Married to the Empire

Monday, June 18, 2007

Is eating out cheaper than cooking?

That's the question posed by MSN Money today. Of course, people quoted in the article cite that it's far less expensive for them to just eat out than to buy groceries.

Um, no. They just don't know how to shop.

I understand being strapped for time when everyone works outside the home. We've been there. But it really takes very little time to look at the weekly grocery ads and look for sales. Stock up when the things you eat go on sale. It's a pretty simple concept. If chicken is cheap this week, buy a lot and put it in the freezer!

Also, it helps to have a plan for a few meals in mind when shopping. Buy what you need, then get out of the store. If you walk through the store throwing whatever strikes your fancy into the cart, then of course, it's going to cost a lot! If something is overpriced, don't buy it, but wait until it goes on sale.

It also helps to spend a little time chopping up veggies or fruits in advance, then they're easy to access when you're strapped for time. It's also less expensive to do your own cutting. Convenience foods are always overpriced, so doing for yourself saves a lot of money. I listen to audio books in the kitchen, so I'm entertained while I work. It makes the whole cooking thing that much more pleasant, and I look forward to it.

Our home-cooked dinners produce leftovers, which mean future lunches. Another way that cooking at home saves money!

I just wish that once in a while, these articles would actually interview people who know how to work their money, instead of people who haven't a clue.


JunkMale said...

I always think of convenience foods like this: you are paying for someone else to do the work for you. So when you buy pre-chopped veggies, you are effectively paying a worker to chop them up for you. You are also paying for any packaging that might have gone into the item at hand. And if you were paying at-cost, it might not be that much more, but things are almost always marked up because people need to make money.

Dana said...

Here, Here! I'm in total agreement!