How many of you are guilty of cashing in your check and immediately spending it on food? You’ve tried saying “no” to your daily vanilla latte, but instead find yourself walking out of Starbucks with a drink in your hand and a bagel in the other.
Business Insider reports that nowadays, millennials go out to eat more often than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers. Fifty-three percent of millennials go out to eat once a week.
But are you tired of the same routine or of running out of money faster than you can make it? Well, for those of you looking to spruce up your eating habits, here are seven reasons to start cooking your own food.
What if the meal you just ordered at a restaurant had been sitting out for an hour and was simply reheated? It’s more difficult to tell how fresh the ingredients are if you’re not the one cooking with them.
Ashley Lutz also tells Business Insider that while previous generations counted calories, “Millennials care more about food being fresh, less processed and with fewer artificial ingredients.” When you make your own food, you can measure the amount of butter you use, cut the fat off the meat yourself and shop for the produce you trust is fresh.
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When you eat at home, you can choose to prepare lean proteins, whole grains and incorporate all your favorite vegetables. Daily Health Post reports that most of the sodium (about 77 percent) you consume comes from processed and restaurant foods because of the ingredients used and the portions served.
Cooking at home not only helps you pick your own ingredients, but it helps you manage your own portions. The large portions people eat at restaurants can lead to “greater incidences of obesity, high-cholesterol and heart disease.” How many times have you been served an enormous platter of food and felt the need to finish it all?
If you’re at home, however, you have control over the size of your plate, the amount of food you eat and the way you cook.
“Do you want to make it a large for two bucks more? Would you like to add another side to your order? How about a nice, cold beer to wash it down?” Upselling can be very persuasive and expensive.
Not only that, but as Fitday points out, you could spend about $20 dining at a “moderately expensive restaurant.” With this amount of money, you could prepare three or four ordinary meals at home — maybe even more if you eat smaller portions.
Buying meat, vegetables, spices and other ingredients from the supermarket can be very affordable and will save you money in the long run.
When you get in the hang of cooking your own meals, you’ll want to try new recipes. Get rid of that weekly lasagna meal and spice it up with dishes from around the world!
Every culture has signature dishes that come with historical stories, fables and traditions. For instance, many meals are made to celebrate a specific moment in history. Learning about these stories and traditions will help you savor different cultures.
As Amy Choi writes on the TED website, food can stand for a number of things. Food can be an integral part of one’s identity, it could have been used as a form of survival or act as an indication of status. So the next time you search for a recipe, see if you can also find information about the origins of that meal.
Health Guidance advises, “If you eat out then you will be far more likely to order three courses than you would be at home.” If a restaurant offers free breadsticks, free soda refills or even a discount on desert, you will be more tempted to take the offer since you’re already out and spending money.
Also, when you’ve decided to go out to eat, you may even convince yourself that if you’re going to be spending money, you’ll spend it on something you really want, which may or may not be healthy.
Eating at home is a great opportunity to bond with your family or friends. Sometimes the music at a restaurant is too loud or distracting. (And you may even be too busy taking Instagram photos of the mealto actually engage in a conversation.)
When you make your own food, however, you can turn cooking into a fun (or even romantic) activity. Also, if everyone eating pitches in for the meal, then it feels more rewarding as you gather around the dinner table.
Really, cooking at home means you’ll get to enjoy the comfort of your own place. This can help stir up more intimate conversations with your boyfriend, girlfriend, parents or roommates.
Go ahead and brag to your friends about the amazing dishes you can now cook! You’ll find yourself a lot happier when you add more to your “this is what I can do” list.
Cooking is not as bad you think it is! Don’t use the excuse that you have no time because there are thousands of quick recipes available to whip up in less than half an hour or to do while multitasking. At the end of the day, it feels very rewarding to eat what you personally made, to know that you saved money and to be aware of the ingredients that went into your meal.
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What’s your all-time favorite dish? We want to know! Comment below.
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