“I don’t have time to cook.”
“Cooking is too much work.”
“It’s too messy.”
People find many reasons not to cook. There are a lot of GREAT reasons to do it; better nutrition, control over ingredients, better taste, and lower cost are just a few.
Many of us in the US are suffering from health problems: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, sluggishness, and heart problems. According to the State of Obesity website, obesity rates in 2016 were at least 20% in all states (stateofobesity.org). Medicine is only a partial treatment. Whether we want to admit it or not, there are things we can do to help our bodies function better, and prevent serious health problems throughout our lives. Nutrition is key!
So, what do we do? STOP eating fast food TODAY. Plan meals/snacks for just a few minutes. Go to the grocery store, buy some healthy food, and treat yourself with foods that are better than the dollar menu. You know that stuff is junk, and you should strive to be a well-fueled machine!
Control Over Ingredients
I love hamburgers, but have you ever bitten into a hamburger and found oddly textured bits of stuff in there? I have, too, and it has made be picky about where I buy ground beef. Costco ground beef is good, and it is priced economically. I don’t buy pre-formed patties, just ground beef. I make my own burgers from that.
Similarly, I love Italian sausages and polska kielbasa, but to get sausages made with quality ingredients costs way too much. The ones in our price range just aren’t up to my standards. Monty and I began grinding our own sausage a few years ago using spice combinations we found on Pinterest. It was so lean and delicious, and there were no mysterious chunks in it. Much better!
Generally, when I make food at home I know exactly what goes into the recipes. I use the best meats, fresh produce, quality herbs and spices, and the highest grade oils I can. My pans and utensils are clean, and I put my hair in a ponytail when I’m cooking. I prefer my own cooking to most restaurants, and I don’t have to worry about sanitary conditions or low quality ingredients.
Everything I cook is tailored to our preferences. We choose and cook dishes we love, and we spice them just the way we like them. My family prefers vegetables cooked “tender crisp,” not cooked until mushy. Everyone in this house gets their steaks cooked to their liking – rare, medium, or well-done. For us, food is all about taste, and we LOVE the taste of our home-cooked food.
Yes, it takes time to become a good cook, but there’s no better way to learn than to just do it, and do it frequently. You will have failures, but you will learn and get better and better at cooking. Eventually, you may have your own recipes, too.
Food is one of the biggest expenses after mortgage payments and utilities. The dollar menu is cheaper than cooking,, and seems like a great option until your health fails; then it can be quite costly. Eating out is far more expensive than cooking at home, if you know how to plan meals and shop. There’s definitely a skill to shopping, and I’ll post more about that later. YOU CAN LEARN!
The cost of going out to a restaurant where we can get a quality hamburger with all the trimmings and french fries is around $75 for the 5 of us. We can buy enough food to make 4 or 5 good meals at home with that money! For $75, I can buy 5 lbs ground beef ($20), 20 Italian sausages ($13), a rotisserie chicken (already cooked – $5), potatoes (or frozen fries – $5), salad mix ($5), veggies for side dishes ($15), and treats ($10). That’s a good week’s worth of dinners at our house for 5 adults. THAT is a huge value!
Ready to learn more about meal planning? Check out the “cheat sheet” post!
So, find your reasons for cooking at home. Do you need to save money? Are you trying to be healthier? Are you particular about quality ingredients?
ASSIGNMENT FOR TODAY: decide what’s for dinner. If you have nothing to cook, stop on your way home for a rotisserie chicken, bagged salad, and a loaf of artisan bread. You’ll spend less, and it will be healthier and DELICIOUS. You can do this!
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