Want to save $3,000 a year? It’s simple: Make meals at home instead of going out. If the idea of cooking makes you dread mealtime, it’s time to take a look at how you make food and where you can improve the process. To start, here are three things you can do to help make cooking a more enjoyable experience.
1. Keep Your Kitchen Organized and Functional
This may seem like an unnecessary step or ineffective solution, but you’d be surprised what a well-organized and nice-looking kitchen can do for your cooking. Begin by arranging the contents of your cabinets so you can easily find what you need when you need it. Buy items such as a knife holder, utensil drying racks or even a kitchen island to add more functionality. And this goes without being said, but a clean kitchen always makes it easier to cook, so ensure that your countertops are regularly wiped and everything is put back in place when not being used. All these steps will provide you with the user-friendly and drama-free environment that will make cooking more fun.
If your kitchen is outdated, it might be time for a refresh. For example, you could add under-cabinet lighting to make it easier to find things and see the details of what you’re doing. You could also change out your stove top to something that is user-friendly and cost-saving, and add a dishwasher if it’s the after-cooking cleaning that always turns you off.
2. Get a Handy Little Toolbox
If you’re new to the cooking world, then you probably need to stock up on the fundamental tools. Start with the simple stuff like a sharp knife set, chopping board, strainer, grater, stainless steel pot and frying pan. When purchasing these products, make sure they’re good quality, as the better the standard, the easier it will be to use when cooking. From here, you can start to build your collection of kitchen equipment that will make cooking easier.
Nowadays, there are a number of kitchen accessories you can buy that make the annoying and often dangerous steps in cooking that much simpler. For example, you can get implements like a bagel or apple slicer that only requires you to place the bagel in between the blades and push down, cutting a perfect slice that is quick to be ready. More advanced tools include ones that dice your garlic cloves, chop your vegetables and spiralize food items instead of having to chop thin slices. Do a bit research into some of the items you can get, or even work backwards — if there’s a step in cooking that you particularly dislike doing, then take a look to see if there’s a tool you can get to make it easier.
3. Practice and Be Smart
When it comes to cooking, it’s true what they say: practice makes perfect. But no matter how much you love to cook, it can get exhausting, so you need to be smart about how you are doing it. If you’re just starting to get into cooking, consider investing in cooking classes, as this can be an efficient way to learn the basics and grasp the much-needed understanding of the fundamental skills. If cooking classes aren’t your style, shop around for cookbooks that have simple and easy recipes you can learn to master at home. Try not to be overambitious with the meals you cook at the beginning, as this can get frustrating and turn you off the process completely.
Once you get in the habit of cooking on a regular basis, it’s time to get smart about how to work it into your schedule. Not many people like to be at work or out all day and then come home to spend an hour or more in the kitchen — this is probably why many households choose to eat out. Instead, cook big meals on the weekend or every other day so you have leftovers to feed you the rest of the week.
While cooking may be frustrating for some people, it does save you a lot of money in the long run, and you can create an environment for yourself that makes it more enjoyable. Follow these simple steps to facilitate a better cooking experience, and notice how much better you feel with a home-cooked meal.