Friday, February 20, 2009

10 Reasons to Feel Good About Not Being Able to Afford to Eat Out

We all know cooking from scratch is the healthiest and the most nutritious, moreover eating at home is always more affordable than eating out. In this economy many who were able to eat out no longer have the luxury. So to cheer you up here is a list of reasons to feel great about skipping the restaurant meals and offering your family healthier options at home:

1. Daily specials are often dishes prepared specifically to get rid of ingredients nearing the end of its shelf life or left over from previous days.

2. There are almost never any sick days in the restaurant business. A busboy with a child to support is not going to stay home and miss out on $100 because he‘s got strep throat. 58% of salaried New York City restaurant workers reported going to work when sick; the number is even higher for those without benefits.

3. You are pretty much guaranteed monosodium glutamate in your order.

4. Widespread use of preservatives in order to prolong shelf life of food.

5. The compliance capacity of many restaurants toward health department regulations is slim, barely making minimums.

6. Typical super-sized meals are of unhealthy proportions, and you are more likely to eat it all considering what you pay.

7. You usually don't know where your food comes from.

8. Kitchens and preparation surfaces are often cleaned with harsh chemicals before your food is prepared there.

9. You have about a 50/50 shot at the fish you ordered actually being what it is stated as in the menu (based on lab results from restaurants in 24 U. S. cities). More expensive fish is substituted with cheaper alternatives to maximize profits.

10. Restaurants mark up all meals to average the profits at about 60% and although a lot of it goes for expenses, do you really want to pay a 30 - 40% markup on the meal you could have prepared yourself?

Of course these things do not apply to all restaurants, there are many where food is locally sourced and fresh or some that even go as far as all organic ingredients and grass-fed meats. The above applies to most frequented chain restaurants and the like. Upscale restaurants with world renowned chefs and $100 entrees are less likely to have any of the above apply to them, but not immune - what are the chances of me dining there? Pretty much none...


  1. Great points! There seem to be so many great reasons to skip the big restaurant bill. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I agree, although sometimes i feel like i will eat something that's been prepared by someone else rather me cooking. Although im very picky about going out to eat.
    One thing i can't recreate is sushi with raw fish, i never got sick yet from eating it and i would every day if we could afford it.

  3. Luda, I love sushi too! I haven't eaten any real sushi though in over two years! I am really picky too. When we go out there is really only two places we go (Not Your Average Joe's and Flatbread Pizza Co.). The first we love because they can do anything you want, change sides, omit ingredients, even make something that's not on the menu. They also buy some ingredients locally and the food is amazing. The latter is an all organic place with surprisingly good prices. We go there about twice a year.


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