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Eat-Out Vs Eat-In, Which Is Cheaper?

Eat-Out Vs Eat-In, Which Is Cheaper?

Posted on January 29, 2012

We decided to eat organic at home and so ordered a cook book “The EAT-CLEAN DIET Cookbook” by Tosca Reno from Amazon.com. One day, my wife chose a recipe from this book, “sesame tofu on soba noodles” and off I went to get the ingredients.

There were 12 ingredients on the list and we had only one ingredient (water) at home.  Except for tofu, noodles, green onions,  arugula and red bell pepper, other ingredients could be used later. So, I thought it was worth to get all the 11 ingredients. Remember, we were going to eat organic from now on.

Some of the items on the list were new to me. Did not have a clue what “tamari” meant. Googled it from my iPhone while I was at the store and found out that it is a Japanese version of Soy Sauce. It took me easily 1 hour to get all these ingredients. However, I was glad that I found each one of the ingredients.

The grocery bill came to approx $40. I reasoned out that most of these ingredients like “tamari”, sesame oil and other sauces will be used later. With this reasoning, I got all these ingredients home.

1 hour later, the food was ready.

Sesame Tofu on Soba Noodles

The food tasted wholesome and organic. Was never a fan of tofu and this dish did not turn me into a tofu-loving person either. Anyhow, we never got to making this dish again. So, the sauces are still there in the refrigerator and may never get used.

This not-so-successful-but-expensive-home-made-organic-experiment got me thinking. It would have been cheaper to eat-out rather than making this dish at home. Plus, it would have saved at least 3 hours starting from choosing the recipe, shopping for ingredients, cooking and then cleaning.

I know that this dish is not our staple food and so not a good example for comparing eating out vs eating in. There is also the fun factor of making a new dish at home. However, I have come across some articles that say that eating-out is getting cheaper than making food at home. At the same time, I have come across articles that say eating at home is healthier than eating out.

So, while the debate is on-going, we have come across this website www.supercook.com that gives recipes based on the ingredients that you have at home. It is time to find a recipe that uses lots of “gluten-free tamari”.

So, what are your thoughts? Is eating “healthy” at restaurants cheaper than eating “healthy” at home?

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2 Comments

  • Reply Nayeem November 12, 2012 at 1:21 am

    Probably you should try Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana on youtube more often than any other cook books or websites.

  • Reply Erwin Cuellar October 20, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Eating-in is cheaper monetarily but eating-out is ‘cheaper’ in regards to wholesomeness and nutritional value. If you are striving for overall ‘value’ in your meals I think eating-in wins because it costs less per meal, you get fresher ingredients, and you get the satisfaction of making it yourself.

    I prefer to stock up on a ton of essential ingredients on every grocery trip; natural items that can be mixed well with any meal, like veggies, meats, fruits and grains. Then whenever I cook, all items are already there. Each of my meals come out to about $2-4 versus the $6-10 you would pay elsewhere.

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