Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The best way to save is by learning how to cook

Knom Bujok - It's a traditional Cambodian dish which consists of a lot of fresh(raw!) vegies and can be accompanied by steamed pork belly sliced thinly or shredded chicken, all wrapped up in the lettuce and dipped into the dipping sauce
 Watch Masterchef and be inspired in the kitchen

The TV show Masterchef, is crowned with the title of introducing the kitchen to a lot of Australians who previously did not cook often. By learning how to cook proper meals, you'll enjoy your food more and it's usually more nutricious because you can use quality oil and quality ingredients.

Last night, I had a marathon session in the kitchen where I prepared a simple fresh, raw vegetable dinner with steamed chicken and also prepared a huge pot of pasta because we haven't eaten pasta for a few months now.

Just don't be like me and stockpile your groceries or else you'll end up throwing out some ingredients.

$32.40 worth of groceries bought=14 servings=$2.32 per serving

0.99 bean sprouts
1.29 mint
1.59 for 815g of apples
1.45 for 1kg of carrots
1.59 for 1kg of tomatoes
1.59 for 1kg of zucchinis
1.29 iceberg lettuce
4.17 for 464g of beef mince
6.83 herbed Italian sausages
7.60 for roasted garlic pasta sauce
3.98 for 6 chicken drumsticks

Despite the media repeatedly publishing articles about how groceries are so expensive and unaffordable, healthy ingredients such as fresh fruit and vegetables are cheap, particularly when they are in season.

It's not the fresh unprocessed food that is unaffordable, it's the processed junk, chips, lollies, snacks and meat that have gone up in price drastically over the years and have become relatively unaffordable. After reading about the pain of animals being slaughtered, I've been decreasing my meat consumption. Cooking with less meat, more vegetables and eating vegetarian meals more frequently.

$2.32 per serving

It never ceases to amaze me whenever I check to see whether the proponents of takeaway food are right in their belief that buying takeaway is cheaper than cooking at home. Everytime, the numbers for cooking at home trumps the takeaway option.

If instead, I decided to buy 14 takeaway meals, assuming I even chose the local Chinese $10/meal option, then it would cost $140 to $150 instead. If I were to dine at popular restaurants at $30/meal then it would be on average $420 for 14 meals.

Benefits of home cooked meals

* You can use better quality ingredients and oil than what the restaurants and takeaway shops usually use
* You can omit any vegetable or ingredient that you dislike
* If you use more vegetables and eat more fruit then it's great for weight control
* Better health means less trips to the doctor and less medical problems further down the track
* It's definitely cheaper than buying takeaway or dining out
* You may find the process of cooking relaxing and a stress reliever
* You can learn to appreciate quality meals and may find dining out a lot more pleasurable since you've cut back on dining out often

Further reading:

1. Stockpiling food is such a waste
2. Buying lunches and dining out
3. Update on progress bars and interest income

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