can make it at home to the same or better quality for much less money.

Except for Peking Duck. That's a pain in the ass to prepare at home and worth every penny.
 
2008-02-15 03:10:55 PM  
Corvus: I know lots of people who have good paying jobs and have no money ever cause every day they are getting $15+ lunches. This will make you have no money.

A lady I work with and her husband make 150k total annually, they live in a house she bought 20 years ago for 70k, and both drive 5-10 year old cheap cars but have to put new tires, car repairs etc on credit because they don't have the cash. She can't figure out why they live paycheck to paycheck. They both eat out breakfast, lunch and dinner EVERYDAY. Not cheap meals either, she eats high dollar sushi 3-4 times a week and they both drink a bottle or two of pretty expensive wine at a different restaurant every night.

I just laugh when she comes in my office and complains about being broke.
 
2008-02-15 03:11:02 PM  
ravenlore:

There's a TotalFark kitchen archive?!?!?

I think I ride the #4 bus with you now and then....

HI!

/threadjack over!
//sorry
 
2008-02-15 03:11:05 PM  
I had breakfast at Denny's this morning so I getting a kick....


/Seriously, it cost $12
//Left a $5 tip
///I can afford it
 
2008-02-15 03:11:32 PM  
SlothB77: i am assuming when he buys these ingredients, he pays more, but doesn't consume the whole bottle/ box/ package/ etc in one meal.

Exactly.
 
2008-02-15 03:11:39 PM  
If you like to eat out, do it. If not - guess what? Don't eat out! There, isn't that easy? No need to sit there bullshiatting over it. Either eat out or don't.
 
2008-02-15 03:11:48 PM  
Trail of Dead
I know... but the shoppers are usually so hot there, and the place is so cramped that I can't resist.

Seriously though.. 8 bucks for pasta sauce? WTF?


There's no frottage worth the prices in there.

But Christ, you want overpriced, try the new place on Washington and 2nd. Whatever the hell it is called. That's the first time I've ever actually laughed at the prices before.
 
2008-02-15 03:12:06 PM  
robisfunky: Dr.Zom: Americans are idiots who need their sloth justified by the media. Film at eleven.

Making blanket statements about an entire country is even more lazy.
/American
//Not an idiot
///maybe a little lazy


Making blanket statements about the pervading "culture" of a country is accurate. Everything in our culture is geared towards convenience and entitlement, therefore SLOTH. Those of us who are willing to make the effort to live an authentic life are in the minority.
 
2008-02-15 03:12:13 PM  
theMagni: You buy food at a supermarket. For $60-70 bucks a week, we feed a family of four. That's three or four meals a day. That's under $3 a meal each.

Yeah but if your family is only one or two people the costs are different or you are eating the same damn meal the whole damn week.
 
2008-02-15 03:12:28 PM  
redcup27: I just laugh when she comes in my office and complains about being broke

She needs the female equivalent of a cockpunch.
 
2008-02-15 03:12:41 PM  
RedfordRenegade: That's why you can always substitute tequilla for beer. It goes better with hot-sauce.

Prairie Fire FTW!
 
2008-02-15 03:13:11 PM  
BatardAmericain: Here is some SFW inspiration to grocery shop:


I'm not entirely appetized by what she's cooking but I DGAF.


WTF. Is there an antigravity field in her immediate vicinity?
 
2008-02-15 03:13:26 PM  
I'm 27 years old.

Give me $30 and I can cook for 2 people for a 7 days.
 
2008-02-15 03:13:30 PM  
Trail of Dead: 4 potatoes: $0.50
4 carrots: $0.25
1 onion: $.50
8 oz of cheap beef: $2.00
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar: $0.10
2 TBSP olive oil: $0.01
Salt and Pepper: $0.05
8 oz mushrooms: $1.00

This would cost 95 dollars in Hoboken, NJ.


Yeah, where is this produce coming from? Also, since you can't buy only 2 tbsp of oil and vinegar, it is somewhat misleading. But I do understand where the number are coming from. However, on an individual meal sense, this isn't too far off for most locales. Though for me the potatoes are like $.85 per one essentially and the meat and other veggies are more expensive. I could safely say I could feed 4 people with this type of meal for probably $25-$35 total, so $6.25-$8.75 per person. Either way, still cheaper than eating out.
 
2008-02-15 03:13:51 PM  
BatardAmericain: Here is some SFW inspiration to grocery shop:


I'm not entirely appetized by what she's cooking but I DGAF.


Damn!!! Nice.

On another less sexy note, we buy a 1/2 cow and a 1/2 pig every fall at the livestock fair in a nearby town. Even after butchering and packaging fees, the meat costs us under $1.20/lb for the beef and under a $1 a pound for the pork.

Yippee.
 
2008-02-15 03:14:19 PM  
That's under $3 a meal each..

I fed my inmates on $.45/ day.
 
2008-02-15 03:14:30 PM  
Bread
Butter
Milk
Eggs
Ground Meat
Various Vegetables
Orange Juice
Tea
Pasta
Canned Tomatoes
Garlic

That doesn't even scratch $30.
 
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