Hello, from Made In! Let’s do a little exercise. Let’s pretend I’m your mom and that I want the absolute best for you. Let’s pretend you’re my child and you desperately want my advice on everything. Below are the reasons I think you should be cooking at home.
It Saves Money
There is nothing better for your bank account than cooking at home. Let’s take the average day of a non-cook. Wake up, go buy coffee and a breakfast sandwich (which, depending where you live, can cost anywhere from $3 to $10). By lunchtime, you go out and get a sad lunch salad. Even though the lettuce is wilted and it’s basically just a bowl of ranch, that will cost you $10. Finally, at dinnertime, you order delivery. Because it’s been a tough day and lunch was so gross, you treat yourself to an entree and an appetizer, maybe even a side. That’s $20. By the end of the day, you’ve spent almost $40, multiply by five—and a workweek is now costing you $200.
Now let’s say instead that you decide to do some food shopping on Sunday. Now for this, I’m using Whole-Foods-in-New-York-pricing, so anywhere else in the country, it’s going to be even cheaper.
One whole chicken: $9.77
Two pounds of Israeli couscous (the cute pearl kind): $4.98
One pound of broccoli: $4.39
One pack of six English muffins: $2.99
Six organic eggs: $4.69
One loaf of sandwich bread: $3.49
Oven-roasted turkey (sliced): $5.99
½ pound Swiss cheese: $3.50
One large heirloom tomato: $2.80
One container of butter lettuce: $2.99
Organic honey mustard: $1.99
Cold brew coffee concentrate: $6.99
Okay, that’s quite a list. It should cover you for delicious breakfast sandwiches in the morning with badass coffee; a really tasty and satisfying sandwich at lunch (with an heirloom tomato slice? Hello!); and a perfectly balanced dinner for an entire week. And it costs just $54.57. When it’s that cheap, you can even throw in some fancy olive oil ($16.99), organic lemons ($.99 each), and fresh herbs ($1.99 each) and you’re still way, way under an average take-out workweek. With all that much money saved, think of how many more flights you can afford to come visit your parents!
See above. If you eat juicy lemon chicken, couscous, and vegetables for dinner every night, you can bet you’ll feel way less bloaty than a usual night of pad see yew and massaman curry. Stressful and sugar-packed mornings will make way for crispy fried eggs and toast; lunch, well let’s just say lunch will be way less sad. And this isn’t about calories. Don’t count that shit. It’s more about filling your body with real food that will give you energy and won’t make you feel like a blob.
It's Good Stress Relief
You may think that cooking is stressful and that you don’t have time to do it. But you do. In the time it takes to wait for delivery, you can prep a meal for the entire week. Plus, nothing feels better than pulling a perfectly roasted chicken out of the oven or covering buttery pasta with as much Parmesan as you want. And if you REALLY need some stress relief, try making your own breadcrumbs by smashing some croutons and stale bread or crushing up some peanuts to top off a homemade salad. The more you stressed you are, the more you should use your rolling pin as a hammer.
It Brings People Together and Creates Traditions
If you’re in your twenties and thirties, you likely don’t see your friends enough, whether you’re all working too much or are too broke to go out, or are, sadly, a combination of both. Why not set up a Sunday supper club where you all bring over some ingredients (as we’ve learned, they’re cheap) and cook together. You’ll not only be spending time with friends but you’ll be making a great dinner (and maybe some leftovers for the week) and have a distraction from the usual Sunday-night-pre-workweek anxiety.
It'll Get You Laid
Since I’m not actually your parent—I’m a hopelessly single almost-30 person who is sort of a know-it-all—I will give you some advice your folks won’t tell you about cooking: It will get you laid. It doesn’t matter who you’re courting. It you can make a good steak, fluffy mashed potatoes, really crispy roasted broccoli, you’ll be golden every time. There is nothing sexier than seeing your date pull a gorgeous roast of the oven. Plus, if you can make fried eggs and bacon the morning after, post-breakfast nookie will be in the bag.
By Ariel Kanter