Tasting Table Asks: What Is The Best Part About Cooking Meals At Home? - Exclusive Survey

During the pandemic, going out to eat was a little luxury sorely missed by many; In fact, a survey conducted by Time Out found that 28% of people said they missed eating out more than they did seeing their own friends and family. As the pandemic's impact has waned, many folks have returned to eating out regularly. Tasting Table found that more than 7% of people claim to eat out five times or more every week, though naturally, the average person eats out less frequently, with the largest percentage of survey respondents (44%) stating they only eat out once a week.

Taking away the pressure and time spent cooking a meal at home — and the truly horrid task of cleaning it all up — for a night is like a little vacation we give to ourselves when going out for dinner, but there are multiple other reasons most people choose not to go out to eat for every meal. To find out the most common motivation people have for dirtying their kitchen, Tasting Table asked 588 people living in the U.S. what they feel is the best part about cooking meals at home.

Eating out can be expensive

One of the best parts of eating out is the convenience and ease of having food prepared for you ... of course, that convenience isn't free; GOBankingRates reports that restaurants often charge diners a 200% markup. Knowing this, it's perhaps unsurprising that the top response to Tasting Table's survey on the best part of cooking meals at home was that people are looking to save money, with 48% (or 284 out of 588) of respondents agreeing with that statement.

For those looking to save some money, eating at home is a smart move as those costs really do add up. Insider found that the average American spends between $2,000 and $3,500 eating out every year, with the most expensive state being Alaska and the cheapest Nevada. Staying in a few nights a week is an easy way to cut costs, which has become even more vital as high food prices continue to stick around. In September, Nation's Restaurant News reported many restaurants were choosing to increase menu prices to take advantage of the increasing cost of food at the grocery store.

Other reasons people choose to cook at home

Though saving money was by far the most popular reason for cooking meals at home according to a Tasting Table survey, there were other reasons some people chose.

The next most common motivation for cooking at home was an interest in having more control over what goes into each dish: Nearly a third of respondents (175 people) said the reason they often choose not to eat out is nutritional concerns.

From the third-place choice and beyond the number of respondents who chose each option swiftly start to decrease. Sadly for the romantics out there, only 70 people — or about 12% — said that they like to stay home to spend more time with loved ones. Another 43 people said that they enjoy having the opportunity to learn new recipes and experiment with new foods.

Finally, the least popular reason for cooking at home: 16 people, which is just under 3% of respondents, said that they chose to eat at home for sustainability reasons.