Here’s How Erdogan Plans To Steal Sunday’s Election

As Turks prepare to head to the polls Sunday in a snap election called by incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Policy has published what is essentially a summary blueprint outlining the ways Erdogan could steal the election, noting “Sunday’s vote is one he can’t afford to lose.”

As we previously commented, though the man who has dominated the nation’s politics for almost two decades is not expected to lose, a consensus is emerging that the vote should be regarded as a referendum on his person and leadership.

And now, a visible surge in popularity for the rival secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate has pundits declaring the opposition actually has a chance. 

AKP President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Republican People’s Party (CHP) challenger Muharrem Ince.  Image via Hurriyet

Erdogan has often boasted that he has never lost an election and, as recent polls indicate, he is unlikely to lose this time either (but likely by a thin margin). Since 2002, he and his AKP (Justice and Development Party) have won five parliamentary elections, three local elections, three referendums and one presidential election. 

The president moved elections that weren’t supposed to be held until 2019 forward by more than a year in hopes of smashing an unprepared opposition, but there’s yet a possibility this could backfire.  

Ironically, the move could blow up in Erdogan’s face as he called for the early elections at a moment when the economy appeared strong, but which in the interim began tanking — giving all but die-hard AKP supporters reason for serious pause as the opposition’s message becomes louder. 

His legacy has already been established as ushering in Turkey’s transformation from a parliamentary to a presidential system, giving a disproportionate share of power to the president, and should he win he’ll assume even greater executive powers after last year’s referendum which narrowly approved major constitutional changes related to the presidency. 

But Erdogan’s main opposition candidate, Muharrem Ince, is this week drawing immense crowds according to a variety of reports, and gaining support from a cross-section of Turks increasingly fed up with Erdogan’s power-grabbing.

Ince, a former high school physics teacher widely seen has having much more charisma, has mirrored Erdogan’s firebrand and combative rhetoric while taking direct aim at the Islamic conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader’s enabling corruption and nepotism, and his further overseeing an economy in tailspin with the lira having lost nearly 20% of its value since the year began, inflation at 12%, and interest rates at 18%.

Muharrem Ince’s simple yet pointed appeal goes something like this: “Erdogan is tired, he has no joy and he is arrogant,” he told hundreds of thousands of supporters at an Izmir rally on Wednesday. CNN noted the rally presented “what looked like the largest crowd in the elections period yet.”


Muharrem Ince’s Wednesday rally in Izmir as shown on Turkish television. Crowd size estimates ranged from 250,000 up to millions, depending on who was commenting.

Sunday’s election is being widely described the most important in recent Turkish political history — a crossing the Rubicon moment for Erdogan as he stands to inherit an unprecedented and likely irreversible level of sweeping executive authority. 

As Foreign Policy explains, he has carefully put the architecture in place for this moment, and the outlook remains bleak for the future of democracy in Turkey:

The current Council of Ministers, all members of parliament, will cease to exist and the president will appoint advisors and deputies to run the country. Parliament, especially if it remains in the hands of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), will be nothing but a rubber stamp. Erdogan over the years has amassed an enormous amount of power by molding state institutions to his liking and by eliminating anyone from his entourage who can even minimally challenge him. Every single member of the party owes his or her position directly to Erdogan. This patronage system permeates all levels of the bureaucracy, which has lost its independence.

So again, on June 24 losing is not an option for Erdogan.

* * *

Here are ways Erdogan can steal the election, according to Foreign Policy:

1) He’s already engineered electoral law for less oversight of ballots:

He has engineered several changes to the electoral law, two of which could be game-changers. The first is the elimination of the requirement that all ballots be stamped by officials. This practice will open up the system to abuse in obvious ways — it was precisely such a last-minute change that allowed the government to claim victory in 2017 during the constitutional referendum.

2) Erdogan’s own party cronies will manage and appoint officials for Sunday’s election process:

Erdogan’s second change to the electoral law concerns the ballot box overseers: Whereas in the past political parties nominated candidates who were chosen by a draw, under the new rules overseers are to be chosen among local officials whose jobs are ultimately determined by the government and the state. 

3) Switching ballot locations especially in Kurdish areas:

Suppressing the Kurdish vote is critical for the government… one can expect more shenanigans in Kurdish-majority areas, because Erdogan needs to push the Peoples’ Democratic Party below the 10 percent threshold to ensure that his party wins a majority of seats in parliament. 

4) Erdogan now essentially owns the judicial system, the military, and media – all of which will be leveraged:

The Supreme Electoral Council, the judicial system, and the military — until recently Erdogan’s most dedicated nemesis — are all now under Erdogan’s control. The military was completely denuded of its higher ranks following the July 2016 failed coup attempt…

…The national press, meanwhile, is completely dominated by Erdogan’s acolytes. The results are unsurprising: In the last two weeks of May, a study demonstrated that the president and his party received far more coverage on three government-owned television stations, including a Kurdish-language one. 

5) No detail has been left untouched, but last minute “shenanigans” will ensure victory if it’s close:

Erdogan, the consummate politician, is not leaving anything about this election to chance; no detail has been too small to escape his attention.

…Still, it is quite doubtful that he will allow anything but a total victory for himself — one should expect a great deal of shenanigans on the part of the ruling party in the final run-up to the June 24 vote.

 

America’s Military Drops A Bomb Every 12 Minutes, And No One Is Talking About It

Authored by Lee Camp via TruthDig.com,

We live in a state of perpetual war, and we never feel it. While you get your gelato at the hip place where they put those cute little mint leaves on the side, someone is being bombed in your name. While you argue with the 17-year-old at the movie theater who gave you a small popcorn when you paid for a large, someone is being obliterated in your name. While we sleep and eat and make love and shield our eyes on a sunny day, someone’s home, family, life and body are being blown into a thousand pieces in our names.

Once every 12 minutes.

The United States military drops an explosive with a strength you can hardly comprehend once every 12 minutes. And that’s odd, because we’re technically at war with—let me think—zero countries. So that should mean zero bombs are being dropped, right?

Hell no! You’ve made the common mistake of confusing our world with some sort of rational, cogent world in which our military-industrial complex is under control, the music industry is based on merit and talent, Legos have gently rounded edges (so when you step on them barefoot, it doesn’t feel like an armor-piercing bullet just shot straight up your sphincter), and humans are dealing with climate change like adults rather than burying our heads in the sand while trying to convince ourselves that the sand around our heads isn’t getting really, really hot.

You’re thinking of a rational world. We do not live there.

Instead, we live in a world where the Pentagon is completely and utterly out of control. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the $21 trillion (that’s not a typo) that has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon. But I didn’t get into the number of bombs that ridiculous amount of money buys us. President George W. Bush’s military dropped 70,000 bombs on five countries. But of that outrageous number, only 57 of those bombs really upset the international community.

Because there were 57 strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen—countries the U.S. was neither at war with nor had ongoing conflicts with. And the world was kind of horrified. There was a lot of talk that went something like, “Wait a second. We’re bombing in countries outside of war zones? Is it possible that’s a slippery slope ending in us just bombing all the goddamn time? (Awkward pause.) … Nah. Whichever president follows Bush will be a normal adult person (with a functional brain stem of some sort) and will therefore stop this madness.”

We were so cute and naive back then, like a kitten when it’s first waking up in the morning.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported that under President Barack Obama there were “563 strikes, largely by drones, that targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. …”

It’s not just the fact that bombing outside of a war zone is a horrific violation of international law and global norms. It’s also the morally reprehensible targeting of people for pre-crime, which is what we’re doing and what the Tom Cruise movie “Minority Report” warned us about. (Humans are very bad at taking the advice of sci-fi dystopias. If we’d listened to “1984,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of the National Security Agency. If we listened to “The Terminator,” we wouldn’t have allowed the existence of drone warfare. And if we’d listened to “The Matrix,” we wouldn’t have allowed the vast majority of humans to get lost in a virtual reality of spectacle and vapid nonsense while the oceans die in a swamp of plastic waste. … But you know, who’s counting?)

There was basically a media blackout while Obama was president. You could count on one hand the number of mainstream media reports on the Pentagon’s daily bombing campaigns under Obama. And even when the media did mention it, the underlying sentiment was, “Yeah, but look at how suave Obama is while he’s OK’ing endless destruction. He’s like the Steve McQueen of aerial death.”

And let’s take a moment to wipe away the idea that our “advanced weaponry” hits only the bad guys. As David DeGraw put it, “According to the C.I.A.’s own documents, the people on the ‘kill list,’ who were targeted for ‘death-by-drone,’ accounted for only 2% of the deaths caused by the drone strikes.”

Two percent. Really, Pentagon? You got a two on the test? You get five points just for spelling your name right.

But those 70,000 bombs dropped by Bush—it was child’s play. DeGraw again:

“[Obama] dropped 100,000 bombs in seven countries. He out-bombed Bush by 30,000 bombs and 2 countries.”

You have to admit that’s impressively horrific. That puts Obama in a very elite group of Nobel Peace Prize winners who have killed that many innocent civilians. The reunions are mainly just him and Henry Kissinger wearing little hand-drawn name tags and munching on deviled eggs.

However, we now know that Donald Trump’s administration puts all previous presidents to shame. The Pentagon’s numbers show that during George W. Bush’s eight years he averaged 24 bombs dropped per day, which is 8,750 per year. Over the course of Obama’s time in office, his military dropped 34 bombs per day, 12,500 per year. And in Trump’s first year in office, he averaged 121 bombs dropped per day, for an annual total of 44,096.

Trump’s military dropped 44,000 bombs in his first year in office.

He has basically taken the gloves off the Pentagon, taken the leash off an already rabid dog. So the end result is a military that’s behaving like Lil Waynecrossed with Conor McGregor. You look away for one minute, look back, and are like, “What the fuck did you just do? I was gone for like, a second!”

Under Trump, five bombs are dropped per hour – every hour of every day. That averages out to a bomb every 12 minutes.

And which is more outrageous—the crazy amount of death and destruction we are creating around the world, or the fact that your mainstream corporate media basically NEVER investigates it? They talk about Trump’s flaws. They say he’s a racist, bulbous-headed, self-centered idiot (which is totally accurate) – but they don’t criticize the perpetual Amityville massacre our military perpetrates by dropping a bomb every 12 minutes, most of them killing 98 percent non-targets.

When you have a Department of War with a completely unaccountable budget—as we saw with the $21 trillion—and you have a president with no interest in overseeing how much death the Department of War is responsible for, then you end up dropping so many bombs that the Pentagon has reported we are running out of bombs.

Oh, dear God. If we run out of our bombs, then how will we stop all those innocent civilians from … farming? Think of all the goats that will be allowed to go about their days.

And, as with the $21 trillion, the theme seems to be “unaccountable.”

Journalist Witney Webb wrote in February, “Shockingly, more than 80 percent of those killed have never even been identified and the C.I.A.’s own documents have shown that they are not even aware of who they are killing—avoiding the issue of reporting civilian deaths simply by naming all those in the strike zone as enemy combatants.”

That’s right. We kill only enemy combatants. How do we know they’re enemy combatants? Because they were in our strike zone. How did we know it was a strike zone? Because there were enemy combatants there. How did we find out they were enemy combatants? Because they were in the strike zone. … Want me to keep going, or do you get the point? I have all day.

This is not about Trump, even though he’s a maniac. It’s not about Obama, even though he’s a war criminal. It’s not about Bush, even though he has the intelligence of boiled cabbage. (I haven’t told a Bush joke in about eight years. Felt kind of good. Maybe I’ll get back into that.)

This is about a runaway military-industrial complex that our ruling elite are more than happy to let loose. Almost no one in Congress or the presidency tries to restrain our 121 bombs a day. Almost no one in a mainstream outlet tries to get people to care about this.

Recently, the hashtag #21Trillion for the unaccounted Pentagon money has gained some traction. Let’s get another one started: #121BombsADay.

One every 12 minutes.

Do you know where they’re hitting? Who they’re murdering? Why? One hundred and twenty-one bombs a day rip apart the lives of families a world away – in your name and my name and the name of the kid doling out the wrong size popcorn at the movie theater.

We are a rogue nation with a rogue military and a completely unaccountable ruling elite. The government and military you and I support by being a part of this society are murdering people every 12 minutes, and in response, there’s nothing but a ghostly silence. It is beneath us as a people and a species to give this topic nothing but silence. It is a crime against humanity.

*  *  *

If you think this column is important, please share it. Also, check out Lee Camp’s weekly TV show “Redacted Tonight” and weekly podcast “Common Censored.”

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Meet Mystery FBI “Agent 5” Who Sent Anti-Trump Texts While On Clinton Taint Team

A recently unmasked FBI agent who worked on the Clinton email investigation and exchanged anti-Trump text messages with her FBI lover and other colleagues has been pictured for the first time by the Daily Mail

Sally Moyer, 44, who texted ‘f**k Trump,’ called President Trump’s voters ‘retarded’ and vowed to quit ‘on the spot’ if he won the election, was seen leaving her home early Friday morning wearing a floral top and dark pants. 

She shook her head and declined to discuss the controversy with a DailyMail.com reporter, and ducked quickly into her nearby car in the rain without an umbrella before driving off. –Daily Mail

Moyer – an attorney and registered Democrat identified in the Inspector General’s report as “Agent 5” is a veritable goldmine of hate, who had been working for the FBI since at least September of 2006.

When Moyer sent the texts, she was on the “filter team” for the Clinton email investigation – a group of FBI officials tasked with determining whether information obtained by the FBI is considered “privileged” or if it can be used in the investigation – also known as a taint team.

Moyer exchanged most of the messages with another FBI agent who worked on the Clinton investigation, identified as ‘Agent 1’ in the report.

Moyer and Agent 1 were in a romantic relationship at the time, and the two have since married, according the report. Agent 1’s name is being withheld. –Daily Mail

Some of Moyer’s greatest hits:

  • “fuck Trump” 
  • “screw you trump”
  • “She [Hillary] better win… otherwise i’m gonna be walking around with both of my guns.” 
  • Moyer also called Ohio Trump supporters “retarded” 

“Agent 1” who is now married to Moyer, referred to Hillary Clinton as “the President” after interviewing the Democratic candidate as part of the email investigation.

Another FBI official, Kevin Clinesmith, 36, sent similar text messages. A graduate of Georgetown Law, Clinesmith – referred to in the Inspector General’s report as “Attorney 2,” – texted several colleagues lamenting the “destruction of the Republic” after former FBI Director James Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation.

In response to a colleague asking he had changed his views on Trump, Clinesmith responded “Hell no. Viva le resistance,” a reference to the Trump opposition movement that clamed to be coordinating with officials inside the Trump administration. 

Two high-ranking FBI officials – Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page, were discovered by the Inspector General to have sent over 50,000 text messages to each other – many of which showed the two harbored extreme bias aginst Trump and for Hillary Clinton. Like Moyer and “Agent 1,” Strzok and Page worked on the Clinton email investigation.

Don’t worry though – none of their bias made its way into the Clinton email investigation…

Ike Was Right!

Authored by Bill Bonner via Bonner & Partners,

We wait for the world to fall apart.

The Dow is still more than 1,000 points below its high; so we presume the primary trend is down. Treasury yields – on the 10-year note – are near 3%… twice what they were two years ago. So we presume the primary trend for bonds is down, too.

If we’re right, we are at the beginning of a long slide… down, down, down… into chaos, destitution, and destruction.

Faked Out

Our working hypothesis is that General Eisenhower was right.

There were two big temptations to the American Republic of the 1950s; subsequent generations gave in to both of them.

  1. They spent their children’s and grandchildren’s money. Now, the country has a government debt of $21 trillion. That’s up from $288 billion when Ike left the White House.

  2. And they allowed the “unwarranted influence” of the “military/industrial complex” to grow into a monster. No president, no matter how good his intentions, can stop it.

A corollary to our major hypothesis is that the rise of the Deep State (the military/industrial/social welfare/security/prison/medical care/education/bureaucrat/crony complex) was funded by the Fed’s fake-money system.

Now, investors, businesses, households, and the feds themselves have all been “faked out” by a fraudulent money system. None of them can survive a cutback in credit.

For nearly 30 years, central banks have backstopped markets and flooded the world with liquidity.

But last week, the Fed turned the screws a little further. It now targets a 2% Fed Funds Rate and claims to be on the path of “normalization.”

And the European Central Bank (ECB) made it official, too; it hasn’t quite begun tightening, but it’s got its toolbox open. And command of the ECB work crew is set to change hands next year anyway, passing on to a German engineer.

Scarred Psyche

The German psyche has been scarred by its awful experience in the last century. Even though today’s Germans didn’t live through it themselves, the entire country seems to have a race memory of it.

Still preparing for hard times, the household savings rate in Germany is at least three times higher than in the sans souci U.S.

Germany’s apocalypse, too, can be described in Eisenhower’s terms – too much debt (arising from World War I)… and too much influence in the hands of the military/industrial complex.

Debt led to hyperinflation. But the damage done by Germany’s hyperinflation of the early ’20s lead to far more than just wiped-out mortgages and billion-dollar cigars.

It discredited the traditional elite of the country – its institutions, its culture, and its politics. Germany had the world’s finest artists, composers, and philosophers. Its writers, engineers, and scientists were second to none.

Even in the early ’30s, Germans could still look to the East – to the madness, purges, and famines of Russia – and say to themselves: “Ah, that couldn’t happen here; we are so much more civilized.”

But by then, civilization was on the run, from the Rhine all the way to Siberia. And in Germany, the old elite was being chased out of leading posts in academia, the military, and the government.

Ruined by hyperinflation and chaos – and hounded by extremists – thousands emigrated from Germany to England and America. Those left yielded to mob spirits and rabble-rousing upstarts – communists, anarchists, and national socialists – who fought it out in the streets.

The national socialists – the Nazis – won. Even though it was prohibited by the Versailles Treaty, they quickly began building up the military/industrial complex.

Then, as Madeleine Albright phrased it, “What good is it having such a powerful military if you can’t put it to use?”

As it transpired, Germany attacked the Soviet Union. By then, the average Russkie may have hated Stalin, but he rallied to defend Mother Russia.

By the end of World War II, eight million Germans would be dead, with millions more condemned to die in prisoner-of-war camps or from starvation.

By 1945, Germany had been bombed so thoroughly that nothing much was left of its once-impressive industrial capacity.

Its farms had been starved of investment (the money went to the military) for the previous 10 years. And the country had been cut in half, with foreign troops ruling over every aspect of life.

Runaway Money

And today, 73 years later… there are still foreign troops garrisoned on German soil… and the Germans still fear letting the money system get out of control.

They’re right to be wary of runaway money. It turns honest wage-earners into paupers, while the speculators get rich.

Worse, it gives the meddlers a source of almost unlimited financing. Then, there’s no telling what mischief they will get up to. Revolution? War? Or simply a complete economic collapse?

News also came last week that the inflation rate in Venezuela has reached 24,600%. In other words, if you bought a pack of cigarettes for $5 last June, you could expect to pay $1,230 for the same pack today.

When the money goes, everything seems to go with it. The economy, government, order, morality, right and wrong – all sink into a greasy stew where you don’t know which parts are edible and which are poisonous.

This year’s rise in oil prices was supposed to give Venezuela a little break. Oil is the country’s biggest asset and its major export. And the state-owned oil giant PDVSA was supposed to rescue the nation.

But it is too late.

The vernacular – the vast web of thoughts and deals that make up everyday life for everyday people – has been so corrupted and distorted that it can’t react normally. Venezuela can no longer take advantage of opportunities or respond to crises. The New York Times reports:

Desperate oil workers and criminals are also stripping the oil company of vital equipment, vehicles, pumps and copper wiring, carrying off whatever they can to make money. The double drain – of people and hardware – is further crippling a company that has been teetering for years yet remains the country’s most important source of income.

Wages could not keep up with inflation. The NYT highlights the case of a typical rig worker who stayed on the job for the entire month of May, yet earned only enough to buy one chicken.

No longer able to feed their children, workers walk off the job. Or drive off.

Trucks disappear. So do wrenches and copper pipes. Even with a higher oil price, income falls for the company… the state… and the remaining employees.

What’s a man to do?

Leave! Venezuelans are rushing the borders to escape, often taking little more than the clothes on their backs with them.

But wait… Americans are civilized people with full employment, a solid dollar, and a military that is bringing order to a troubled world. What possible significance could Germany 1920–1945 or Venezuela 1999–? have for us?

And Eisenhower was just an old worrywart, wasn’t he?

Gold Joins The Global “Death Cross” Procession

While US mega-tech stocks support the belief that all is well for many Americans, a glance around the world and the shit is seriously hitting the fan…

Downtrends are everywhere and ‘death crosses’ are popping up in asset classes from Chinese stocks to global Systemically-Important Banks and most recently gold…

The crossing of the 50-day moving average below the 200-day moving average has been long used a signal of trend change and more euphemistically is known as the “death cross.”

Gold is now suffering…

Silver was triggered a few months back… (but has largely gone sideways since)

But Chinese Stocks have slumped since being hit by the death cross…

And as China growth expectations fade amid global trade war tensions, Copper has given back its recent spike gains and formed a death cross…

And it’s not just ‘real’ assets, virtual currencies have been hit with Bitcoin plunging after suffering its death cross…

Europe has not been spared with DAX suffering a death cross earlier in the year, rebounding, and now about to suffer another as Trump’s tariff threats send it spiralling lower…

Emerging Market stocks, bonds, and FX are all ‘death cross’-ing…

And finally, and perhaps most ominously, there are the Global Most Systemically Import Banks (G-SIBs) – which just formed a death cross as they entered a bear market…

But then again – why worry – Nasdaq is at a record high…

Probably nothing to worry about, it’s only the global economy that is slowing dramatically…

How Much Money Do You Save by Cooking at Home?

Submitted by Priceonomics

Intuitively, we all know there are benefits to cooking at home. You can use healthier ingredients, set portions to a reasonable size, avoid food allergies, and of course you can save money compared to ordering restaurant delivery or using a meal kit service.

But just how much money do you save by cooking at home? We decided to analyze our recipe data to find out the true cost of cooking at home from scratch, compared to delivery from a restaurant or a meal kit service. 

We analyzed data from Priceonomics customer wellio, a platform that breaks down millions of recipes into single ingredients and matching those to grocery items from local stores. That allows us to measure the ingredient cost for a wide variety of recipes. For 86 popular dinner recipes, we decided to look at the average cost per serving of cooking from scratch and compare it to the cost per serving of ordering from a restaurant or a meal kit delivery service.

We found on average, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant  than it is to cook at home. And if you’re using a meal kit service as a shortcut to a home cooked meal, it’s a bit more affordable, but still almost three times as expensive as cooking from scratch.

When cooking at home, you’ll save a substantial amount of money on carb-based meals like pasta or pizza, and you’ll save the most on protein-based meals when compared to ordering from a restaurant or meal kits.

***

Before diving into the results, let’s spend a moment on the methodology of this analysis. We looked at 86 popular meals and examined how much it would cost to acquire them as: groceries for home cooking, restaurant delivery or meal kit delivery. For home cooking, we’ve calculated the price per serving based on the consumed portion of ingredients. For example, you purchase a whole onion for the recipe, which requires half an onion per serving, so the price per serving is ½ of the onion. To be clear, this is an analysis of your costs and isn’t about looking at opportunity costs of time associated with cooking.

For restaurant delivery, we looked up menu prices on the websites of the following national restaurant chains: Applebee’s, Cheesecake Factory, Chevy’s, Chili’s, Lyfe Kitchen, Maggiano’s, and P.F. Chang’s. Then added an average $5 delivery fee based on delivery prices from Caviar, UberEats, and Grubhub. Since meals sold within a meal kit are usually part of a bundle, we took the average price of a meal across the bundle and then allocated a $2.50 delivery fee per meal. For home cooking, we looked at the cost of ingredients according to wellio, based on Whole Foods Market, a national grocery chain with quality products.

First, let’s look at the average costs of the meals we analyzed depending on if you acquired them from a restaurant versus meals kits versus cooking at home from scratch.

By far, getting dinner delivered from a restaurant is the most expensive meal option. 

At over $20 per serving on average, a restaurant delivered meal is almost three times as expensive as a meal kit and five times as expensive as cooking at home from scratch. Obviously when you cook at home, you’ll spend more time but you usually end up with a healthier meal because you’re the one to decide what exactly goes into it. 

Next, let’s look at the cost of getting specific meals delivered via restaurant delivery versus making the meal from scratch. Of course, there are “cheaper” places to buy these restaurant meals, but these are the prices published on restaurant websites in our sample of mostly national chains. 

Which meals save you the most when you roll up your sleeves and cook instead of picking up your phone to order?

At the top of the list, the meals you can save the most money by cooking at home are heavily protein based entrees. As it turns out, restaurants charge a lot of money for meals that have beef, pork, and chicken. When you factor in a delivery cost, your price per meal can easily exceed $20 per person (and sometimes even more than $30 per person!).

To better understand this comparison, let’s look at an example of the price per serving breakdown for Pork Tenderloin, one of the top money-saving meals when cooking at home from the list above.

Also appearing throughout the list are pasta-based meals like Broccoli Alfredo, Pad Thai, Pasta Bolognese and Soba Noodles. If you buy these from a restaurant you will pay “entree” prices of about $20. However you can easily make these meals at home and save 80-90% per serving. 

Restaurant delivery, however, isn’t the only alternative to cooking at home. You can also have meal kits delivered to your house. These kits are sold at a premium compared to cooking from scratch because the raw ingredients are pre-assembled and pre-portioned for you.

If you’re looking to save money, when should you avoid meal kits and instead cook from scratch at home?

For vegetable and pasta-based meals, frankly, it’s really cheap to make them at home while meal kits still charge a lot for them. 

In the above list, for example, making a Cheese Pizza, Mac & Cheese, Cauliflower or Quinoa bowl is incredibly inexpensive to make at home — it only costs about a dollar per serving! However, these are the type of meals where meal kits are the worst value since you’ll be paying around $12 for them as part of the “bundle” you’re required to purchase (that also includes delivery fee). 

Eating meat through a meal kit is about half as expensive as ordering it from a restaurant, but still much more expensive than making it yourself. A few meat-based meals stand out as being much more expensive with a meal kit than home cooking — Cilantro Lime Chicken, Chicken Soup, and Teriyaki Chicken make the top ten worst meal kit deals compared to home cooking.

Lastly, let’s look at all the data. The below chart shows the prices of all 86 meals we analyzed from a meal kit service, a restaurant, or making it at home from scratch.

What rules of thumb can be gleaned from looking at all this data? 

First, If meat is involved, you can save a lot of money by making the dish at home instead of ordering it from a restaurant. These types of dishes are the most expensive entrees on the menu at restaurants but don’t cost you that much to cook from scratch.

Second, if the ingredients are items like flour, cheese, and pasta, which are very inexpensive at the grocery store, avoid getting them from a meal kit service. On the other hand, meal kits can be a pretty good option if you want to cook more complicated meals with many ingredients, especially a meal like Curry Chicken which has many spices.

Lastly, cooking at home saves you money across the board. Although you will spend more time then ordering delivery from a restaurant, you will get a nutritious and delicious meal for about $4 a person.