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Cooking at Home vs. Eating Out

Cooking at Home vs. Eating Out

| April 03, 2019

Cooking at Home vs. Eating Out

Who doesn’t like to eat out here in Mooresville, North Carolina? From great options such as Carusos, Epic Chophouse, Kindred in Davidson, and Hello Sailor on Lake Norman. Even if it is once in awhile, most people enjoy to sit back and relax while being catered to. The average American eats out 4.2 times a week. That means as a whole, we eat out between four and five times a week.

We all know there are benefits to cooking at home. You can use healthier ingredients, set portions to a reasonable size, avoid food allergies, and of course you can save money compared to eating out.

But how much is too much?

The average household spends an average of $3,008 per year on dining out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, and according to Nielsen, the total amount of money spent on food “away from home” (vs. at home) has risen 94% since 2003.

The timeless debate of cooking at home vs. eating out is one most like to brush under the rug. Major reasons why some pick a side in the debate are time and convenience, financial reasons, and health reasons. Which side do you pick?


“Eating at a restaurant saves me time,” is far from the truth. The average person does not want to spend more than 20 minutes to prepare a meal; but the typical restaurant turn around time is 45 to 90 minutes. In the Harvard Business Review, researcher Eddie Yoon shares data he’s gathered over two decades in a survey that divided Americans into 3 groups.

  • 15 percent said they love to cook
  • 50 percent said they hate to cook
  • 35 percent are ambivalent about cooking

Its easier than ever not to cook, and majority of people take advantage of that. However, what you save in convenience, you lose in cold, hard cash.


But just how much money do you save by cooking at home? 

On average, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant  than it is to cook at home. you'll save the most on protein-based meals when compared to ordering from a restaurant. Although you will spend more time then ordering delivery from a restaurant, you will get a nutritious and delicious meal for about $4 a person.

Data source: wellio.


People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less, according to new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research.

“When people cook most of their meals at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all – even if they are not trying to lose weight,” says Julia A. Wolfson, MPP, a CLF-Lerner Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and lead author of the study.


Though cooking at home may not be a one-size-fits-all solution due to time and financial restraints, it may be beneficial to those who do not like to cook to take a cooking class or maybe lessons on navigating the grocery store. At the end of the day, the old motto stands; “Everything in moderation, including moderation”- Oscar Wilde.