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  • andrew.lyn
  • Explorer

    • 9

    • April 22, 2019, 12:08:44 pm
    • Melbourne, Australia
Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« on: August 13, 2019, 10:56:00 pm »
Will be arriving in Suwon in a few days time and was thinking whether I should spend my time cooking (which I enjoy on occasion) or just eat out.

Which provides the better alternative of saving money? :)

Thanks in advance!


  • HappyPlanetAbuser
  • Super Waygook

    • 260

    • May 30, 2019, 11:30:16 pm
    • in my car polluting your air
    more
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 01:20:34 am »
Cooking, unless you want to eat cheapo bunshik.
Who's ready for another 4 years of Trump 2020!


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1510

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 04:21:57 am »
7,000 to 18,000 won per dinner...

And believe me I jacked that range up higher than smaller cities have prices.

Given the price of vegetables, if you can target such dishes, eating out is the better value.

Certainly, I have eaten in restaurants 4-5 times a week for 17 years and never spent even a quarter of my 2 mill-ish salary on it.

Don't bat an eye at eating out unless it's a foreign food restaurant or a beef joint.

As a single petson, there are PLENTY of value deals in restaurants rather than supermarket jaunts... of course... 5-day markets and a focus on fruit and nuts could be the healthiest, cheapest of all.


  • stoat
  • Super Waygook

    • 443

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 06:52:58 am »
If you're here for a long time, have a larder of basics, freeze stuff, re-use leftovers etc.. it's cheaper to cook.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4171

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 08:18:50 am »
If you are single, your wasted food (or small portion premium) will likely offset the restaurant premium.

(Except, as others have said, beef or foreign food).

For a couple or family, with a menu plan and a big fridge, home cooked meals are definitely cheaper in the long run.


Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 09:01:36 am »
Depending on your eating habits you may be able to get away with pretty cheap meals buying food outside to eat at home. I used to live near a traditional market, and there was a side dish (banchan) place that sold 1 pack (of whatever, there were so many) for 2,000won or 3 for 5,000 won, and if I bought 10,000 worth, she would usually throw in another or extra of one. That with making rice at home and a simple soup made and portioned for the week probably came out to what would be probably 20,000won a week. I wasn't necessarily trying to save at the time, just do whatever was simple. Rice can also be cooked and bagged and reheated in the microwave for simplicity. 


  • isitts
  • Explorer

    • 6

    • June 18, 2013, 02:53:00 pm
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 09:53:03 am »
I was never able to go through all my food before it went bad, so I was always throwing food out…which kind of negated the savings. Also, in order for food not to go bad, I found myself eating the same thing days on end. Plus, cost fluctuations for some items made my expenses less predictable. Eating out, my expenses are more predictable and I can get more variety. If I were living with someone or had a family, eating in would definitely make more sense.


Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 10:40:22 am »
I eat out 3x a week and spend 50K budget on that.  The other times I make simple shit like sandwiches or french toast and fruit, smoothies or whatever..  I go to Costco and buy that huge 3kg pack of buklgogi thats like 30,000 and break it up and freeze it,.  Thats like 10 meals of solid meat.  Throw some rice and frozen veggies in and you got a nice stir fry for 5,000 a meal.  The cheap meals out aren't gonna have much meat or brotien.  Except tofu maybe, which will cause your nuts to shrink and make you join the far left.   


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1958

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 11:43:29 am »
Will be arriving in Suwon in a few days time and was thinking whether I should spend my time cooking (which I enjoy on occasion) or just eat out.

Which provides the better alternative of saving money? :)

Thanks in advance!

While saving money is important, I prioritise my short and long term health over a few thousand won. I almost exclusively prepare my own food. Vegetables are expensive, but it's a necessary expense.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2644

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 02:29:50 pm »
weekday = cook
weekends = eat out

^ anyone else do that?


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4171

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 06:42:35 pm »
weekday = cook
weekends = eat out

^ anyone else do that?

I enjoy cooking, so I tend to do it the other way around.


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 2644

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 06:54:34 pm »
i enjoy cooking too! that's why i do it the way i do it ;)


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

    • 482

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 07:10:13 pm »
Cook at home, it's so much more than just making food. It's a way of life. One of my first purchases when I moved to Korea was a tabletop oven. I then added a pressure cooker and a crock-pot. Best things I ever bought in Korea.


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1510

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: Cheaper to cook or eat out?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 09:27:41 pm »
There is an all-you-want Korean buffet lunch (11 to 2) in my neighbourhood and for 6000 won it's a great way to have an early biggest meal of the day: pork, rice, fresh hot peppers (my vitamin c), several kinds of kimchi, two kinds of soup, fish. I skip the noodles and ice cream dessert (a desert nutritionwise).

Another restaurant four blocks away has a grilled meat and veggie buffet until 11pm for 11,000 won (it used to be 9000 won until last year).

It would be very easy for me to visit these places twice a week each, supplemented with fresh fruit and fresh veggies (carrots, broccoli, green onion) from the 5-day market and nuts and seeds bulk from the big supermarket to get all the nutrition I need for about 200,000-250,000 won a month no problem! WITH NO HOME COOKING WHATSOEVER!

I don't usually live on a strict budget, but have at times for specific savings goals to fund specific projects (trips, big purchases). It is quite easy to do if you plan it out.