Author Topic: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?  (Read 18078 times)

Kaplin261

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Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« on: September 23, 2015, 10:20:55 AM »
My current grocery bill average for 2 adults and a toddler is $160 a week. It is a little high and we could probably do better, we both work full time and really enjoy good food. Currently we do not eat out, to us eating at a restaurant is a financial sin and the 22 month old who throws his food at other patrons when he gets bored insures we stick to our plan of not eating out.

My wife and I are planning to move to be closer to work. A lot of the homes in the area are dated and need kitchen remodels or expansions to meet our needs. I started adding up the costs of whats involved for a average kitchen, the sqft it consumes in the home, the cost to condition the space, the electricity it uses when being used. It turns out that cooking a meal at home is a lot more then just the cost of the groceries I'm buying each week.

$30k for a complete kitchen remodel plus the cost of 150 sqft dedicated for cooking
$250 a year in energy used by the appliances(doesn't include the cost for lighting and conditioning the air)
$500 a year in for building maintenance for that extra 150 sqft used(roof,siding,flooring,plumbing,electrical)
So if I'm ditching the kitchen might as well eliminate that dining room as well 150 sqft x $150=$22500
$52500x.07/52=$70 extra bucks added to the eating at home weekly bill plus an additional weekly cost of $13 for energy/maintenance for the kitchen

Bigger roof,bigger heating/cooling system,more painting,more flooring,more taxes,more insurance are all costs associated with having a kitchen and dining room.


I will probably never go this route, I love cooking at home but to say its cheaper then eating out at a restaurant is not exactly true.

Syonyk

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 10:25:12 AM »
You missed the time, energy, and vehicle wear cost of going out to eat three times a day.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 10:27:51 AM »
And, the cost of tax and tips on food over time.

Or, home upgrades increasing the value of the house over time.

$250 for a few appliances and $500 in maintenance costs? Sounds like too much house, our yearly power usages adds up to $650 and maintaining the kitchen includes soap and water.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 10:30:07 AM by BackyarBQ »

lhamo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 10:43:09 AM »
Good luck selling a house without a kitchen.  Might work in Manhattan, which is one of the few places in the world where it really does cost considerably more to cook at home than eat out (extremely high grocery cost and lots of low cost ethnic food options, most that deliver).

JLee

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 10:44:08 AM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 10:46:40 AM »
Lol, that's all I could muster in response to the OP.

Sounds like a whole lot of justification and bias.

MissStache

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 10:48:57 AM »
Eeek...don't forget to build in all the costs of copays, medication, and buying-of new clothes associated with the wild weight-gain you'd certainly experience with frequent eating-out!

FatCat

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 10:49:31 AM »
What is so wrong with the kitchen that it needs $30k worth of remodeling? Are you ripping it to the studs to start over because it looks "dated"?

If there is a kitchen already there. And people have already been using it for years. It seems like it shouldn't require $30k to be updated to whatever standards you need to cook.

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 10:51:38 AM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

Sorry I didn't break it down, the $30k is for the sqft cost of the kitchen space 150x$150 per sqft plus the remodel cost. So its only $7,750 for the remodel and $23k is for the 150 sqft to house your kitchen.

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 11:19:44 AM »
Unless I'm missing something, even those additional costs only bring the total up to $243 per week.  With 21 meals a week for two people (I'm assuming the toddler will eat only from what you order), you are still eating at home for $5.79 per meal.  There are certainly places you can buy a meal from for that much, but I doubt those places measure up to what you are cooking at home or are even attractive to someone who says they "really enjoy good food".

Syonyk

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 11:39:16 AM »
Good luck selling a house without a kitchen.  Might work in Manhattan, which is one of the few places in the world where it really does cost considerably more to cook at home than eat out (extremely high grocery cost and lots of low cost ethnic food options, most that deliver).

You could sell it to this guy!

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/op-ed-how-i-gave-up-alternating-current/

Quote
Kitchens are expensive and dirty. This home manufacturing center has been by far the most liberating to eliminate. They are the greediest consumers of power, water, and labor and produce the most noise and garbage of any room. Moreover, they can be made totally unnecessary with a few practical life hacks.

...

With no fridge, no dishes, no microwave, no oven, no range, no dishwasher, no utensils, no pests, no cleaning products nor dirty rags, my life is considerably simpler, lighter and cleaner than before. I think it was a bit presumptuous for the architect to assume I wanted a kitchen with my apartment and make me pay for it. My home is a place of peace. I dont want to live with red-hot heating elements and razor-sharp knives. That sounds like a torture chamber. However, its not a total loss. I was able to use the cabinets to store part of my book collection.

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2015, 11:45:53 AM »
Unless I'm missing something, even those additional costs only bring the total up to $243 per week.  With 21 meals a week for two people (I'm assuming the toddler will eat only from what you order), you are still eating at home for $5.79 per meal.  There are certainly places you can buy a meal from for that much, but I doubt those places measure up to what you are cooking at home or are even attractive to someone who says they "really enjoy good food".

Monday-Friday $105
Breakfast is a granola bar,banana and another piece of fruit - $1 per person and 400 calories each
Lunch is a 1 pound of salad from the salad bar at $4.99 a pound. Lots of greens,nuts and dried fruit - $5 per person and 500 calories (lunch is provided at school for $3 for our son)
Dinner options: Subway foot long $6 per adult,taco Tuesday tacos $5 per adult (After tip and taxes),Thursday Cheese pizza with fresh basil $5 per adult,sushi Thursday $8 per adult,groupon/living social or restaurant coupon for Friday $12 per adult

Saturday-Sunday $115
Breakfast is a granola bar,banana and another piece of fruit - $1 per person and 400 calories each
Happy hour lunch specials at local diner $15 per adult
Grill out and have friends over or go over and visit friends $15 per adult

This is just a sample of what our options would be. We wouldn't  always have to eat at the restaurant, pick your food up and go to the park.

We are moving closure to our jobs,so our home will cost more per sqft but will be closure to amenities like this that we can walk to or bike to. And a aquaponics system would probably be added to supplement our dietary needs and save money.



Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 02:10:29 PM »
Also this works great if you are buying a single family home that you are converting to a duplex that you are living on one side and renting the other side. No extra plumbing, don't have to worry about your electrical service not having enough amps to power a second kitchen and you don't have to sacrifice a valuable bedroom to build a kitchen. The upfront costs to convert a home into a duplex just went down significantly and your rental will go on the market faster.

BarkyardBQ

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 02:13:39 PM »
I think you missed it...

Good luck selling a house without a kitchen.

Philociraptor

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2015, 02:17:37 PM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

Sorry I didn't break it down, the $30k is for the sqft cost of the kitchen space 150x$150 per sqft plus the remodel cost. So its only $7,750 for the remodel and $23k is for the 150 sqft to house your kitchen.

I still don't understand this. Are you adding 150 sqft to the house that isn't already there? If the space is already allocated to be a kitchen, do you plan on removing the kitchen and putting something else there? I'm confused...

FatCat

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2015, 02:56:50 PM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

Sorry I didn't break it down, the $30k is for the sqft cost of the kitchen space 150x$150 per sqft plus the remodel cost. So its only $7,750 for the remodel and $23k is for the 150 sqft to house your kitchen.

I still don't understand this. Are you adding 150 sqft to the house that isn't already there? If the space is already allocated to be a kitchen, do you plan on removing the kitchen and putting something else there? I'm confused...

It sounds like a hypothetical calculation. I guess the house was $150 per square ft, and the kitchen that already exists is 150 sqft, so then the value of the kitchen that already exists when calculated as sqft of house is $22.5k. And they want to spend $7,750 updating the already existing kitchen so that brings it to $30k of money going to the expense of "owning a kitchen." So if you could buy the same exact house in the same location but without the kitchen somehow, it would somehow save you ~$23k. In reality it would probably drop the overall value of the house by much more than that since it would be one of the only houses around without a kitchen.

Since nearly all houses have kitchens, it is cheaper to eat at home since there is going to be a kitchen there. If you could somehow find a house without a kitchen, then you could argue that it might be cheaper to eat out than to build and maintain extra rooms for your kitchen and dining rooms. If you really don't want to pay for the privilege of kitchen ownership, the other option is to choose something cheaper than a traditional house.

sol

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2015, 03:23:10 PM »
It's also cheaper to just live in a shed, use flashlights for lighting and the library for bathrooms.  But I wouldn't want to lived that way for very long, and I wouldn't call it a house.  Houses have kitchens.

TealBlue

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2015, 03:30:08 PM »
I literally don't understand this at all.  So you are considering buying a place that needs a kitchen remodel and somehow just pretending the kitchen (and dining room) aren't there because you think it's less expensive to just eat out for every meal?  What happens if after the first 23 consecutive days of eating a granola bar and piece of fruit for breakfast (sitting on your couch I assume since you don't have a dining room) you think "man I could go for an egg and a piece toast" but you don't have a fridge or a stove.  Or you think "a beer would taste good right now" but you have no fridge.  Or you don't feel like going out to eat?  You mention having friends over to grill, however where are you keeping this food you are grilling?  How will you wash the dishes after you grill?  What happens if one of your sides needs to be cooked in an oven or on the stove?   What happens if your family is sick for a week, just order Dominos? This doesn't even go into how unhealthy it would be to eat out so much and how boring it would be eating at inexpensive choices every meal.  I love salad, but not every single day for lunch.  Other quick lunch options are often very unhealthy.  Plus, you are so limited with snack options for your family, your son in particular that I'd imagine it'd be easy to just grab some fries instead of just handing him some string cheese or a yogurt.

You didn't allocate any $ for your son to eat dinner on the week days or lunch/dinner on the weekends. Even without that though, I didn't understand your math.   I show that using your example below you are actually spending $287/week, which is $1148/month, without your son for most meals. 

I don't really know why I have spent so much time on this.


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2015, 03:52:20 PM »
It's an interesting thought experiment, and it's always worth it to examine assumptions, but I don't think the theory holds up under scrutiny.

A few counterpoints, beyond the whole "good luck selling without a kitchen"
1) Our eating area/nook/whatever gets used for a whole lot more than just meals
2) Ditto for the kitchen counter area
3) There's an assumption that you will never cook anything in your kitchen.  Ever.
4) $500/year for maintenance just for the kitchen is ridiculous.   In reality, it's *maybe* 1/5 of that.  But it's a small amount compared to the $52,500
5) If you're gaining $70/week by eliminating the kitchen/dining area, that's $5/day/person in savings, assuming two people.  For our family, there's no way we could go from home-cooked meals to restaurants 3x/day and only pay an extra $5 each.
6) Grilling out each weekend doesn't get you out of owning a kitchen.  Gotta put that meat somewhere (fridge), gotta have dishes to serve on (sink & maybe dishwasher), or you pay for disposable plates/cups/etc. (you still need a place to put them), but you still have dishes (spatula at least) to wash.
7) others have said this, but health impacts shouldn't be ignored

Just for one datapoint, our family of 8(!) eats for about $230/week.  That includes a hot breakfast every day except Saturday, when it's cereal.  That means 7 days * 3 meals * 8 people = 168 meals, or an average of about $1.40/meal.  That also includes household stuff--paper towels, dish soap, diapers & wipes, etc.  If we eat out at McDonald's (the cheapest that comes to mind), it costs at a minimum $20, and we're not getting happy meals here--purely a la carte, and no drinks.  That's $2.50/meal.  And that's the best scenario in terms of promoting eating out.

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2015, 03:55:48 PM »
Quote
$30k for a complete kitchen remodel plus the cost of 150 sqft dedicated for cooking

Our rather awesome kitchen, which was a bare-studs tear-out, cost $4k in materials, including cabinets and materials.  Took us two weeks but had we contracted out it will would have been under $10k.  I'm also certain I won't do this any more frequently than once a decade - so... $400-$1000/year, or a cost of ~$33 per month maximum, or <$10/week.
Sure you *could* spend $30k on a remodel.  I've read about people spending $100k on a remodel.  I'm also certain you can get a fully functional kitchen for under $2k if you tried. 

Quote
$250 a year in energy used by the appliances(doesn't include the cost for lighting and conditioning the air)
Ok sure... but don't you think you're going to want a fridge even if you don't want a stove?  And in my house all my rooms are illuminated regardless of whether they are the kitchen.  I'm just spendy like that.

Quote
$500 a year in for building maintenance for that extra 150 sqft used(roof,siding,flooring,plumbing,electrical)
I have no idea how I would even calculate this, so I'll just use your figure.  Meh.

Quote
So if I'm ditching the kitchen might as well eliminate that dining room as well 150 sqft x $150=$22500
$52500x.07/52=$70 extra bucks added to the eating at home weekly bill plus an additional weekly cost of $13 for energy/maintenance for the kitchen
Wait, what?  we're throwing out the dining room too?  Guess we can't eat take-out (or eat in the kitchen we already threw out with the kitchen sink).

These figures seem so bogus I can only hope someone says "joke".

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2015, 06:23:11 AM »
1) Our eating area/nook/whatever gets used for a whole lot more than just meals
2) Ditto for the kitchen counter area
3) There's an assumption that you will never cook anything in your kitchen.  Ever.
4) $500/year for maintenance just for the kitchen is ridiculous.   In reality, it's *maybe* 1/5 of that.  But it's a small amount compared to the $52,500
5) If you're gaining $70/week by eliminating the kitchen/dining area, that's $5/day/person in savings, assuming two people.  For our family, there's no way we could go from home-cooked meals to restaurants 3x/day and only pay an extra $5 each.
6) Grilling out each weekend doesn't get you out of owning a kitchen.  Gotta put that meat somewhere (fridge), gotta have dishes to serve on (sink & maybe dishwasher), or you pay for disposable plates/cups/etc. (you still need a place to put them), but you still have dishes (spatula at least) to wash.
7) others have said this, but health impacts shouldn't be ignored

Just for one datapoint, our family of 8(!) eats for about $230/week. 

1,2,3) I completely agree, this the same at my own home. Where else could you do homework,science experiments and fix things?
4) I think you are only looking at the items in your kitchen. There are more costs associated with owning a kitchen then the appliances inside it. You have a roof. You have walls that have drywall,wood,insulation,siding,paint and windows. A floor that has vinyl,wood and insulation. You have plumbing lines, high amperage circuits and a ventilation system. You have a heating and cooling system that is bigger to account for that space. A kitchen is the most expensive and complex room in your home to build.
5) As someone who works full time, I don't sit down and have a full meal 3 times a day and if I didn't own a kitchen I probably would not expect to eat out 3 times a day. Fruits, nuts and granola bars are a healthy and cheaper alternative to fast food.
6) Grill out, Sous-vide,crock pot or just eat a raw meal. Why add that extra step of refrigeration when you could just buy the food when you need need it and then cook it.
7) Health impacts are a concern if your area has limited dining options like burger king, in my area there are plenty of places to eat at that have food that is healthy for you. This also gets you out of your house, walking or biking to get to the diner.

Owning a home that has a functional kitchen and then gutting it would be a waste. However if you are in the market for a duplex, you could pull something like this off. Eliminating a chore and freeing up time in your life by having someone else cook your meals and cleanup after you. While adding more money to your stash.

If I were going to build a home without a kitchen, I would design one that had a sheltered and screened in patio of about 400 sqft that could be later converted to a kitchen if I wanted to sell the home. 400 sqft of outdoor living space that has a dining and cooking area is about a 3rd of the cost of indoor living space, my taxes and insurance would also be cheaper.

CSA and aquaponics would compliment this lifestyle well.

Ricky

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2015, 06:44:07 AM »
1) Our eating area/nook/whatever gets used for a whole lot more than just meals
2) Ditto for the kitchen counter area
3) There's an assumption that you will never cook anything in your kitchen.  Ever.
4) $500/year for maintenance just for the kitchen is ridiculous.   In reality, it's *maybe* 1/5 of that.  But it's a small amount compared to the $52,500
5) If you're gaining $70/week by eliminating the kitchen/dining area, that's $5/day/person in savings, assuming two people.  For our family, there's no way we could go from home-cooked meals to restaurants 3x/day and only pay an extra $5 each.
6) Grilling out each weekend doesn't get you out of owning a kitchen.  Gotta put that meat somewhere (fridge), gotta have dishes to serve on (sink & maybe dishwasher), or you pay for disposable plates/cups/etc. (you still need a place to put them), but you still have dishes (spatula at least) to wash.
7) others have said this, but health impacts shouldn't be ignored

Just for one datapoint, our family of 8(!) eats for about $230/week. 

1,2,3) I completely agree, this the same at my own home. Where else could you do homework,science experiments and fix things?
4) I think you are only looking at the items in your kitchen. There are more costs associated with owning a kitchen then the appliances inside it. You have a roof. You have walls that have drywall,wood,insulation,siding,paint and windows. A floor that has vinyl,wood and insulation. You have plumbing lines, high amperage circuits and a ventilation system. You have a heating and cooling system that is bigger to account for that space. A kitchen is the most expensive and complex room in your home to build.
5) As someone who works full time, I don't sit down and have a full meal 3 times a day and if I didn't own a kitchen I probably would not expect to eat out 3 times a day. Fruits, nuts and granola bars are a healthy and cheaper alternative to fast food.
6) Grill out, Sous-vide,crock pot or just eat a raw meal. Why add that extra step of refrigeration when you could just buy the food when you need need it and then cook it.
7) Health impacts are a concern if your area has limited dining options like burger king, in my area there are plenty of places to eat at that have food that is healthy for you. This also gets you out of your house, walking or biking to get to the diner.

4. Building materials don't just magically crumble out of thin air. And everything you mentioned is not expensive to replace. The fact is that the initial investment more than pays for itself over time when compared to eating out. No one is telling you that you need a certain size kitchen. All one really needs is a stove, fridge, and a sink.

5. Good luck with trying to survive on dry food. Not cheap, and not really fulfilling.

6. A grill is going to be as much or more to operate as a stove. Not really making any gains there. And the grill-able items you buy will generally be more expensive than things you can cook on a stovetop.

Quote from: Kaplin261
Eliminating a chore and freeing up time in your life by having someone else cook your meals and cleanup after you. While adding more money to your stash.

Except in reality you do none of those things because it still takes a measurable amount of time to go get the food unless you're within a mile of the place.

I would never justify my own eating out by calculating the total cost of owning/operating a kitchen, because I know the total amount is immaterial to the cost of eating out overall. We've had the same kitchen for about 35 years except a few appliance changes. I'm guessing the total operating cost per month over those 35 years to be less than $50 a month. Probably a lot less, I'm just being generous for the sake of the thread.

Another thing you're completely forgetting is the cost of the restaurant's kitchen is built into the cost of eating out, PLUS all the other overhead like huge dining areas, employees, commercial HVAC, etc. On top of that, they are making a profit. That's not counting the mileage used on your vehicle, time wasted, etc.

The $22k dining room figure is just nuts. Even if I were to build a  150sqft stand-alone building, I wouldn't come close to that figure. Obviously the cost of building will vary across the country. But unless you're in SF, I highly doubt the actual cost is >$10k. A kitchen may be the most complicated room of the house, but a dining room has to be the least. Unless you're building, you don't choose whether you get a kitchen or extra space for dining. It will 99% of the time come with the house, or at least the guts for.

Bottom line: eat out all you want, but don't bother trying to justify not owning or using a kitchen. As someone who eats out quite frequently, it's a service and experience that I value, so I pay for it. A lot of people on here don't and it's understandable as to why because it's much cheaper to prepare your own meals.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 07:26:06 AM by Ricky »

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2015, 06:59:49 AM »
Good luck selling a house without a kitchen.  Might work in Manhattan, which is one of the few places in the world where it really does cost considerably more to cook at home than eat out (extremely high grocery cost and lots of low cost ethnic food options, most that deliver).

Agree about NYC being possibly cheaper to eat out in. Ethnic lunch specials for $4.99 were usually big enough for two meals for me, making them (with tip) 3 bucks each.

The only other eating out is cheaper isn't usually good for you food: it's the dollar menu at Wendy's or whatever. Still would probably come out ahead using the Costco pre-packaged spinach salads or whatever...because of no tipping.

Before I got the ducks/chickens it was pretty difficult for me to use everything fresh up in a timely manner....now if they get a little extra bok choy or lettuce it's no big deal.


Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2015, 07:10:47 AM »

Quote
4. Building materials don't just magically crumble out of thin air. And everything you mentioned is not expensive to replace. The fact is that the initial investment more than pays for itself over time when compared to eating out. No one is telling you that you need a certain size kitchen. All one really needs is a stove, fridge, and a sink.

My post also mentioned that destroying a kitchen is not the ideal here. Buying a Single family home and converting it to a duplex or building your own home is about the only way that this theory  makes this profitable. A dining room and kitchen cost is about $50k, that is on the low end. Again, I'm not talking about the money you spent to remodel a kitchen, there are other costs associated with building a kitchen.

Quote
5. Good luck with trying to survive on dry food. Not cheap, and not really fulfilling.

6. A grill is going to be as much or more to operate as a stove. Not really making any gains there. And the grill-able items you buy will generally be more expensive than things you can cook on a stovetop.

Surviving on dry foods is not the point, there are many of options that don't require cooking and are healthy. With the last meal of the day being the one that you splurge on. Again about the grill and stove comparison, I have $200 webber grill with about $100 in gravel under it for the base. My kitchen stove is $500 but the room around it costed $23k.

Ricky

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2015, 07:29:14 AM »
The stove is more upfront because it's much more versatile, which is why more people own stoves than grills. There's no rule saying a stove has to be surrounded by $23k in building materials. You can keep your stove outside on the deck if you like. Seeing as how cooking with gas costs $1/hr, and cooking with a stove costs about ~$0.50/hr, you're much better off with the stove no matter how much you're trying to justify not owning traditional kitchen tools. The grill, so far, is your cheapest alternative to the other "solutions" you've thought up, and is still more expensive than owning a "kitchen". Again, can we separate sprawling cabinets, microwaves, and massive overpriced dining areas from our definition of "kitchen", because the majority doesn't own a fancy, elaborate kitchen. Let's leave it at "preparing one's own meals".

This is very much a kitchen:


It has a burner, toaster, fridge, sink. Basically everything you need.

As long as you plan on living long enough to recuperate the initial investments, which is very likely, it's always going to be cheaper to do it yourself (own a "kitchen"), so is this really about saving money or more about convenience and downsizing?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 07:45:35 AM by Ricky »

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2015, 07:43:19 AM »

$52500x.07/52=$70 extra bucks added to the eating at home weekly bill plus an additional weekly cost of $13 for energy/maintenance for the kitchen

I will probably never go this route, I love cooking at home but to say its cheaper then eating out at a restaurant is not exactly true.

I understand that this is just a thought exercise, and in that vein, I still think your numbers are so completely off that they cannot substantiate your claim that cooking at home is not cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.  Either that or I am completely misunderstanding what you've done.

Looking at your numbers, the $52500 seems to be the cost of a new kitchen ($30,000) plus the cost you'd save per square foot by not having a dining room ($22500 - figuring 150sqft at $150 per square foot.) 
You multipled that by 0.07 (why?  what is that number?  it's driving me crazy!) and divided by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) to arrive at your figure that a kitchen + dining room = $70 extra per week.

So let's start first with your numbers and then see where we end up.
#1) a kitchen renovation does not need to cost $30k.  A quick 'googling' shows that the average kitchen renovation is $15k-20k, though it is certainly possible to do it for much, much less.  Even with a general contractor doing the work, I'm going to put this at $10k.

#2) you don't have to buy a newly renovated kitchen every year.  Kitchen remodels multiple decades, even if they start looking 'dated' after a while (which can be addressed largely by painting and swapping out cabinet faces every couple decades).  I'm putting the kitchen renovation good for 20 years.  This means the cost of our kitchen remodel costs $500/year or ~$9/week.

#3) the dining room.  This one is a giant red herring.  A "dinning room" is nothing more than a room in your house that you put a dining table, and few chairs and maybe a china hutch.  Don't want a dinning room?  Great!  Swap the table for a desk and make it an office.  Or put doors on and it becomes a bed-room.  Or a game room.  Sorry, you can't add this space to your total.  Don't want the extra space at all?  Buy a home with one fewer bedrooms and then convert the existing "dining room" into a bedroom.

So far... if we accept your annual maintenance costs of $500 (which I still believe is too high) and $250 for added electricity, we come out with this:
($10,000 kitchen) / (20 years * 52 weeks/year) = $9.62 per week.  Add the above maintenance and electricity costs and we're sitting at $24.04 per week.

Unfortunately, this is where the thought-experiment really breaks down.  Others have said "good luck selling a home without a kitchen" and similar statements.  The core of those statements is that when you buy a house, even if you don't use a particular room or feature, it still holds value.  Your kitchen upgrade of $10k - $30,000 can be recouped when you sell the home.  People who care deeply about such things say you can recoup 70-80% of your costs on a kitchen remodel when you sell.  Ignoring opportunity costs, that brings your kitchen renovation costs down to under $3/week.

Then there's the assumption that you must remodel the kitchens just to make them functional.  Why can't you live with what's there? I've lived in some apartments with horribly dated and cheap kitchens, but they all allowed me to cook amazing food.  A stove, a fridge and a sink is all you really need.  Since kitchens in some form are included in almost every house I've ever seen for sale the cost is $0.  Maybe $500 for appliances off craigslist which will last for years.

What about if you're building from scratch?  You suggested you'd include a large 400 sqft outdoor living space and 'enclose it later' if you wanted to sell.  When building from the ground up the cost to install a kitchen is far, far less than a remodel.  Pipes and wires can be installed when it's done throughout the house - the extra "cost" of the kitchen is the materials, which you'd spend if/when you 'enclosed' your outdoor living space later.  I will give you points for reducing your potential taxes with your strategy, but ultimately it will be more expensive to convert an outdoor living space into a kitchen after the fact.  You'll need permits, inspections, walls that will need to be torn-down and insulation put up.
Also - while I love cooking 'al-fresco' (during out kitchen reno we cooked every meal on our grill) - I'm curious what you will do in the winter time.  Cook outside but eat inside in your non-existent dining room?  This might be ok for places like Florida or southern California, ubt it's not exactly warm outside in January in Richmond VA.

All of which brings us to the original question about whether it's cheaper to cook meals at home or eat out all of the time.  The one thing we haven't considered is the cost for eating out vs cooking at home.  To keep things simple, let's go with my higher estimate of $24/week for the cost of a kitchen (which includes a full kitchen renovation and your maintenance and electricty figures, but ignores any resale value), and consider a family of 4.  The per-day cost of a kitchen would be jabout 86 per person per day.
We know there are literally hundreds of good meals that can feed a family of 4 for $10 or less (and under $1 for breakfast).  Adding on our "kitchen cost" this puts each meal per person under $3.36.  Even this is an over-estimation, since the per-day cost would be spread out over the day (e.g. over 3 meals, not just 1).  So - can you eat out consistently for less than $3 per person per dinner?  That seems impossible ot me - at least in the US.


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2015, 07:52:17 AM »

1,2,3) I completely agree, this the same at my own home. Where else could you do homework,science experiments and fix things?
4) I think you are only looking at the items in your kitchen. There are more costs associated with owning a kitchen then the appliances inside it. You have a roof. You have walls that have drywall,wood,insulation,siding,paint and windows. A floor that has vinyl,wood and insulation. You have plumbing lines, high amperage circuits and a ventilation system. You have a heating and cooling system that is bigger to account for that space. A kitchen is the most expensive and complex room in your home to build.
5) As someone who works full time, I don't sit down and have a full meal 3 times a day and if I didn't own a kitchen I probably would not expect to eat out 3 times a day. Fruits, nuts and granola bars are a healthy and cheaper alternative to fast food.
6) Grill out, Sous-vide,crock pot or just eat a raw meal. Why add that extra step of refrigeration when you could just buy the food when you need need it and then cook it.
7) Health impacts are a concern if your area has limited dining options like burger king, in my area there are plenty of places to eat at that have food that is healthy for you. This also gets you out of your house, walking or biking to get to the diner.
4) The $500 you mentioned in the first post was for maintenance/repair, but now you're talking about the structure (walls, plumbing, etc), which is included in the $150/sqft elsewhere.  That sounds like double counting to me.
5) True, your eating habits are different from ours, and it sounds like not having a kitchen wouldn't affect your breakfast at least.
6) You still gotta wash that crock pot.  And your other dishes.
7) True, but apples-to-apples, eating out is going to be less healthy than an equivalent meal you prepare at home, and healthier eating out will also tend to be more expensive as well.

And Ricky is right--grilling out isn't free.  Propane costs money, and will be more expensive than cooking on a gas range indoors.  So that's actually a step back in terms of financial gains.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2015, 08:00:39 AM »
I understand that this is just a thought exercise, and in that vein, I still think your numbers are so completely off that they cannot substantiate your claim that cooking at home is not cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.  Either that or I am completely misunderstanding what you've done.

Looking at your numbers, the $52500 seems to be the cost of a new kitchen ($30,000) plus the cost you'd save per square foot by not having a dining room ($22500 - figuring 150sqft at $150 per square foot.) 
You multipled that by 0.07 (why?  what is that number?  it's driving me crazy!) and divided by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) to arrive at your figure that a kitchen + dining room = $70 extra per week.
I believe the thinking is this:  Take the capital cost x 7% interest/lost returns, % by 52 to get a weekly carrying cost.

Which, in hindsight, isn't right, either.  If you take average market returns of 7% and subtract the 3% interest you'd be paying, the opportunity cost is really only 4%, not 7%.  If it's a renovation, the interest rate would likely be higher, which drives the opportunity cost even lower, if I'm understanding it right.

justajane

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2015, 08:06:54 AM »
IMO, some propositions are just absurd on their face that I'm not sure what the point is in engaging in concrete numbers. 

I'm sure you know this, but you can cook in a crappy looking kitchen for decades and decades. As long as the stove, fridge and sink work, you're golden. My neighbors paid 60K for their house and have lived in it for 20 years. They've never redone the crappy looking kitchen and still cook in it. Enough said. Even if you factor in a place with a HCOL, the numbers will still work out, because food in restaurants will also cost more. Sure, if you want a super fancy kitchen, your argument might hold water, but otherwise, it's silly.

I would make the argument more based on time than on cost, especially if you're factoring in a single person. E.g. a single person who earns 300K and gets paid progressively more for working more, might be able to argue that it is better for him or her financially to eat all their meals out, since cooking and cleaning up take time. But even then, you can't work all the time, and eating in is most certainly better for your waistline.

But your argument about housing costs and remodeling costs is just strange. Maybe you would have done well to have lived in the 1950s. I know my father didn't cook at all in his 20s. He lived in boarding houses of sorts and went to cafeterias and automats for food. He was born in 1939.


Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2015, 08:21:35 AM »

$52500x.07/52=$70 extra bucks added to the eating at home weekly bill plus an additional weekly cost of $13 for energy/maintenance for the kitchen

I will probably never go this route, I love cooking at home but to say its cheaper then eating out at a restaurant is not exactly true.

I understand that this is just a thought exercise, and in that vein, I still think your numbers are so completely off that they cannot substantiate your claim that cooking at home is not cheaper than eating out at a restaurant.  Either that or I am completely misunderstanding what you've done.

Looking at your numbers, the $52500 seems to be the cost of a new kitchen ($30,000) plus the cost you'd save per square foot by not having a dining room ($22500 - figuring 150sqft at $150 per square foot.) 
You multipled that by 0.07 (why?  what is that number?  it's driving me crazy!) and divided by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) to arrive at your figure that a kitchen + dining room = $70 extra per week.

So let's start first with your numbers and then see where we end up.
#1) a kitchen renovation does not need to cost $30k.  A quick 'googling' shows that the average kitchen renovation is $15k-20k, though it is certainly possible to do it for much, much less.  Even with a general contractor doing the work, I'm going to put this at $10k.

#2) you don't have to buy a newly renovated kitchen every year.  Kitchen remodels multiple decades, even if they start looking 'dated' after a while (which can be addressed largely by painting and swapping out cabinet faces every couple decades).  I'm putting the kitchen renovation good for 20 years.  This means the cost of our kitchen remodel costs $500/year or ~$9/week.

#3) the dining room.  This one is a giant red herring.  A "dinning room" is nothing more than a room in your house that you put a dining table, and few chairs and maybe a china hutch.  Don't want a dinning room?  Great!  Swap the table for a desk and make it an office.  Or put doors on and it becomes a bed-room.  Or a game room.  Sorry, you can't add this space to your total.  Don't want the extra space at all?  Buy a home with one fewer bedrooms and then convert the existing "dining room" into a bedroom.

So far... if we accept your annual maintenance costs of $500 (which I still believe is too high) and $250 for added electricity, we come out with this:
($10,000 kitchen) / (20 years * 52 weeks/year) = $9.62 per week.  Add the above maintenance and electricity costs and we're sitting at $24.04 per week.

Unfortunately, this is where the thought-experiment really breaks down.  Others have said "good luck selling a home without a kitchen" and similar statements.  The core of those statements is that when you buy a house, even if you don't use a particular room or feature, it still holds value.  Your kitchen upgrade of $10k - $30,000 can be recouped when you sell the home.  People who care deeply about such things say you can recoup 70-80% of your costs on a kitchen remodel when you sell.  Ignoring opportunity costs, that brings your kitchen renovation costs down to under $3/week.

Then there's the assumption that you must remodel the kitchens just to make them functional.  Why can't you live with what's there? I've lived in some apartments with horribly dated and cheap kitchens, but they all allowed me to cook amazing food.  A stove, a fridge and a sink is all you really need.  Since kitchens in some form are included in almost every house I've ever seen for sale the cost is $0.  Maybe $500 for appliances off craigslist which will last for years.

What about if you're building from scratch?  You suggested you'd include a large 400 sqft outdoor living space and 'enclose it later' if you wanted to sell.  When building from the ground up the cost to install a kitchen is far, far less than a remodel.  Pipes and wires can be installed when it's done throughout the house - the extra "cost" of the kitchen is the materials, which you'd spend if/when you 'enclosed' your outdoor living space later.  I will give you points for reducing your potential taxes with your strategy, but ultimately it will be more expensive to convert an outdoor living space into a kitchen after the fact.  You'll need permits, inspections, walls that will need to be torn-down and insulation put up.
Also - while I love cooking 'al-fresco' (during out kitchen reno we cooked every meal on our grill) - I'm curious what you will do in the winter time.  Cook outside but eat inside in your non-existent dining room?  This might be ok for places like Florida or southern California, ubt it's not exactly warm outside in January in Richmond VA.

All of which brings us to the original question about whether it's cheaper to cook meals at home or eat out all of the time.  The one thing we haven't considered is the cost for eating out vs cooking at home.  To keep things simple, let's go with my higher estimate of $24/week for the cost of a kitchen (which includes a full kitchen renovation and your maintenance and electricty figures, but ignores any resale value), and consider a family of 4.  The per-day cost of a kitchen would be jabout 86 per person per day.
We know there are literally hundreds of good meals that can feed a family of 4 for $10 or less (and under $1 for breakfast).  Adding on our "kitchen cost" this puts each meal per person under $3.36.  Even this is an over-estimation, since the per-day cost would be spread out over the day (e.g. over 3 meals, not just 1).  So - can you eat out consistently for less than $3 per person per dinner?  That seems impossible ot me - at least in the US.

I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home. They take 1500 SQFT of the home 2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,kitchen,living room and a dinging room and rent that part out. Now Kim and Michael have 1000 sqft, they need 2 bedrooms,living room and a bathroom. The 1000 sqft accommodates this perfectly, however lets say they want a Kitchen and somewhere indoors to to dedicate to eating those delicious home cooked meals there going to need a additional 300 sqft. 300 sqft could come from the rental side or you could build it.

If they build it will cost 300x$150 sqft=$45,000 and they need cabinets,appliances,plumbing,higher amperage electrical circuits totaling $7,500.
They remove $52,500 from there vanguard account that earns %7, this is where the weekly $70 comes into play.
Or they remove a bedroom and living space from the rental to accommodate there need for a kitchen and dining space, this would probably be a even bigger hit than $70 per week
This 300 sqft will need a new roof every 15 years,repairs,new paint,new siding every 20 years,new windows every 20 years,new appliances every 15 years, a larger heating/cooling system replaced every 15 years. This is where I came up with $500 a year in maintenance.



Ricky

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2015, 08:35:21 AM »
I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home. They take 1500 SQFT of the home 2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,kitchen,living room and a dinging room and rent that part out. Now Kim and Michael have 1000 sqft, they need 2 bedrooms,living room and a bathroom. The 1000 sqft accommodates this perfectly, however lets say they want a Kitchen and somewhere indoors to to dedicate to eating those delicious home cooked meals there going to need a additional 300 sqft. 300 sqft could come from the rental side or you could build it.

If they build it will cost 300x$150 sqft=$45,000 and they need cabinets,appliances,plumbing,higher amperage electrical circuits totaling $7,500.
They remove $52,500 from there vanguard account that earns %7, this is where the weekly $70 comes into play.
Or they remove a bedroom and living space from the rental to accommodate there need for a kitchen and dining space, this would probably be a even bigger hit than $70 per week
This 300 sqft will need a new roof every 15 years,repairs,new paint,new siding every 20 years,new windows every 20 years,new appliances every 15 years, a larger heating/cooling system replaced every 15 years. This is where I came up with $500 a year in maintenance.

That's a horrible example because 1,250 sq ft is easily enough room for 2br/2ba and a kitchen/etc. You're beginning to compare apples to oranges which deviates entirely from the title of the thread.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2015, 08:46:56 AM »
This whole thread is mind numbingly painful to read =D

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2015, 09:00:15 AM »
I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home. They take 1500 SQFT of the home 2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,kitchen,living room and a dinging room and rent that part out. Now Kim and Michael have 1000 sqft, they need 2 bedrooms,living room and a bathroom. The 1000 sqft accommodates this perfectly, however lets say they want a Kitchen and somewhere indoors to to dedicate to eating those delicious home cooked meals there going to need a additional 300 sqft. 300 sqft could come from the rental side or you could build it.

If they build it will cost 300x$150 sqft=$45,000 and they need cabinets,appliances,plumbing,higher amperage electrical circuits totaling $7,500.
They remove $52,500 from there vanguard account that earns %7, this is where the weekly $70 comes into play.
Or they remove a bedroom and living space from the rental to accommodate there need for a kitchen and dining space, this would probably be a even bigger hit than $70 per week
This 300 sqft will need a new roof every 15 years,repairs,new paint,new siding every 20 years,new windows every 20 years,new appliances every 15 years, a larger heating/cooling system replaced every 15 years. This is where I came up with $500 a year in maintenance.

That's a horrible example because 1,250 sq ft is easily enough room for 2br/2ba and a kitchen/etc. You're beginning to compare apples to oranges which deviates entirely from the title of the thread.

The point I was trying to make is that if there was a scenario where you did not have to pay for kitchen and SQFT required for one, the money saved more then makes up for the cost of eating at a restaurant. Same as buying a home with no yard, but walking across the street to the park.

FatCat

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2015, 09:12:14 AM »
If one were to somehow acquire hypothetical kitchen-less housing, you could add a stove top oven, fridge, and microwave to already existing space for considerably less than $30k. You can take the living space of a hotel room and add a stove top oven, fridge, and microwave. You don't have to add on another room to the house to add kitchen capabilities to a small dwelling. Look at how much space the kitchen area takes up in a small horse trailer with living quarters. There are plenty of micro apartments will full kitchens. If there isn't enough space to add a small kitchen area to your apartment then it's because something else is claiming that space. Then the question would be more like, "What is the value of having a bookshelf and chair here instead of a small kitchen area?"

The dwelling would have to be very very small to actually force you to have to build on an extra room to get kitchen functionality.

Shove some kitchen appliances in a corner, add some plumbing and rewiring, and you're good to go.

http://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/68e159820ffdf650_4147-w422-h639-b0-p0--traditional-kitchen.jpg
http://www.remodelista.com/files/fields/700_1small-kitchen-from-worksted-on-dwell-magazine_0.jpg

pbkmaine

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Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #34 on: September 24, 2015, 09:13:37 AM »
You can do a kitchen for less than $5k. IKEA or ReStore for cabinets, ReStore, Craigslist or scratch and dent for appliances and backsplash, premade laminate countertops from big box stores, peel and stick vinyl tile floors. The amount of money people think they need to spend on kitchens is ridiculous.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 09:31:28 AM by pbkmaine »

Telecaster

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2015, 09:26:43 AM »

I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home.

I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that will issue a certificate of occupancy to a unit with no kitchen. 

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #36 on: September 24, 2015, 09:35:03 AM »

I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home.

I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that will issue a certificate of occupancy to a unit with no kitchen.

Just did a search on certificate of occupancy in regards to a kitchen. Looks like at a minimum a sink would be required in the county where I reside.

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2015, 09:59:11 AM »

I will use a real world example to better explain

Kim and Michael buy a 2500 SQFT home, there county will allow them to convert the single family home into a multi family home. They take 1500 SQFT of the home 2 bedrooms,2 bathrooms,kitchen,living room and a dinging room and rent that part out. Now Kim and Michael have 1000 sqft, they need 2 bedrooms,living room and a bathroom. The 1000 sqft accommodates this perfectly, however lets say they want a Kitchen and somewhere indoors to to dedicate to eating those delicious home cooked meals there going to need a additional 300 sqft. 300 sqft could come from the rental side or you could build it.

If they build it will cost 300x$150 sqft=$45,000 and they need cabinets,appliances,plumbing,higher amperage electrical circuits totaling $7,500.
They remove $52,500 from there vanguard account that earns %7, this is where the weekly $70 comes into play.
Or they remove a bedroom and living space from the rental to accommodate there need for a kitchen and dining space, this would probably be a even bigger hit than $70 per week
This 300 sqft will need a new roof every 15 years,repairs,new paint,new siding every 20 years,new windows every 20 years,new appliances every 15 years, a larger heating/cooling system replaced every 15 years. This is where I came up with $500 a year in maintenance.

Reading this and going back re-reading the thread it seems that the numbers are getting even more absurd.
Let's take your 'real-world' example.
#1) in a 1,000 sqft duplex how would a 300sqft kitchen make any sense?  I live in a 950 sqft house and our incredible kitchen is a touch under 100sqft, which includes a breakfast bar where we can consume all our meals.
#2)  You could certainly spend $45,000 putting on an addition.  Or you could be sensible and reconfigure the existing space.  See Ricky's post for one solution. 
#3) $7500 for appliances, some wiring and plumbing.  Either you're choosing to go high-end, or you are getting ripped off. A nice 8' countertop with cabinets and a sink will set you back about $1500 at IKEA brand new.  A stove and fridge are $1000 on CL. Even brand new you can get these for $1500.  That leaves $4500 for someone to install a few outlets and (admittedly the expensive part) hookups for a sink.
#4) if you put in your addition, you've fundamentally increased the value of your home.  If you're going to be fair you have to deduct this from the cost of 'having a kitchen'.
#5) regarding maintenance - sure there will be some, but your figures seem to be based on putting up an addition.  If you don't build a new room most of the costs you listed (roof, windows, ventilation system, new siding) would need to be done anyway and can't be added to "putting in a kitchen".

I do not doubt that someone can make the cost of putting in a new kitchen far exceed the cost of meals for decades.  But that doesn't mean that it must, or even that it should cost more.  I believe most people would say it's absurd to take a 1000sqft duplex and add a 300sqft addition.  It's also absurd to suggest that you need $30k-45k to put a new kitchen into an existing space, and then claim you need $7500 extra in materials.

It's akin to saying biking 5 miles to work everyday costs more than driving 5 miles, because you need a $5,500 carbon-fiber road bike, $500 for lights, tires and tubes every year, $200 for new biking outfits every season and $60 for bike-shop tuneups ever month.  And oh yes, you need to dedicate a special part of your garage to storing and maintaining your bike, so that adds 100sqft x $150 = $15,000 to the price of bike commuting. Yes, you could absolutely spend more on biking than driving, but you could also do it like the vast majority of people and keep costs in line with your lifestyle.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 10:41:00 AM by nereo »

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #38 on: September 24, 2015, 10:39:24 AM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

This exactly.  My very general observation (where n=my friends and acquaintances) has yielded Spork's Kitchen Anomaly, which states: The amount of money spent on a kitchen is inversely proportional to the amount of actual cooking that takes place there.

People I know with the biggest, nicest kitchens generally just eat out or warm up frozen food in the microwave.  I am sure it tastes fabulous on their imported granite counters, though.

We lived 5 years in an actual shed (for the folks laughing about that in this thread).  We had many a gourmet meal made in a "kitchen" (quotes required!) that was smaller than most closets.  It's not really how I want to live for 40+ years.  But it was an awesome time for the time we were there.


I'm not aware of any jurisdiction that will issue a certificate of occupancy to a unit with no kitchen.

I live in a nice 2400sqft home with no certificate of occupancy.  It never bothered me.  (But it does have a kitchen.)  CoO's are really just for lenders (to make sure they're loaning money on a house that meets code) and for code authorities.  I live in the country and paid cash and didn't require either of those.


nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #39 on: September 24, 2015, 10:47:10 AM »

This exactly.  My very general observation (where n=my friends and acquaintances) has yielded Spork's Kitchen Anomaly, which states: The amount of money spent on a kitchen is inversely proportional to the amount of actual cooking that takes place there.

People I know with the biggest, nicest kitchens generally just eat out or warm up frozen food in the microwave.  I am sure it tastes fabulous on their imported granite counters, though.

That's funny - I see it more as a "bell-shaped curve".  People who never cook either accept an incredibly crappy kitchen (dated galley kitchens with broken appliances) OR they have those magazine-ready kitchens with appliances that have cabinet fronts, "chilling drawers" and seem designed more to impress than be used (heaven forbid you splash 375 oil or get flour onto anything.  Those that cook a lot go the more practical route: midrange appliances on hard-working surfaces with virtually every item being used weekly.
Meh - just my observation... I had thought of this before you came up with your "inverse-proportional rule."  No idea who is right. 

Spork

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2015, 10:49:05 AM »

This exactly.  My very general observation (where n=my friends and acquaintances) has yielded Spork's Kitchen Anomaly, which states: The amount of money spent on a kitchen is inversely proportional to the amount of actual cooking that takes place there.

People I know with the biggest, nicest kitchens generally just eat out or warm up frozen food in the microwave.  I am sure it tastes fabulous on their imported granite counters, though.

That's funny - I see it more as a "bell-shaped curve".  People who never cook either accept an incredibly crappy kitchen (dated galley kitchens with broken appliances) OR they have those magazine-ready kitchens with appliances that have cabinet fronts, "chilling drawers" and seem designed more to impress than be used (heaven forbid you splash 375 oil or get flour onto anything.  Those that cook a lot go the more practical route: midrange appliances on hard-working surfaces with virtually every item being used weekly.
Meh - just my observation... I had thought of this before you came up with your "inverse-proportional rule."  No idea who is right.

But how in the world could I be wrong where n="people I know".  I'm pretty sure that sample size makes me right.  ;)

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2015, 10:54:15 AM »

But how in the world could I be wrong where n="people I know".  I'm pretty sure that sample size makes me right.  ;)
I tried to type "people i know" into systat for sample size but it gave me an error message.

Spork

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2015, 10:58:43 AM »

But how in the world could I be wrong where n="people I know".  I'm pretty sure that sample size makes me right.  ;)
I tried to type "people i know" into systat for sample size but it gave me an error message.

unpossible!

mm1970

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2015, 11:06:57 AM »
My brother and his wife have been cooking in a crappy kitchen for a long time.  My brother is 6'2", and his wife is 5'9", and the prior owners were under 5' tall.  Craziness with the low counters.

Anyway...when we bought our house our kitchen had a single wall of cabinets with a sink, and that's it.  No appliances.  We already had a fridge.  Here's a summary of our appliances, with today's costs:

Hotpoint gas oven: $360 (Home Depot)
Kenmore 20.5 cu foot fridge with freezer on top:  $650 (Sears)
Kenmore built in dishwasher: $450 (Sears)
Range hood: $320

New cabinets (so we could install a dishwasher - the wall of cabinets was only 22" deep, and you need 24"): $500 (my husband made these from scratch, this included drawer slides, etc)
Cabinet fronts (ordered online to match what was already there): $500
Tile: $1000 (because we have good taste in tile I guess)

$3780.

Probably cheaper if you went with Ikea.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2015, 11:10:35 AM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

Sorry I didn't break it down, the $30k is for the sqft cost of the kitchen space 150x$150 per sqft plus the remodel cost. So its only $7,750 for the remodel and $23k is for the 150 sqft to house your kitchen.
Okay well if this is true, where did you get the $52,500 number? I'm pretty sure you got it by adding up $30k and the $150x150 number....

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2015, 11:14:08 AM »
My brother and his wife have been cooking in a crappy kitchen for a long time.  My brother is 6'2", and his wife is 5'9", and the prior owners were under 5' tall.  Craziness with the low counters.
birthday present idea for your brother.  I lived in a 120 year old house in Maine with countertops that were 27" and ceilings that sloped down to about 6'6 over the sink.  I'm 6'5".  The extra few inches made a huge difference for me when chopping/prepping on the low counter tops.

Also - wholeheartedly agree that you could build a completely functional kitchen for just a few thousand. 

Kaplin261

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2015, 11:19:55 AM »
You don't need a $30k kitchen remodel to cook.

That's like saying it's cheaper to take a taxi to work than buy a car, because a new Land Rover Range Rover is $199,495 and buying a new one every three years is expensive. :P

Sorry I didn't break it down, the $30k is for the sqft cost of the kitchen space 150x$150 per sqft plus the remodel cost. So its only $7,750 for the remodel and $23k is for the 150 sqft to house your kitchen.

Okay well if this is true, where did you get the $52,500 number? I'm pretty sure you got it by adding up $30k and the $150x150 number....

Dining Room+Kitchen=300 sqft
This is a average size dining room and kitchen.

Sibley

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2015, 11:33:26 AM »
OP, here's what you need to do.

1. Go to the library.
2. Research what the upper class ate in 17th century England and France (probably other countries, but I'm more familiar with those).
3. Research what kitchens in the 17th century looked like.
4. Realize how incredibly lucky and spoiled we are with refrigeration and electric/gas stoves and ovens.
5. Facepunch yourself for your old, now completely discarded plan.

Bob W

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2015, 11:38:21 AM »
You are correct about all the hidden costs of square footage etc... But still cheaper to eat at home.   You could just go with the eat once per day and only eat raw uncooked foods idea. 

I'm definitely not a foodie as you appear to be.   For me eating = sustenance.   I could live on canned food,  vinegar covered meats and veggies.   No refrigerator required.  No cooking. 

It sounds like you spend a massive amount of time preparing meals.

Go with once a day eating to help with this.  Cook at least 3 meals worth each time and you will have cut your prep time by 70%.

nereo

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Re: Eating at restaurants cheaper then cooking at home?
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2015, 11:56:40 AM »

Dining Room+Kitchen=300 sqft
This is a average size dining room and kitchen.
Perhaps, but it isn't necessary, especially for the sub-divided 2 bedroom duplex you are talking about.
The estimates you are giving are way out of proportion.  Awesome kitchens can be designed in under 100sqft with an eating space, which would fit better in a 2 bedroom duplex.