Ordering food or going out to eat can seem so easy compared to whipping up a meal on your own. Aside from the quick fix, instant gratification of eating out, there are benefits of cooking at home, too. You might have heard that it’s good for your wallet and your waistline, but there are many factors that might convince you to start making more home-cooked meals.
Nothing brings people together quite like food, and that includes food prep. Cooking together is a great form of quality time between friends, family and romantic partners. Eating a home-cooked meal around the kitchen table is a great way to decompress from the day, share stories and connect with family members of all ages.
When you cook your own food, you have more control over what you’re eating. You can include nutrients you’ve been missing out on, fresh vegetables and lean proteins. Once you get comfortable in the kitchen, you can experiment with different types of ingredients that might taste better or add more nutritional value.
You also have more control over portion size, which could mean cooking just enough food or making sure you have leftovers for days to come. If you want to cook at home more but aren’t interested in doing it every day, look into the world of meal prep. Some people cook all their dinners for the week in one go, and portion it out every night.
In addition to cooking to your specific dietary needs, you can also cook to your specific tastes. Want more spice? Add as much as you want. Are you a fiend for onions? Now you can pile them up on whatever meal you’d like. The control you get when you’re cooking your own meal is really unparalleled to anything you could get while eating out.
In most living situations, it’s cheaper to make your own food. If you have no experience cooking, your wallet might take an initial hit when you’re stocking your kitchen with the essentials, but you’ll save in the long run.
If you’re trying to save more week to week, cooking at home is a great start. You can even make dupes of your favorites for less than it would cost to get them at a restaurant. Just make sure you buy the right amount of ingredients for what you need. If you buy too much food and don’t wind up eating it, you’re basically throwing money down the garbage disposal.
Need a Hand?
If you don’t consider yourself a cook or don’t have time to go to the grocery store or track down new recipes, consider trying a meal kit delivery service. Ingredients are delivered straight to your door, along with weekly recipes and thorough instructions. It’s a great way to teach yourself how to cook, become more comfortable in the kitchen and get in the habit of cooking for yourself. You’ll also build up a backlog of recipes that you can return to again and again.
HelloFresh is a subscription service that delivers the ingredients and recipes necessary for delicious weekly meals. With fresh, pre-portioned ingredients, seasonal recipes and over 30 fresh meals to choose from every week, you’ll never get tired of being in the kitchen. Plus, AAA members can save on their subscription.
Home Chef is a similar service that allows you to teach yourself to cook via a weekly delivery of ingredients and recipes. AAA members can save here too, so take a look at both and see which recipes are the ones for you!
Ready to start cooking? Check out our full list of AAA meal kit discounts here.
Do you you prefer to cook your own meals? Have you ever tried a meal kit? Tell us in the comments.