Dozens of households struggling with the soaring prices in supermarkets have claimed that it actually costs less to get takeout.
Consumers have taken to TikTok in droves to complain that buying ingredients in store is proving to be extortionate.
Sharing their tips on how to pinch the pennies, social media users have been recommending the best curbside restaurants that offer value for money.
Others have also offered tips to make your budget go further and revealed that buying kids’ meals may in fact be the way to go.
Kesira Rogan, known as Keke, is one of the many Americans to point out just how expensive groceries have become
The TikToker, from New York, told her followers she had wanted a steak bowl from the Chipotle but had been trying to save money
The debate has reached fever pitch in recent months after the latest consumer price index report showed that in December inflation for groceries continued to be higher than for restaurants.
Kesira Rogan, known as Keke, is one of the many Americans to point out just how expensive groceries have become.
The TikToker, from New York, told her followers she had wanted a steak bowl from Chipotle but had been trying to save money.
Instead, she tried to recreate her favorite meal at home, but it had actually ended up costing her more than buying the real thing.
‘I really wanted a steak bowl from Chipotle tonight but I’ve been trying to save money, so I was like “you know what, I’m just going to go to the grocery store and get the ingredients to make the steak bowl at home,”‘ she said.
‘So instead of spending $13 on a Chipotle steak bowl, which usually lasts me 2 meals, I bought enough ingredients to make 2 steak bowls at home for $35.’
Keke concluded in the caption: ‘Going out to eat is honestly cheaper these days.’
And dozens of others felt the same about Keke’s revelation.
Dozens of others felt the same about Keke’s revelation – agreeing that it is ‘so expensive to make things at home’
One user wrote: ‘Literally like it’s not even cheaper to make food at home anymore.’
Another added: ‘It’s sad cause eating at home isn’t cheaper than take out anymore.’
And a third said: ‘Unless you eating beans and rice, it’s isn’t cheaper to eat at home.’
But Keke isn’t the only one saving money by dining out.
Angela Carini, from Philadelphia, said that ordering a meal from Cava is cheaper than going to the store.
She also took to the video-sharing platform with a clip, viewed more than 960,000 times, as she sat at her kitchen counter with a bowl of food.
The savvy saver showed her meal to the camera and said: ‘You cannot tell me that taking out food anymore is more expensive than going to the grocery store.
‘I just went to Cava, got a huge bowl – brown rice, feta cheese, all the dips, tomatoes and cucumbers, the tortilla strips, like everything, even got the little pittas on the side – all of this was $14 and I’m getting full so this is all going to be tomorrow.’
Angela Carini, from Philadelphia, said that ordering a meal from Cava is cheaper than going to the store
The savvy saver showed her meal to the camera and said: ‘You cannot tell me that taking out food anymore is more expensive than going to the grocery store’
She concluded: ‘So essentially two meals for 14 bucks – so $7 a meal. Why am I going to the grocery store anymore?’
Angela was also met with a ground swell of opinion in the comments.
One wrote: ‘Buying the ingredients alone would be expensive. People claim you can buy in bulk but most produce doesn’t last more than a few days.’
Another commented: ‘Yeah buying all of the ingredients to make the same thing would cost so much more.’
And Cava itself replied to the clip to say: ‘When the math is mathin’ [sic].’
Aside from the comparison videos, TikTok users such as Ashley, who uses handle @thedisneygirlie, have revealed other tips to make the money go even further.
Angela was also met with a ground swell of opinions in the comments
In one of her clips, which has so far been viewed more than 310,000 times, Ashley revealed the ‘best hack’ for budget meals was to buy the kids’ option.
She showed off her plate that featured chicken, rice, a side of broccoli cheese casserole and a drink from Cheddar’s that cost $6.49 before tax.
Ashley wrote: ‘POV: a child free adult is dismantling capitalism by ordering curb-side kids meals 5 days a week bc it’s cheaper than groceries, $2 more than fast food, the portions are more than enough and the drink comes with it.’
In another budgeting insight Ashley revealed that, in her experience, the best value places to buy the kids’ option included Longhorn, Olive Garden, Noodles & Company, Cava, and Jason’s Deli.
Ashley, who uses handle @thedisneygirlie on TikTok, is one of the many Americans who are opting to ditch the grocery aisles altogether in order to save
In one of her clips, she showed off her plate that featured chicken, rice, a side and a drink from Cheddar’s that cost $6.49 before tax
The discussion around the cost of groceries has reached fever pitch in recent months.
The latest consumer price index report showed that in December, inflation for groceries continued to be higher than for restaurants, with food at home rising 11.8 percent, and food away from home rising 8.3 percent.
Inflation rates for groceries hit a 40-year high of 13.5 percent in August last year.
Driving the steep increases are rising energy and commodity prices, due to lingering effects from pandemic supply chain disruptions, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent world wheat prices soaring.
On top of that, an avian flu outbreak has sharply curtailed the national supply of eggs, sending prices soaring in 2022.
Food price increases slowed down in December, but still rose uncomfortably quickly at 10.4 percent above a year ago, federal data show
The national average price for a dozen grade A, large eggs soared to $4.25 in December – spiking by almost 140 percent from $1.79 in the same month a year earlier
The national average price for a dozen grade A, large eggs soared to $4.25 in December – up nearly 140 percent from $1.79 one year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More than 43 million of the 58 million birds slaughtered over the past year to control the virus outbreak have been egg-laying chickens, including some farms with more than a million birds apiece in major egg-producing states like Iowa.
Wholesale egg prices have fallen somewhat in recent weeks, following the holiday baking surge, though it remains to be seen how much of that relief will translate to lower consumer prices.
December’s overall annual inflation rate of 6.5 percent marked the slowest annual pace for price increases since October 2021, and the sixth straight month of declining overall annual inflation rates from June’s peak of 9.1 percent.
Take out vs eating at home: Breakdown of costs
Chipotle Steak Bowl: $13
Average cost of ingredients: $14.95
- Steak $5.39
- Rice $0.88
- Bell pepper $0.86
- Guacamole $2.98
- Salsa $2.12
- Sour cream $1.16
- Pinto beans $0.78
- Onion $0.78
Cava salad bowl: $14
Average cost of ingredients: $17.76
- Brown rice $0.88
- Feta cheese $2.88
- Guacamole $2.98
- Salsa $2.12
- Sour cream $1.16
- Tomatoes $3.48
- Cucumbers $0.68
- Tortilla strips: $1.34
- Pitta: $2.24
- Brown rice $0.88
Cheddar’s Kids’ Meal: $6.49
Average cost of ingredients: $10.74
- Chicken $5.21
- Rice: $0.88
- Broccoli: $1.29
- Cheese: $2.22
- Lemonade: $1.14
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