December 2017 Summary and Observations

December was largely free of major events, and we spent the month at home.

The averages for this month:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.33 ($2.23 in November)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $9.75 ($7.83)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $7.29 ($7.01)
  • Dinner eaten out: $14.00 ($12.28)

The averages are fairly consistent with previous months, with some averages slightly higher, some lower. There has been a slow trend for our evening meals to be a little more  expensive on average, partly because we use mostly Prather Ranch dry aged meat, which is definitely more expensive than supermarket, although comparable to dry aged meat at Whole Foods.

Our most expensive meal was the Aussie style Cobb Salad at home for $14.72. Our most expensive meal out was $14.00 at Krua Thai.

Lunches out tend were over 4x times more expensive than those prepared at home, while evening meals run about 1.5 x meals at home.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $305.25 per person in August. We actually spent $46.88 for lunches at home plus $62.64 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $109.52

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $586.8. We actually spent $189.16 for dinners at home and $24.56 for dinners out: $213.72.

We saved $568.81 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat.

Over the month we prepared 22 (again) different recipes for evening meals.

Dec 31: Soup; Prime Rib with Sweet Potato Horseradish Mash and Green Bean Almandine


For lunch we finished the split pea soup we had in the refrigerator, and a serve of chicken and wild rice soup.

Lunch today cost $1.85 per serve.


A small New Year’s Eve celebration with the two of us, a prime rib and some sparkling red wine!

We slow cooked the prime rib then gave it a hard reheat just before serving that gave us a nice crust, while inside it was cooked rare. We paired it with mashed sweet potato – the Japanese white variety that isn’t as sweet – with horseradish and sour cream, and green beans with more of the truffled almonds from Christmas night.

  • Over three pounds of prime rib cost $39.69 and we’ll get five very, very generous serves (or they will be subdivided) for $7.94 per 11 oz serve
  • The sweet potato was $2.89 or $1.45 per serve
  • Sour cream is $2.49 and we used 1/4 in the mash, or 63c per serve
  • The green beans were $2.99 or $1.50 per serve
  • A jar of gravy was $1.79 or 90c per serve
  • Add 30c for horseradish
  • Add 55c for the truffled almonds.

Our New Year’s Eve dinner was classic and cost $13.27 per serve, which is cheap compared with a steak house, and we didn’t have to dress up or drive!