I am not the cook of the year, but I do have a taste for homemade recipes.
It reminds me of the moments I spent with my mom and siblings in the kitchen, preparing dishes and desserts for special occasions.
My actual struggle is to find a way to use wisely my time: I don’t have a lot of free hours to cook very sophisticated meals every week. But I like to cook because it has a lot of advantages.
Here are the 5 most important reasons to prepare home food:
- You have more control on the amount of sugar, fat and extra chemicals that you put in. The biggest issue with industrial food is that despite what brands try to make us believe, we never really know what’s inside. Even if it looks fresh and clean, when you start looking at the labels and see the number of additional components it makes you dizzy. FYI, it’s always better to buy products that don’t have more than 3 or 4 ingredients, with industrial and organic food (we can be fooled by organic brands too, don’t forget their point is to sell).
- You save money, a significant amount of money. Take a couple of minutes and write down in a piece of paper your weekly or monthly food expenses. You are going to quickly realize how much not cooking home can actually cost you. There are the food carts not really optimal (when you go to the supermarket without a list or a general idea of your meals), all the food deliveries you can get at night and during the weekends (thanks UberEATS), the restaurants or takes out at lunch time in the office… When we spend all that money little by little every day, we don’t realize how much it is. It’s a good time to re think your budget, spend more on quality food on your local supermarket and maybe choose 2 days in the week to eat out in a very good restaurant. This way, you gain quality on your food and your wallet.
- You save time later on: I do my food prep of the week on Sunday, depending on the recipes it can take me between one and three hours. It allows me to then, save time every day, I only have to heat up my dish in the micro wave or the oven. It’s also a way to save energy: you know when you come home, you are hungry, and you scratch your head in front of the refrigerator and you end up ordering a delivery… That’s another benefit of meal prep.
- You explore and experiment new recipes! I have my classic recipes, the ones I do quickly because I know them by memory. But I can get bored, I need diversity, so I regularly try new recipes, or I try to change a few things on my classic ones. Sometimes just another vegetable or spice can change the taste. Because my budget is limited and I don’t want to spend 4 hours on the kitchen, I usually stick to recipes with between 3 and 5 ingredients.
- You create a moment of sharing and making memories with your loved ones. As I said, when I was a kid and a young teenager, it was always an amazing time to be with my mom or grandmother, cut vegetables or having my hands on flour preparing some cakes. Now these moments are rarer as I live abroad but I get to spend time in the kitchen with my boyfriend and his family. It’s a super cool way to bond and learn new things about each other cultures.
As for my experience, cooking at home it’s a saver of both time and money. Also, it allows you to enjoy quality food at home and when you eat out.