I’ve written numerous blog postings about the simplest ways to save money. In looking back over my postings one theme certainly seems to stand out against all others. In essence, if you want to save money, eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at home. Buying bulk chicken, pasta, rice, and some greens, can save you ton of money compared to eating dinner out or even picking up fast food.
I used to hate cooking, actually I absolutely despised it. First of all, I really had no idea what I was doing in the kitchen. My mom’s idea of dinner, was microwaved chicken smothered with Open Pit BBQ sauce and Stove-Top stuffing on the side. My brother and I joke about this often, but I really think we ate this same meal at least two to three times a week. Microwaved chicken, for those of you who have never tasted it, has a texture similar to those pink erasers found on the end of pencils. It’s rubbery and tasteless. Oh it’s just awful.
This leads me to the first purchase that will save you money: cooking classes. Just before I got married I took an introductory cooking course. The class met every Wednesday for three weeks. As funny as it might sound on the first night we were taught basic knife skills. I learned how to chop various vegetables and even de-bone a chicken. Each night we prepared a three course meal, including meat, chicken, and seafood dishes. By the time the class was over I had not only learned a lot about cooking, I was also excited to start trying meals on my own.
I came home with grand visions of the meals I would cook for my husband and I. The only problem, my knives were an absolute disaster. It’s no fun sawing at meat instead of slicing it. I was so frustrated I simply didn’t want to cook. So I went out and bought myself a fairly expensive knife set. I think I paid a little over $200.
With the new knife set I thought all of my problems were solved, but no, of course I wasn’t so lucky, my pots and pans were a nightmare. They were a hodgepodge of mismatched items ‘donated’ by my parents and in-laws. So my third purchase: new pots and pans. Having quality pots and pans will not only guarantee more palatable meals, they are also a dream to clean. After all, even if you can muster up the energy to cook after work, odds are you don’t want to spend hours scrubbing your pots and pans after dinner.
Most people might not need my first purchase: cooking lessons. But if you are trying to eat at home more often I definitely recommend buying quality knives, pots and pans. With the right know-how and tools cooking dinner has actually become an event worth looking forward to. Believe me, my husband and I now manage to eat almost every meal at home.