The cost of eating in versus eating out

Vintage industrial decorated restaurant

Staying in instead of going out has always been the desirable option for those looking to save money. But when it comes to eating in versus eating out, how much do you really save? How does cooking up a meal for yourself match up to eating in a restaurant?

Here, we look at how much it costs to eat the nation’s favourite dishes – both at home and out – in the UK’s 3 largest cities.

What are the UK’s favourite dishes?

In 2014, to celebrate their 25th anniversary, BBC Good Food surveyed 100,000 people on YouGov about their eating habits. Respondents cited the following as being ‘food heaven’ for them:

  1. Roast dinner (43%)
  2. Steak and chips (35%)
  3. Scones, jam and clotted cream (30%)
  4. Apple crumble (29%)
  5. Chocolate brownie (23%)
  6. Lasagne (22%)
  7. Pizza (22%)
  8. Spaghetti bolognese (21%)
  9. Strawberry cheesecake (21%)
  10. Steak and ale pie (20%)

How much does it cost to make the nation’s favourite dishes?

We’ve calculated how much it costs to make the dishes at home, to see what the cost of eating in may be.

We’ve chosen to calculate the costs of ingredients from Tesco, the UK’s leading supermarket with 28.1% of the market share, and the top-rated recipe on BBC Good Food. The total cost is based on the cost to buy all of the ingredients needed.

Roast chicken dinnercredit

Roast dinner (43%)

Recipe: One-pan roast dinner

  • 1½ kg chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 50g softened butter
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 750g potatoes, chopped into roastie size
  • 500g carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Marmite

Total cost: £15.54

Grilled steak and chipscredit

Steak and chips (35%)

Recipe: Steak, chips & quick pepper sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large potato, cut into chunky chips, skin left on
  • 1 fillet steak
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 125ml beef stock
  • 2 heaped tbsp extra thick double cream

Total cost: £8.57

Scones with jam and clotted creamcredit

Scones, jam and clotted cream (30%)

Recipe: Classic scones with jam & clotted cream

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85g butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • Beaten egg, to glaze
  • Jam and clotted cream, to serve

Total cost: £9.23

Apple crumblecredit

Apple crumble (29%)

Recipe: Apple & blackberry crumble

  • 120g plain flour
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 300g Braeburn apple
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 30g demerara sugar
  • 115g blackberries
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Ice cream, to serve

Total cost: £10.53

Chocolated browniescredit

Chocolate brownie (23%)

Recipe: Best-ever brownies

  • 185g unsalted butter
  • 185g best dark chocolate
  • 85g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 275g golden caster sugar

Total cost: £10.34

Plate of lasagnecredit

Lasagne (22%)

Recipe: Lasagne

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot (about 100g/4oz) finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 140g pack Cubetti di Pancetta
  • 500g pack beef mince
  • 500g pack of pork mince or British veal mince
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 500ml red wine
  • 400g dried pasta sheets
  • 50g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1½ litre of milk
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 3 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves
  • 100g butter
  • 100g plain flour
  • Grating of nutmeg

Total cost: £25.38

Stone baked pizza

Pizza (22%)

Recipe: Pizza margherita in 4 easy steps

  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (from a sachet or a tub)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 100ml passata
  • Handful of fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 125g ball mozzarella, sliced
  • Handful of grated or shaved Parmesan
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful of basil leaves (optional)

Total cost: £8.97

Spaghetti bolognaise

Spaghetti bolognaise (21%)

Recipe: The best spaghetti bolognese

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-3 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 500g beef mince
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • Small pack of basil, leaves picked, ¾ finely chopped and the rest left whole for garnish
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • 125ml red wine
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 75g Parmesan, grated, plus extra to serve
  • 400g spaghetti
  • Crusty bread, to serve (optional)

Total cost: £19.29

Strawberry cheesecakecredit

Strawberry cheesecake (21%)

Recipe: Strawberry cheesecake in 4 easy steps

  • 250g digestive biscuit
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 600g soft cheese
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 284ml pot of double cream
  • 400g punnet strawberry, halved
  • 25g icing sugar

Total cost: £9.93

Steak pie and chipscredit

Steak and ale pie (20%)

Recipe: Proper beef, ale & mushroom pie

  • Small handful of dried porcini mushrooms (about 10g)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg braising steak
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 large carrots, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml dark ale
  • 2 beef stock cubes mixed with 400ml boiling water
  • Small bunch each of thyme, bay leaves and parsley, tied together
  • 200g smoked bacon lardons, or chopped rashers
  • 200g chestnut mushroom, halved
  • 650g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g lard or cold butter (or half of each), diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

Total cost: £27.35

Eating out

The nation’s largest cities

In order to determine the cities to examine in this research, we’ve chosen the 3 largest cities by population size, according to Centre for Cities:

  1. London
  2. Birmingham
  3. Manchester

Calculating the cost of eating out

To determine the cost of eating out, we’ll examine the top restaurants and take-aways on TripAdvisor in that city, that sell the dishes.

Included in the list of restaurants is the average price range as specified by TripAdvisor. This will dictate how much it costs to eat out at the top five places in the 3 cities.

Big Ben at sunset

LONDON

Restaurants

  1. Liman Restaurant

Price range: £10-23

  1. The Five Fields

Price range: £55-80

  1. Mr Piadina

Price range: £3-6

  1. Andy’s Greek Taverna

Price range: £15

  1. Typing Room

Price range: £29-£75

Post Box in Birmingham at sunsetcredit

BIRMINGHAM

Restaurants

  1. Adam’s

Price range: £35-£110

  1. The Wilderness

Price range: £50-£100

  1. Original Patty Men

Price range: £7-£12

  1. Wrapchic

Price range: £2-£4

  1. Purnell’s

Price range: £35-£150

Arial view of Manchester at nightcredit

MANCHESTER

Restaurants

  1. Bar San Juan

Price range: £10-£20

  1. Alexandros Greek Restaurant

Price range: £15-£22

  1. Pasha Restaurant

Price range: £3-£12

  1. Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill

Price range: £20-£40

  1. Federal Café and Bar

Price range: £4-£10

This research was created by Oldrids & Downton, who specialise in the sale of dinner sets and other homewares.

[disclosure*]

Site Pizzeria

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Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

We have a wonderful new addition to Todmorden’s culinary & social scene.

Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

Following a few soft launches & dry runs, Site Pizzeria officially opened for business on Friday evening.

Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

We had an early timeslot booked, which gave us the opportunity to take photographs of the restaurant – pristine & untouched.

Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

The décor is perfectly judged – paintwork in shades of grey & cream, industrial touches, an eclectic mix of seating with striking contemporary artwork. There’s a small courtyard at the back, the tables shaded by three beautiful umbrella-shaped plane trees. It will be the perfect place to eat on a hot, sunny day. Winter dining will be a warm, cosy experience too – with a real fire, atmospheric lighting and orange glow from the pizza oven.

Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

We pass the building most days on the way to town centre shops or our antiques centre space – or walking the dog of course. We’ve seen it miraculously transform from a long-disused shop with bedsits above to this wonderful place…

shop-front of Site Pizzeria in Todmorden

…and much of the hard graft done by owners Natalie & Olly themselves. Every time we passed they were digging, sawing, lifting, or hammering. They’ve done a remarkable job.

Site Pizzeria wood-burning stove

And so on to the food – the freshly-made, traditional wood-fired oven pizzas which we love.

Site Pizzeria wood-fired pizza oven

Takeaways or supermarket offerings just can’t replicate the delicious flavours & texture of an authentic pizza.

Site Pizzeria olive and anchovy pizza

We had some delicious olives & spiced nuts as an appetiser – followed by two of the best pizzas we’d ever eaten – all washed down with a lovely bottle of crisp, dry rose wine. Perfect!

Adelle at Site Pizzeria in Todmorden on its opening night

It’s congratulations to Natalie & Olly on what they’ve achieved so far. We wish them every success with their future business and hope to see them there on a regular basis!!

Site Pizzeria food menu

Update: We’ve taken a photo of the Site Pizzeria menu in case you want a preview before you visit! 🙂 Click on the image for a magnified view.

Last of the Summer Wine

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front of Homefirth Vineyard building

I’ve never been a fan of the television series, “Last of the Summer Wine”, I’ve never seen a single episode, but I do know that it was filmed (until its demise last year) in the nearby town of Holmfirth.

view of the Holmfirth Vineyard restaurant & sun terrace

What I didn’t know however, is that there’s AN ACTUAL VINEYARD in Holmfirth! In Yorkshire! Who’d have thought it was possible?!

grapes vines at Holmfirth Vineyard

Holmfirth Vineyard was founded in 2007 – it had previously been a sheep farm, something much more typical of the area.

bar area in the restaurant at Holmfirth Vineyard

I visited for the first time two days ago with my friend Duncan. He took me there for a spot of lunch (and perhaps a glass of wine) in their lovely, light-filled restaurant. The food was lovely – I had a pear & stilton tart with salad and sweet potato chips; Duncan had their Swiss cheese & bacon burger with fat chips – both homemade. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the food when it arrived, but trust me, it was delicious!

Duncan enjoying the sun on the terrace of the Holmfirth Vineyard restaurant

West Yorkshire was (and still is!) having an early spring heatwave – just look at that sky! – so we decided to finish with coffee & cake on their terrace overlooking the grapevines. The panoramic view was stunning!

slices of cheesecake & cups of coffee on the terrace of the Holmfirth Vineyard restaurant

We both plumped for their New York style cheesecake – divine! I had a great afternoon, I’d really love to visit again – next time taking in the tour and wine tasting too – hopefully it was the first, and not the last, of the summer wine!