After an exhausting day at work or school, it’s so easy to fall back on takeout meals. Depending on where you live, you may have a variety of choices, from Chinese dumplings to pizza to sushi to chicken tikka masala. But it turns out that people in some places spend more on this mealtime option than others.
Research done by DNA testing company Vitagene determined that the cost of those meals can really add up, and that Americans in certain cities have pricier takeout menus than others.
Seattle, home of hungry Amazon and Microsoft techies, tops the list. Emerald City residents spend an average of $210 a month on takeout food, for an annual bill of $2,520, and a lifetime cost of $151,200. That’ll buy you a beautiful home in some cities (though probably not in pricey Seattle these days).
Seattle was followed by Pittsburgh, averaging $199 a month. Spendy San Francisco came in third, averaging $195 a month. Austin, Texas; San Jose, California; and San Antonio, Texas, take the next three spots.
It’s a lot cheaper to order a lot of takeout in Detroit, where people spend an average of $142 per month, $1,704 a year, and $102,240 over a 60-year lifetime. Memphis offers the second-cheapest takeout, followed by Richmond, Virginia; Cleveland, Ohio; and Birmingham, Alabama.
Of course, eliminating all takeout means diners would have to spend at least some of those savings on ingredients and groceries for the meals they’re now cooking at home. But Seattleites would do well to start stockpiling recipes. They could save an average of $1,425 annually by switching to home-cooked meals.
Whether you spend $2,000 or $20 on takeout food each year, check out the 10 healthiest and unhealthiest Chinese takeout dishes.