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In many books and articles about saving money, a common piece of advice about dining out is simply, “Don’t do it.” After all, when you eat out, you’re not just paying for the food – you’re also paying a hefty markup to have it cooked for you and served to you.
According to The Wall Street Journal, to make a profit, a restaurant generally has to charge about four times as much for a dish as it paid for the ingredients. So even if you can’t buy the ingredients as cheaply as the restaurant can, you’re still bound to pay less by doing your own cooking.
From a purely practical standpoint, this advice makes perfect sense – but it’s not much fun. Pretty much everyone has the occasional hectic, stressful day when they come home from work and just can’t face the idea of cooking. At times like that, being able to go out for a nice meal, or even just ordering a pizza, is a welcome relief.