Author Topic: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home  (Read 6455 times)

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2017, 07:59:59 AM »
Second the salt recommendation! My Wife refused to salt foods. I had her do a side-by-side comparison of her zucchini tacos, and that had the recommendation sink in. :)

Thermapen is on my list...but damn, it's a pretty penny. How long do those things last? My frustration with most thermometers is that they lose effectiveness or something. They start reading temperatures that are absolutely inaccurate (90 degrees on a chicken that's been roasting for an hour? Yeah, that ain't right).

If Thermapen lasts for a while, I'd be okay with it.

ooeei

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #51 on: August 03, 2017, 11:57:02 AM »
Thermapen is on my list...but damn, it's a pretty penny. How long do those things last? My frustration with most thermometers is that they lose effectiveness or something. They start reading temperatures that are absolutely inaccurate (90 degrees on a chicken that's been roasting for an hour? Yeah, that ain't right).

If Thermapen lasts for a while, I'd be okay with it.

I've had mine for around 4-5 years now and it's still going strong, I think they've come out with a newer model now so this one is reduced in price a bit.  Get on their mailing list and every 2-3 months they have some sort of sale, and you can probably snag an open box one for around $60-70. I also got the magnetic cover for it, which lets me stick it on the fridge. It also has a calibration function in case it starts reading erratically, but I haven't had to use it yet. I did have an issue awhile back where it would randomly turn the screen off once in awhile, but adjusting how much it was open would fix it. It randomly stopped doing it and has been fine ever since.  I googled it and it's not unheard of, but the company has a pretty good reputation for doing repairs at a reasonable cost rather than telling you to just buy a new one.

I also have an RT600C from them that I keep in my shaving kit, since I kept forgetting to bring my Thermapen when traveling. Looks like it's around $20 right now. We visit family pretty often and usually cook a big (expensive) meal where they buy the supplies.  I don't want to over/under cook 10 steaks or a brisket because I don't have a thermometer. It works well, but isn't quite as fast as the Thermapen.  Not sure on the longevity of it and not having the probe angled will make it trickier to use, but you can read some reviews around the web. I'm pretty confident it's better than most things you'll get at a grocery store or Walmart.  ttp://www.thermoworks.com/RT600C

$70 seems like a lot at first, but a single family gathering where you cook steaks or a brisket can cost nearly that much.  It also gives you the confidence to cook things like that and assure they'll be good!  For example, I roast my own chickens now instead of getting the rotisserie ones at the store, and they're fantastic.  I tried roasting chicken before having a good thermometer and it was always a roll of the dice whether it'd be over or under cooked. For awhile I just used the Thermapen and that was fine, but I was opening the oven/grill/smoker a LOT near the end of cooking, and checking on things way too often to make sure they didn't overcook. I bought a Dot which is a probe with an alarm, so now I'm not opening the oven every 3-5 minutes to check on the chicken when I think it's getting close.  It's not strictly necessary, but if you cook a lot I think it's worth it.

I basically paid around $130 for three great thermometers that'll let me cook damn near anything, and should last many years to come. I look at it like buying a power drill or something, they're tools that let you do things you otherwise would hire someone else to do (restaurants) and save money in the long run, while likely getting a better result.  I don't hesitate to volunteer to grill high end steaks for my girlfriend's extended family for someone' s birthday because I know they'll be good.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #52 on: August 03, 2017, 12:21:35 PM »
A lot of people get takeout food thinking it's going to save them a whole lot of time. The reality is that the time saved is almost nothing (if it exists at all), while the cost of the food doubles or more. I really think the reason for this kind of thinking is people's exposure to advertising. We are psychologically manipulated into going against our own well-being.

I'd love to see the math on how cooking at home takes less time than grabbing a take out meal.

Not only do you have to buy, put away, and store the ingredients.  You have to clean and prepare them prior to cooking.

Then you have to cook them.

I'll back you up on this.

I have a husband and three kids. I cook all of our meals. My oldest daughter now prepares a side every night to help out. Even so, cooking and the associated tasks take me hours every day. I do this because I want to save money and be healthy but it definitely does not save time.

Here's what I'm talking about:
Every day, I check to see if we have the following items prepared and ready to eat: bread, rice, chicken, yogurt, beans & soft-boiled eggs. If we are running low, I make them. None of these things takes a ton of time to prepare (10 min on avg to assemble things in the breadmaker, rice cooker or pressure cooker, though yogurt is a 2 day process) but I must also do all dishes associated with their preparation.

Everyone gets their own breakfast but we all must do our own dishes too. DH and I take turns making lunch for our kids and we make our own lunches from the food above that I've already prepared. Every night, I make dinner for the 5 of us. Dinner takes at least an hour though I usually cook enough for two nights. Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total). So we're spending 1.5-2 hrs on cooking and dishes every day. And that doesn't include the 2-3 hrs for grocery planning and shopping every week.

Takeout would save time, no doubt.

The flip side is that all of my work keeps my grocery bill under $600/mo for the 5 of us whereas that is what we'd spend in 1.5-2 weeks of takeout.

YoungInvestor

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #53 on: August 03, 2017, 05:58:16 PM »
I'm not sure this article is so meaningful. We spend about 80-90$ a week on groceries, and assuming we each eat out once and have a restaurant meal together, we get to at least as much, even though that's not too excessive.

Rural

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #54 on: August 03, 2017, 07:01:23 PM »
I'm not sure this article is so meaningful. We spend about 80-90$ a week on groceries, and assuming we each eat out once and have a restaurant meal together, we get to at least as much, even though that's not too excessive.


$80 for just one meal for two people is way beyond excessive in my world.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #55 on: August 03, 2017, 10:40:34 PM »
I'm not sure this article is so meaningful. We spend about 80-90$ a week on groceries, and assuming we each eat out once and have a restaurant meal together, we get to at least as much, even though that's not too excessive.


$80 for just one meal for two people is way beyond excessive in my world.

Yeah, jeez. It's much better to put that money into your Vanguard account instead of buying a meal that's just going to get pooped out in a few hours.

forumname123

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #56 on: August 03, 2017, 10:55:38 PM »
I'm not sure this article is so meaningful. We spend about 80-90$ a week on groceries, and assuming we each eat out once and have a restaurant meal together, we get to at least as much, even though that's not too excessive.

You're talking about spending $700+ per month on food for 2 people, which most here would consider quite excessive. Not unusual, maybe, but excessive nonetheless.

ooeei

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #57 on: August 04, 2017, 07:10:42 AM »
Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total).

Are you hand washing everything?  30 minutes with two people working seems like a really long time.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #58 on: August 04, 2017, 07:26:56 AM »
Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total).

Are you hand washing everything?  30 minutes with two people working seems like a really long time.

Yeah, numerous studies have shown that you actually use less water by using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It's cheap and saves you time. I only hand wash my pots and pans and serving utensils.

cats

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #59 on: August 04, 2017, 08:54:25 AM »
How about factoring in the extra time you spend working to afford that takeout food?

For me, let's say home cooking time (between 2 people) is roughly:

4 hrs of prep on the weekends (at most)
15 minutes of putting stuff together in the evenings M-F
10 minutes of cleanup afterwards
15 extra minutes at the grocery store
15 extra minutes putting stuff away

Or about 6.5 hours.

If we eat ate out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner M-F, we would easily spend $50-$60/day on food beyond what we currently spend on groceries for our M-F meals, or an extra $250-$300/week.  And, even assuming this is all takeout food that's conveniently located and that we can just walk in and pick up after ordering online, it's still going to take *some* time out of our day.  Let's say 25 minutes (5 minutes per meal for each of us on breakfast and lunch, and then let's say one of us spends 5 minutes in the evening picking up dinner for everyone), which is about 2 hours per week.  So the time cost of home cooking (vs. eating out 3x/day M-F) is really 4.5 hours.

Assuming a 25% tax rate, you need a household income of at least $150k to justify that rate of eating out, which would put you in the top 8% of househould income in the US.  If your household *is* earning $150k, well...over a 10 year period, eating out 3x/day vs. cooking your own will add nearly another year to your career. 


4alpacas

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #60 on: August 04, 2017, 10:17:36 AM »
I think it's important to also emphasize the negative impact of laziness, which is the primary reason that people don't cook their own food. Laziness costs a lot of money and leads to obesity and all the health problems associated with that. People should avoid laziness at all costs.
Yup, laziness is the killer. There's some benefit to taking the fast food option, but those should be (IMO) rare occasions.
Laziness is why we cook at home in the evening!  The thought of going back out to get something...or wait the 30-45 minutes for delivery just sounds exhausting. 

I will admit our meals are much simpler than the recipes on this thread.  I usually toss something in our instant pot right when I get home (takes ~25 minutes to do chicken breasts from frozen).  Then I greet the dogs, take them out, feed them.  Then I toss a bag of frozen vegetables into the microwave (those steamable bags are amazing). I'll grab a few tortillas or make a little hummus.  And that's it. 

I'm also a big fan of avocado toast with an egg on top. 

If I'm really lazy, I keep Evol mac & cheese in the freezer.  After 5 minutes, I have a cheese-y, gooey unhealthy meal in front of me. 

We do pay to have our groceries delivered.  I do try to batch cook on the weekend, but I haven't done that in over a month.  And we do have a dishwasher.  We do a lot, so our time at home can be relaxing. 

NeonPegasus

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #61 on: August 04, 2017, 10:32:05 AM »
Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total).

Are you hand washing everything?  30 minutes with two people working seems like a really long time.

Yeah, numerous studies have shown that you actually use less water by using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It's cheap and saves you time. I only hand wash my pots and pans and serving utensils.

Are you ready for this? We have an apartment-sized dishwasher, not a full-sized dishwasher. It is located in our kitchen in such a way that we would have to demolish cabinets and redo them in order to fit a larger dishwasher in. The dishwasher we have sucks. Any replacement for it also sucks because it would be an apartment-sized dishwasher and there are very few choices, none of which are good.

It makes no sense to replace shit with shit, especially when our cabinets are falling apart and should all be replaced and especially when our sink is chipped and rusty and awful and is an odd size that I can't find a replacement for and can find nothing that will work in the counter cutout and any money spent on our crappy counters is an utter waste when the whole thing needs to be demo'd. I curse the man who built this kitchen so that nothing was standard sized. I've been going round and round like this for years and the end result is I'm going to put up with my crappy dishwasher until we sell this house next year and either completely redo the kitchen so we can sell it or offer some sort of allowance.

So, I stop up the sink (to minimize water usage) and pre-clean all of the dishes. Yes, I've read the articles about how you shouldn't preclean your dishes because your dishwasher needs the grime and I've tried it and it was an epic fail. That includes dishes for 5 people for 2-3 meals/day. Yes, I am making my daughters clean up their own breakfast dishes but from a water standpoint, that's actually wasteful.

After pre-cleaning and loading all dishes (which is like a game of tetris in that stupid f-ing dishwasher), I stop up the sink again and wash all of the pots and pans and serving spoons, etc, that would NEVER fit in that dishwasher. Because I cook items for breakfast and lunch - yogurt (2 gal/wk), chicken (5 lbs/wk), beans (2 cups/wk), rice (2 cups/wk) and eggs (1 doz/wk) - along with dinner, I have pots from those too. So, I typically have 1-2 non-dinner pots (every cooker has its own pot, which is okay because I typically have at least 2 cookers going at time) combined with dinner pots. I cannot fit all of them on my two drying racks and have to spread towels out on either side for additional drying.

So, 5 people + all home cooked meals + homemade staples + shitty apartment-sized dishwasher means A LOT of dishes and washing time.

Even when you're not eating out, there's a big difference between buying all prepared foods at the store and making most of it yourself to save money. If I didn't prepare as much food as I do, we'd easily spend another $100-200 every month.


WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #62 on: August 04, 2017, 10:42:05 AM »
Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total).

Are you hand washing everything?  30 minutes with two people working seems like a really long time.

Yeah, numerous studies have shown that you actually use less water by using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It's cheap and saves you time. I only hand wash my pots and pans and serving utensils.

Are you ready for this? We have an apartment-sized dishwasher, not a full-sized dishwasher. It is located in our kitchen in such a way that we would have to demolish cabinets and redo them in order to fit a larger dishwasher in. The dishwasher we have sucks. Any replacement for it also sucks because it would be an apartment-sized dishwasher and there are very few choices, none of which are good.

It makes no sense to replace shit with shit, especially when our cabinets are falling apart and should all be replaced and especially when our sink is chipped and rusty and awful and is an odd size that I can't find a replacement for and can find nothing that will work in the counter cutout and any money spent on our crappy counters is an utter waste when the whole thing needs to be demo'd. I curse the man who built this kitchen so that nothing was standard sized. I've been going round and round like this for years and the end result is I'm going to put up with my crappy dishwasher until we sell this house next year and either completely redo the kitchen so we can sell it or offer some sort of allowance.

So, I stop up the sink (to minimize water usage) and pre-clean all of the dishes. Yes, I've read the articles about how you shouldn't preclean your dishes because your dishwasher needs the grime and I've tried it and it was an epic fail. That includes dishes for 5 people for 2-3 meals/day. Yes, I am making my daughters clean up their own breakfast dishes but from a water standpoint, that's actually wasteful.

After pre-cleaning and loading all dishes (which is like a game of tetris in that stupid f-ing dishwasher), I stop up the sink again and wash all of the pots and pans and serving spoons, etc, that would NEVER fit in that dishwasher. Because I cook items for breakfast and lunch - yogurt (2 gal/wk), chicken (5 lbs/wk), beans (2 cups/wk), rice (2 cups/wk) and eggs (1 doz/wk) - along with dinner, I have pots from those too. So, I typically have 1-2 non-dinner pots (every cooker has its own pot, which is okay because I typically have at least 2 cookers going at time) combined with dinner pots. I cannot fit all of them on my two drying racks and have to spread towels out on either side for additional drying.

So, 5 people + all home cooked meals + homemade staples + shitty apartment-sized dishwasher means A LOT of dishes and washing time.

Even when you're not eating out, there's a big difference between buying all prepared foods at the store and making most of it yourself to save money. If I didn't prepare as much food as I do, we'd easily spend another $100-200 every month.

You may want to consider making some lifestyle changes (at least attempting to move toward them.) I mean absolutely no offense, but I'm hearing a lot of excuses instead of hearing valid reasons. Mustachianism involves taking control of your finances by taking control of all aspects of your life. It involves evaluating priorities and being willing to tolerate discomfort for greater gain. If you really objectively sit back and look at how mealtime is conducted with your family, you will see that there are bad choices being made and family members seem to be unwilling to sacrifice unnecessary luxuries to meet financial goals. That has to change if you want the situation to improve.

I say this respectfully out of concern. I'm not trying to be insulting.

kaypinkhardhat

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #63 on: August 04, 2017, 10:56:23 AM »
@Neonpagasus, it sounds like you are wasting more time on that silly dishwasher than it is worth! A few extra seconds to turn your pre-rinse into a full wash and you wouldn't even have to bother loading the dishwasher at all! Kuddos for you for making fresh meals for 5 instead of succumbing to take out!

@Cats, your math was what I was trying to get at before (but you did a much better job explaining), yes take out food can save time, but the time-money balance doesn't work out unless you are using that saved time to make more money!

A friend of mine (med school student working crazy hours) has started to do a meal delivery service thing, where everything is portioned/chopped and ready to go. She did the math, and for her the meals (At $8 a serving) were a better plan than her previous combo of take out food/buying groceries with the best intentions and letting groceries go bad. I wonder how the influx of these delivery services will impact the balance of spending between food at home vs food away from home.
 

NeonPegasus

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #64 on: August 04, 2017, 11:22:03 AM »
Dishes take 30 min, with both me and a daughter helping (so 1 man-hour total).

Are you hand washing everything?  30 minutes with two people working seems like a really long time.

Yeah, numerous studies have shown that you actually use less water by using a dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It's cheap and saves you time. I only hand wash my pots and pans and serving utensils.

Are you ready for this? We have an apartment-sized dishwasher, not a full-sized dishwasher. It is located in our kitchen in such a way that we would have to demolish cabinets and redo them in order to fit a larger dishwasher in. The dishwasher we have sucks. Any replacement for it also sucks because it would be an apartment-sized dishwasher and there are very few choices, none of which are good.

It makes no sense to replace shit with shit, especially when our cabinets are falling apart and should all be replaced and especially when our sink is chipped and rusty and awful and is an odd size that I can't find a replacement for and can find nothing that will work in the counter cutout and any money spent on our crappy counters is an utter waste when the whole thing needs to be demo'd. I curse the man who built this kitchen so that nothing was standard sized. I've been going round and round like this for years and the end result is I'm going to put up with my crappy dishwasher until we sell this house next year and either completely redo the kitchen so we can sell it or offer some sort of allowance.

So, I stop up the sink (to minimize water usage) and pre-clean all of the dishes. Yes, I've read the articles about how you shouldn't preclean your dishes because your dishwasher needs the grime and I've tried it and it was an epic fail. That includes dishes for 5 people for 2-3 meals/day. Yes, I am making my daughters clean up their own breakfast dishes but from a water standpoint, that's actually wasteful.

After pre-cleaning and loading all dishes (which is like a game of tetris in that stupid f-ing dishwasher), I stop up the sink again and wash all of the pots and pans and serving spoons, etc, that would NEVER fit in that dishwasher. Because I cook items for breakfast and lunch - yogurt (2 gal/wk), chicken (5 lbs/wk), beans (2 cups/wk), rice (2 cups/wk) and eggs (1 doz/wk) - along with dinner, I have pots from those too. So, I typically have 1-2 non-dinner pots (every cooker has its own pot, which is okay because I typically have at least 2 cookers going at time) combined with dinner pots. I cannot fit all of them on my two drying racks and have to spread towels out on either side for additional drying.

So, 5 people + all home cooked meals + homemade staples + shitty apartment-sized dishwasher means A LOT of dishes and washing time.

Even when you're not eating out, there's a big difference between buying all prepared foods at the store and making most of it yourself to save money. If I didn't prepare as much food as I do, we'd easily spend another $100-200 every month.

You may want to consider making some lifestyle changes (at least attempting to move toward them.) I mean absolutely no offense, but I'm hearing a lot of excuses instead of hearing valid reasons. Mustachianism involves taking control of your finances by taking control of all aspects of your life. It involves evaluating priorities and being willing to tolerate discomfort for greater gain. If you really objectively sit back and look at how mealtime is conducted with your family, you will see that there are bad choices being made and family members seem to be unwilling to sacrifice unnecessary luxuries to meet financial goals. That has to change if you want the situation to improve.

I say this respectfully out of concern. I'm not trying to be insulting.

Um, wuh? I'm not sure what lifestyle changes you're advocating or why you think I am making bad choices (cooking too much?). I do believe that you're trying to be helpful and, as a side note, I have very much enjoyed reading your blog.

My rant above was me explaining why it takes us 1 man-hr to do dishes as a dovetail to why I'm not impressed with the argument that it takes less time to cook than to order out.  I think it clearly illustrates I'm tolerating a lot of discomfort for greater gain (e.g. lots of labor cooking and cleaning). Maybe you're confusing my posts with someone else's?

NeonPegasus

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #65 on: August 04, 2017, 11:24:53 AM »
@Neonpagasus, it sounds like you are wasting more time on that silly dishwasher than it is worth! A few extra seconds to turn your pre-rinse into a full wash and you wouldn't even have to bother loading the dishwasher at all!

If the dishwasher weren't a closed machine with no ventilation, it would be better suited as drying rack. lol

I do often just hand wash dishes when there aren't a lot of them (so I have enough room on the dish drains).

ooeei

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #66 on: August 04, 2017, 01:11:30 PM »
Are you ready for this?

I was not ready for that.

That sounds like a shitty situation, and you're doing what you can with it. I do think it's important to note that this isn't necessarily a "cooking takes longer than takeout problem" though. You can buy paper plates and plastic silverware (the same stuff you get with takeout) for pretty cheap. That alone would save you a lot of dishes, and therefore time.

Granted, I'm not advocating using disposable things, but I don't really see spending lots of time cleaning dinner plates as a mark against home cooking.  Pots and pans, sure, but I doubt those take all that much of your time compared to the rest of the stuff. You're not spending an hour doing dishes because you cook at home, you're spending an hour doing dishes because you want to use reusable dinnerware.

This is also not really a standard situation, so it's probably not terribly relevant to the average person making the comparison (although still a good data point). For example, I know someone who lives 40 minutes away from the nearest restaurant and works near his home. I could use him as an argument why eating out is never faster than cooking at home, but it wouldn't be terribly productive unless whoever I'm talking to is in that same situation.  As your example shows, a few changes in one direction or another can tilt the balance.

faithless

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #67 on: August 05, 2017, 07:38:31 AM »
Can I derail the thread and ask for quick evening recipes/weekend meal prep ahead recipes? I've gotten out of the hang of it.

Eg what are you preparing at the weekend that's assembled in 15 mins cats?


4 hrs of prep on the weekends (at most)
15 minutes of putting stuff together in the evenings M-F
10 minutes of cleanup afterwards
15 extra minutes at the grocery store
15 extra minutes putting stuff away

Or about 6.5 hours.


MrsPete

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #68 on: August 06, 2017, 07:33:56 AM »
I'd love to see the math on how cooking at home takes less time than grabbing a take out meal.
This is a fuzzy point, and the truth lies in how you structure your time: 

- If you spend an hour shopping for a whole week's groceries, it's not much time at all; however, if you stop in every day on the way home from work -- and, yeah, I know people who grocery shop every day, saying it prevents them from buying stuff that doesn't get used -- it adds up to a whole lot of time. 

- If you're already at home and you run out to get take-out food, it's time consuming.  If you're already on the way home, and you go through a drive-through, it probably adds only minutes to your commute.

- If you're cooking at home, some meals are quick to put together, while others are quite complicated. 

- It depends upon how you "count" the time.  For example, last night I made roasted chicken fajitas.  10 minutes chopping chicken and vegetables, 40 minutes for the meal to cook.  Another 5 minutes to set out tortillas, sour cream, and salsa.  I say that's a 15-minute meal because it was 15 minutes of hands-on work, and I was free to do whatever else while the meal was in the oven... someone else might say it's a 50 minute meal because that's the total time for the food to prepare.

kaypinkhardhat

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2017, 12:32:54 PM »
Can I derail the thread and ask for quick evening recipes/weekend meal prep ahead recipes? I've gotten out of the hang of it.

Hi Faithless,
Here is my structure that works for me! I think in terms of servings vs meals to plan (lunch and dinners are interchangeable).
DH and I keep breakfast really quick and simple- hard boil egg, and toast with PB, so i don't count that in the meals.

We would do groceries on Saturday and then meal prep on Sunday. We often were away from home both lunch and supper during the week days, so we had to do ALL meal prep on Sundays.

2 People- 2 meals per day, 5 meals per week= 20 servings. Normally this leaves us with enough leftovers to throw something extra together on the weekend, or we can raid the pantry for a quick weekend meal.

Groceries:
Carrots
Broccoli
Green things (spinach/kale/etc.)
Tomatoes
Red and Green Peppers
Apples
Bananas
Berries (if on sale)
Hummus
Almonds
Tortilla Wraps
Cheese
Deli meat (turkey)
Quinao or Rice
Chickpeas
Black beans
Salsa
Can Corn (or fresh if in season)
Canned Tomatoes
White Fish

Prep on the weekend: Chop/wash all the veggies. Cook a big batch of rice or quinoa.

What this makes:
6 Wraps-Turkey, Cheese, Greens, Red Peppers, or add some sunddried tomatoes, mustard if you have it
6 servings Mexican Quinoa Bowls- Quinoa+Corn+Black Beans+Peppers+ Mexican Spices. Cook the quinoa, fry up the peppers (and onions if you have it), rinse all the canned items, mix together with some salsa and cheese portion for later
6 Servings Itailan Rice Dish- Chick Peas+ Rice+ Stewed Tomatos+ Greens+Cheese+ Italian Spices- Cook the rice, throw it all in a frying pan, warm up, portion for later.

There are 18 servings already good to go. 
Another thing I can do is some steam some carrots+broccoli, use the cooked rice and quickly cook the white fish (either with lemon and garlic, or with salsa) as a quick meal on a day I'm actually home (Sunday PM?) that gives me my remaining servings.

Weekend meal prep ~1 hr?, And then you just grab your ingredients and mix them together on the stove, ~15 mins per night? Or you could do it all on sunday, and portion them out, so you just have reheat! Snacks for the week are hummus and carrots (or broccoli or peppers), and berries/fruit and nuts.

Check out Mind over Munch, and other youtube vloggers for some good ideas!

mm1970

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #70 on: August 07, 2017, 02:11:35 PM »
Quote
Can I derail the thread and ask for quick evening recipes/weekend meal prep ahead recipes? I've gotten out of the hang of it.

I sympathize.  I've also gotten a bit out of the hang of it.  As my life changes, my prep method changes.  Some are better than others.

When my 2nd kid was a baby, and my big kid was in kindergarten to 1st grade - this is what I did:

Weekend: Prepped 3 big meals
- 2 of them for dinner
- 1 of them for lunches

Hubby and I ate the same thing for lunch every day, so we needed a total of 10 servings.  It wasn't always "cooked".  Sometimes we'd make 10-15 bean & cheese burritos.  Sometimes it would be sandwiches.  Sometimes pasta, soups, stews, lasagna.  But the important thing was it was designated for lunch.

- The 2 dinners could be anything else.  Some sort of roasted meat and a grain and vegetables. 

- Sat night, cook big meal.  Eat it.  Still 2-3 meals left.
- Sun day/ night: cook/ prep lunch meal.  Cook Sunday big meal.  Eat it.  Still 2-3 meals left.

- Monday: eat Sat leftovers
- Tue: eat Sun leftovers
- Wed: crockpot day
- Thu: eat last of Sat leftovers put rest of all in freezer
- Fri: Wed leftovers.

Mybodymykitchen.com has some good tips on weekend prepping too.  He cooks 2 big meals on the weekend, packages them in individual servings in the freezer, and rotates.


Quick options if no leftovers:
- One pot pasta (even faster in an instant pot)
- Crock pot dishes (pulled pork, tri-tip with salsa, BBQ chicken, black bean soup, refried beans).
- Grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas
- Grilled fish (I buy individually flash frozen salmon fillets from Costco.  Take out of freezer and put in fridge before work.  Grill on George Foreman grill.)
- Scrambled eggs
- Baked chicken fingers - the kids like the breaded kind, but you can buy flash-frozen tenders at many stores.  25 min at 350 in the oven and they are done.
- Curried red lentils (25 min in a pot, on top of rice)

The "heavy lifting" in my house is the vegetables.  We eat a lot of them.  I mostly steam, roast, or eat raw.  You can roast veg in 30-40 min, so fill the oven!  When I steam, it's on the stovetop or in the microwave.  Or raw with hummus or in a salad.

I always have frozen veg on hand.  Steam, stir-fry, or roast.  For the days when I can't chop another head of broccoli!

cats

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #71 on: August 07, 2017, 10:15:06 PM »
Can I derail the thread and ask for quick evening recipes/weekend meal prep ahead recipes? I've gotten out of the hang of it.

Eg what are you preparing at the weekend that's assembled in 15 mins cats?

Sure! Some quick stuff that I make often:

-cheese omelet plus soup or salad (make soup or chop up salad veg on weekends)
-veggie and seitan stirfry over rice (lately I really like bell peppers, bean sprouts, and sugar peas.  Chop the vegetables and cook rice on the weekend)
-hearty salads with sprouted lentils and hard boiled eggs (boil eggs, start lentils sprouting, and chop vegetables on the weekend, assemble on the day of consumption). You can do plain olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing, or get fancy. I really like thai red curry dressing in this recipe.

Also, on the weekends I think it's important to focus as much on making big batches of meal components as it is to make big batch meals.  Then you have stuff you can mix and match throughout the week. I usually make a large volume of at least one of the following:

-rice
-beans
-chicken (we recently got an instantpot and I am a big fan of sauteeing a couple onions, dumping in a packet of thighs, some tomatoes, and seasoning, and then 25 min later, you have a pot of shredded chicken)
-seitan (super easy to make a large batch of this in the instant pot also, I can post a recipe if you are interested)

The trick with any of these is that I make more than we are likely to eat in a week, because it's really no extra trouble to cook double or triple batches of these items.  I'll portion of the stuff I don't expect to use immediately into 2-4 servings size containers, and freeze for subsequent weeks.  So I rarely have a weekend where I want to make all four of the things on that list.

In addition, we also roast several trays of veggies on the weekends.  Most of these get packed into lunches with beans and chicken or seitan, but we'll also have some available to add as a side to dinners as needed.

I am happy to blather on more about cooking and meal prep but will shut myself up for now :)

SeaEhm

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #72 on: August 08, 2017, 09:50:46 AM »
I didn't read all of the thread, but did glimpse at many responses.


If your idea of eating out is a meat and potatoes place like Denny's, AppleBees, etc. Then one might as well eat at home by following WhiteTrash's recommendation of a 5 minute slow cooker meal. 

However, when meals start to become more complex than one or two main ingredients it becomes a challenge to make at home. 
One example...  Might as well pay the $13 and not have to deal with all of the preparation.



Especially when my SO orders this one with nearly completely different ingredients.



my SO and I eat out a lot.  In an ideal world, I would eat out for 90% of my meals.  However, we also eat at home for fairly cheap.  Chicken and veggies, eggs and veggies,  chicken/rice/veggie dishes, etc. 

Yesterday, I had to drive about 20 miles to run some errands.  The area in which I had to go is known for great cuisine with some amazing restaurants, however, I ended up just going back home and eating leftovers because the value was there for me.

Eating out is an experience for me, so eating alone at a restaurant wasn't worth the money I would have spent at that particular time.
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #73 on: August 08, 2017, 11:07:06 AM »
I didn't read all of the thread, but did glimpse at many responses.


If your idea of eating out is a meat and potatoes place like Denny's, AppleBees, etc. Then one might as well eat at home by following WhiteTrash's recommendation of a 5 minute slow cooker meal. 

However, when meals start to become more complex than one or two main ingredients it becomes a challenge to make at home. 
One example...  Might as well pay the $13 and not have to deal with all of the preparation.



Especially when my SO orders this one with nearly completely different ingredients.



my SO and I eat out a lot.  In an ideal world, I would eat out for 90% of my meals.  However, we also eat at home for fairly cheap.  Chicken and veggies, eggs and veggies,  chicken/rice/veggie dishes, etc. 

Yesterday, I had to drive about 20 miles to run some errands.  The area in which I had to go is known for great cuisine with some amazing restaurants, however, I ended up just going back home and eating leftovers because the value was there for me.

Eating out is an experience for me, so eating alone at a restaurant wasn't worth the money I would have spent at that particular time.

I feel like a lot of people who post on the forum want to know how they can keep living the lifestyle they lived as a spendypants while also getting the rewards of the Mustachian lifestyle. Unless you have an absolutely massive income, that's not really possible and sacrifices have to be made. Our society -- particularly through the pernicious influence of advertising -- has convinced all of us that not only can we have it all, but we should have it all. That's a really destructive way of thinking.

Think about the way our ancestors lived. Until extremely recently, nearly all meals were prepared at home by people who learned the recipes from each other and made the food with in-season ingredients purchased locally. And people were really happy living that way. Somewhere along the line, Madison Avenue ad executives convinced us that our way of living was inadequate and we had to eat foods from every corner of the planet for every meal and we had to pay someone else for their expertise in preparing these dishes.

Now we have a massive industry built on telling everyone that only poor people prepare their own food and that great meals can only be made by TV celebrities and people who paid tens of thousands of dollars to go to culinary academies. Our ancestors would stare at us like we were aliens from another planet.

For most people, if you want money and success, you need to be prepared to make uncomfortable choices. You need to tell yourself that you are not only capable of doing things for yourself, but it's actually preferable to DIY. This is how you obtain power and with that power comes money and success.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Besides, I just came back from a vacation where tourists were paying big money to eat "rustic" food exactly like the stuff I make at home because it is "authentic", "natural", and "organic." Why not just make it yourselves and become rich?

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #74 on: August 08, 2017, 11:45:56 AM »
But WhiteTrashCash, my avocado toast tastes so much better when someone else makes it for me and charges me 800% markup...I can't make those kind of sacrifices!

mm1970

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #75 on: August 08, 2017, 01:23:37 PM »
Quote
I feel like a lot of people who post on the forum want to know how they can keep living the lifestyle they lived as a spendypants while also getting the rewards of the Mustachian lifestyle. Unless you have an absolutely massive income, that's not really possible and sacrifices have to be made. Our society -- particularly through the pernicious influence of advertising -- has convinced all of us that not only can we have it all, but we should have it all. That's a really destructive way of thinking.

Think about the way our ancestors lived. Until extremely recently, nearly all meals were prepared at home by people who learned the recipes from each other and made the food with in-season ingredients purchased locally. And people were really happy living that way. Somewhere along the line, Madison Avenue ad executives convinced us that our way of living was inadequate and we had to eat foods from every corner of the planet for every meal and we had to pay someone else for their expertise in preparing these dishes.

Now we have a massive industry built on telling everyone that only poor people prepare their own food and that great meals can only be made by TV celebrities and people who paid tens of thousands of dollars to go to culinary academies. Our ancestors would stare at us like we were aliens from another planet.

For most people, if you want money and success, you need to be prepared to make uncomfortable choices. You need to tell yourself that you are not only capable of doing things for yourself, but it's actually preferable to DIY. This is how you obtain power and with that power comes money and success.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Besides, I just came back from a vacation where tourists were paying big money to eat "rustic" food exactly like the stuff I make at home because it is "authentic", "natural", and "organic." Why not just make it yourselves and become rich?

I agree that there is some of that on this board.  It's the same with many things, including vacations.

You can "travel-hack" and get fantastic vacations for free, or for much less.  And if it's your thing, and you are willing to work at it (figure out which cards to use, how to manufacture spending to get the bonuses, etc etc), then yay.  Live like a spendypants without spending the money.  (My personal choice is to just ... travel less.)

When it comes to the food topic it's the same.  "Eating out is faster because I stop on the way home", etc etc.  And, depending on your lifestyle, it may very well be.  I know people who LOVE eating out, and they buy Groupons or use Entertainment book coupons, etc., to feed their lifestyles for less.

And, like travel hacking, cooking food is work.

I didn't learn to cook until I was 32.  Oh, the money I blew eating out, and the pounds I gained, and the blood pressure that I had.

In many many cases, people just need to consider simplifying
- Even just 40+ years ago, when I was a kid, we almost NEVER ate out.  We ate American Food.  Often with a German twist (my ancestry, sauerkraut!)  Sometime exotics like spaghetti and meatballs or tacos using the Ortega taco kit.  And who remembers the Chef Boy Ardee pizza kits?  Shake and bake chicken.  Meatloaf.  Eggs or fish on Fridays.  PB&J or bologna for lunch.  Cereal for breakfast.

- "I want to eat..."  Fill in the blank.  Good food.  Fancy food.  Variety.  Ethnic.  I mean, I get that.  I like ethnic food too.  I can totally see where people would look at my meal plans and think "really?  Boring."  I mean, how many ways can you combine rice, protein, and vegetables?  But it's a bit like hedonistic adaptation.  The more variety we get, the more variety we want.  I've seen that myself in my own life.

I touched on the method I used while working with 2 small children.  One of the meals that I cooked on the weekend was lunch.  Yes, we ate the same thing for lunch 5 days in a row.  You know what?  I never overate that lunch.  It could have been the most delicious, most favorite meal of mine.  But after 5 days?  I'm over it.  But it was always *just fine* and I didn't die from eating the same thing for 5 days.

(And now I eat salad for lunch every day.)

Some people like special food.  I get it.  So do I.  So, I have learned to make special food.  Yeah, it's work.  It takes practice.  Just like taking the time and effort to get a vacation for less or free, learning to cook special food takes a bit of time and effort in the beginning, but pays off in the end.  And there are some things that I just don't bother to learn to make.  But still, learning to cook "special" things cuts down on my eating out massively.

Learning to make (and like) "simple" things cuts down on food costs a HUGE amount.  If you insist on "special" food frequently, then at some point, it's no longer special.  If you insist on "special" food on special occasions - then it's still special.

SeaEhm

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #76 on: August 08, 2017, 02:09:07 PM »
But WhiteTrashCash, my avocado toast tastes so much better when someone else makes it for me and charges me 800% markup...I can't make those kind of sacrifices!
I didn't read all of the thread, but did glimpse at many responses.


If your idea of eating out is a meat and potatoes place like Denny's, AppleBees, etc. Then one might as well eat at home by following WhiteTrash's recommendation of a 5 minute slow cooker meal. 

However, when meals start to become more complex than one or two main ingredients it becomes a challenge to make at home. 
One example...  Might as well pay the $13 and not have to deal with all of the preparation.



Especially when my SO orders this one with nearly completely different ingredients.



my SO and I eat out a lot.  In an ideal world, I would eat out for 90% of my meals.  However, we also eat at home for fairly cheap.  Chicken and veggies, eggs and veggies,  chicken/rice/veggie dishes, etc. 

Yesterday, I had to drive about 20 miles to run some errands.  The area in which I had to go is known for great cuisine with some amazing restaurants, however, I ended up just going back home and eating leftovers because the value was there for me.

Eating out is an experience for me, so eating alone at a restaurant wasn't worth the money I would have spent at that particular time.

I feel like a lot of people who post on the forum want to know how they can keep living the lifestyle they lived as a spendypants while also getting the rewards of the Mustachian lifestyle. Unless you have an absolutely massive income, that's not really possible and sacrifices have to be made. Our society -- particularly through the pernicious influence of advertising -- has convinced all of us that not only can we have it all, but we should have it all. That's a really destructive way of thinking.

Think about the way our ancestors lived. Until extremely recently, nearly all meals were prepared at home by people who learned the recipes from each other and made the food with in-season ingredients purchased locally. And people were really happy living that way. Somewhere along the line, Madison Avenue ad executives convinced us that our way of living was inadequate and we had to eat foods from every corner of the planet for every meal and we had to pay someone else for their expertise in preparing these dishes.

Now we have a massive industry built on telling everyone that only poor people prepare their own food and that great meals can only be made by TV celebrities and people who paid tens of thousands of dollars to go to culinary academies. Our ancestors would stare at us like we were aliens from another planet.

For most people, if you want money and success, you need to be prepared to make uncomfortable choices. You need to tell yourself that you are not only capable of doing things for yourself, but it's actually preferable to DIY. This is how you obtain power and with that power comes money and success.

At least, that's the way I see it.

Besides, I just came back from a vacation where tourists were paying big money to eat "rustic" food exactly like the stuff I make at home because it is "authentic", "natural", and "organic." Why not just make it yourselves and become rich?

Regarding Avocado toast - I can't believe people actually spend money on avocado toast that has off the shelf bread and nothing specialized at all!  Quite the convenience upsell.   I will admit that when I was in SF, I bought three different "avocado toasts" for two people.  One of them had things that I never had before and I wanted to try it.  There are times that I complacent with "possibly missing out on the best thing I could ever eat" and there are times that I am not.

Just like the latest dieting fad "Flexible dieting", I live with flexible spending.

No one got fat from one cookie and no one got skinny from eating one salad. 
Same can be made for spending.  Flexible spending that will still allow one to achieve one's financial goals.

Yes, I agree that advertisers have done an amazing job at brainwashing people!   Look at companies like Blue Apron where they cut and prep meals, deliver them, and then make you cook them and clean the dishes!  The prices for the meals aren't even cheap.  PASS!
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

Rural

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #77 on: August 08, 2017, 05:01:57 PM »
I didn't read all of the thread, but did glimpse at many responses.


If your idea of eating out is a meat and potatoes place like Denny's, AppleBees, etc. Then one might as well eat at home by following WhiteTrash's recommendation of a 5 minute slow cooker meal. 

However, when meals start to become more complex than one or two main ingredients it becomes a challenge to make at home. 
One example...  Might as well pay the $13 and not have to deal with all of the preparation.






See, this right here would be dead easy at home, and mine would be much better and healthier than the restaurant version. Plus I could have more tomorrow,


 10 years ago, I would've thought this would've been very hard to make, too. But moving away from anywhere to get Asian food of any sort forced me to be creative, and now I'm much better at it than most restaurants.

ooeei

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #78 on: August 09, 2017, 06:53:24 AM »
I didn't read all of the thread, but did glimpse at many responses.


If your idea of eating out is a meat and potatoes place like Denny's, AppleBees, etc. Then one might as well eat at home by following WhiteTrash's recommendation of a 5 minute slow cooker meal. 

However, when meals start to become more complex than one or two main ingredients it becomes a challenge to make at home. 
One example...  Might as well pay the $13 and not have to deal with all of the preparation.

[img]https://s3-media3.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/mUNLE1uHE_pdNN3xs70Bzw/o.jpg[img]

Especially when my SO orders this one with nearly completely different ingredients.

[img]https://s3-media3.fl.yelpcdn.com/bphoto/bY1K-AnUINL1TBkP00hPvQ/258s.jpg[img]

my SO and I eat out a lot.  In an ideal world, I would eat out for 90% of my meals.  However, we also eat at home for fairly cheap.  Chicken and veggies, eggs and veggies,  chicken/rice/veggie dishes, etc. 

Yesterday, I had to drive about 20 miles to run some errands.  The area in which I had to go is known for great cuisine with some amazing restaurants, however, I ended up just going back home and eating leftovers because the value was there for me.

Eating out is an experience for me, so eating alone at a restaurant wasn't worth the money I would have spent at that particular time.

Yeah there are some things that totally make sense to eat out. Off the top of my head: Pho, Indian buffet, dim sum, pretty much anything fried, bibimbap, good pizza, and I'm sure many others. The thing is, that's not what most people eat day in day out, you need only look at the distribution of restaurants to see that. For every great Vietnamese restaurant there are probably 50 low end burger places, and that's assuming you live somewhere that actually has a great Vietnamese place. Additionally, many of the things that are hard to make at home aren't all that quick when eating out either.

There's also the debate on what you do/don't need with regard to variety. Yeah it'd be great to get a different super complex dish cooked by a professional every day, but can we admit that's pretty extravagant? Paying someone else to cook some foreign specialty from a different corner of the earth every single day? To me that's like someone who can't bear to stay in less than a 4 star hotel, or who simply can't ride in a car without leather seats. There are people who live that way and enjoy it, but it seems pretty high maintenance to me, which isn't generally the message of this community.

Personally I do eat all the things I listed, but I'd say we eat at one of those places maybe 2-4 times a month. When it gets to more than once or twice a week, for example on vacation, I find myself craving some homemade food that doesn't have the density of a dying sun. I used to eat out constantly, and as someone above said when you eat special food every day, it's no longer special. I'd go home annoyed with something at work, and barely even notice the pad thai I was eating because I had special stuff every day. If I'm going to not notice my food, I'd rather it be something cheap and slightly healthy that I made quickly. Now today for instance I may be meeting with a friend at a great burger place for lunch, and I'm amped about it. Regardless of what happens at work today I'm going to enjoy the hell out of that burger.

In any case, the majority of this thread is in response to a few posters saying cooking at home doesn't save time, which has been shown to be wrong at least some of the time depending on your specific circumstances. If you simply must have a variety of foods no one could've dreamed of 40 years ago every day and night, then by all means pay restaurants to make it for you, that will certainly be easier.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 06:55:17 AM by ooeei »

SeaEhm

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #79 on: August 09, 2017, 09:12:42 AM »

Yeah there are some things that totally make sense to eat out. Off the top of my head: Pho, Indian buffet, dim sum, pretty much anything fried, bibimbap, good pizza, and I'm sure many others. The thing is, that's not what most people eat day in day out, you need only look at the distribution of restaurants to see that. For every great Vietnamese restaurant there are probably 50 low end burger places, and that's assuming you live somewhere that actually has a great Vietnamese place. Additionally, many of the things that are hard to make at home aren't all that quick when eating out either.

Definitely anything fried! Clean up for fried foods is quite tedious!  I agree with each item above.

There's also the debate on what you do/don't need with regard to variety. Yeah it'd be great to get a different super complex dish cooked by a professional every day, but can we admit that's pretty extravagant? Paying someone else to cook some foreign specialty from a different corner of the earth every single day? To me that's like someone who can't bear to stay in less than a 4 star hotel, or who simply can't ride in a car without leather seats. There are people who live that way and enjoy it, but it seems pretty high maintenance to me, which isn't generally the message of this community.

Life is always about where do you stand today on the spectrum of need versus want. If I had the financial means to have someone cook for me everyday could actually mean that I really enjoy food.  Someone on this forum mentioned that with the money they saved in hotel fees, they were able to spend extravagantly on food purchases.  Rob Peter to pay Paul so to speak.  This forum is definitely high maintenance in the form of not being the traditionally defined term of high maintenance. 

Friend: Do you want to go and grab some coffee?
Person:  Sorry, I don't want to pay $1 for coffee when I can brew it at home.  Do you want to go to the park?
Friend: Umm, Ok! Let's go to Astrid Park.  They have a beautiful lake to walk around."
Person: Sorry, Astrid Park makes you pay $1 for parking and it's actually 2.62 miles farther away from Lakeless park and that can save me $.21 in gas."
Friend: Ummm. Ok...


Personally I do eat all the things I listed, but I'd say we eat at one of those places maybe 2-4 times a month. When it gets to more than once or twice a week, for example on vacation, I find myself craving some homemade food that doesn't have the density of a dying sun. I used to eat out constantly, and as someone above said when you eat special food every day, it's no longer special. I'd go home annoyed with something at work, and barely even notice the pad thai I was eating because I had special stuff every day. If I'm going to not notice my food, I'd rather it be something cheap and slightly healthy that I made quickly. Now today for instance I may be meeting with a friend at a great burger place for lunch, and I'm amped about it. Regardless of what happens at work today I'm going to enjoy the hell out of that burger.

Enjoy the burger!  Personally, I do not see repetition as a determining factor in liking something less and less.  Therefore, your idea of less special holds no water with me.

In any case, the majority of this thread is in response to a few posters saying cooking at home doesn't save time, which has been shown to be wrong at least some of the time depending on your specific circumstances. If you simply must have a variety of foods no one could've dreamed of 40 years ago every day and night, then by all means pay restaurants to make it for you, that will certainly be easier.



That bolded part is what many people on this forum always fail to see.  They seem to be so egocentric that they fail to see that others may have a different life than them.  Every person is different and every situation is different.  Each person's financial goals, lifestyles, etc.  Therefore, it seems like people should provide suggestions to others.  Instead, they tell them they must do this or else they are not adhering to some moral/financial code.   


Ohh and I haven't had a great burger in a while.  Burgers are like pizza, even an ok burger is still delicious.

But from what I gather with many meat and potatoes people, cooking at home is not nearly the chore that many people think it is.  They just need to find out the system that makes it very efficient.   Crock pot cooking is super easy and convenient.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 11:09:50 AM by SeaEhm »
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #80 on: August 09, 2017, 10:28:50 AM »
I actually have a pretty fun time frying chicken at home. I've been tinkering with a fried chicken recipe for years. I love fried chicken so much, and there are no places nearby where it's good.

My home recipe is getting pretty good....buttermilk.....mmmmm...of course, that's a luxury meal, because I am soaking it in buttermilk. Any time you start marinating or creating special sauces or anything like that, stuff starts getting pretty expensive.

I think this is right:
Quote
But from what I gather with many meat and potatoes people, cooking at home is not nearly the chore that many people think it is
Simple meals are quite tasty, usually don't take a ton of time, and are relatively cheap if you don't go overboard on ingredients. They are not the awesome, complicated, show-stopping meals championed by our culture.

But going against the grain to have good, simple, cheap stuff is very Mustachian, IMO.


I definitely visit here a lot to get face-punched. I am a lot like what WTC criticizes, want to keep on being a spendy-pants. Gotta keep coming here to stay in the right mindset. 

SeaEhm

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #81 on: August 09, 2017, 11:18:58 AM »
I think this is right:
Quote
But from what I gather with many meat and potatoes people, cooking at home is not nearly the chore that many people think it is
Simple meals are quite tasty, usually don't take a ton of time, and are relatively cheap if you don't go overboard on ingredients. They are not the awesome, complicated, show-stopping meals championed by our culture.

But going against the grain to have good, simple, cheap stuff is very Mustachian, IMO.


I definitely visit here a lot to get face-punched. I am a lot like what WTC criticizes, want to keep on being a spendy-pants. Gotta keep coming here to stay in the right mindset.

I even said so myself, I would eat fancy foo foo everyday if I was financially able to.  However, I don't.  I love food so much that I have spent face kicking (not punching) amounts on meals with 0 regrets.  I can still eat eggs with spinach for dinner or other simple meat and potato types of meals because at the end of the day I am a flexible spender and there are times where a fancy meal just won't satisfy me nearly as much as the money saved.

Beta Guy - look at my signature and location, :) 
And fried chicken sounds so good right now! 
Just here to feel guilty about my purchases which are often irrational, wants, and in an atypical budget.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #82 on: August 11, 2017, 09:18:05 PM »
I used to eat out fast food, almost every day. So did  my spouse. We realized it was costing us $500 a month.

I had to wean myself away from it and it look a long time. Started cutting down to once a week, at Subway. Then cut out restaurants altogether.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #83 on: August 11, 2017, 09:19:09 PM »
Americans probably have the largest kitchens too. Sad no one uses them

Yes. Expensive and large with granite countertops. Always clean, never used.

Plugra

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #84 on: August 12, 2017, 05:38:59 AM »
The statistic I've seen is that the average middle class American family spends 50% of its food dollars at restaurants. In our family we are at about 20%, which means we go out for lunch or dinner once or twice a week.

I visited a friend who lives in a super-HCOL area. He constantly complains about being broke and short of time. He and his wife both work. I visited him at his office.  For lunch, he didn't have time to pack a lunch so we walk over to a sandwich shop and wait for sandwiches. That takes about 30-45 minutes. On other days he swings by Starbucks at lunchtime and picks up a premade sandwich because he and his wife don't have time to stock up on bag lunch foods.

For dinner, he calls his wife and asks her what she'd like for takeout because they're both too tired to cook. We then drive over to an Italian restaurant and spend 25 minutes standing around in the foyer waiting for our takeout order. We then drive home to his place and eat out of plastic cartons. The whole time he is bitching about his mortgage payment.

I just can't believe they live like this.  I feel bad for the guy but there is just no way this lifestyle is saving him time, effort or money.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #85 on: August 12, 2017, 02:10:38 PM »

On other days he swings by Starbucks at lunchtime and picks up a premade sandwich because he and his wife don't have time to stock up on bag lunch foods.


My friend overheard a conversation at a diner, where the man was eating a meal and complaining to his friends at the table, that he couldn't afford to buy food for his family. She said, for the same amount of money he spent on that meal, he could buy some lunch meat and a couple of loaves of bread, and eat sandwiches for two weeks.

I got tired of dealing with rude service people in restaurants and it wasn't worth the money I was paying, so I started making food at home more often.

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #86 on: August 12, 2017, 04:43:29 PM »
Americans probably have the largest kitchens too. Sad no one uses them

Yes. Expensive and large with granite countertops. Always clean, never used.

A few years back I had a new sliding patio door installed. One of the contractors on the job told me he really liked my kitchen. I thanked him, but mentioned I was slightly surprised by the compliment because my kitchen is very dated. He said in his line of work he mostly sees high-end, lavishly renovated kitchens where it's obvious that no one ever cooks anything in them. So I guess Canada's not far behind the US in the unused kitchen category.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #87 on: August 12, 2017, 05:27:52 PM »
Americans probably have the largest kitchens too. Sad no one uses them

Yes. Expensive and large with granite countertops. Always clean, never used.

A few years back I had a new sliding patio door installed. One of the contractors on the job told me he really liked my kitchen. I thanked him, but mentioned I was slightly surprised by the compliment because my kitchen is very dated. He said in his line of work he mostly sees high-end, lavishly renovated kitchens where it's obvious that no one ever cooks anything in them. So I guess Canada's not far behind the US in the unused kitchen category.

Even sadder when people with these large homes and fabulous kitchens have credit card debt and can't pay their mortgage.

Ok, I know I'm being a little judgy here, but I'm glad I didn't go down this road. Bought a moderate-sized home well within my budget. The kitchen could use some remodeling but I decided to put it of for a very long time. The countertops I have are cheap ones from the 70s and they are just fine.

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #88 on: August 12, 2017, 08:32:00 PM »
Americans probably have the largest kitchens too. Sad no one uses them

Yes. Expensive and large with granite countertops. Always clean, never used.

A few years back I had a new sliding patio door installed. One of the contractors on the job told me he really liked my kitchen. I thanked him, but mentioned I was slightly surprised by the compliment because my kitchen is very dated. He said in his line of work he mostly sees high-end, lavishly renovated kitchens where it's obvious that no one ever cooks anything in them. So I guess Canada's not far behind the US in the unused kitchen category.

Even sadder when people with these large homes and fabulous kitchens have credit card debt and can't pay their mortgage.

Ok, I know I'm being a little judgy here, but I'm glad I didn't go down this road. Bought a moderate-sized home well within my budget. The kitchen could use some remodeling but I decided to put it of for a very long time. The countertops I have are cheap ones from the 70s and they are just fine.

Good for you! I did the same, and renovating isn't a priority for me either. I eat almost entirely at home, my kitchen gets a lot of use, and it doesn't bother me one bit that the cupboards are from the 80's. I prefer older things though, so it might be more of a personal preference than a virtue for me lol.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #89 on: August 13, 2017, 06:49:38 AM »
Americans probably have the largest kitchens too. Sad no one uses them

Yes. Expensive and large with granite countertops. Always clean, never used.

A few years back I had a new sliding patio door installed. One of the contractors on the job told me he really liked my kitchen. I thanked him, but mentioned I was slightly surprised by the compliment because my kitchen is very dated. He said in his line of work he mostly sees high-end, lavishly renovated kitchens where it's obvious that no one ever cooks anything in them. So I guess Canada's not far behind the US in the unused kitchen category.

Even sadder when people with these large homes and fabulous kitchens have credit card debt and can't pay their mortgage.

Ok, I know I'm being a little judgy here, but I'm glad I didn't go down this road. Bought a moderate-sized home well within my budget. The kitchen could use some remodeling but I decided to put it of for a very long time. The countertops I have are cheap ones from the 70s and they are just fine.

Good for you! I did the same, and renovating isn't a priority for me either. I eat almost entirely at home, my kitchen gets a lot of use, and it doesn't bother me one bit that the cupboards are from the 80's. I prefer older things though, so it might be more of a personal preference than a virtue for me lol.

Our house came with granite countertops in the kitchen the the previous owner self-installed, which are fine, but I don't really care about them. Honestly, I had kind of hoped that I could install some of that counter surface made from recycled bottles and other materials that Ed Begley Jr. uses in his house, but I guess granite is a natural surface so it will do. We are very much into sustainable living as much as possible because it's not only good for the Earth but also generally quite good for our wallets.

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #90 on: August 13, 2017, 09:26:17 AM »

Our house came with granite countertops in the kitchen the the previous owner self-installed, which are fine, but I don't really care about them. Honestly, I had kind of hoped that I could install some of that counter surface made from recycled bottles and other materials that Ed Begley Jr. uses in his house, but I guess granite is a natural surface so it will do. We are very much into sustainable living as much as possible because it's not only good for the Earth but also generally quite good for our wallets.

Absolutely, thrift and environmentalism both have a common tenet of minimizing waste IMO. Which, come to think of it, is something I've not seen mentioned yet in this eat at home/eat out thread - the waste associated with take-out containers. It positively makes me shudder.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

pachnik

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #91 on: August 13, 2017, 09:48:24 AM »
Absolutely, thrift and environmentalism both have a common tenet of minimizing waste IMO. Which, come to think of it, is something I've not seen mentioned yet in this eat at home/eat out thread - the waste associated with take-out containers. It positively makes me shudder.

We very rarely get take out.  But a few weeks ago, we had some guests from out of town and decided to get Chinese take out.   I was shocked at the amount of containers left.  They can all be recycle but still. 

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #92 on: August 13, 2017, 10:03:11 AM »
Absolutely, thrift and environmentalism both have a common tenet of minimizing waste IMO. Which, come to think of it, is something I've not seen mentioned yet in this eat at home/eat out thread - the waste associated with take-out containers. It positively makes me shudder.

We very rarely get take out.  But a few weeks ago, we had some guests from out of town and decided to get Chinese take out.   I was shocked at the amount of containers left.  They can all be recycle but still.

I have saved the plastic containers from the few times we have gotten Chinese takeout over the years and we use them as tupperware for our leftovers. They are at least reusable that way and when they eventually die they are recyclable. That's the best we could do with that particular situation, but a lot of people get takeout at least a couple times a week and then they just throw out the containers. I can only imagine what that's doing to our environment.

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #93 on: August 13, 2017, 10:27:51 AM »
Absolutely, thrift and environmentalism both have a common tenet of minimizing waste IMO. Which, come to think of it, is something I've not seen mentioned yet in this eat at home/eat out thread - the waste associated with take-out containers. It positively makes me shudder.

We very rarely get take out.  But a few weeks ago, we had some guests from out of town and decided to get Chinese take out.   I was shocked at the amount of containers left.  They can all be recycle but still.

I have saved the plastic containers from the few times we have gotten Chinese takeout over the years and we use them as tupperware for our leftovers. They are at least reusable that way and when they eventually die they are recyclable. That's the best we could do with that particular situation, but a lot of people get takeout at least a couple times a week and then they just throw out the containers. I can only imagine what that's doing to our environment.

Nice to hear you're practicing all 3 R's:-) I save most food containers, whether a coffee can or an occasional take-out container, with the high hopes of reusing at least a few times before recycling. Some do get reused, some just pile up until I give up and dump them in the recycler. And I have some plastic Chinese food containers that stay permanently with my "Tupperware" as well.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #94 on: August 13, 2017, 11:55:38 AM »
Absolutely, thrift and environmentalism both have a common tenet of minimizing waste IMO. Which, come to think of it, is something I've not seen mentioned yet in this eat at home/eat out thread - the waste associated with take-out containers. It positively makes me shudder.

We very rarely get take out.  But a few weeks ago, we had some guests from out of town and decided to get Chinese take out.   I was shocked at the amount of containers left.  They can all be recycle but still.

I have saved the plastic containers from the few times we have gotten Chinese takeout over the years and we use them as tupperware for our leftovers. They are at least reusable that way and when they eventually die they are recyclable. That's the best we could do with that particular situation, but a lot of people get takeout at least a couple times a week and then they just throw out the containers. I can only imagine what that's doing to our environment.

Nice to hear you're practicing all 3 R's:-) I save most food containers, whether a coffee can or an occasional take-out container, with the high hopes of reusing at least a few times before recycling. Some do get reused, some just pile up until I give up and dump them in the recycler. And I have some plastic Chinese food containers that stay permanently with my "Tupperware" as well.

We reuse all kinds of stuff. I saved the cups from when I used to eat store bought yogurt (before I learned how easy is was to make at home). I punched some holes in the bottoms of the cups, filled them with potting soil, placed them in an old plastic doughnut box I rescued from work, and VOILA! Instant seedling tray to put in the front window when I was starting up the garden. Saved a bunch of money on gardening equipment that way.

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #95 on: August 14, 2017, 05:38:30 PM »

We reuse all kinds of stuff. I saved the cups from when I used to eat store bought yogurt (before I learned how easy is was to make at home). I punched some holes in the bottoms of the cups, filled them with potting soil, placed them in an old plastic doughnut box I rescued from work, and VOILA! Instant seedling tray to put in the front window when I was starting up the garden. Saved a bunch of money on gardening equipment that way.

What a great use for those little yogurt cups. I've always thought them kinda useless because they didn't have a lid.
So, just how easy is it to make home made yogurt?
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #96 on: August 14, 2017, 07:04:19 PM »

We reuse all kinds of stuff. I saved the cups from when I used to eat store bought yogurt (before I learned how easy is was to make at home). I punched some holes in the bottoms of the cups, filled them with potting soil, placed them in an old plastic doughnut box I rescued from work, and VOILA! Instant seedling tray to put in the front window when I was starting up the garden. Saved a bunch of money on gardening equipment that way.

What a great use for those little yogurt cups. I've always thought them kinda useless because they didn't have a lid.
So, just how easy is it to make home made yogurt?

It's super easy to make your own yogurt if you use... DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAAA! A slow cooker! :-)

Seriously, between the slow cooker my mother gave me and the bread machine I bought off Craigslist for $30, making my own food is no problem at all. Did you know you can make your own jam in a bread machine?

Pennie

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #97 on: August 14, 2017, 07:32:24 PM »

It's super easy to make your own yogurt if you use... DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAAA! A slow cooker! :-)

Seriously, between the slow cooker my mother gave me and the bread machine I bought off Craigslist for $30, making my own food is no problem at all. Did you know you can make your own jam in a bread machine?

No, I did not know that lol. I've never used a bread machine or baked bread of any kind. I would like to try baking rolls or flour tortillas, but haven't taken that step yet.
I'm intrigued by your slow cooker pulled pork recipe. Just took a pork loin out of the freezer to start thawing:-)
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A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #98 on: August 15, 2017, 03:21:49 PM »

We reuse all kinds of stuff. I saved the cups from when I used to eat store bought yogurt (before I learned how easy is was to make at home). I punched some holes in the bottoms of the cups, filled them with potting soil, placed them in an old plastic doughnut box I rescued from work, and VOILA! Instant seedling tray to put in the front window when I was starting up the garden. Saved a bunch of money on gardening equipment that way.

What a great use for those little yogurt cups. I've always thought them kinda useless because they didn't have a lid.
So, just how easy is it to make home made yogurt?

It's super easy to make your own yogurt if you use... DA DA DAAAAAAAAAAAA! A slow cooker! :-)

Seriously, between the slow cooker my mother gave me and the bread machine I bought off Craigslist for $30, making my own food is no problem at all. Did you know you can make your own jam in a bread machine?

You can make jam in a bread machine? Now this is something I need to google.

MarciaB

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Re: Americans spend more on food away from home than on food at home
« Reply #99 on: August 15, 2017, 07:41:36 PM »
That all being said, the sad truth is that for people with lower incomes, the convenience of take out food is too high. There are many factors that  influence this, but think about a single parent families, working shift work, commuting by bus. Getting to a 9am-9pm grocery store is way more challenging than swinging by fast food place that is open 24/7. Even just on my short commute home, I pass 1 affordable grocery store, but approximately 200 restaurants/take out food places. :(

This is why I try to spread the gospel of the slow cooker far and wide. I was given a slow cooker as a Christmas gift and I got a cookbook for it from Amazon Kindle for $0 as a promotion. It's so incredibly cheap and easy to use. You just throw in the ingredients and turn it on, go to work for the day, then come home and VOILA! The food is cooked. After dinner, you wipe the inside of the crock and you are done.

It's saved me lots of money, but low income people don't seem to know about it. Gee, I wonder why? Could it have to do with corporations trying to keep knowledge away from people? Hmm, I wonder...

And slow cookers are cheap - go to Goodwill and spend maybe $5 and you're set! I love them, and have saved many a post-work evening by just ladling out something cooked and yummy only minutes after I get home.