Dining out vs. dining in

Anna Duszkiewicz

Students: cooking saves money, going out more fun

LAURA TORCHIA | THE DAILY KENT STATER Caroline Pinney, of Wadsworth, stops at Taco Tonto’s for lunch. Cooking is not a priority for Pinney, who prefers to have someone else do the cooking and cleaning up.

Credit: Adam Griffiths

It may not seem like a difficult decision: Sit down, order a meal and have it brought out without having to prepare food or clean up afterward.

For many people, eating out is all about convenience. Being able to socialize and relax while one’s food is prepared is easier than slaving over an oven.

“There’s a huge convenience factor in eating out,” said Paul Dawson, assistant professor of finance in the College of Business Administration. “Eating out is a pleasure.”

While it may be convenient and enjoyable, making dining out a habit can be costly for college students with strained budgets.

Though students with dining plans may not be concerned with food money, students without dining plans must decide whether to spend their money at grocery stores or restaurants.

Freshman exploratory major Kelly Brogan plans on cooking more often than going out once she has her own place.

“It would be a lot cheaper,” she said. “I could make a big portion and eat leftovers for a few days. I think it’s a better value.”

Bridget Lander, sophomore art education major, said she would rather stay in to save money, but going out is a lot of fun.

“It’s kind of worth the price,” she said. “I realize that it costs more, but at the same time I think you only live once, so you might as well have fun.”

Ronald Stolle, finance instructor in the College of Business Administration, said the decision of whether to eat in or out is a personal choice.

“It’s not so much a question of money, but of time and social activities,” he said. “If someone wants to save money, he can definitely do so by eating in.”

Freshman exploratory major Wynter Pizzaro said she buys groceries once a week and plans her other meals accordingly.

“It is more convenient to go out, but it’s easier for me to cook because it helps me save money,” she said.

Rabindra Bajrachakya, second- year physics graduate student, said he generally cooks in his apartment rather than going out. “It’s not as costly,” he said. “It’s a good way to save your money.”

He said hygiene and nutrition played a part in his choice.

“When I first came here from Nepal, I could not adapt to American food,” he said. “I had stomach problems for about three or four months. I’ve been healthy since I started cooking (for) myself.”

Stolle said off-campus students can save time and money by making their own meals.

“Every time you run out for fast food, that’s taking time and energy,” he said. “If you’ve got it at your home, you can just put it together quickly and usually save quite a bit of money.”

Bajrachakya agreed: “It saves money. A lot of money.”

Contact features correspondent Anna Duszkiewicz at [email protected].