The True Cost of Eating Out Instead of Cooking at Home

We all know that buying food at the grocery store and doing our own cooking is much cheaper than take-out. Restaurants have employees to pay and huge overheads to cover on top of the cost of food, so naturally they have to charge more to recover these costs and still make a profit.

After a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do is to spend an hour or more cooking and cleaning though. Grabbing a bag of take-out or ordering delivery on your cell phone is quick and easy. Best of all, after you eat there is no clean-up, you simply toss the empty containers into the recycle bin and relax. However, this convenience comes with a hefty price tag.

Studies show that eating in a restaurant or ordering take-out costs over 300% more than cooking at home. Over the course of a year, this can add up to several thousands of dollars, depending on how many days a week you buy prepared meals. Drinks alone cost at least 3x more in restaurants than in grocery stores.

We all like to treat ourselves to a night off from cooking, but cutting down on restaurant food can go a long way towards your future financial freedom, your health and your waistline. Cooking at home is much healthier and you are never asked to “size up.” You know exactly what goes into every dish and you are in control of the size of your portions. You can buy the best cuts of meat and the freshest vegetables to ensure all of your meals are nutritious and delicious.

Saving money on your food bill is the easiest way free up disposable income for other, more lucrative investments, not to mention helping you stay within your budget. The infographic below explains how you can cut down on your food bill with five easy steps.

The True Cost of Eating Out Instead Of Cooking At Home


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  1. You can spend a lot of money just with lunch! I stopped buying lunch and brought my lunch from home. That saved me so much money! Great posting!

    • I agree Terri!! When I was working downtown – even buying lunch from the vendor carts was beginning to get expensive. My go to favorite lunch was a pesto salad with a side of fruit and crusty bread – cost me about $6 every day about 15-16 years ago. I can only imagine how much it would cost now.

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