Simple cooking with three to five ingredients. Easy, tasty food can be affordable on a budget. Cooking well in your own kitchen should not be intimidating; it should not be overly time consuming; it should not be a daunting, overwhelming task that drains you. And if cooking at home makes you feel this way and gives you this kind of anxiety, then you need to change your thoughts, simplify your kitchen and get used to your own cooking.
For many, many people, food tastes better if someone else cooks it. If you’re just now learning to like what you cook, I recommend making a list of some of your favorite foods that you go to in restaurants or in other peoples’ homes. Use this list to make your own repertoire. Get clear the flavors you like and types of food you tend to lean towards. From your list, look up recipes online to make easily and healthy at home. Change out some of the fatty ingredients restaurants use, keeping the flavor.
Learn the techniques and prepping you need to do to make some of your favorite meals. Get some of the prepping done ahead of time. If you like stir-frys, do some of the chopping ahead of time and keep this in the frig ready for the night you choose to make it. Keep chopped onions, mushrooms and peppers in containers in the frig – saute and pour in some eggs for a quick meal. Measure out flour and dry ingredients for quick breads so all you have to do is mix in the wet ingredients – in no time at all you’ve got a quick bread in the oven.
Keep in mind that you don’t just start to cook a meal 30 minutes before mealtime – unless you have thought ahead and planned ahead, and prepped ahead of time – and have dinner on the table 30 minutes from the time you walk in your door after work. Just don’t start thinking about what’s for dinner when you’re tired and hungry at the end of a long day, this is a recipe for disaster.
A good, solid food budget is a wise action to take with the rising costs of living. Home cooking may seem like a homely little thing to do to make significant changes in your life but why don’t you try it anyway?