September 2018: Summary and Observations

Because of the International Broadcast Convention in Amsterdam each September, the month tends to have the most meals out of the home of any month of the year. This year was no exception.

We had excellent food everywhere we went in England (for a personal side trip) and in Amsterdam during the conference time. Thanks to Trip Advisor, which seems to be a more reliable indicator than Yelp in Europe.

The food highlight was our meal at The Latymer, which was our first experience of a Michelin Starred restaurant. At around US$750 for the seven course tasting menu with wine pairings, for too. Obviously such a blow-out meal would skew our averages, so I’ve kept it out of the calculations.

Other highlights were de Kas in Amsterdam, and – local to where were were staying in Jordaan – Dos (small plates), D&A (Hummus/Mid East), de Curtis (Italian), Shahjahan (Indian) and Eatcafe Koevoet (Italian).  Other highlights were Riva (Modern Scandinavian) and Jun (Indonesian).

The averages for this month are slightly skewed as many meals were paid for by others:

  • Lunch prepared at home $2.62 ($2.59 in August)
  • Lunch eaten or purchased outside the home: $12.99 ($9.69)
  • Dinner eaten at home: $5.08 ($5.27)
  • Dinner eaten out: $22.39 ($20.69), excluding The Latymer.

Our lunches at home average in a fairly narrow band and this month is only 3c up on last month. Lunches prepared outside the home are higher because we ate a lot of meals out while traveling and that tends to average higher.

Our most expensive meal was – obviously – the Latymer, but the most expensive ‘normal’ restaurant was Eatcafe Koevoet at $32.87, largely because we – atypically – had both appetizers and their signature ‘desert’ of lemon sorbet, vodka and prosecco, which is not to be missed.

Our most expensive at home meal was the lamb leg chops with eggplant and feta salad for $9.02 per serve. This month’s meals at home are at the lower end of our averages.

Lunches at home cost 20% of the cost of eating food prepared outside the home , while dinners at home cost 23% the average of dinner out this month.

Had we purchased every lunch and prepared none it would have cost us $389.70 per person in September. We actually spent $31.39 for lunches at home plus $220.84 for lunches purchased or eaten out:  $252.23 in total.

Had we purchased every evening meal out and prepared none at home, it would have cost us $671.70 per person. We actually spent $76.17 for dinners at home and $134.33 (excluding The Latymer) for dinners out: $210.50  in total.

We saved $598.67 by preparing and eating most meals at home, plus we have better control over what we eat. What we saved this month by not eating out all the time more than paid for our one-off blow out meal!

Over the month we prepared 10 different recipes for evening meals.

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