The best financial decision you can probably make in life is to commit to cooking at home as much as possible.
The average American spends hundreds or thousands of dollars annually in restaurants and on takeout food.
But the reality is that we know we are being massively overcharged whenever we buy meals or drinks outside of the home.
Restaurants, bars, diners, food trucks, and coffee shops always dramatically mark up the price of their menu items to mitigate the costs of labor, rent, and inventory. And many mark up their prices just because they can.
Some food and beverage establishments are known for marking up their items by as much as 1,000% — or more.
No one is suggesting that you never go out to eat again. But you will save a lot of money in your lifetime by shopping at supermarkets and cooking more meals at home.
Need some convincing? Here are four of the most marked-up food items in restaurants.
Pizza is an ancient food that was probably just as delicious hundreds of years ago as it is now. It is no wonder why people are always willing to pay for pizza wherever they can find it.
A regular-sized meat pizza pie probably costs less than $2 to make from home. An average regular-sized meat pizza pie costs about $14 retail, and usually more depending on the establishment.
That means the average pizza is marked up over 600%.
The art of cooking eggs is not as difficult as advertised. It just takes practice to perfect.
And the average dozen of eggs at your local supermarket is probably less than $2.
An omelet with cheese, veggies, and some sausage or ham will cost anywhere between $7 to $10.
Who doesn’t like eating pancakes at a favorite diner?
While eating breakfast in a restaurant is a convenience, you’re getting ripped off.
You are going to pay anywhere between $7 to $10 for pancakes in a restaurant. Yet the ingredients the restaurant used to make three pancakes from flour, butter, milk, and sugar probably cost less than $1, and perhaps less than that.
Soda is not healthy and full of sugar, but Americans love it.
If you are over 30 then you may have remembered the scandalous Soda Wars of the 1980s and 1990s between Coca-Cola and Pepsi. People personally aligned themselves with a soda brand as if it was a religious or political party.
If you are that serious about your soda, then you can save a lot of money by strictly buying retail.
The average can of soda costs less than 50 cents. Generic soda, which is made with the same ingredients, is even cheaper.
The soda you buy in a restaurant is marked up by over 1,100%. The smallest-sized cup of soda in a fast-food restaurant will cost $1 or more.