Thanksgiving: Cheaper to dine out or eat in?

You'll probably weigh more after a Thanksgiving feast, but there's no reason your wallet has to weigh a lot less. Where do you want to eat -- and how much do you want to spend?

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56Comments
Nov 14, 2013 4:32PM
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When you prepare it at home you are creating family traditions.The family can together to cook and entertain at home. And let's not forget about the leftovers, I see that it wasn't factored in to the cost of the per person price.
Nov 15, 2013 1:49AM
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Bull sh!t. 13.20 a person at home doesn't take into account the leftovers and turkey soup that feed your family for much of the next week. And the figures they come up with are absurd. $10 bucks to make mashed potatoes??? I can buy a 10 lb bag of potatoes for 2 bucks, another 2 bucks for a pound of butter and 4 bucks for a gallon of milk, That's only 8 bucks and it would make enough mashed potatoes to feed 2 dozen people with half of the milk and butter left over for other dishes.

Nov 15, 2013 2:27AM
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I've seen other articles like this that seem to grossly overestimate the cost of cooking at home and grossly underestimate the cost of ordering or eating out.  Either the people who write these articles are shills for the prepared food industry or they are woefully ignorant on the subject of home cooking.  $15.00 to make a pumpkin pie?  $10.00 for mashed potatoes?  Where do they get this nonsense?  Are these people really that stupid?  Or do they think we are?



Nov 14, 2013 10:40PM
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Oh no, you can't dine out then all of those poor souls who will be waiting your table will not be able to spend time with their families!!  Where are all of those who denounce the stores opening early on Thanksgiving?  I guess it is ok to dine out but not shop.  Really?  Can't you do both with your family?

Nov 14, 2013 10:47PM
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$9 dollars per person as reported by the writer for a thanksgiving dinner, she is obviously going to mcdonalds for her meal at that cost...to eat out at a restaurant is gonna run you a tad more than $9 oer person..i'm thinking like $25 on the low end...
Nov 15, 2013 7:42AM
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This site just did an article on how stores are ruining Thanksgiving and now this article 'dine out or eat in'.   According to the article about how terrible people are to be out shopping on Thanksgiving day, don't you think it is just as terrible to be dining out on Thanksgiving and forcing workers to have to work on Thanksgiving.  Make up your minds.  It's ok for one but not the other.  It's ok for folks to serve you food, you don't mind screwing up their holiday but its not ok for someone to go shopping.
Nov 14, 2013 11:36PM
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Apples to apples and oranges to oranges, it's always less to eat at home.  However, who beside grandmas who know how to cook anymore?  And, there are going to be a lot of disappointed grandmothers this year, who go to the time and effort to cook a nice meal, only to have relatives "gobble" everything down in order to run to the nearest mall. 
Nov 15, 2013 9:56AM
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$15 to make pumpkin pie at home?!? Does that include hiring a farmhand to grow the pumpkin for you?? $10 for mashed potatoes.... who comes up with these figures?

 

Nov 15, 2013 9:12AM
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I'd prefer to eat at home with family but sadly as we get older it is difficult to duplicate the Thanksgiving tradition of the past.  For example my wife's 8 siblings and their families would get together at my in-laws when our kids were of minor age.  As the kids became adults and created families of their own the kids had to split Thanksgiving time with their own spouse's family.  Also, as the kids became adults and got jobs they moved away and in some cases far, far away.  The passing of the matriarchs and patriarchs of the family also is a contributing factor.  Since my in-laws have passed my wife and her siblings have shared fewer and fewer holidays where they all get together.  Many times jobs keep families from getting together for Thanksgiving.  Nowadays many people actually work on Thanksgiving day.  Sadly traditions such as family Thanksgiving meals are fading away.  What can we expect when Christmas sales and Santa coming to malls happen the first week of November.
Nov 15, 2013 6:54AM
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One "Hungry Man" TV dinner for $2.50. That is what I will spend for my T-Day dinner. Seven minutes prep. time. Peace.
Nov 15, 2013 7:59AM
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Eat out?  Listen to someone else's screaming, badly behaved children?  Don't think so!
Nov 14, 2013 11:20PM
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All costs are not considered.  As it mentions, tax and tips at the restaurant.  Also, the costs of getting to and from the restaurant.   The cost of employees having to miss their holiday to serve you, as another poster stated.  How about the cost of that employee missing a fantastic paying work day that they desperately needed if the restaurant closed that day?  So, all in all, the cost is not vastly different not matter which way you go.   Do what makes the best holiday for you and those you love!

 

Nov 15, 2013 9:54AM
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This is my 55th year of Thanksgiving with the same people.  Eight - Ten people attending with whom I have had every Thanksgiving that either they have or I have been alive.  Years spent with the remaining 20 or so people is between 15 and 54 years together. No one misses it.....ever....no matter how far away.  The last remaining holiday that's only about sharing time and a meal with your family and friends without presents and the horrible money grubbing holiday commercials.  The last vestige of real America.
Nov 15, 2013 11:30AM
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Went out for Thanksgiving last year just to make my mother happy. Will never ever do it again.
Nov 15, 2013 11:00AM
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As tough as times are, there is no price tag I could put on the memories of waking up to the smell of turkey already in the oven & watching the Thanksgiving Day parade as a kid. These are the little things I want to pass down to my daughter. Getting family and friends together is what I love most about the holiday. But since the article was about price, which for a home cooked meal seemed out of control, it did not factor in the leftovers and all the meals you get out of it for a week or more to come. Turkey salad, turkey soup, quiches if you have ham, casseroles, etc..... It is a no brainer for me.
Nov 15, 2013 11:41AM
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I serve up thanksgiving dinner to 30-35 family members for about $3.00 per person. That includes turkey, roast pork, sausage dressing and 6-8 sides. Family brings the wine and the pies and some snacks.  You can buy a turkey for 50 cents lb on sale. boneless pork loin 1.50 lb. 10 lbs of pork $15, 30-40 lbs of turkey , $15-20 . Been doing it for 20 yrs and love it. Could list all the sides with cost but you get the idea. The most expensive thing is the fried onions for the green bean casserole. Cook the meats the day before and carve up and put in pans to warm up in. Pore some of the juice from roasting over the meat. Cover in foil, guaranteed to be moist and tender. Makes that day run smoother and no mess, plus uncle ted carving the turkey is overrated.
Nov 15, 2013 9:04AM
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its cheaper to make it yourself because you want to feel proud of yourself and who wants to eat out where all the crazy noises are out. And the flavor homemade is awesome but already cooked its good but nothing beat anything than your mom or grandma make the Thanksgiving dinner. and Your bill will be less when you go and buy stuff at the store vs eating out, where your bill be sky high for the number of family members you have. 
Nov 15, 2013 10:39AM
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The one and only time I spent a holiday in a restaurant, I felt SO GUILTY watching the staff work, it ruined the meal.  We rushed through it and beat it out of there.  There were no dishes to do, but there was also no sitting at the table telling stories, no lingering over coffee, just back out into the cold and the family scattered. 

Interesting how this article is slanted as cost effective vs the retailers greed for working on the same day!


Nov 15, 2013 12:20AM
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$15 to make a pumpkin pie? I suppose if one has to buy all new supplies (flour, sugar, spices) it could add up to that, but not if one has basics in stock or will use the excess for other projects. And $5 supermarket pies aren't very good...a decent pie from a bakery runs more like $10.
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