The cost of “takeaway” or “carry out” delivered meals…

Me and the chef on the cruise through the Panama Canal in January 2013. The chef was excited to prepare special meals for me. He did a fantastic job!

When starting my day this morning, I decided I didn’t feel like cooking tonight. And after dinner out on Wednesday night, I wasn’t quite ready to go out to dinner, nor did I think we should spend another $100 for dinner in a restaurant. Tom said he’d be fine going out again since our grocery bill has been so reasonable, and we aren’t paying for a rental car.

Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for dining out and suggested we arrange for takeaway/carry out through Grubhub, where we have a free delivery account through Amazon Prime. I was definitely in the mood for Chinese food, and when I suggested it to Tom, he enthusiastically agreed.

Usually, when we order dinner delivery in the US, we buy enough to last for two nights. We’ve found with tips and Grubhub’s service fee, it’s more economical to order for two nights as opposed to one. Since we love Chinese food, it’s a logical plan for us.

I usually order steamed vegetables with shrimp or chicken. But today, when I placed our order, I found that I was more in the mood for shrimp egg foo young. Tom wanted his usual sweet-and-sour pork and pork fried rice. We’d ordered takeaway once since we’d been here, and when I started searching through Grubhub, it was easy to find the restaurant we’d ordered from early on after we arrived.

China Tango is nearby, and using my phone in two minutes, I had our order placed, paid, and ready for delivery today. As mentioned recently, since we eat so little during the day, if at all, I requested the delivery for 5:00 pm. I usually pop my food in the microwave for a few minutes since I prefer my meal to be very hot, whereas Tom is fine if his meal has cooled down. Of course, on the second night, we both use the microwave.

Here is a preview of today’s order plus the costs:

Your order

Jan 27, 2024, time ordered 11:28 am
1. 2 Sweet and Sour Pork $32.50
2. 2 Shrimp Egg Foo Young $35.90 “No oil, please.”
3. 1 House Fried Rice $12.95 “NO CHICKEN OR SHRIMP. ONLY PORK, PLEASE

Your payment method will be charged for the amount of this order within the next 24 hours.

Items subtotal


Service fee


Sales tax


Delivery fee


Driver tip


Total $105.22

When ordering through Grubhub or Door Dash or another such service, it’s surprising how much the tax, service fee, and tip come to; in this case, those totals were $28.87. However, if we’d had a rental car and picked up this order, we’d save $16.51 for the service fee and tip. However, it’s worth it since we aren’t paying $40 daily for a rental car. Even when we have had a rental car, the convenience of avoiding traffic and saving time makes the extra fees worthwhile.

This total of $105.22, divided by two nights, is $52.61 each night. We’d easily have spent $105.22 for one night dining out in a restaurant, let alone dining for two nights. Besides, having a meal delivered and watching a good movie is always fun, a special evening “at home.”

All the ingredients I have for the dinner I planned to make today will easily stay fresh until Monday, when the meats are frozen. The vegetables, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and cauliflower, will remain fresh.

Since we’ll be in the US for another 4½ months until we leave for South Africa, most likely, we’ll order through Grubhub on other occasions, especially when we so much enjoy Chinese/Asian food.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, January 27, 2014:

Ms. Turtle scooted across the edge of the driveway. We’ve spotted her in the same general garden area on several occasions. For more photos, please click here.