When faced with the choice of preparing a meal or dialing for take out, too many people opt for the latter because actually cooking something seems like so much effort. We seem as a society to have somehow convinced ourselves that cooking is difficult, not worth our time and only for those who are talented at preparing meals. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Cooking at home is often quick, easy, cheap and doesn’t require you to know how to flambé anything.
Here are 4 simple things you can do to motivate yourself to turn that oven on and cook something at home.
1. Remind yourself that you’re saving money
If you are not eating at home then you must be ordering in or eating out. Economic times are hard and both of those options are expensive in the long run. Yet the worst part is that you’re paying more for something you could probably cook better yourself. Why pay for a burger that’s mass produced along with 5000 others when you can cook one yourself at home for cheap and it’ll even be tastier? Seems like there’s no excuses to me.
2. Sometimes cooking yourself is actually faster
Many people justify not cooking because eating out or ordering in is faster. When these people picture making a meal they see themselves slaving away at a stove for hours, and therefore understandably choose not to because they are busy and can’t spare the time.
However, their entire belief system about cooking is actually based on a lie: cooking doesn’t really have to take so long. Perhaps in 1850 a dinner might have taken 2 hours to prepare every night, but nowadays you can knock together a delicious meal in a quarter of an hour if you know how. British chef Jamie Oliver specialises in recipes that can be completed in 15 minutes, showing that making your own food doesn’t have to take over your life. Let’s be honest with ourselves: when was the last time you where served in a restaurant or had take-out arrive in less than 15 minutes?
3. Remind yourself that it’s good for you
If you’re eating out or ordering in, chances are you are not eating the most healthy choices on the menu. By cooking your own food you know exactly what is going into the food you eat and you have much more control over making your meals healthier.
The best part about cooking at home is that the easiest things to make are often the cheapest and healthiest choices too. Nothing is more simple to prepare than a salad or a vegetable stir-fry, which coincidentally are two dishes that are packed with nutritional content. Simple.
4. You don’t have to be a master chef
A reason that many people don’t like to cook is that they feel that they are bad at it. They’ll crack a joke or two about it and make it seem cute that they can’t poach an egg, but in reality they’re just putting themselves down and making excuses.
You don’t need to be a master chef to cook at home, because modern conveniences have made it easier than ever to prepare a meal without a misstep. All you have to do is print some recipes from the internet (you can search for particularly cheap or easy ones) and follow what they say. You can often get by without fancier skills (why sauté vegetables when you can put them in the microwave?) and still make a tasty meal.
Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from cooking. Download a few recipes, buy some cheap ingredients and see what you can do. The more you cook, the more you’ll want to cook and be assured of your own abilities. Once motivated, it really couldn’t be easier to cook at home.
About the Author: Dora Novak is currently experimenting with fast and healthy foods you can cook with microwaves.