At the end of a long day, there’s nothing easier and more convenient than popping a frozen meal in the oven or ordering from a food delivery service. However, this habit is not financially viable in the long run. Instead of eating out, challenge yourself to cook more for yourself and your loved ones. Along with saving money, cooking your own meals is rewarding for your health and the environment. Many people aspire to start cooking but don’t know where to start. We have eight ways to make cooking from home hassle-free and enjoyable:
- Use what you have at home
- Grocery delivery services
- Prep ahead of time
- Invest in the right tools
- Make your favorite foods
- Keep recipes simple
- Cook more with people you love
- Host more dinner parties
Use what you have at home
To effectively adopt a habit, you will need to set realistic goals. Keeping a consistent cooking habit means you are going to have to start from somewhere. Cooking doesn’t have to be an expensive ordeal if you use the supplies and ingredients you already have. Take an inventory of your pantry and fridge to best assemble your grocery list. Using what you have also includes keeping a stocked inventory of frequently used items like salt and pepper, olive oil, butter, etc.
Grocery delivery services
One common reason why people can’t find time to cook more is that they struggle to grocery shop. But grocery shopping is a breeze when you order groceries from apps like Instacart or using a curbside option. Once you have made a plan to cook a certain recipe on a specific day, you can have fresh ingredients delivered to your door with a reasonable delivery fee. An alternative to going grocery shopping or using a delivery service is ordering ingredients from a meal kit service. These meal kits include pre-portioned ingredients with hand-picked recipes tailored to your preferences and dietary needs.
Prep ahead of time
Cut down the time you spend putting together your meal by prepping your meals ahead of time. It’s difficult to be motivated to cook more when recipes can take up to an hour to make. Meal prepping professionals recommend preparing ingredients either the morning of or on a Sunday for the week ahead. You will save time by prepping and cooking multiple meals in bulk or a meal in a larger portion. Just put the rest in the fridge or freezer for later. Prepping and arranging your ingredients allows you to spend more time working on the dish’s presentation.
Invest in the right tools
It’s important to utilize what you already have, but it’s equally as important to cook with the right kitchen tools. People often overthink how best to spend their money on kitchen gadgets. But some of the best kitchen tools worth investing in are the items you use most often. A quality set of knives, cutting boards, and pots and pans make cooking less frustrating and more pleasing. You will be amazed at the difference quality tools make!
Make your favorite foods
Nothing will motivate you to cook more than being able to cook your favorite foods. Healthy eating may be enticing for beginner home cooks, but nothing is more appetizing than comfort meals. The meals you make won’t compare to what you can order out, but any step to cook more is a step in the right direction. One great starting place for finding recipes for food you already love is by asking around for traditional family recipes.
Keep recipes simple
To ease into cooking more, you will need to start simple. One-pot and one-sheet meals are beginner-friendly because they only involve one large dish at a time, making clean-up much easier. Also, choosing recipes with shared fresh ingredients leads to more practice and less food waste. One way to simplify the cooking process is to buy pre-made sauces or seasoning blends that do the heavy lifting in a meal. At Dock Line, we share recipes each month from appetizing entrees to delicious desserts in our magazine section Catch Em’ Clean Em’ & Eat Em’. Once you’ve mastered a few recipes you enjoy, you’ll be ready to master more complicated meals and be more creative.
Cook more with people you love
Want to cook more but can’t seem to do it on your own? Then engage the people around you to cook with you. Sharing the responsibilities makes the cooking time fly by while you spend quality time together. Kids of all ages can handle simple prepping tasks like mixing and measuring ingredients. You can even make cooking a meal into a romantic dinner date with your spouse. Cooking together can be a bonding activity whether you are with friends or family.
Host more dinner parties
Another way to involve others in your cooking is to host more dinner parties. Cooking for more people than usual challenges your cooking and multitasking skills in a significant way. Being a great host means giving yourself more time than you will need and accepting help when you need it. Be sure to choose dishes that you are confident making and will comfortably serve everyone present. If the weather allows, host your party outdoors in the perfect outdoor space.
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