As the years go on, fewer and fewer people are eating their meals at home. With the time crunch that we all experience, it’s tempting to grab something quick to eat for our meals. These days, only around 36 percent of people cook at home each day, though the COVID-19 pandemic boosted the numbers. Now, more people are starting to get back into the kitchen, and they’re seeing the benefits. Here’s why you should join those that have fallen in love with cooking all over again:
5. Save Money
Let’s say that you want to feed a family of four but you want to get out of the house for dinner. When you do this, you have some options. You probably don’t want to pay a ton for fine dining, but casual dining (like Applebee’s) costs about $14 per person, while fast casual clocks in at $12 per person and fast food at $6. When you’re dining at home, however, you can knock that cost down tremendously. At stores such as Aldi, you can make a balanced meal for everyone that checks in at about $1.50 per person.
4. Weight Management
When we think of fast food or other forms of dining out, we tend to think of massive portions that lead to weight gain. This has been talked about in reports and studies ad nauseum, but you can fight off the extra pounds by eating at home. You’re able to control your portions much easier, while also avoiding some of the hidden calories that the menus may not tell you about. Those that cook at home regularly consume an average of 1,050 fewer calories per week. That alone would cause you to avoid 15.6 pounds of weight gain in a year.
3. Easier to Control Allergens
Are you one of the many, many people that has to deal with a food allergy on a daily basis? Take lactose intolerance for example. If you can’t have any sort of dairy, you may as well skip places like Taco Bell where it seems everything is smothered in cheese. When you’re cooking at home, though, you’re able to control every bite. Walking quietly through the grocery store is much easier than asking the waiter what all comes on the 32 ingredient salad.
2. Better for Mental Health
One of the many reasons why people tend to eat out so often is due to depression. At times, you feel like you may not be able to muster up the energy to cook for yourself. Studies have shown that cooking meals can be therapeutic and improve mental health, though. “If the activity is defined as personally rewarding or giving a sense of accomplishment or pleasure, or even seeing the pleasure of that pumpkin bread with chocolate chips making someone else happy, then it could improve a sense of well-being,” says professor Jacqueline Gollan of Northwestern University.
1. Quality Time
Another one of the main reasons why people eat out so frequently is due to a lack of time. Studies have shown that people who prepare meals at home, however, are actually saving themselves time. There are no lines at home, you’re not counting on someone else doing the prep work and, most importantly, you’re getting to spend time with your family that you can’t put a price on.