It's no secret that cooking meals at home instead of going out to eat at a restaurant or even ordering in can save you money. Unfortunately, busy schedules and the allure of having someone else cook for you can make it easy to forgo your budget for takeout. If you've lost the will the cook most of your meals from scratch (we hear you!), new data from meal planning service Wellio on exactly how much money you can save by cooking at home may be enough to make you delete your favorite delivery apps from your phone.
Cost of Cooking vs. Takeout
According to a cost comparison of home cooking versus restaurant delivered meals, Wellio found that, on average, you can save around $16 per meal by cooking at home. That means if you cook just one meal at home a week that you would normally buy from a restaurant, you could save $832 a year.
Wellio analyzed data from millions of recipes broken down into single ingredients that were then matched to grocery items from local stores. It chose 86 popular dinner recipes, from beef Wellington to chicken tacos, and found the average cost per serving of cooking from scratch compared to the average cost per serving of ordering from a restaurant or using a meal kit delivery service.
To determine the cost of ordering food from a restaurant, Wellio found menu prices for popular chains like Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's and added an average $5 delivery fee based on the cost of services like UberEats and Grubhub. Then it took the average price of a meal from a typical meal kit bundle price and added $2.50 per meal to account for a delivery fee.
Wellio found that the average price of a meal delivered from a restaurant is $20.37, the cost of dinner made from a meal kit is $12.53, and a serving of a home-cooked meal is just $4.31. Based on their findings, a meal from a restaurant is five times more expensive than cooking dinner from scratch at home.
The study determined that cooking dishes containing meat at home will save you the most money compared to ordering in from a restaurant. Additionally, if you're cooking a meal that calls for ingredients like flour, cheese, and pasta, avoid using a meal kit, as these items are very inexpensive to buy from the market.
If you've been struggling to find the motivation to cook meals at home, keep these findings in mind and consider what you could do with all the money saved by not ordering in. Perhaps another vacation is in the cards after all.