Girl in a jacketYou’ve probably heard this advice many times: if you want to save money, you need to stop eating out. And yes, takeout and delivery count as “eating out”.

 

1. The Amount People Spend on Eating Out Might Shock You

Maybe some actual numbers will help you really see how much you can save if you stop eating out – even if it’s just a few days a week.

 

The average American household spends about $3,000 a year dining out, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Keep in mind that a household can sometimes consist of a single person. Even if you get a good deal such as $10 per meal, this adds up to $50 per week if you eat out once per day from Monday to Friday and in total, you’re spending $2,500 per year, near the national average.

 

Why is eating out so expensive is simple: restaurants need to make money. This is why in many cases you could make a $15 meal in a restaurant for $5 at home. In other words, a restaurant meal is 300% more expensive than a meal you cook yourself.

 

2. Benefits of Cooking

Granted, the food you make at home might not taste exactly the same as if it was made by a professional. But, cooking will not only benefit your wallet as it is very beneficial for your mental and physical health.

 

It’s healthier

Home-prepared food tends to be healthier than the typical restaurant meal because you can ensure your meals will have more nutrients and less fat and sugar.

 

It’s a stress reliever

Cooking is definitely the activity that will help me get rid of the tension or the stress built up. When you cook, you need to get your hands dirty, you do something more physical, which really helps you to break up the routine of your day and kick your mental exhaustion. At the end, seeing your end product is pure bliss that also boosts your self-confidence.

 

It makes you happy

When you cook, you do more than put your problems aside. You get to stimulate your senses. The feel of flour, the smell of fresh strawberries, the sound of the whisk beating, the cooking process stimulate your senses and gets your endorphins moving, those feel good hormones that put a smile on your face. It also gets your creative juices flowing and we cannot help feeling happy when we create.

 

It enhances your relationship with your spouse and children

When couples cook, they are a team that needs to communicate and cooperate. When you involve your children, they get to have fun and learn valuable things while you strengthen your bond. The more meals that you cook, the more often your family will get together, and the closer that you will become. It will also make you more popular as everyone loves to brag about eating that tasty meal or delicious dessert.

 

3. Beginner Cooking Guide

After you get your cookware essentials, it’s time to make some art.

 

Start simple

Start with recipes that require little skill in the kitchen and build your way up. Complex recipes won’t seem so scary once you’ve mastered a few and strengthened your self-confidence. Just make sure you choose tasty dishes such as pasta not to risk losing your motivation with a bland dish.

 

Make a meal plan

By planning for your meals in advance, you will not only be less tempted to eat out but you will also simplify your grocery shopping as you can use one ingredient in several dishes.

 

Use leftovers

For example, pilaf is an excellent way to use whatever vegetables are on hand and you can just add frozen vegetables if you need more ingredients.

 

Invest in energy-efficient appliances

If you make cooking a habit, you will be utilizing all of your appliances more regularly. Make sure you invest in energy-efficient appliances such as an air-fryer or soup maker that will not only lower your Pepco utility costs, but will also save you time.

 

Takeaway

Don’t worry, you don’t need to stop eating out altogether in order to save money. You can still get a kick out of the ‘gourmet’ experience that a professional chief can make, socialize, celebrate, try something new, or simply to take a break from your busy lifestyle, just from time to time. As a result, you might even end up appreciating it even more as your criteria is bound to rise as you get to know the cooking world. Whether it’s to better control what we put on our plates, make a tasty meal for your loved ones, or to save money, cooking is an art that has a lot of emotional, financial and mental rewards- and they are waiting for you to discover them.

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