Let me start by saying I AM NOT A GOOD COOK. And I don’t like to cook too often. It should give you a good perspective over this, since, even if my skills in the kitchen still need a lot of improvement, let me tell you that, when I cook something, NO ONE can cook a tastier meal than me.
I’ve done “take outs” in my life, I’ve done restaurants, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars for all kinds of meals prepared by others. But, when it comes to an affordable, good tasting and healthy meal, I am the one. Here is why I think cooking our own meals is better than eating out:
1. Total control over the recipe
I’ve eaten BAD food in restaurants. Instant soup, instead of a normally cooked one. I am still trying to find a restaurant able to make me a SALAD that’s got a better taste than a sponge. And don’t get me started on pizzas.
When it comes to home cooking I am sure the ingredients are cooked perfectly. I don’t ruin the recipe, I am not in a hurry, so, if something needs to boil for 30 minutes, be sure it won’t stop at 25.
2. Best ingredients
Sometimes I am shocked to think of the ingredients in my take-out or restaurant food. I am a very picky person. If a salad is 1 day old, I am not eating it. I don’t eat onions that were cut more than 2 hours ago. I don’t eat ANYTHING that’s not perfect and fresh. No fruits that seem “beaten”, no bread that’s not fresh, nothing gone sour.
And when I cook, only the best ingredients go there. We shop for groceries frequently and choose the best vegetables and fruits. Meat is fresh, so is the milk, cheese or any other ingredient. Not to mention we don’t buy the cheapest merchandise if it’s not good. I don’t care about saving 2 bucks, if the butter is not top quality or the cabbages look as if they’ve fought in Vietnam. And of course, I sincerely doubt all restaurants can afford being this picky with their ingredients.
3. My meals are healthier
I am not a calorie-nazi, so don’t expect me to count everything that goes into my plate, because I won’t. But at the same time I do cook with good oil, I grill a lot, I stay away from some ingredients that will make my digestion a living hell. My food has a natural taste and I don’t use “chemicals” to make it tastier. Good, fresh ingredients make the difference.
4. The waiting time is similar
Most meals take 30 minutes / 1 hour to be cooked. Same is the waiting time in a restaurant. There’s few meals that require more efforts, so, in half an hour, with good planning and coordination, there’s already food on the table. Instead of waiting in a restaurant for someone to bother come take the order, get the food, take your money etc. you’re spending less time at home cooking the meal and cleaning the kitchen. Not to mention you can always get the family to help and this helps you bond. We do cook some meals together, we even make pizza at home, and these are amazing times. We talk and laugh, while working together to deliver a top meal.
5. Don’t forget the price
I haven’t forgotten it, don’t worry. If we talk about frugality tips and saving money, this immediately comes to mind: our home cooked meals, as good tasting and healthy as they are, also cost a fraction of the ones you can order in a restaurant. Even with my mania for super-fresh and tasty ingredients, our meals come cheaper than if we’d eaten them in a restaurant.
We’re saving money, eating good food and sharing some good times.
PS: I am not totally against eating in a restaurant, since we do go out sometimes, but it’s more of an event dinner than something we’d do weekly or, god forbid, daily.
How often do you “dine” in a restaurant? Do you also have any reasons to thing home cooked meals are better?
And now you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta make the best pizza in the world