Hello everyone! Today’s post is about something my husband and I do almost every day: cooking at home. A lot of people struggle with cooking at home rather than going out to eat. There’s a good reason for that: going out to eat is fast, usually quite tasty, and creates no dirty dishes! In short, it’s convenient. But it can also be expensive, wasteful, and not particularly nutritious.
Going out to eat every now and again is fine, but if you are looking to make a change and want to cook more meals at home, it can really be quite easy!
Here are five tips for doing more cooking at home:
1. Split the work. If you live with a roommate or spouse, split up the work that is involved with cooking at home. Trying to do everything yourself can sometimes be stressful. Have your sous chef be in charge of cutting up vegetables, or loading the dishwasher while you cook. Maybe they can make a trash run, clean up spills, or locate spices for you. Or maybe they just wash the dishes while you cook. Whatever way you decide to split up the work, just try to avoid doing everything.
2. Use a cookbook or website to find recipes. If you’re not an avid chef or feel uncomfortable making recipes on your own just yet, find a cookbook or website that you enjoy. It’s easier than constantly googling specific recipes. Sometimes you don’t know what you want to eat, but scrolling through a website you’ve used before and enjoyed may help you pick something. Websites often have step-by-step pictures that can help you feel reassured if you’re not certain you’re on the right track. I’d highly recommend DamnDelicious as a place to get started. Her recipes are fairly simple, usually quite quick, and feature beautiful pictures.
3. Scope out your grocery store ads in your newspaper or online. Cooking more at home means you will have to do more grocery shopping, which also means your grocery shopping bill will dramatically increase. Even with a higher grocery bill, cooking food at home costs practically nothing when compared to the price of going out to eat. You can check your local ads for the best prices on foods you typically consume. If you’re very adventurous, you might consider using two different grocery stores for different needs (i.e. buying your meat and produce from one place, and your shelf stable items from another). If going to the grocery store is overwhelming for you (it definitely is for me), consider a grocery delivery service, like Amazon Prime Now or Milk and Eggs.
4. Give yourself something to do. If you’re not particularly enamored with cooking and don’t feel that being fully engaged in making a meal is exciting, consider doing something to distract yourself while you make food. I know, I know, mindfulness and all that. But if cooking at home is a goal for you and you just aren’t feeling spending time in the kitchen (especially if you are by yourself), don’t feel guilty about searching for a distraction. Set up your tablet with your favorite show, put on a Pandora station (I highly recommend the Italian Cooking Music station or Morning Motown), or even follow along to a Youtube cooking video.
5. Have patience. You are going to have failures. You will burn something. You may light something on fire (I have!). Your meal might be a complete disaster. That’s ok! Don’t feel guilty about spending the money on ingredients and having it go wrong. Making mistakes is a part of the learning process, and you won’t get better at what you do without burning something along the way.
I would love to hear about your successful, and not so successful, meals in your kitchen. Are you interested in more recipes from this blog? Let me know in the comments section!