Author Topic: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!  (Read 9228 times)

jdoolin

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Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« on: April 15, 2013, 09:01:11 AM »
Here's a doozy that someone brought up to me:

http://www.businessinsider.com/eating-out-might-be-cheaper-than-cooking-2012-9

The headline should be changed to, "Eating Out Might Be Cheaper than Cooking if You Can't Do Math".

martynthewolf

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 10:00:31 AM »
Also, choose meals from the restaurant menu that are stupidly expensive to source the raw ingredients for, unless you can buy in bulk like, I don't know.... a restaurant.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 10:14:49 AM »
Have these people ever set foot in a grocery store?
My bagged lettuce costs $1.50, not $3 or $4. For $2, I get 2 pounds of dried pasta. For $3, enough carrots for 5 meals. Maybe they just buy a package of <product> and throw away any leftovers?

/idiots

Jane

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 10:35:32 AM »
This guy is suggesting someone would cram $1.99 worth of pasta and $3.99 worth of bread sticks into their stomach in one sitting.

Based on this logic, next he'll be writing articles about how eating at restaurants is so much healthier. A serving of restaurant pasta is only a quarter of the calories vs. what you would eat at home! Eat out for all the meals!

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 11:20:12 AM »
Quote
eating right and finding the extra savings that could be had by comparison shopping come with money and time commitments many families can't afford.
Read more: http://money.msn.com/family-money/is-eating-out-cheaper-than-cooking-fiscaltimes.aspx#ixzz2QYM0Ydbi/quote]

Look, we don't have enough time and money to save time and money!  That sentence doesn't make any kind of sense.  Thankfully everyone in the comments also sees what a crock the whole article is.

chatsc

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 11:35:09 AM »
that article is ridiculous.  I don't think I could eat 2.99$ worth of carrots in one meal if I tried...

I wonder what the author thought of this article after he submitted it to his editor.  He could not have been very proud of this piece of work/propaganda....

mpbaker22

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 11:46:37 AM »
$2.99 for mashed potatos!  I get a 10 pound bag for $1.50 ... 20 pounds of mashed potatos in one meal!

$2.79 for rice!  Even the nicer, whole grain brown rice is about 1000 Calories/$.  That comes out to 2700 calories in one meal just in rice!


AnonymousCoward

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 11:56:43 AM »
The "article" is designed to be ridiculous and inflammatory.

BusinessInsider (and bunches of other websites with similar names) exist to post articles with incredible titles that encourage posts to Facebook and forums like this one. Look at the suggested articles in the side bar, look at the full page ad you have to sit through before you get to the article.

Every commercial news source exists to drive eyeballs to advertisements, either with quality content or with garbage. This site doesn't have any brand to protect so they have no reason not to post garbage.

MsSindy

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 11:59:53 AM »
At least we can take comfort in the fact that 99% of the comments also called it a piece of shit journalism, and easily debunked the claim.

I agree with pmallory - it's only purpose is to drive advertising views.

jdoolin

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 12:07:03 PM »
At least we can take comfort in the fact that 99% of the comments also called it a piece of shit journalism, and easily debunked the claim.

I agree with pmallory - it's only purpose is to drive advertising views.

I love the AdBlocker browser extension.  :-)

Jamesqf

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 01:08:10 PM »
Have these people ever set foot in a grocery store?
My bagged lettuce costs $1.50, not $3 or $4. For $2, I get 2 pounds of dried pasta. For $3, enough carrots for 5 meals. Maybe they just buy a package of <product> and throw away any leftovers?

And at that, you must be shopping at the expensive stores :-)  Seriously, pasta runs about 50-60 cents/lb where I do most of my grocery shopping.  Just bought a 25 lb bag of carrots for $7.xx.  (Most of them will go to the horses, but I'll eat a couple of pounds of them.)

sheepstache

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 03:42:21 PM »
Well, I did think the substitution argument was interesting, that groceries are increasing at a more rapid rate than restaurants.  I would imagine in addition to the reasons given that it's a combination of restaurants having higher profit margins and/or being willing to cut into them because their customers are more sensitive to price changes (whereas, if prices go up at the grocery store, what are you gonna do, not eat?).  When food prices went up a lot around 2007 I noticed myself being more willing to pay for, say, expensive truffle chocolates, because they were only two dollars more than bar chocolate. Or more willing to buy avocados because bananas were more expensive--in other words if I'm going to buy the lesser product that I want less, I better be saving a lot of money to compensate for it.  Once I'm saving less money, the motivation diminishes.

And to be fair, unlike a lot of this type of journalism (and what do we call it? Not sensationalism, it's not a large enough scale for that.  Catty journalism?  Debate club moms journalism?  Facebook journalism?), they did cite their sources.  That's how much food from Fresh Direct costs.  And it's in New York City where groceries can be more expensive* (often Fresh Direct is a decent price depending which neighborhood you live in).  Potentially those of you with cheaper grocery prices could also get cheaper restaurant meals but I don't see anybody thinking of that.  And the article even explains that they didn't comparison shop because the second, undefended, prong of their argument is that people don't have enough time to comparison shop.

I mean, yes, the article is ridiculous and is trying to be just stupid enough (but not too stupid) to engage people in the comments and get them to direct other people to it to "get a load of this".  Step 3: profit!  But I do know some people who try to make restaurant food at home so they buy expensive ingredients and then they don't have a plan for what to do with the remainder.  I think the "cooking at home" gospel has been bandied about so much in popular personal finance that people don't understand any of the underpinnings of it and are then disappointed that they don't magically get rich from doing it.

*I am happy when I can get pasta or carrots on sale for .99/lb and even in the 5-pound bag lentils are over $1/lb.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 03:47:04 PM by sheepstache »

Mr Mark

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 05:06:01 PM »
This is going to be taken so uncritically by so many who indeed cannot do maths.

We live a lot in Houston, and here it seems a lot of working class people eat out almost everyday. Restaurants (and apparently we have more per person than most places?) are packed full every day. It's ridiculous. And yet the fresh produce is very cheap, high quality and available everywhere.

Maybe there are 2 classes developing- those who cook and eat real food, and those who eat junk and out almost everyday?


Jamesqf

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 08:58:17 PM »
And the article even explains that they didn't comparison shop because the second, undefended, prong of their argument is that people don't have enough time to comparison shop.

People don't have time to comparison shop, but they do have time to travel to a restaurant, wait for a table, wait for their order to be taken, wait for it to be prepared & served, wait for the check, and travel back home?

simonsez

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 05:34:52 AM »
I like how the flank steak checks in at over $20/lb from the grocery store.  Thank you for the comic relief.

sheepstache

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 06:25:16 AM »
And the article even explains that they didn't comparison shop because the second, undefended, prong of their argument is that people don't have enough time to comparison shop.

People don't have time to comparison shop, but they do have time to travel to a restaurant, wait for a table, wait for their order to be taken, wait for it to be prepared & served, wait for the check, and travel back home?

Like I just said, the 'short on time' argument was undefended.  My point is they were at least stating their assumptions.

It's part of the "but not too stupid" mechanism of generating an article like this.  You wouldn't have gotten the same level of hyena-like mirth and mockery from just posting a list of expensive grocery costs, yet that's the number one thing people are laughing at because it's couched in this apparently serious argument.  Like an idiot monkey trap for smarter monkeys.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 06:35:00 AM by sheepstache »

madgeylou

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 08:15:51 AM »
I like how the flank steak checks in at over $20/lb from the grocery store.  Thank you for the comic relief.

i know, right? and it's not like the cheesecake factory is serving you half of a beautiful organic chicken. they're serving you half of some crazy frankenchicken that came off a sysco truck.

bo_knows

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 08:21:21 AM »
In my first job out of college, there was another new-hire that I worked with that ate out every meal of the day, always.

Even before learning the mustachian ways, I thought that was horrendous.

aclarridge

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 08:33:52 AM »
The article is silly. I think in a perfect world though, it would be true or close to it. Wouldn't it be more efficient if we lived in a society where few people had kitchens or cooking implements, instead there were community kitchens where you could go and eat good food at a reasonable price (due to the bulk buying and cooking). Less overall time and money would be spent on cooking by the society as a whole, since there would be dedicated cooks that made big quantities with bulk ingredients, and nobody else would need to cook. Might work in densely populated areas.

Rollin

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2013, 12:58:12 PM »
"Shopping and preparing meals takes time -- something people simply don't have these days."
 
And if Americans do find a spare hour here or there, they're likely to dedicate it to work so they can earn a little extra income, writes Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America and co-author of the report."

Doesn't the average American watch about 5 hours of TV per day?  Simply can't find the time - What WHAT?!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 07:27:51 AM by Rollin »

mpbaker22

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 11:12:46 AM »
"Shopping and preparing meals takes time -- something people simply don't have these days.
 
And if Americans do find a spare hour here or there, they're likely to dedicate it to work so they can earn a little extra income, writes Neil Dutta, an economist at Bank of America and co-author of the report."

Doesn't the average American watch about 5 hours of TV per day?  Simply can't find the time - What WHAT?!

^^^ THIS.

I fully admit: I enjoy "wasting" time. It might be looking at LOLcats or watching Big Bang Theory, but it's never used as an excuse to not take responsibility for the rest of my life (which includes cooking for myself).

Yes, isn't there actually a lot more spare time than in past generations.  Even things like kids sporting events are still spare time.  300 years ago practically your entire life was dedicated to working.  Now, it's technically only 8 hours a day (for 5 out of 7 days) plus a few hours a week for some people to do cooking and cleaning unless it's outsourced.  Amount of spare time is probably higher than ever before, we're just quickly considering certain events to be required.  Similar to how amount of spare money is higher than ever before, but we consider a new car every 3 years to be required.

napalminator

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2013, 09:36:19 PM »
Olive Garden? Cheesecake Factory?  get bent.

dragoncar

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2013, 10:55:34 PM »
Olive Garden? Cheesecake Factory?  get bent.

^these places make delicious food

MrsPete

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2013, 06:39:41 PM »
The real headline:  If you pick and choose your facts, you can make lies appear to be truth. 

Of course, I could give some examples that prove that eating out or buying is cheaper than making: 

- We went out to lunch last weekend to PF Changs.  Wanting a small meal, I ordered an appetizer-plate of dumplings instead of a real entree.  If you were to buy steaks and baked potatoes to cook at home, you could easily spend more than the cost of that appetizer lunch.  BUT that's not a fair comparison -- it compares a small meal to a large one -- AND to make it work at all you'd probably have to consider JUST the entree (not the beverage and the tip). 

- I've been experimenting lately with homemade condiments.  I made some homemade mustard, and I was distressed to realize that it costs about 4Xs as much as store-brand brown mustard, which I like.  My homemade stuff was better, and it contains no preservatives.  I may or may not continue this venture.  Depends upon how it lasts. 

- My homemade salsa, which I can by the dozens-of-jars, is moderately expensive:  I can buy two large jars of Walmart brand for the cost of one pint of mine.  This is largely because I use fresh limes instead of vinegar as the preservative . . . but it tastes better than the best of the best.  I will always make this homemade! 

But are these isolated examples indicative of the whole?  No. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Dining Out Cheaper than Cooking at Home!
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2013, 08:00:16 PM »
I accept your challenge.