30 April 2013

Is eating out cheaper than cooking in?

The report from gobankingrates.com raises this question and I am not totally convinced.  The report states;


"The cost of food at home has risen drastically over the past decade. According to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the monthly cost of food for a family four under a low-cost plan has jumped by 38 percent from $601.50 in February 2003 to $830.30 in February 2013.


But is that adjusted for inflation?  
Is the dollar meal good for you, the environment and does it provide funds for a living wage for the restaurant employees?   I think not.  And how many people are still hungry?

Consider the price of food as part of the total household budget.  Back in caveman days, (cavepeople), the average family probably spent 75% of their time (or budget) for food.  Today it is probably 20%.  So food is cheaper today, right?  See this report noting cost of food over time.

Consider this timeline for the US.  Prices vary but it was a simple time....

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