If you are like I was when I was in my 20’s, cooking dinner meant making spaghetti and meatballs where the pasta sauce came in a jar and the meatballs were found in the frozen food aisle. When I was in my 20’s, I ate out a lot. Along with all of that eating out was a lot of money leaving my bank account. Below are three benefits to learning how to cook.
Lunches out for me averaged $10 meal. Dinners were closer to $15 per meal. If I ate out three times per week each for lunch and dinner (six meals out per week), I was spending $540 a month! Just eating out half that amount would allow me to save an additional $250 per month or put that extra money towards debt repayment.
Don’t be fooled by advertisements touting special prices for eating out. Eating out is expensive. Many times the special has a set of conditions you must meet in order to get the discounted price, which makes the special price not so special. The less you can rely on eating out the better and the sooner you can do this is even better.
When you go out to eat, the portion sizes are huge. Most times there are enough calories in one meal to cover the average person for a day. And don’t be fooled by the “healthier” places to eat out either. They are just as bad for you. I jumped online to see the nutritional information for a soup and sandwich restaurant. I figured soup and a sandwich has to be good for you. I was completely wrong. Sure the calories weren’t sky high like other places, but fat and sodium levels were comparable.
When you learn to cook, you control what you put into your food. You also are better at portion control. For these two reasons, eating in is much better for you. (Note: Don’t be fooled by the ready-made meals in the freezer section. They take 10-15 to cook up and serve. This isn’t cooking and these aren’t that great for you. Most are overloaded with sodium and contain all sorts of unnecessary ingredients. Stick to cooking your own meals. It may take a little longer, but it is worth it.)
When you learn new skills, you grow as a person. We should always be striving to grow. If we stop learning, we stop growing, which means we just meander along through life. Nobody wants that. We all want exciting lives. Learning to cook is fun.
I can remember having date nights with girlfriends as we tried to cook a new dish. Many times the meals turned out good, while sometimes the meal was horrible. But that is what makes it fun. I loved when we screwed things up. It allowed us to know what to do different next time.
It also allowed us to try new foods we might otherwise not try. Learning new foods you enjoy allows you to cook and experiment with even more meals.
Cooking isn’t hard. There are thousands of books out there and endless websites with recipes too. Finding simple meals to cook is easy. You don’t have to be a master chef either. I’m still not a great cook, but I can easily cook over 100 meals. I still go out to eat on occasion, but for the most part, I save my money and eat in.
I urge you to give cooking a try. You don’t have to cook every night or be stuck in the kitchen for hours on end. There are plenty of meals you can make in 30 minutes or less. So what are you waiting for? Give cooking a try!!