September 2017 Summary and Observations

September is historically a travel month. IBC in Amsterdam is an essential stop in our business year, and we often head off on side trips to visit clients and do a little sight seeing. Therefore the absolute amounts we spent on food are a lot higher than when we spend most of the month at home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.47 ($2.72 in August)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.39 ($11.80)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $7.28 ($4.98)
  • Dinner eaten out: $15.05 if averaged with the $5 pizza, otherwise $16.72 ($19.48)

The averages are fairly consistent with previous months. With a variety of lunch and evening meals out, they balance out in the averages.

Our most expensive meals were paid for by someone else (thank you LumaForge and Ronny Courtens), but of those we paid for ourselves Eatcafe Koevoel was one of the two best. The other is Riva (hosted by LumaForge). These were two very different, but excellent meals.

Our favorite restaurant in Amsterdam is Dos, our local near where we stay in Jordaan.

Lunches out tend to be 4-5 times more expensive than those prepared at home, while evening meals run about 2.5 x meals at home, because this month we had two of the most expensive meals we’ve prepared at home: the filet mignon on the 30th.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $281.70 per person in August. We actually spent $22.23 for lunches at home (because of the travel) plus $169.09 for lunches purchased or eaten out: $191.32.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $451.50. We actually spent $123.68 for dinners at home and $105.33 for dinners out: $229.01.

We saved $377.92 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 12 different recipes for evening meals, because we ate out more in Amsterdam.

Sep 30: Supermarket Sushi; Filet Mignon with Melting Sweet Potatoes and Arugula Cherry Tomato Salad


As we haven’t had it for a while, some sushi seemed like a good idea, and Whole Foods has our favorites. At $11.49 per serve it’s not the cheapest sushi in Los Angeles!


We received a pair of filet mignon in our Prather Ranch meat box, and decided to pair them with an arugula and cherry tomato salad with a balsamic dressing and sprinted with feta.

We expected the Melting Sweet Potatoes to be good, and in fairness there’s nothing wrong with the recipe, but the sweet potatoes from Whole Foods were just mealy and ultimately not at all edible.

The filet was more flavorsome than most, probably because it is dry aged.

  • The filet averages out to $14.50 for an 8oz serve
  • The cherry tomatoes were $2.99 and we used half or 75c per serve
  • Arugula adds another 20c per serve
  • The sprinkling of feta adds 15c per serve
  • Balsamic dressing adds 20c per serve
  • The purple sweet potato were $2.79 or $1.40 per serve and were the worst part of the meal, mostly thrown out.

Dinner tonight cost $17.20 per serve, almost certainly our most expensive at home meal, but most of the meal was pretty good, and the steak worth it. (There were two smaller pieces per serve, double what’s in the photo, but one photographed better).