When we think of reasons to cook at home, saving money is often a motivator. But home cooking is much more than a good money-saving tactic — it’s got a range of great benefits, regardless of your budget.
For starters, you might make better dining choices at home than you do at restaurants — and it might make you feel better, too. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating at home often results in a feeling of well-being that wards off the psychological need to find comfort in unhealthy foods.
In other words, it’s not just your wallet that may thank you for spending the night in — it’s your waistline, too. And as many financial experts point out, eating well can lead to fewer health-care costs later in life.
Cooking at home can also be a fulfilling — and inexpensive — opportunity to learn something new, on your own, with your family, or with your partner. Even if you don’t know how to boil water, the Internet has made learning to cook a relatively straightforward endeavor.
Sites like AllRecipes.com and Epicurious.com offer step-by-step instructions for preparing just about anything you can imagine, from the perfect grilled-cheese sandwich to an herb-roasted pork loin that would impress any dinner guest. Best of all, these recipes can be accessed at little to no cost, meaning you’re learning a life-enhancing skill basically for free.
If you need a primer on all the cooking techniques you may encounter, you may want to check out How to Cook Everything, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s user-friendly cookbook (and series) for culinary artists of all levels and tastes. It even comes as a mobile app, in case you need to consult it in the middle of a grocery run.
Do you prefer cooking at home or eating out? What’s the best dish you cook?