Eating out continuously can put a serious dent in your finances although it doesn’t have to if you keep certain considerations in mind. The key words here are “continuously” and “can.” Whether the trip to the restaurant is for a family or single person, cost is still a factor.
Can the dish be duplicated at home?
Is it possible to make a dish you might order less expensively at home? Consider the fact of what it costs to make several servings of a dish opposed to the cost of one portion. Some restaurant dishes are complex. Unless someone is an excellent cook, these dishes are expensive and time-consuming to cook at home. Granted not all restaurant dishes can be duplicated at home. Some restaurants may use ingredients that may not be available in local stores. For something simple like hamburgers, spaghetti and meatballs, or salads certain grocery, specialty, and health food stores have numerous varieties of choices to make dishes extra special. Of course, some people just want the ambience of eating out and letting someone else cook for them.
How many times a week or month does someone eat out?
If someone eats out for all three meals seven days a week, it’s very expensive. Of course, this is a “worst case scenario.” Although some people just do not have cooking skills and eating out may be their only option. Still, researching choices helps save money. Other people may have the money to eat every meal in a restaurant, but for the average person, this is not an alternative. Using hamburgers as an example, if someone does not want to cook one at home and decides to go for one, the range of prices is from a $1 burger at MacDonald’s to a more expensive burger at places like Go Burger or Hamburger Hamlet. Their $12.50 Napa Valley Burger contains arugula, tomato, goat cheese, roasted garlic and basil pesto on it. Are the ingredients included on this burger available at grocery or specialty stores? Of course, but it’s always nicer having someone else cook a meal. It allows that person to kick back and relax. This person may go out for hamburgers infrequently.
Does a restaurant offer coupons or other deals?
Many restaurants, such as Souplantation, offer coupons for so much off from their salads or meals. Others, like Kabuki Japanese Restaurants, have the Red Mask Club, a frequent diner program, where you earn so many points per meal and when it reaches 500 points, they put $25 on the card. Another smaller Mid-Eastern restaurant, Pita Pita, (and other restaurants do this, too) stamp a card each time you come in for a meal and after so many meals, you get a free one.
Is the recipe offered in a local newspaper?
In many newspapers, such as The Los Angeles Times, someone may write the paper, requesting a recipe for a dish they had at a certain restaurant. The newspaper contacts the restaurant and then will print it in the Wednesday food section. Be aware that recipes, especially from 5-star ones, are quite complex and contain a long list of ingredients. Still, once someone has a recipe, they may make it at home, saving the cost of having only one portion at the establishment. This works well, too, if the restaurant is in another state.
Eating at home may be less expensive, but the cook can also adjust certain ingredients, adapting to a person’s lifestyle or diet. Although restaurants may do this to a certain extent, people with a number of conditions may not be able to eat their favorite dishes. The cost of health is not worth eating at a restaurant.