Until COVID-19 had hit America, I guarantee you that my fiancé and I ate at restaurants or had food delivered way more than we should have. If we did not have delivery, then we ate food that was instant to make. Like Walmart frozen pizzas, canned soup, and macaroni and cheese. That was our diet throughout holiday season. We just focused on working as much as we could. We figured as long as we are going to Walmart to pay for food instead of food delivery and it saved some money. However, our waistlines and wallet were probably stretched too wide for our own good.
January was a blur of a month and yours truly got some kind of stomach bug so that put my health and money goals on hold.
February is when things finally started to kick into gear for me. I realized I need to start cooking at home to save more money. I made recipes from those who I follow on instagram and I also recreated food that Shayne and I loved to eat. We made tacos, chicken wraps, pizza, steak, chicken, and loads of vegetables. We also went to Wawa and got salads, burrito bowls, and healthier sandwiches.
BAM. COVID-19 closures. After March 11, Shayne and I did not go out to eat at restaurants. In fact, our last meal was March 11, 2020. We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant
because they had a lunch buffet. 10.99 per person and all you can eat. After that, closures started to hit. Governor said for bars to shut down and restaurants to only offer takeout and delivery services. Once nonessential businesses closed, there was not a lot to do. Come to learn, Shayne and I do a lot of nonessential activities. We are not homebodies by any means.
Shayne had school online for the remainder of his semester. I on the other hand was furloughed for two months. You tell a workaholic she cannot work. She will find something to keep her mind and hands busy. Because idle hands are devil’s play things they say. Cue all the cookbooks staring at me.
It was not until we could not eat out or pick up takeout easily; that I started to cook home meals nearly every day. Though as I cooked meal by meal, I was able to learn about my domestic side. Furthermore, I was able to learn lessons about how home cooking does save money.
The three lessons I learned was: 1. Home cooking makes you leftovers in most cases, so you are saving money and time because you get to reuse food. 2. Cooking at home has less expensive ingredients cost. 3. Technology has helped those save even more money on ingredients because of how advanced cash back applications are.
Those are three lessons I have learned throughout this experience thus far.
The idea of leftovers was always a weird concept to me as a child. My parents were king and queen of leftovers. Never understood why they would not want to have fresh food all the time. NOW being that I am cooking more, I understand.
It is about cost control. If food can be good for a couple days, why not utilize it?
I know there are some people that don’t like using leftovers because of spoilage and just the fact it is not fresh. If you are concerned, you can always label your containers of when the food was made. That is what my mother used to do.
There are some people who don’t like buying ingredients like flour, salt, or dairy but they are the essential items you need incase stores run out of bread for example. You think buying something processed is a better alternative? Yes, you may spend three bucks on flour. Yes, you may spend 2-6 dollars on dairy. It is cheaper though to use cups of flour out of bag and some cups of dairy to make what you need to survive right? Yes, you pay for ingredients instead of a ready to go loaf of bread but you can use those ingredients until you run out right? You can even freeze the bread you don’t need.
I have heard people that say using those cash back applications are not worth it. However, you are buying the products and ingredients anyways. It may not make you a million dollars overnight. Let’s be honest here. If you are trying to claim $3.00 or less on grocery items, are you looking to get rich overnight? Well, unless you cook for a kitchen where you feed thousands of people. Either way, you are still saving money towards something. Plus, you spend money on ingredients, you get something back you wouldn’t automatically receive.
This post is to prove that home cooking is not a backwards way of doing anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times where I do order delivery from our favorite Mexican restaurant. Of course, after this is all done, I will still stick to home cooking because of the reasons I mentioned above. Instead of dropping 50 dollars are food that I eat once, I rather drop 50 dollars on ingredients that I can remake items over and over again and have a back stock.
It is true what they say. Are you really growing if you do not learn something? I have taken this time to hopefully grow more in my domestic side, my financial side, and my maturity. Eyes on the prizes, that is what I am saying to myself to get through this time.
Thank you for reading!