When my husband and I were vacationing in Newport RI over the Labor Day holiday we first stopped at one of our favorite go-to seafood shack restaurants for an early dinner. Thankfully I looked at the menu first before ordering. Our fave treat was a basket of fried clams. The menu said ‘Market Price’ for a small order. When I asked the waiter how much that would be he told me $29.95. The last time we were at this restaurant was pre-pandemic and the basket only cost $10. Calculating that now two of those same baskets would set us up over $60, we left the restaurant. There was nothing on the menu that we thought was value priced.
Longing for seafood we did the next best thing. We went to one of our fave seafood stores and bought the fish raw and cooked it ourselves. For just $30 hubby bought 15 pre-cooked shrimp as a cocktail, one pound of sea bass fillets that hubby pan fried and 2.5 pounds of calamari which we deep fried half and made a seafood marinara sauce over linguini later on in the week.
We also had a hankering for a good burger. Again restaurant prices were insane and out of control. A burger at a pub would set us back $22 per person! Instead we went to a local Aldi and bought $11 of 90/10 chopped beef (enough to yield 10 burgers!) an organic spring salad mix with aged balsamic vinaigrette dressing for $2.49, some farm fresh tomatoes, sautéed onions and sat down to a lovely meal outside on our picnic table.
In other words, it is no longer cost effective to eat out in any restaurant including fast food joints. Their prices are outrageous and so not worth it. The quality and the service just isn’t there anymore IMHO. It’s sad to say the least but for us, our days of eating out are over.
Food prices are up in some categories by as much as 20%. Eggs alone are up 30%. Proteins are sky high. Our solution is to shop carefully, buy mostly what’s on sale, practice portion control and cook at home.