This week we welcome guest blogger Erica Quinn, with a look at the costs of eating out versus cooking at home
Whether you’re just going for a quick burger or want a more family-oriented atmosphere at a fine local restaurant, everyone loves a great dining out experience. You may not realize how much those occasional trips out really cost you, however.
Keeping your dollars local benefits everyone, but saving money benefits your family even more directly. A visit to the local farmers' market can provide you with not only a substantial savings when planning your budget, it also offers fresher, locally-sourced produce for your table. The health benefits of locally-sourced food have been extensively researched, but local markets are in a constant struggle with big-dollar advertising to make people aware of this fact.
The costs of eating healthy rise by the year, but not nearly as quickly as the costs of dining out. Cooking at home with fresh, local food can help you put aside a few extra dollars every month, whether for a rainy day or to build your investment portfolio. That meal out on the town can cost more than three times what a good, healthy meal cooked at home would.
Of course, sometimes you’re out for an occasion that deserves a bit of indulgence. Other days, a hectic life makes dining out a necessity, not a luxury. The experience dining at home can be just as rewarding, and easier on both your pocketbook and the fit of your pants, however. Few things help build that strong family bond like sitting down at the end of a long day, enjoying a home-cooked meal with the people you love. Saving money, eating fresh, local food, and enjoying some bonding time with those closest to you will pay off in more ways than one.
Check out this infographic and see how much eating out actually costs you versus cooking at home.