Since this is the first month we’ve kept complete records of food we’ve eaten over a month. The most important observation is that preparing your own food saves a lot of money.
Some simple averages for the month:
- Lunch prepared at home: $3.17
- Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $10.08
- Dinner eaten at home: $5.59
- Dinner eaten out: $12.00
The most expensive meal was the Filet on Jan 7th at $19.95 a serve. Thirteen of our evening meals I would consider ‘restaurant quality’, and the rest were just darned tasty.
We ate dinner in a restaurant only twice during January. We probably ate more lunches out (or purchased) than typical because we’re in the middle of moving from an apartment to a house some 25 minutes away.
Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $312 per person. We actually spent $64 for lunches at home plus $111 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $175.
Had we purchased every dinner out at the same average it would be $252 each, compared with the $162 that it cost. However, one of the two meals was pizza where we all put in a fixed amount which is well below what even pizza and wine would normally have cost. Taking the $16 our meal at Gordon Biersch cost, would take the cost up to $496 per person per month to eat out every night.
That’s just working on the average. Several of the meals we had would have been well over $30 a serve in a restaurant or steakhouse.