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Is Eating Out in San Diego Cheaper Than Eating at Home? It Could Be – NBC 7 San Diego

Everything seems more expensive these days — and it is. Inflation is still up in San Diego, but not as much as it was during the first half of the year.

Claudia Ruiz has served food at the Encinitas Café for four years. These days, Ruiz is seeing an uptick in visitors who are trying to save money.

“I’ve seen people — due to inflation — they split our breakfasts,” she said. “They split dinner or our omelet. I’ve seen that a lot.”

That includes San Marcos resident April Beltran. She cares for her 94-year-old relative who lives in Encinitas. She does all of the grocery shopping and cooking. But these days, she said they mostly eat out. She spoke to NBC 7 after ordering a BLT sandwich to split. “A pound of bacon (at the grocery store) is like $7!” Beltran exclaimed. “It’s cheaper for her to share a meal, to eat out, rather than buy groceries,” she said, gesturing toward her great aunt Mary.

With soaring inflation nationwide, the gap between grocery store items and restaurant food is the widest it has been in 50 years, according to federal data obtained by NBC.

According to the Consumer Price Index, inflation is still up in San Diego, but not as much as it was in the first half of 2022, so it has been slowing.

A few items decreased in June and July: Food prices in restaurants were down 4.9%, household furnishings down 1.7% and gas down nearly 1%.

But according to the Consumer Price Index: Cereals and bakery products were up 15%; dairy is up 16%; fruits and vegetables, up nearly 8%; meats, poultry, fish, and eggs up nearly 12%.

Value depends on what kind of food you’re talking about, said San Marcos resident Greg Stevenson, who paid the bill for his family at the 101 Diner in Encinitas. For example, ordering tacos instead of cooking them at home is cheaper, he said.

“It’s kind of like, awash now depending on where you go of course,” Stevenson said.

The price of things is all relative, because even though inflation is trending down, overall prices are still up.