Saturday April 13, 2024

Valentine's Day 2024: Why US couples choose to cook meals at home over going out?

Many Americans are eating Valentine's meals at home due to rise in restaurant prices

By Web Desk
February 14, 2024
A couple having a Valentines Day dinner. — Adobe Stock/File
A couple having a Valentine's Day dinner. — Adobe Stock/File

Regardless of how your romantic meal turns out, if you and your significant other decide to cook together on Valentine's Day at home, you'll be saving a good chunk of cash as opposed to going out to eat.

According to January Consumer Price Index data, eating at home is growing more and more affordable for Americans, even when expensive Valentine's Day dinners are taken out of the equation. 

This is due to the fact that while the cost of meals consumed in restaurants has increased by 5.1% annually, the cost of groceries has increased by 1.2%.

It serves as just another example of how much inflation is hurting Americans' day-to-day lives. People feel bad about an otherwise robust economy because, despite a slowdown in price increases, prices are still significantly higher than they were prior to the pandemic.

Furthermore, increased food costs, which reached a one-year high last month, may pose challenges for President Joe Biden's campaign in this election year, according to CNN.

Although the rate of inflation for food from restaurants and grocery stores has decreased somewhat from the previous year, there is still a growing disparity in the rates at which their prices are rising.

Dining out was less expensive in January 2023, despite an 8.2% increase in food costs over the previous year. In addition, costs of groceries increased by 11.3% annually.

Following the pandemic, consumers have been allocating a larger portion of their budgets to services than to commodities. Wages have been under pressure to rise due to the demand for services, which has led to price hikes.

“The wage pressures are there,” said Dana Peterson, chief economist at the Conference Board, in an interview. "The biggest payroll gains are in sectors such as health care, government and leisure and hospitality," she noted. 

Leisure and hospitality include restaurants, so there’s still a lot of churn, and those companies are having to raise wages to attract and retain labour.

“We believe many of these increases reflect the lagged effect of strong wage growth in 2023, and we believe wage growth is now slowing,” Goldman Sachs economists said in a note on Tuesday.

All things considered, the cost of services (such as eating out, travel, and entertainment) increased by 0.7% in January over December. That was 148% of the total monthly price rise of 0.3%.