It’s a busy world, and our busy lives often get reflected through what we do and eat for dinner. I’m sure we are all guilty from time to time of taking shortcuts when it comes to our meals. We swing by the drive through of fast-food restaurant, order delivery from the Chinese restaurant down the road and even settling for frozen, microwavable meals.
While these seem like convenient options for a busy life, this kind of corner cutting is not conducive to living a healthy – both physically and mentally – and money-saving lifestyle.
Finding the time to cook for yourself is a very important aspect of life. Now, we know life sometimes doesn’t allow for home cooking every day of the week, but the benefits of allowing time to cook for you and your family several times a week are great and will help lead to a healthier lifestyle than a frozen pizza could ever offer.
Cooking at home saves money
Eating out is expensive!
Let’s do a little bit of simple math. Taking a family of four to a medium-scale chain restaurant will cost you around $40-50. Even a trip to a fast-food restaurant will run you around $6-7 a person; let’s call it $25-30 for a family of four. Multiply that by two to three times a week for an entire year and you are looking at thousand and thousands of dollars dedicated just to eating out. Even if you are just feeding yourself and possibly your partner or spouse, that is still a lot of money.
Stocking up at the grocery store once or twice a month, while a larger up-front cost, is an investment that will save you loads in the long run. With a month’s worth of groceries and food at your fingertips at home, you don’t have to worry about paying meal-to-meal and can do more cost-effective planning with your meals, such as taking advantage of cooking larger portions to provide for leftovers.
You actually know what’s in your food
When you grab a burger from a fast-food chain, you have no real way of knowing exactly what you bargained for. Alternatively, looking at the back of a frozen dinner box may list off what is inside, but you may be unsettled to see a paragraph’s worth of ingredients, many of which you cannot identify!
There is no guessing when it comes to home cooking. Cooking at home provides you the piece of mind of knowing exactly what is in your food. Buying the ingredients yourself also allows for more personalization with your meals. If you read a recipe you like but has an ingredient or element you aren’t crazy about, you can remove it or try something different entirely! These kinds of requests can often not be fulfilled at a restaurant – or are at least met with resistance.
Cooking at home also helps expand your palette as you continue to experiment with new recipes and foods.
Cooking can be therapeutic
One reason many people may want to opt out cooking for themselves is that their lives are stressful and don’t want the perceived added pressure or stress of cooking their own meals. In short, a lot of people see cooking as a hassle.
But, nothing could be further from the truth! Studies have shown that cooking is a great stress reliever. Some counselors even assign cooking and baking as therapy tools, citing them as being able to “soothe stress, build self-esteem and curb negative thinking by focusing the mind on following a recipe.”
Cooking can be a terrific way to destress and wind down at the end of a long day and do something healthy and constructive. Now, it may be stressful to hop right into complex dishes and recipes right off the bat if you are new to cooking or a novice. Start with short, simple recipes and gradually build your way up to bigger and crazier ones!
Randall Beans has plenty of terrific and easy-to-make recipes, perfect whether you are new to cooking, on a budget, need something quick or trying to expand your creative repertoire. Our latest free e-cookbook was crafted with a busy life in mind. Packed full of easy to make and quick home-cooked meals, these recipes will help you reap the benefits of cooking for yourself and your family while still saving you time.