Eat for 21,000$/year? Cost Efficiency Of Chili’s Menu – Calories and Protein Per Dollar

7-4-17 Blog Update: Went rustic camping this weekend but still wanted to get a weekly article out. I found the sheer cost of some orders shocking, if you like eating out, this article might be traumatizing. This didnt include tipping either…

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Chili’s! “Casual atmosphere, decent prices, and wide menu variety”

Its a splurge when you’re sick of cooking at home and need a break.

For my family, it was an absolute MUST to order the skillet queso with chips. As it turns out, my parents may have been onto something…

 Save Money At Chili’s


  • Appetizers  – provide the best bang for your buck with the highest calories AND protein per dollar of the entire menu.
  • A Half Order of Texas Cheese Fries – is the best dish on the menu in terms of calories per dollar with 268 calories per dollar, and ties for the most protein per dollar with 11 grams per dollar.
  • A Full Order of Texas Cheese Fries – is not a good choice compared to the Half Order. The Full Order appetizer reduces the proteins per dollar from 11 grams to only 9 grams and the calories per dollar from 268 to only 212 calories.
  • The Skillet Queso and Chips – is the absolute best deal for someone seeking to max calories on a budget. The appetizer provides 249 calories per dollar but this does not factor in that you can ask for refills on chips and salsa even after the queso is gone. At $6.39 you can consume virtually limitless calories (if Chili’s doesn’t cut you off at your fifth chip refill).

Chili’s Raw Excel Data Download

Chili’s Is a Break from Eating at Home, But It Is STILL Expensive

Previous articles have shown fast food menu items offering much higher calories per dollar than what Chili’s offers. The maximum 268 calories per dollar on Chili’s menu does not come close to competing with fast food. This also can’t compete with eating at home for $1,000/year.

So the next time you’re thinking about going to Chili’s and grabbing the 2 for 1 Presidente Margaritas, keep your budget in mind.

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