It’s 2016, and every time I drive home the street is clustered with an assortment of restaurants and fast food chains. It’s too easy to succumb to the easiness of buying your food out. While I agree that some days I just can’t imagine having to cook my food, I do try and prepare my meals at least five days a week. Not only is this more cost efficient, it can also be so much healthier.
In terms of cost, I’ve noticed that by strategically making a large dinner, I can have enough food left over for lunch the next day and even another dinner later in the week. That’s a lot of savings! If I buy lunch out every day of the week, it’s an average of $6 a meal, or a total of $30 a week. $120 a month! If I don’t have leftovers to have for my lunch, my go-to is a sandwich using whole wheat bread, mustard (there are about 100 calories in a tablespoon of mayo), deli meat and cheese, and veggies. I also bring a fruit as “dessert” – an apple, banana, or a couple of tangerines.
While cost is a huge benefit for making rather than buying food (my college-student budget is appreciative), I also do this for health reasons. When I cook, I can control what ingredients I use. I can control the amount of oil and salt that’s used, how many veggies I incorporate, choose low-fat meats, use whatever seasonings I want, etc. When I buy food out, I don’t know what they’re using. They could be using a gallon of butter for all I know (they’re probably not, but who knows). Most fast food chains add an assortment of unnecessary chemicals that I would rather not have in my body, thanks. In general, when I cook my own food, I feel better afterwards because I use ingredients that are good for my body.
Also think of it this way: It’s 2016, and the internet is at your disposal. While people used to rely on recipe books and sheer innovation to find recipes, you can now find anything with a simple good search. Millions of recipes free for you to use, with pretty pictures and in depth instructions. You can find the simplest of recipes to the most complex (when you’re feeling cray-zy). Find some simple stir-fry recipe, or a 30-minute crock pot recipe.
Pinterest is a great website where people can share recipes and save them for future use. I also like Foodgawker. I think of it as Pinterest but for foodies. You can type in any ingredients you want to use and hundreds to thousands of recipes will pop up. I like to search by the most popular – of the week, the month, or all time. You can also type in keywords like “healthy” and “easy” to find things to cook during a busy week.
Anyway, hoped this was at least a little insightful. See you soon!