Are Restaurant Meal Prices Prohibitive?

As restaurant meal prices continue to rise, more are forced to entertain at home. Food plays an important role in everyday life and dining out is a big part of American culture. But, why do we flock to trendy eateries and spend hundreds of dollars, when we could cook a delicious meal at home. The answer is simple, from the moment we walk through the diner doors we are waited on hand foot and finger. Waiting staff thrust an enticing menu into our hands, we scour the lengthy bill of fare, choose a starter and main course and the rest is history. Invariably, the dining table is covered in pristine white linen, laid with polished stainless steel cutlery and we are on our best behaviour. Our meal is laid in front of us and we are not expected to wash the dishes, so apart from the bill, what do diners have to moan about?

Anniversaries, birthdays and weddings are just some occasions warranting a celebratory meal, but the rising cost of dining out is fast turning us into a nation of scrooges. Do we blow a week’s wages on a gourmet meal, order a takeaway meal or cook a family meal at home?  The idea of dining in a restaurant is appealing; however, the thought of paying the bill is not an attractive proposition. Interestingly enough, facts concerning American eating behaviour states 2015 U.S restaurant industry food and drink sales topped 744 billion dollars. Forty-six million Americans said they spent money in fast food outlets and nineteen million spent their hard-earned cash in restaurants. Experts tell us eating out is cheaper than dining at home, however, just one sneak peek at a number of online menu prices dispels this myth in seconds. But, do glossy restaurant menus live up to expectations?

Grab a few menus to compare prices. Work out the cost of an Indian meal for four, a takeaway pizza for the family, a Chinese banquet for family and friends and compare it to the cost of cooking a meal at home. Yes, you must prepare the food, lay the table, serve the meal and do the dishes, but the cost of making a family meal is not going to break the bank. By all means visit a drive-thru diner occasionally, but don’t forget to air your pots and pans. As the head cook, you can invite family and friends to be commis chefs, but tell them not to expect a tip. Let’s consider the benefits of dining in:

After a glance at restaurant meal prices you will realize eating at home does save money. It doesn’t necessarily save time, but you will make huge financial savings. You will buy the ingredients and know what your family are dining on. Eat out with friends and the calorie controlled diet goes out of the window, cook and eat a nutritious meal at home and you can still follow your weight loss plan. By all means, offer a sweet, stick, calories laden desert, but provide a low calorie pudding too. But, apart from cost, what does eating at home offer that dining out doesn’t?

Seat family and friends around a large dining table, fill them with tasty food and listen to the conversation flow.  No one worries about the cost of the meal and there is not a menu in sight. A family meal is perfect time for bonding, sharing, laughing and spending quality time with loved ones.