High Average Cost of Dining Out: Learn The Benefits of Cooking at Home

Learn of the average cost of dining out and the substantial savings of home cooking. Dive into the benefits of cooking your own meals, both for your wallet and your health.

In our modern, bustling lives, the allure of restaurants and the convenience of meal delivery services often draw us in. It seems so simple to tap a few buttons and have a meal delivered right to our doorsteps. But pause for a moment and ponder: What’s the real average cost of dining out—not just to our bank accounts but to our health? Home cooking, an age-old tradition, offers substantial benefits in both these areas.

1. The Hidden Expenses of Restaurant Meals

The Hidden Expenses of Restaurant Meals

Counting the Costs:

Eating out or resorting to restaurant delivery might be ideal for special occasions or the occasional treat. Still, it can drain a significant amount of money from your food budget. Restaurants have overheads, labor costs, and a need for profit, all of which get factored into menu prices.

  1. Fast-Food Restaurants: A meal at a fast-food restaurant in the U.S. typically costs between $6 and $15 per person.
  2. Casual Dining Restaurants: For sit-down establishments like chain restaurants, you might spend between $15 and $30 per person, depending on drink selections, appetizers, and dessert.
  3. Fine Dining: At a high-end restaurant, the cost can be substantially higher, often ranging from $50 to $200 or more per person, depending on the restaurant’s prestige, location, and whether it’s a multi-course meal.
  4. Local Eateries: Independently owned cafes, diners, or ethnic food restaurants might have meals ranging from $10 to $40 per person.

Crunching the Numbers:

Various studies, including one by Priceonomics, emphasize the startling difference in the cost of home-cooked food versus restaurant meals. The average cost of eating out can be exorbitant, especially when considering the added costs like the delivery fee. Conversely, planning meals, sticking to a grocery list, and being savvy about grocery prices can lead to substantial savings.

2. Embracing the Home Cooking Revolution

Embracing the Home Cooking Revolution

Making Incremental Changes:

Dive into home cooking gradually. Start with a few healthy meals each week and slowly expand your repertoire. It’s not about a drastic shift, but developing a sustainable habit.

Meal Planning for Success:

The best ways to stick to home cooking involve careful planning. Mapping out your meals till the end of the week, making a grocery list, and scheduling grocery shopping trips can make the process smooth and enjoyable.

The Virtual Grocery Store:

With the rise of online shopping, even grocery shopping has gone digital. This can help you avoid impulse buys, compare grocery store prices, and ensure you get the freshest produce without stepping out.

3. Beyond Savings: Nourishing Your Body and Soul

Nourishing Your Body and Soul

Nutrition on Your Terms:

Home cooking gives you control. Whether it’s catering to food allergies, dietary restrictions, or simply choosing olive oil over butter, you decide what goes into your own meals. This control is pivotal for those who prioritize healthy meals and overall well-being.

Quality Time in the Kitchen:

Home cooking isn’t just about the delicious home-cooked meals. It’s about the memories you make while cooking. Whether you’re trying a top meal kit for the first time or whipping up grandma’s famous chicken salad, the kitchen becomes a space of bonding and learning.

4. Home Cooking: A Joyful Expedition

Home Cooking: A Joyful Expedition

Culinary Explorations:

One of the significant benefits of cooking is the freedom to explore. Whether it’s recreating a steak dinner from your favorite restaurant or experimenting with a new diet, the kitchen is your playground.

A Healthier Tomorrow:

Every time you choose home-cooked food over fast food restaurant, you’re investing in your future health. Plus, dishes made at home tend to be balanced, leading to fewer calories and more nutritious meals.

Saving Today For A Better Tomorrow:

Every meal cooked at home is a step towards cost savings. Over a single month, you’ll be surprised at the amount of money saved—money that could be redirected to a savings account or other investments.


In the long run, the decision to cook at home is multifaceted. It positively impacts your health, strengthens bonds with loved ones, and yes, boosts your bank account due to the high average cost of dining out. So, next time the urge to order hits, remember the broader benefits of cooking at home and choose the healthier, more economical option.