How Much Does It Cost to Eat at Home?

Of course we know that eating at home is much more frugal than eating out. But, have you ever taken the time to actually calculate how much you save. You might be really surprised to know what a huge gap there is between eating out and eating at home.

I’ll use my family as an example. There are five of us here, including one baby in diapers and on mostly mushy food. I’m going to count him as a full member for this example, because I still include his diapers in our grocery bill, which are expensive in themselves. So while my calculation may not be completely accurate, it is probably close.

Currently, we pay about $100 a week for groceries. I am still working on getting that number down, but it has been tough with the increase in food prices. (Still, I know I could do better.) Anyway that adds up to $400 a month. I’ll take that number and divide it by the amount of meals we would consume in a month. Three meals a day times 30 days equals 90 meals.

The calculation looks like this:

$400 divided by 90 = $4.44444.

I’ll round this to $4.44 per meal.

The next step is to divide that figure by the number of people in your household. I have five, as I mentioned above, so this is what my new calculation looks like:

$4.44 divided by 5 = $.88

This means that is costs me 88 cents per person per meal. Now, I know this price must be even less, since I didn’t include snacks in any of these calculations.

On a typical eating out night, we can spend between $30 and $50, and that is with pulling every eating out trick in the book. I’ll take the middle figure of $40. The cost per meal for eating out is almost ten times the cost of eating at home!

Mary Ann Romans also writes for the Computing Blog here at where she shares everything from the latest news on technology to cool downloads and fun websites.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog