Are you thinking of going out for dinner tonight? You might just save yourself some "dough" if you do.
A new study by GoBankingRates.com found that with rising food costs, the low prices of fast food value menus and special offers from restaurants makes it cheaper to eat out than to cook at home.
The cost of feeding a family of four has risen from $601.50 in February 2003 to $830.30 in February 2013, a 38 percent increase in ten years, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
“When comparing the cost of a 10 oz. rib-eye dinner (with soup, salad and asparagus) from Outback Steakhouse with that of the homemade version, Outback was $2.53 cheaper,” notes GoBankingRates expert contributor, Stacey Bumpus. “And comparing seafood Alfredo (with unlimited salad and breadsticks) at Olive Garden to making it at home, Olive Garden was $3.79 cheaper.”
Bumpus says that growing up, she was taught to prepare food at home because it was the cheaper alternative to eating out.
“A few decades later, however, it appears that parents are no longer saving money by cooking at home,” says Bumpus. “With fast food restaurants continuously adding value menus and grocery costs rising, dining out for many families has become the financial preference.”
Bumpus notes that homecooked meals are often more nutritious and healthful than the items you'll find on a dollar menu but eating out can save you time and, apparently, money too.