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As a single young person I found cooking tedious and time consuming. I much preferred to spend my time talking to people, doing school work or binge watching Netflix. However, after having a baby I decided that learning to cook and bake would be important for many reasons and here is why:
Here are the pros:
This is not only important once you’ve had a child because I mean, WHO DOESN’T LIKE TO SAVE MONEY?! Well, pre baby I purchased a lot of pre-made and boxed meals. I was queen of frozen chicken nuggets and grilled cheese. That’s not all I ate though, I also bought frozen lasagna, chicken pot pie and shepherds pie, amongst other things. My weekly grocery bill estimated $150-200 depending on my needs that week. (I should probably add that I was living with my (at the time) boyfriend. Which means I spent approximately the same amount on food at I did for my shitty one bedroom apartment. Now I spend approximately $250-$300 every 2-3 weeks and that includes food for my son, diapers and wipes (for those of you without kids, those things are VERY expensive). Meaning now that I am making the majority of my own meals I have cut my grocery bill in half (and I am living with my current boyfriend). So I'm feeding more people, with more things to buy, for less money.
Another big pro is that making your own meals and baking your own sweets are a lot healthier. You know exactly what is going into everything and can properly portion to how much you need. You can also pick and choose what goes into certain meals meaning you can add more vegetables and take out fats and sugars. Another thing is that none of the food (or very little of it) will have preservatives in it. Buying frozen food instead of making food means the companies have stuffed it full of preservatives to extend its shelf life. Those things aren’t exactly what I would call “healthy”. Even in your baked goods (which I must admit I eat too much of) allows you to see exactly what is going into your food.
You can still freeze it and save it for later.
A big problem many people have, especially if you are single or just a couple people, is making meals and having left overs. Well:
- That can be tomorrows lunch or,
- You can freeze it and save it for later.
A lot of people fear freezing things. Well, it’s fine. You can make a batch of cookies, keep a few days worth out and freeze the rest, defrosting when ready. You can also do this with fruit and veggies to keep them around longer or to use for baking later. I know personally my freezer if full of bananas I have yet to make into bread.
Family time is hard to come across, everyone is always busy. Work, after school activities, homework and more take up all our time lately. The old “Sunday night dinner” is becoming obsolete. Well why not try to make cooking dinner or baking for the school bake fair family fun time? I know my boyfriend and I love to cook together and we love to make it fun. My son is too young to really participate yet but we like to try to add him in when we can and spend that time together. Of course it is not always possible to make it happen but it is a way to bring family embers together. Plus it is important for both boys and girls to learn to cook so when they are older they can use that skill.
Here are the cons:
Let’s be real, we all knew what this was going to be. The time it takes to make homemade meals. They aren’t something that can be thrown in the oven and pulled out an hour later all ready to eat. It takes a lot more time to create a healthy meal for the family and a lot of us just don’t have that time!
So this one kind of goes hand in hand with the time it takes to create homemade meals. But homemade meals take a lot of preparation, sometimes days or weeks (depending on your shopping habits) ahead of time to make sure you have all the ingredients necessary to create your culinary masterpiece. I have a few recipes that I know now exactly what I’ll need and make sure I have every time I go to the grocery store. HOWEVER, there has been MANY occasions when I think… hmm… maybe I’ll try this tonight. Look for the recipe and I am missing one or more of the key ingredients. Things to keep in mind that I have learned- having a lot of spices are super helpful because you can make your own seasonings and sauces if you have those. Also BBQ sauces are great to have for any meat and even veggie meals.
Yes, making homemade meals is messy and requires a lot of clean up. Both before, during and after the meal. It is the least fun thing about baking and cooking. It is even worse for people like myself who do not have a dish washer or a lot of room to bake and cook. Those of you with dishwasher and bigger kitchens are very lucky and will end up with a lot less cleaning.
Ultimately, I find cooking and baking worth the few problems it comes with. I find baking relaxing and something I can do a lot of when I’m feeling down. I believe everyone should at the very least know the basics, as I myself am not the best chef in the world. However, teaching myself a few things has really branched out my knowledge and peeked my interest.