Which is less expensive .... buying all your food in grocery stores along the way and preparing it yourself, or buying your food in a restaurant/cafe/fast food place where it is prepared for you?
Yes, I know the "obvious" answer would be buying all your food in grocery stores, but I really question that answer.
I have often been the one paying for the food on my tours, while my cycling partners will pay for accommodations and other things. And I've watched how the numbers add up.
For example, when touring Australia, we could stop at a cafe and get an Australian hamburger (a massive thing with heaps of meat and veggies) and fries and a drink for about $8 each. That's $16 for a meal that could keep a cyclist going for hours! But then the next day we would go grocery shopping for our day's meal, and I'd shell out $20 for groceries. Sometimes some of it (like our granola breakfast cereal) would last a few days, but we ate most of it all in one day.
I've observed the same sort of thing while touring/travelling here in North America too. We can stop for a decent meal of Mexican food (my favorite!) for about $5 each, or we can spend $15 in the grocery store for a meal.
This is something I'm going to have to keep track of on my tour(s) this year.
What have your observations been?