So, as my husband and I merged lives, the cooking issue emerged. If life was hectic, he'd say, just order something. Living the life of a poor college kid for 9 years as a student, and another 4 after graduation, I just couldn't let myself spend $15 Mexican take-out when I knew I could create equal if not better in my own kitchen for half the price. Within a year of marriage he had a change of heart; he loved home cooked food, and he loved the frugality of it too. Still, he doesn't know how to cook.....mainly because I love to do the cooking, and there hasn't been much opportunity. In an effort to foster cooking ability, and frugality, into our children, both of them spend a lot of time with me in the kitchen and grocery shopping.
If frugal living appeals to you, but you are not a cook, keep the following in mind:
- cooking does not mean you have to be Julia Child. Keep it simple and add complexity later on, if at all;
- develop the ability to make a few standard dishes you like;
- figure out how to freeze the dishes you do make; frozen leftovers make for great lunches or "fast food" in a time pinch;
- find recipes that use the same ingredients (i.e. rice, spices, eggs, etc.) and keep those on hand;
- most dishes can be made for half the price of a restaurant meal....especially pasta dishes. You'll save quite a bit of money of a year's time; and
- home cooked foods will hopefully reduce future health care costs....you control the ingredients and can make a huge different in your veggie and fruit intake.
What are your favorite cookbooks or recipes? I plan to spend more blog time on the concept of cooking in the month of May. I'll be inspired by the fresh veggies appearing at the local farmers' markets.