Cost Analysis for Episode #76

Hot Kitchen’s main purpose is to show you that you can make amazing high quality and nutritive dinners that replace going out to eat, so that you can spend true quality time with the one(s) you love.

So with episode #76, I will start sharing an estimated cost analysis.  We will look at the estimated cost to buy the ingredients vs.  the cost of a similar meal eaten out.

Most of the menus we share are on par with what you would find at bistros and nice independent restaurants, you know-the romantic spots to go.

Costs are based on my personal experience as a consumer, the actual prices I pay, and on my experience in restaurants.

DIY Breakdown

Going Out Breakdown (Approximate):

Ingredients Exclusive to Meal:

  • 2 T-bone Style Pork Chops:  $3-$6
  • 2 Nectarines (or Seasonal Fresh Fruit): $1-3
  • Olives and Pepperocini (off the olive bar): $1-2
  • Fresh Tarragon*:  $2-4
  • Greek Yogurt* – (The Greek Gods Brand): $3-5
  • Cotija Cheese*: $2-5
  • Corn Flakes*: $2-5
  • 2 Medium Zucchini: $1-3


Pantry Builders:

  • Coconut Oil*: $6-7
  • Butter*: $2-3
  • Forbidden Rice*:  $3-5
  • Flour*: $3-10 (depends on how much you like to buy at a time)
  • Egg*: $3 per Carton

*These items are gifts that keep on giving! You will have substantail amounts leftover to stock your pantry and fuel your culinary creativity.

Suggested Wine:
  • La Vielle Ferme Rose Wine:  $8-$11

  • Pan Fried Pork T-Bone,  encrusted with a hand-dipped cornflake breading with deep fried green olive and zucchini stuffed pepperocini, forbidden rice and cool zucchini puree $25-35 each


  • 2 – Seasonal fruit hand pies in a flaky coconut oil pastry crust $7-10 each
  • 1 Glass of La Vieille Ferme – $8-12 each
  • 1 Bottle of Wine – $20-30
 Total Cost:  $15 – $67  Totals (Before Tip):  $73 – $110

Tip (15-20%): $11-22
Total Cost:  $84- $12

 My actual grocery bill, thanks to my pantry, was just $19!  I had to buy: pork chops, cotija cheese, greek yogurt, corn flakes, tarragon, zucchini, nectarines, wine, olives & pepperocini.   I’m excited about the extra cotija, greek yogurt, tarragon, and the full bottle of delicious wine.  Plus I snuck in a couple extra olives for snacking.

Tips to drop the cost:

  • Buy pantry items in bulk when they are on sale  i.e. butter, coconut oil, eggs, pork chops (freeze), flour, corn flakes, etc.
  • Make keeping a stocked pantry a priority: always have your most frequently eaten/used products on hand
  • Grow your own herbs and veggies
  • Skip the wine
  • Substitute white rice for the forbidden rice
  • Skip the olive & pepperocini garnish
  • Substitute butter or shortening for the coconut oil in the pastry
  • Substitute your household cooking oil for coconut oil when for the porkchop

Why Coconut Oil?  Click here to see why I am in love with it….

Click Here to Watch Episode #76



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