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Eating Out is Now Cheaper Than Cooking at Home

Couple Cooking at Home
Tom Merton/Getty Images

For years your parents probably told you, “if you want to save some extra money stop eating out so much.” That’s not the case anymore.

Thanks to the way food prices have skyrocketed over the past decade, according to a new study you’re no longer saving money by cooking at home. Eating out costs about the same and in some cases it might even be a little cheaper.

Based on estimates from the USDA, the cost of food for a family of four has gone up 38% since 2003. Back then, it would normally cost $601.50 a month to feed a family. Now it runs anywhere from $830 to $1,257.00.

That works out to be about $28.00 to $42.00 per day.  When you start to talk those prices, you can probably eat cheaper than that at a fast food restaurant.

Couple eating fast food
Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

Just one problem, the subject of eating healthy comes into play.

The research revealed that it’s probably way more healthy for you to eat what you’re cooking at home. You just no longer save the kind of money that you used to by staying in as opposed to dining out each night.

Let’s say you try and make a 10-ounce ribeye steak, soup, salad and a vegetable. According to the study it will end up costing you $2.53 more per person than eating that exact same meal at Outback Steakhouse.

So maybe not owning a single pot or pan and eating out every night isn’t such a bad thing? Who knows, you might save a few bucks along the way. Just be prepared to pack on a few extra pounds too.

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