Are You Being Frugal When it Comes to Mail-Order Food?
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.