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Cheaper to go out to eat than to cook at home this Thanksgiving


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WWW.CNBC.COM

The cost of dining out rose just 8.6% over the last year, while the cost of eating at home jumped 12.4%, according to the latest consumer price index data.

 

I've seen stories like this spring up over the last couple of days and the media has definitely latched on to it... the problem is the numbers just don't  add up or make sense in my experience. I mean where the hell are they going to eat? Denny's? McDonalds? A soup kitchen? Even with inflation I honestly don't see how going out to eat with 10 family members is cheaper than cooking at home.  Maybe my experience is skewed by living in Los Angeles and restaurants are NOT cheap here... I can easily spend almost 200 bucks on dinner and drinks for two people and that's at a moderately priced place so maybe it's different in other places? Can someone confirm for me here? These numbers just don't make sense to be honest.

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Without reading the story, I can say for my family it's easier on everyone's wallet to eat at home.  Everyone in the family makes a dish and brings it. The cost of the whole dinner is spread across everyone.  Everyone already has the cookware to make everything.  Going out would probably be way more especially when you factor in a tip as well for the server.

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1 minute ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

$200 for two people? I think the most we’ve ever spent just for the two of us to eat was maybe $180 and that was after the tip. That was in Portland, ME last year. 
 

We usually eat for under $100 around home and I don’t normally consider myself a cheap eater. 

 

You barely drink, and I'm guessing your husband doesn't drink much either? 

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I don’t even know how the article comes to this conclusion other than pointing out that the inflation for restaurant prices is lower than the inflation on groceries.  Yes, I’m sure paying for four turkey dinners out is cheaper than buying the whole spread, the difference is I have leftovers for days and ingredients left to cook other shit.  

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I can make a ham steak with a side and roll for like 15 bucks. 3-5 bucks is just for a whole pack of rolls cuz you can't buy just one. I mean, it isn't turkey, but turkey sucks. That's enough for two people in my book. 

 

A basic Lasagna, which is how I like it, will add up to about 15 bucks as well. That is the only thing I eat anymore during holiday dinners. That's good enough for 6 people to get a large slice. 

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1 hour ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

$200 for two people? I think the most we’ve ever spent just for the two of us to eat was maybe $180 and that was after the tip. That was in Portland, ME last year. 
 

We usually eat for under $100 around home and I don’t normally consider myself a cheap eater. 

i spent about 150 the other night for dinner and a couple of drinks with my ex and that was HAPPY HOUR prices! It ain't cheap believe me... she was telling me that at brunch earlier that day she had a 30 dollar glass of wine.

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Yeah, booze is becoming crazy when eating out.  My wife likes cocktails and sometimes a single drink is over half the cost on the entree.  We don’t go out often enough to sweat it, but it would be crazy to throw that sort of money around often, at least to me.

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1 hour ago, LazyPiranha said:

I don’t even know how the article comes to this conclusion other than pointing out that the inflation for restaurant prices is lower than the inflation on groceries.  Yes, I’m sure paying for four turkey dinners out is cheaper than buying the whole spread, the difference is I have leftovers for days and ingredients left to cook other shit.  

it's not even just this article... I worked on a story about this over the weekend and I just saw another story saying the same thing CNN. It's one of those stories that makes for a pretty sensational headline, but also falls apart under the slightest scrutiny. I also think it's one of those stories that is an attempt to exacerbate the public's feelings about inflation. I almost feel like a lot of CEO'S WANT a recession to happen considering how many seem to be "pushing" for one.

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5 minutes ago, LazyPiranha said:

Yeah, booze is becoming crazy when eating out.  My wife likes cocktails and sometimes a single drink is over half the cost on the entree.  We don’t go out often enough to sweat it, but it would be crazy to throw that sort of money around often, at least to me.

Yeah I eat out WAAAAY too much between hanging with freinds or ordering food at home. I am getting better about cooking though.

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I barely eat out for dinner, mostly because I have two kids and it’s just a hassle.   I enjoy cooking though and I make all the food for the family.  Unless you’re making something special though, even with rising prices, if you’re spending more cooking in than eating out you’ve fucked up.

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I've found that if I'm buying food for myself, I honestly don't save much money buying groceries vs. eating out. When bulk buying ingredients isn't an option, the price difference becomes negligible compared to time spent.

 

Sure, I would save a ton of money if I meal prepped and ate chicken and rice every day, but at that point I feel like I would just rather have meal replacement shakes.

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4 hours ago, PaladinSolo said:

This is definitely not true, even if you're not getting alchohol, lol.


Again, I don’t think you have to torture the math all that hard to make it true.  I’m sure you can find a place that has a perfectly reasonable turkey dinner for something like $30 a head and I have no problem believing that buying the raw ingredients for that would be over $120.  It’s just an invalid comparison because you’re spending $120 to get exactly one meal maybe one and a half, versus spending more and getting easily half a dozen meals.  This has effectively always been true when you break down the cost of a single meal if you buy every single ingredient brand new.  A pumpkin pie alone is going to set you back twenty bucks if you have no eggs, sugar, flour, butter, etc.  

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7 minutes ago, PaladinSolo said:

You can feed like 10 people with 120 dollars, lol. 


No one is saying you can’t, I could feed ten people for a few dollars if they ate rice and unseasoned beans.  You just can’t have a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, biscuits, corn, cranberry sauce, green beans, and pie for $120 if you have to buy EVERYTHING like you have an empty pantry.  

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59 minutes ago, Fizzzzle said:

I've found that if I'm buying food for myself, I honestly don't save much money buying groceries vs. eating out. When bulk buying ingredients isn't an option, the price difference becomes negligible compared to time spent.

 

Sure, I would save a ton of money if I meal prepped and ate chicken and rice every day, but at that point I feel like I would just rather have meal replacement shakes.

I dunno, I'm a single guy and 100 bucks worth of groceries is at LEAST a weeks worth of meals for me and that's buying from Wholefoods with them delivering the stuff to me. I can spend 100 bucks in one night out by myself and HAVE.

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13 minutes ago, PaladinSolo said:

You can feed like 10 people with 120 dollars, lol. I do a lot of shopping and basically all the cooking for a family of 4,if you think eating out is at all comparable you're doing it wrong. 

Seriously... I'm visiting my Sisters for Thanksgiving and we will EASILY have more than 10 people for dinner. more than likely 30... there's NO WAY going out with all of those people would be cheaper than cooking at home. There's just no way especially when you factor in that we'll be eating leftovers for days. Maybe if we went to McDonalds or something.

 

Sidebar, I feel bad for all of you guys who haven't had a good turkey before. I hear a lot of people say they don't even like turkey on Thanksgiving and all that tells me is that they probably grew up eating dry assed bland turkey. We have pretty good cooks in my family and our turkeys are always good... my grandmother's turkey? Nah not so good may she rest in piece, but my Mom, sisters and stepfather all make a damn good turkey. And we'll have two this year... a traditional roasted one and a deep fried sumbitch:drool:

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33 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

I dunno, I'm a single guy and 100 bucks worth of groceries is at LEAST a weeks worth of meals for me and that's buying from Wholefoods with them delivering the stuff to me. I can spend 100 bucks in one night out by myself and HAVE.

I guess I just don't really eat that much. I got $30 worth of pizza on Sunday and I'm still eating it.

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50 minutes ago, LazyPiranha said:


No one is saying you can’t, I could feed ten people for a few dollars if they ate rice and unseasoned beans.  You just can’t have a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, biscuits, corn, cranberry sauce, green beans, and pie for $120 if you have to buy EVERYTHING like you have an empty pantry.  


Where on earth do you shop?!?!

 

My wife cooks at home for our family of 5 and the average price for a meal for us is around $6/person, and that is for something that will leave leftovers for lunch the next day.

 

Other than fast food places, it would be hard to find a place to go out to eat here for under $15 a person. The only place that I can think of that is less is this country cooking place that serves portions that can legit feed 3 people and you at around $20 total for that meal, plus tip.

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40 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Sidebar, I feel bad for all of you guys who haven't had a good turkey before. I hear a lot of people say they don't even like turkey on Thanksgiving and all that tells me is that they probably grew up eating dry assed bland turkey.


Turkey is just a really easy to ruin bird, but good turkey is REALLY good. I’m partial these days to smoked turkey. I find them to be the juiciest of the ways to cook them, followed by fried.

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1 minute ago, sblfilms said:


Turkey is just a really easy to ruin bird, but good turkey is REALLY good. I’m partial these days to smoked turkey. I find them to be the juiciest of the ways to cook them, followed by fried.

I have not had home made smoked turkey yet... I'll suggest that next year.

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I smoke my turkey every year and the skin crisps up nicely but it’s definitively not gonna compare to a fried bird. 
 

39 minutes ago, sblfilms said:


Where on earth do you shop?!?!

 

My wife cooks at home for our family of 5 and the average price for a meal for us is around $6/person, and that is for something that will leave leftovers for lunch the next day.

 

Other than fast food places, it would be hard to find a place to go out to eat here for under $15 a person. The only place that I can think of that is less is this country cooking place that serves portions that can legit feed 3 people and you at around $20 total for that meal, plus tip.

 

I think it’s really easy to splash on thanksgiving if you want to. Turkey is reasonably priced for the most part but if you’re doing scratch desserts and a big spread it adds up fast. Groceries in general feel expensive now. 

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