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Eating out vs. Supermarket

View Poll Results: Apart from breakfast, what do you MOSTLY do about lunch/supper
I eat out
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8.89%
I make something myself
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91.11%
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Eating out vs. Supermarket

Old Aug 29th 2016, 6:19 pm
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Red face Eating out vs. Supermarket

Can someone settle an argument between me and my husband, when we went to California, (la jolla,san clemente,laguna) the people we met said that most people eat out for their main meals. My husband is frugal and we went to the supermarket and a tiny bag of food came to $60. He still refuses to believe that if you live in California it's cheaper to eat out for most meals and thought we just met some peculiar people .... in the uk, we might get a sandwich or go out for a treat, or coffee, but not most meals... ? Anyone?
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Eating out for a family of 4 costs us around $60-$70. That's certainly not cheaper than cooking at home!

My husband eats out for lunch every day, but that's because he's lazy. It'd be a lot cheaper if he took a damn sandwich from home.
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

The people you met were lying to you! Of course it's cheaper to buy groceries and cook for yourself and always will be,

If your shopping trip was to Whole Foods, then you were lucky to get away with a $60 bill. They have aged steaks there for $30+++ a pound and is known as Whole Paycheck here.

Go to a regular supermarket (which are regional, so I don't know what is in the area you were in) and the prices are much more reasonable. Not necessarily cheap, but reasonable!
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

I usually buy lunch, unless I am at home, in which case I raid the fridge, or the kitchen cupboard for soup. Sometimes I make a sandwich to take with me, but the cost of bread, deli meat and cheese is high enough that I really don't save much compared to buying lunch for $5 at a local owner-managed lunch joint, not a Subpar sandwich.

We probably average dinner in a restaurant a couple of times a week.

Sometimes on a weekend we eat breakfast at a local restaurant - there are several that offer breakfast.

I don't eat anything that I would call "supper".

Last edited by Pulaski; Aug 29th 2016 at 7:21 pm.
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

People don't eat out because it's cheaper, just convenient. As Pulaski said for lunch it isn't a big saving making your own. Also some people are just lousy cooks, my brother-in-law who lives on his own eats out just about every meal.
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

For us eating at home is definitely cheaper as we have two teenaged sons to fill. I make our own bread (50lbs of bread flour costs less than $15 in Costco) so that means that home made sandwiches and rolls are pretty cheap, and the bread isn't full of extra sugars. I also have a fairly productive herb garden, for the more clement months of the year, so that too reduces cost and waste.

We do eat out, but probably not even every week, though as bowling season is fast approaching and both steveq & I bowl on the same night he & I will be eating out that night. The q boy(s) will be eating leftovers or cooking for themselves at home
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 9:58 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

A lot depends on the quality of the supermarket food and/or the restaurant. Most restaurants are not going to buy in organic food, the ones that do quite often go out of business because people don't want to pay the higher prices. If you are OK with sysco food, eating out probably breaks even to eating lower quality food. Also depends how much you tip.
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Originally Posted by lanyloopoo View Post
He still refuses to believe that if you live in California it's cheaper to eat out for most meals
Off course, because thats just ridiculous. How do you think restaurants make money? By buying cheaper food to sell for more...
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Old Aug 29th 2016, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

I cook and eat at home because most of the food places around me (within 20miles) are garbage. We eat dinner out perhaps once a week. If I lived in a city with decent restaurants maybe but cooking at home is much cheaper and infinitely healthier!
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 12:15 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

I think it depends what you buy in the supermarket, and how you cook. You say a tiny bag of food cost sixty dollars, so maybe it was prepared meals, expensive cuts of meat etc.

At the other end of the spectrum, you can buy food in a supermarket for $10 or $20 that would feed two people for a week. Off the top of my head... beans & pulses, onions, oatmeal, flour, yeast, hunk of cheese, assorted spices and veg. There's bread, cheese, soup and porridge for a week (or whatever.)

And whatever people say about Wholefoods and other "premium" supermarkets, those basic foodstuffs would be available there for a comparable price to Walmart or Save-A-Lot or wherever....
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Some supermarket loyalty membership cards give good discounts, special offers, coupons, petrol discounts, etc. Then at the supermarket stick to buying the basics (generics) & not too many (over-)prepared foodstuffs. Best to be able to cook for oneself too. All that makes supermarkets cheaper than many/most restaurants, sometimes a lot cheaper.


Fast food places can *seem* cheap, but most are not in the end a viable alternative to home-made food, either from a cost or healthiness perspective. We eat out once or twice a month, and only lunch or breakfast. We do like our local coffee shop, though, and will stop in there once or twice/wk for coffee.
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Well, I manage to go to Trader Joes, spend $50 as I did tonight, and I've still got nothing for dinner..... 2 very nice bottles of St Emilion 2010 (a very, very,very good year) for $25 though, some yummy sheeps milk cheese from the Basque region amongst other bits and bobs. But usually, I'd say the people the OP spoke to were not the norm. Rich millenials maybe?
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 3:04 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Eating out may be cheaper than buying some ready made meals
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 3:43 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

Originally Posted by lanyloopoo View Post
Can someone settle an argument between me and my husband, when we went to California, (la jolla,san clemente,laguna) the people we met said that most people eat out for their main meals. My husband is frugal and we went to the supermarket and a tiny bag of food came to $60. He still refuses to believe that if you live in California it's cheaper to eat out for most meals and thought we just met some peculiar people .... in the uk, we might get a sandwich or go out for a treat, or coffee, but not most meals... ? Anyone?
OP needs to diversify their sample lol.

If I'm shopping at a mercado, I leave with a cart full of produce that costs $30 and I feel like I'm robbing the joint.

If I pop in to Trader Joe's I'm spending $150 and scrapping around for something to eat by Wednesday.
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Old Aug 30th 2016, 4:10 am
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Default Re: Eating out vs. Supermarket

For a single person, one can eat for less or out the same as making it at home.

Not so much for a family, few things at the grocery store comes in a singles sized package, as a single I didn't need 12 taco shells, or 6 chicken breasts, and a lot of food went to waste because of the amounts that came in a package.

Last edited by Jsmth321; Aug 30th 2016 at 4:15 am.
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