How Cooking Can Save You

BY CARRIE MAH

When it comes to doing something, you have two choices: shell out a good chunk of money to let someone else do it, or spend a large amount of time to do it yourself. It’s always a balance of whether your time (and sanity) is worth doing something, or if it will be worth paying someone else to do it. This kind of thinking helps me determine whether or not I should eat out (amongst other decisions).

For me, eating out is a treat. That’s why I would be willing to spend an evening at a fancy restaurant, try out a new cuisine or meal, experience unique food at an event or tour, spend time with friends, or celebrate an occasion.
 
But for most, eating out is a necessity; whether they don’t like to cook, don’t have time to cook, or don’t know how to cook, they end up spending hundreds per week eating out (assume a meal is $20 on average and you eat out every day for at least one meal).
1

Health

Health

Instead of eating out frequently, stay in and cook a meal! Arguably you can end up cooking a lot of unhealthy meals at home (or microwave prepared meals), but it is guaranteed that you won’t use as much butter or oil as the restaurant chefs do. Stick with healthy oils when cooking on the pan, and paper towel-dry extremely greasy things that come out of the oven (e.g. bacon). You also get to select everything about your meal, substitute whatever ingredients you dislike or don’t have, and make larger meals to keep as leftovers. 
 
One of the things that bothers me about eating out is that you don’t necessarily get all of your food groups unless you spend around $20 for a course that comes with side dishes, or get a salad. Although restaurants are offering more nutritious options, they are limited and often leave you hungry for more.

Money

One of the most obvious savings – money! Buying in bulk definitely saves on grabbing a snack on the go, or buying those tiny little boxed snacks at the grocery store. Meat and seafood are reasonably priced compared to restaurants, and refrigerating leftovers can save you quite a bit. If you find yourself throwing out goods due to expiration dates or spoilage, consider freezing your meals, herbs or vegetables. I even got a bluapple to prolong the life of my produce.

I also find purchasing produce for the week, and stocking up on meats and other staple items help me keep track of what I should use first. If I’m ever too lazy to spend 30-60 minutes on cooking, I can just pop something into the oven and add some vegetables to the dish.

I also find purchasing produce for the week, and stocking up on meats and other staple items help me keep track of what I should use first. If I’m ever too lazy to spend 30-60 minutes on cooking, I can just pop something into the oven and add some vegetables to the dish.

Time and Sanity

TimeSometimes when I’m overwhelmed or stressed, I cook. Although I feel like I have no time, once I start cutting up vegetables and hear it sizzle, a strange serenity comes over me. Sometimes, trying out new recipes (like a 3-hour lasagna dish) can make me feel pressured, as my stomach is growling and guests are waiting for their meal. Nevertheless, cooking is a great hobby that doubles up as fueling your body.

If you’re a busy person, you can try planning your meals for the week. Spend a day on the weekend to cut up vegetables (one of the most time-consuming things) and freeze them. Or make a large dish by slow cooking it.

Plus, you get more family time! Nothing beats knowing what’s up with your family than sitting down at a meal and talking through bites. Or you can make food together – pizza is always a fun activity.

Your Public Image

Public Image

Being able to cook will increase your odds of being impressive to strangers or your friends. Got a hot date? Cook them a delicious meal! Women will appreciate a skilled chef, and men’s heart is through the stomach. Plus you can hold awesome, fancy dinner parties and get your guests to bring the fancy alcohol.

Last

If you don’t know where to start with cooking, Calgary offers several cooking courses. Check out Best Calgary Homes’ list of best cooking classes and Avenue Calgary’s list of cooking classes. Alberta Health Services also has a Wellness Kitchen were classes are held too.

Good luck budding chefs! I hope you all find it in yourselves to stay at home and make food! 🙂


 

Carrie Mini Bio

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