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Five Skills to Save You $$$: Cooking

Of all of our list of skills that will save you money, perhaps no single skill will save you as much money as the skill of cooking. Just think about it. You eat everyday. Unless you are one of those weird super low calorie dieters, you probably eat many times a day. That means about three times a day you have a chance to exercise your cooking skills and save money, or you have the opportunity to blow some money and probably your waistline in the process (more on this later). I mean, cooking is such an integral skill to have, houses are built with a room solely dedicated to preparing food. So, needless to say, spending a few spare moments learning how to cook will save you a lot of money.

Many people think that it’s simply cheaper to buy prepared food rather than learn to cook your own. That logic holds true in some other spending categories.  For instance, modern times have made it cheaper in most cases to buy clothes rather than make them yourself.  This logic fails, however, when it comes to food. Go ahead, Google search how much restaurants mark up their food. I’ll wait . . . Are you back now? SEE!!!! It’s insane! Cooking your own food is definitely cheaper than going out to eat all the time.

And if the pro column for learning to cook is not stacked enough, you should also consider the health benefits of cooking your own food. If you cook your own food, you not only avoid the restaurant price mark-up, you also avoid the out of control portion size. By preparing your own food you will eat less and you will eat better. Chances are you will eat more fresh fruits and vegetables if you learn how to do it yourself. Plus, let’s face it, well prepared home-cooked meals just taste better than their commercially prepared counterparts. Everyone is always aching for a “home-cooked meal” for a reason. I mean, that’s why we all love Thanksgiving so much, right?

So, are you convinced yet? Great! Now, starting off the development of your cooking skills can look quite daunting from the outset. As in the other articles of this series, we will discuss which skills to focus on acquiring to save cash.

Learn how to grill food. I don’t necessarily mean you should learn to cook meat on an open flame, although you should learn that too. I mean learn to apply heat to meat and have it come out in such a way that you don’t make yourself, or your guests, ill. Learn the proper temperatures to cook meat. Learn how to tell when it’s done.

Learn how to make pasta. Pasta dishes are a good place to start for someone starting out on their culinary journey. They are cheap, easy to cook, and there are endless variations you can make. Learn a couple of pasta dishes.

Learn how to cook eggs. Learn a couple ways to prepare eggs. Scrambled, fried, boiled, etc. They are a staple breakfast food and you if you learn to cook them well, you will impress people merely by preparing a good egg.

Learn how to pick and properly store produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a key part of a healthy diet. Learn how to pick the best produce at the market and how to store it so it stays fresh.

Learn how to bake a favorite dessert. While cooking healthily is nice and all, it’s fun to know how to prepare something that just tastes good. Pick a favorite cookie, brownie, or other recipe that you love, and learn it backward and forward.

Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to being a culinary master. So what do you think readers, any other cooking skills one should learn to save money? Sound off below. 

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