Cooking at home saves money and can be a much healthier alternative to eating out. In addition, getting creative in the kitchen can be fun and therapeutic. Sometimes in college it can be hard to find the time to prepare meals between class, studying and student organizations but here are a few tips that make the cooking at home a piece of cake:
1. Make big batches so you can eat leftovers throughout the week. Some days you might be in the mood to cook and other days you might want to come home after class and curl up and watch Netflix. Knowing there is a delicious meal waiting at home that can be ready after three minutes in the microwave will help keep you from eating out or resorting to an unhealthy prepackaged dinner.
2. Invest in some good food storage containers. This goes along with #1. Having a quality set of containers in a variety of sizes helps make storage a breeze. They are worth the investment but if you don’t want to spend the money try asking your parents for a set for the holidays.
3. Stock up on kitchen staples. Try to always have the ingredients for at least one meal at home. Even if that means just having a box of noodles and a jar of spaghetti sauce on hand, it will prevent you from using the “I have no food at home” excuse to eat out.
4. Buy some spices. Liven up your meals by seasoning them to perfection. Spices only cost about a dollar, do not take up much cabinet space and do not spoil so it is an easy investment. If you are not sure what kinds of spices to get try buying a premade spice blend like Italian seasoning (depending on the brand it is usually a blend of basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary) or ask some friends if they have any spices they recommend.
5. Freeze your vegetables. You can easily eliminate waste by freezing fresh vegetables you do not use before they spoil. When vegetables are not in season try buying frozen or canned veggies from the store. Buying canned and frozen vegetables has a lot of benefits. First, they keep for so much longer than fresh veggies. Second, especially in the winter, frozen vegetables often taste better than fresh ones from the store. Frozen vegetables are usually picked when they are ripe then frozen right afterwards rather than being picked early and ripening as they are transported like many grocery store vegetables are during the winter. Third, you can keep your favorite vegetables on hand at home and not worry about needing to go to the store before making a dinner.
6. Wash your dishes as you go. In small college kitchens pots and pans pile up quickly.While things are cooking on the stove wash the dishes you are finished with. Thisalso makes cleaning up after you are done eating much faster and less intimidating because there are fewer dishes to do.
With these tips, cooking at home can become simpler, quicker and tastier than ever! Bon appétit!
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