Often, when people decide to start cooking, they find a delicious and complicated recipe, bring it with them to the store, buy each ingredient on the list, go home, spend hours preparing, cooking and cleaning. At the end of the day, they’ve spent $20-$70 on ingredients for the meal, hours in the kitchen, and had a mediocre meal.
No wonder people give up so easily on cooking! No wonder people think it’s actually cheaper to eat out!
Don’t fall into this trap. If you’re going to start cooking, make sure you pick a recipe that’s easy. How do you find an easy recipe?
- Simple measurements. Look for recipes with measurements that make sense. If the recipe calls for diced green peppers, make sure it calls for 1 cup of diced green peppers, not 5.3 ounces of peppers. Specialized cooks use very precise measurements by weight. For people like us, cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, and pinches are precise enough.
- Simple words. The instructions are easy to follow and you understand the words, without having to look up fancy chopping or cooking techniques. Dice, chop, boil, and steam are easy words we can wrap our heads around. Don’t complicate your life by choosing a recipe with words like “concasser,” “rechauffee,” “revenir,” or any other word that requires five years of French to understand.
- Simple ingredients. You’ve heard of, and know where to locate, each of the ingredients. Often, people buy a special ingredient for a recipe – which could be packaged and cost $8 – and they use a very small amount. The rest ends up wasted in their refrigerator or pantry. Use common, inexpensive, easy to find ingredients to keep your recipe repertoire simple.
When you’re ready to start cooking, and it’s time to find that first recipe (or any new recipe), make it easy on yourself and consider the 3 guidelines above. If you follow those instructions, you will save money and time. Life is hard enough as it is – don’t burn your cash or give yourself unnecessary work.