In the past few months I’ve been cooking at home a lot – I’m so glad to have a real kitchen again! I’ve been stocking up on “staples” and learning how to make real food (sort of). I’m not sure yet how much (if anything) it’s saving me dollar-wise, but sanity-wise it’s saving me quite a bit! I know many people go through a drive-thru because they come home from a long day at work and don’t want to worry about doing anything. Well for me, I come home from a long day on campus (between the grad assistantship hours and classes I’ve been on campus nearly 50 hours per week) and want something to do to take my mine off of work and class before I start doing more work! Cooking dinner most nights has given me a chance to relax and unwind for an hour or so after work each day before I start reading textbooks or articles for a few more hours.
The reason I’m not sure if I’m saving money dollar-wise is two-fold. First, when I go through a drive-thru, I rarely spend more than $3 on a meal. I don’t eat a lot of food at once, and I don’t like fast food enough to order extravagantly. I also don’t drink soda, so I pass on the “value meals” that actually have way more food than I could eat for twice what I normally pay. Most meals, particularly if they include meat, cost more than $3 to make. Some things I can eat over the course of a few days, but other things cost more than $3 for one serving. The other reason is that I often share what I make with other people. As I mentioned, I don’t eat a lot at one time, so if I make a casserole or other dish, it will last me at least a few days. However, I often invite other people over or share with my roommate, because I do actually enjoy being social on occasion. I’ve discovered that when I share with a guy, it’s almost inevitable that he will finish whatever I don’t take. Once, I put part of a casserole in a container before dinner, to make sure I had left-overs for lunch the next day!
Does anyone have any recipes they recommend? Or cooking secrets/tips? This is all still pretty new to me, so any links or advice would be greatly appreciated!