It isn’t a secret: The 2020 COVID19 pandemic caused economic, political, and social chaos around the world by completely changing how our current system works.
While most of these effects were negative, some were not. More people are learning about saving money with home cooking.
According to a 2020 report, 55% of consumers in the United States started eating at home more frequently that year. While 35% said they had developed a passion for cooking, 25% stated they were tired of cooking frequently.
These findings are not difficult to understand. Most of us can appreciate how fulfilling cooking your own meals can be… but also how tedious the planning, grocery shopping, and cleaning process can get.
Most of the people in the survey agreed that one of these elements was one of their biggest challenges.
However, no matter how tedious the cooking or eating at home can be, there are multiple benefits to it. From improved health to saving money, eating homemade meals is certainly a lifestyle change that everyone should try.
Not only do you know exactly what you are eating – you can also be saving money with home cooking.
In this article, we will show you what these benefits are and how you can start saving money with home cooking. Keep reading and you might choose to start doing it yourself!
Easy Ways to Start Saving Money with Home Cooking
While there are many benefits of home cooking, there is only one you probably are interested in. Saving money. Turbo Wallet is all about financial tips, after all.
We understand that while you are probably aware that home cooking is better than getting food from a restaurant, it can look like a hassle. We have grown accustomed to a fast-moving world in which having to plan and go grocery shopping, preparing ingredients, cooking, and cleaning, might just not be possible.
However, home cooking doesn’t always need to be difficult. Let’s look at some ways in which you can start saving money with home cooking without dying in the attempt!
Be Wary About What You Buy
This might sound obvious but one of the most common mistakes when transitioning to home cooking is spending too much on ingredients. You might think we are referring to expensive ingredients, but you would be wrong. We are talking about buying more spices, meat, or vegetables than you need.
While it is easy to think you will be different and use those ingredients later, they will go to waste more often than not. According to a 2020 study, the average US household wastes 31.9% of the food it acquires, with more than two-thirds of households contributing.
By limiting yourself to buying the ingredients you really need or cooking what you already have, you will save money in the long term. Buying as you need is also a great way to ensure your ingredients are always fresh!
A great innovation in the culinary industry was the introduction of meal kits. Companies like Dinnerly offer kits that will provide you with the recipe and the right amount of ingredients directly to your door. This ensures no ingredient will go to waste, you can innovate, and save time on the planning/shopping.
According to that Forbes study we already mentioned, meal kits are about 40% cheaper than ordering from a restaurant. This makes these options better when it comes to saving money with home cooking while reducing the logistics of it. It is also delicious and super easy!
Be Flexible when Shopping!
Once you start home cooking, you will find out that there are many recipes you want to try. However, if your plan is to save money by home cooking, it is better if you are flexible when it comes to your meals.
By taking advantage of sales and planning your meals around which products you can save on, you can save money. This might be harder at the beginning as you will most likely be following recipes but should get easier in the long run.
This is also a great way to challenge your culinary skills and practice creative cooking! Remember that cooking has great cognitive benefits which can increase with this approach.
Avoid Buying If You Can Make It
Home cooking is more than just putting the main dish together. By making your own dressings, sauces, mixes, etc, you can extend the benefits of home cooking.
Have you ever tried a homemade vinaigrette you prepared according to your preferences? If not, it is an entirely different experience!
While this tip won’t be applicable to everything you do, keeping it in mind is a great way of saving money with home cooking as much as you can.
Make It Simple
One of the most important steps toward making a long-lasting lifestyle change is to start little.
By cooking simple recipes at first, you will be more likely to develop your culinary skills and keep up with them. Not only will cooking Gordon Ramsay-approved beef wellington cost you more money, but it might also deter you from continuing the change.
Making it simple also means not being hard on yourself. It is understandable that one day you might not be able to cook for various reasons. However, when this happens, there are other ways in which you can continue with the home cooking mentality without falling for the old ways.
While not the same as home cooking, services like Freshly offer pre-prepared meals you can get ready to eat in 3 minutes. Unlike traditional frozen meals, these meals are cooked by chefs who design them with health and convenience in mind. They also have various options with a homemade style and are delicious!
As you can see, saving money with home cooking is a real possibility. While it is more of a lifestyle change than a small tweak you can follow, the benefits are huge!
The Benefits of Saving Money with Home Cooking
Most of us have an intuitive understanding of how eating homemade meals can be healthier than ordering food, going through a drive-thru, or eating at a restaurant. However, it is also easy to understand what these benefits are when thinking about them in more detail.
Understanding some of these benefits of home cooking will make it easier for you to choose or continue doing so. This will not only benefit you in several ways but could also motivate you to start saving money with home cooking.
Trust us, it doesn’t have to be tedious!
Let’s look at some of the benefits of eating homemade meals.
Homemade Meals Are Directly Tied to Your Health
The most obvious benefit of home cooking is its impact on our health.
The increase in home cooking as a result of the pandemic presented a perfect occasion for scientists to look into this. The results were clear, with experts expecting a reduction in chronic diet-related illnesses as a result. These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
Americans are getting an average of 21% of their caloric intake from restaurants, which means they are getting food of poor nutritional quality. Restaurant food doesn’t only tend to be unhealthy but also difficult to assess when it comes to ingredients.
While cooking at home doesn’t mean your meal will be healthy, you are sure to get better-quality ingredients. In addition to this, by being aware of what ingredients you are using, you will be more conscious about your nutritional decisions.
Science is clear in this regard according to Harvard University: The more people cook at home, the healthier their diet, the fewer calories they consume, and the less likely they are to be obese or develop type 2 diabetes.
It Improves Your Relationships
Cooking and eating at home have proven to help people socialize with loved ones. Either by spending time together while shopping, cooking, or eating, home cooking can ward loneliness. If you will be cooking by yourself, it also is a great way to connect with yourself for a while.
If you are living with other people, be it your children or a roommate, working together toward creating a delicious meal is a fun way to bond. Not only will you be reaping the social benefits of working together but you get to enjoy a delicious meal.
For those living by themselves, cooking has become a way of having personal time. Just like exercising, meditating, or doing a hobby, cooking has proven to have a positive psychological effect.
According to a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Psychology: “Thanks to the culinary activities, people do not only obtain pure happiness and relaxation but can draw wider inferences about their life by realizing their own potential “
Cooking Is A Workout for Your Brain
Whether you are coming up with your menus and recipes, or just following instructions, cooking stimulates your brain. Among seniors, cooking has proven to have powerful cognitive benefits.
As cooking requires you to pay attention, eye-hand coordination, planning, and other skills, by cooking you are also forcing your brain to workout out another way.
This benefit can also be increased by challenging yourself to come up with new culinary ideas, such as basing one entire day’s meal around a single ingredient or theme.
More Control Over the Ingredients
Choosing to be a home cook gives you more control over which ingredients your food has. With more than 50 million Americans having a good allergy, it also is a great way to prevent allergy outbreaks.
It doesn’t matter if you are not allergic to a specific food, we all have some preferences when it comes to what food we enjoy.
By cooking yourself, you can easily pick between those ingredients you are more likely to enjoy. No more ordering food to find a single ingredient can ruin an entire culinary experience!
Home Cooking Saves Money
We are sure you could see this one coming, but we still need to say it: Home cooking can save you money! Be it by improving your health in the long term or just by directly being cheaper than eating from a restaurant, studies show you can save money by eating home-cooked meals.
This is something that Forbes set to confirm back in 2018.
By analyzing tons of data, the publication found that cooking at home is just cheaper. On average, ordering delivery from a restaurant is 5 times more expensive than home cooking. Even when the delivery fees were not considered, this fact remained.
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