Try Making Food at Home More Often

I love food. One of my favorite pastimes is eating delicious food. I’ll admit that there’s something nice about just being able to sit there and have hot food brought to you without having to make any effort to make said food. Let’s face it, chefs at decent restaurants are professionals at making food taste great.

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I’ve become the Grill Master among friends and family since I started cooking at home.

I also enjoy tasting different kinds of foods. There are some things I may never get around to cooking myself, like kimchi, the Korean cabbage delicacy. Going out to eat, however, makes tasting a wide variety of foods easier. It’s something I enjoy too much to give up entirely, but it’s something I’ve learned to make a treat, rather than a regular occurrence. I make my own food most of the time now. Here are a few reasons why.

The most obvious reason that most people know by now is that there’s a huge financial benefit to cooking at home, so I won’t belabor that point. But just as an example, Colorado State University has a study that shares one clear case of how eating at home saves you both time and money:

“A person can prepare a homemade spaghetti dinner with salad for a family of four in 15 minutes and for an approximate total of $8.88 or $2.22/person. If a family of four eats a spaghetti dinner with salad in a restaurant it can easily cost $10.99 a person or $43.96. That doesn’t even include beverages, tax and tip. Plus it may take 10 to 20 minutes to drive to the restaurant and another hour to be served and eat and then 10 to 20 minutes to drive back home.”

For most people, that adds up quickly, especially when you start talking about lunch and dinner. But for others, maybe the money isn’t a motivator.

You can also consider what restaurants put in their food. Turns out they add a lot more fat, sugar and sodium to every dish. You aren’t even safe with grilled chicken! According to the same Colorado State University study, grilled chicken at a restaurant has 766 calories, but a home-cooked grilled chicken only has 434 calories. You can also control the portion sizes at home. Most restaurants serve portions that are twice the size that is appropriate to eat.

Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are epidemics in the United States, ranking us 43 compared to other developed nations in health and wellness, according to the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Index. One quick thing people can do to turn that around is to consider eating food they make at home more often. “Eating out more frequently is associated with obesity, higher body fatness, or higher BMI,” says a research review by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

When I decided that saving money and improving health were worth some effort, I developed an interest in preparing and cooking food at home. One thing that helped in this process was watching the chefs prepare food on the Food Network. I particularly love putting food on the grill. Give it a try. It might make you hungry for cooking.

Cooking is truly an art I think that anyone can make a unique contribution to. In the process, you might find yourself bringing family and friends together to share with them your creations.