Experts discuss whether mail-order food will save you money.
It's not always easy to get to the grocery store, which is why food-of-the-month clubs can be enticing options. However, while they offer convenience, they can also be costly. So, does it pay to have your food shipped or are you better off having it served to you at a restaurant?
For instance, the coffee-of-the-month club on AmazingClubs.com will get you a pound of coffee for $15. That works out to 94 cents for a 16-ounce cup of brewed joe. If you were to go to a coffee shop, that same cup of java could cost you anywhere from $2 to $5 dollars, so between the two, the monthly club appears to be better deal.
But, if you're going to brew at home, you might as well go to the grocery store and buy a bag of grounds there. You can make yourself a 16-ounce cup of Eight O'Clock coffee that will only cost you 45 cents. That's half off the club price. However, if you're looking for variety and a gourmet experience, mail-order is the way to go.
Omaha Steaks is one of the largest purveyors of beef, and at $89 per shipment, you're looking at approximately $30 per pound. In this case, it's better to dine out. When it comes to steak, restaurants can't charge people $40 or more per entree, so they often break even or sell it at a loss. They make up for the loss by marking up soda and other beverages, so if you stick with water, you'll be walking away with a full stomach and a great deal.
Bottom line: Mail-order food comes with a price tag for its convenience, but there are values to be had. Depending on your tastes, a little research will make the costs easier to digest.