Price of Average Restaurant Meal Jumps

Price of Average Restaurant Meal Jumps Photo (cc) by pixonomy

Americans started spending more money eating out than they do on groceries for the first time this spring. But with prices like these, the trend might not last long.

The price of a meal prepared by a restaurant jumped 3 percent in May compared with one year prior, according to Bloomberg Business’ analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The price of a home-cooked meal, on the other hand, increased by a more modest 0.6 percent over the same period. The cost of eating at home has not compared so favorably with the price of eating out since 2010.

Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, tells Bloomberg that if this trend lingers — as was the case from May 2012 to April 2014 — there could be a “backlash” from consumers who decide to eat out less often.

Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial in Detroit, agrees. He tells Bloomberg that eating at home could become “more entrenched” despite the convenience of dining out, because many consumers constantly evaluate how to make the most of their money.

If Americans stop dining out so frequently, it would be bad news for restaurants but could bring good news for our wallets and waistlines.

A study out of the University of Illinois earlier this month found that eating at sit-down restaurants can lead to consuming more calories, fat and sodium than eating at home or even at fast-food chains. (To learn more, check out “Full-Service Restaurants Can Be Worse for Health Than Fast Food.”)

Have you noticed the increase in prices at restaurants? Will it affect how often you choose to eat out? Share your thoughts in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Popular Articles

6 Tips to Age-Proof Your Resume
6 Tips to Age-Proof Your Resume

Finding a job isn’t easy — and it sometimes feels like too much experience actually counts against you. These tips will help.

9 Types of Retirement Income That Are Tax-Free
9 Types of Retirement Income That Are Tax-Free

Believe it or not, there are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

9 Expensive Cleaning Supplies You Can Easily Make for Pennies
9 Expensive Cleaning Supplies You Can Easily Make for Pennies

Find out how you can replace these overpriced cleaning supplies for just a few cents.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


968 Active Deals

More Deals