5. Pasta

Pasta Sauce

A 3-pound, family-size box of dried spaghetti noodles costs $1.87 at Walmart. Even accounting for the cost of the tomato sauce, that makes the $14.25 price for a plate of spaghetti at Maggiano’s Little Italy seem pretty steep.  If you decide to cook up a batch of pasta at home, try Ree Drummond’s recipe for Spaghetti Sauce. This recipe includes ground beef, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and spices. Furthermore, nothing beats the taste of fresh, homemade pasta. Allrecipes has a recipe for Basic Pasta you can make in your own kitchen.

4. Soup

Chicken Soup 0

When it comes to a steaming, savory bowl of chicken noodle soup, nothing is better than mom’s recipe. The price of a bowl of homemade soup also beats restaurant prices, hands down. According to Forbes, one serving of chicken noodle soup costs a restaurant about 30 cents to make. Have you ever seen soup listed on a menu for 30 cents? A bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup will cost you $6.19 at Panera.

3. Potatoes

Spuds Potatos

A five-pound bag of russet potatoes costs around $3 at the grocery store. If there are three potatoes per pound, the price of just one potato is around 20 cents. That makes for a hefty markup on the baked potatoes you order when eating out. A baked potato side could cost you $2.49 at Texas Roadhouse. That’s almost as much as the 5-pound bag. You may enjoy making your own Garlic Mashed Potatoes with this recipe from Allrecipes. Garlic, butter, milk or cream, salt, and pepper are all you need to make perfect mashed potatoes. You can garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if you desire.

2. Soda

Sodas Or Soft Drinks

Sodas are incredibly inexpensive for restaurants to provide. Meritage Technologies states that sodas should cost a restaurant a little more than one penny per ounce. That includes the price of the syrup and CO2 for carbonation. Ordering a soda at that restaurant could cost you around $3. Stick to water to keep both your body and your wallet healthier.

1. Wine


A glass of wine with dinner can cost you $8 per glass or more. Wine Enthusiast notes that restaurants may charge double what you would pay at the liquor store for a bottle of wine. Of course, the restaurant is factoring in costs such as state taxes and restaurant overhead costs. Interestingly, Wine Enthusiast asserts that the highest price markups are usually on the cheapest wines.

Related: 9 of the Unhealthiest Foods at Your Neighborhood Barbecue


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