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How to Start Cooking at Home

How to Start Cooking at Home - Proline Range Hoods

After a long day, sometimes the last thing you want to do is get up and cook food for yourself and your family.

But, cooking at home doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. In fact, you’ll save money, it’s much healthier, and you can have your friends and family join in on the fun!

You don’t have to be a professional cook to start cooking at home.

In this post, we’ll go over eight things you should do to start cooking in your kitchen.

Build a book of recipes.

Woman Looking Through Cookbook - How to Start Cooking at Home

You don’t have to start with an actual book. But, it is a great idea to make a mental note of recipes that you’re willing to cook. Starting off, you might only be cooking 2-3 recipes. But, as you get better at cooking at home, you may want to save them somewhere.

If it helps to write them down on paper, you can do that. It might be fun to get with your kids and help them make and decorate a cookbook for your recipes.

But, writing recipes down on paper isn’t the only way. You can save your recipes on Pinterest. You can also use your favorite note-keeping app or a recipe app. Many of these recipe apps have neat features.

You can keep track of what’s running low or expired in your pantry, follow step-by-step personalized recipes right from the app, watch professionals cook your favorite dishes, and more.

Shop for must-have dishes, pans, and appliances.

Stainless Steel Pans

To start cooking at home, you’ll definitely need your dishes, pans, and appliances. It’s a good idea to build your recipe book first. Then you’ll know what types of pans you need and what, if any, appliances you need.

Again, it is helpful to start small. Don’t buy three large dish sets that you’re not sure you will use. Start with a few pans – if you need one you don’t have, then add it to a list to buy later.

Once you have a list of recipes, maybe go through them all once and write down what pans, dishes, and appliances you’ll need to make the food.

Make a meal schedule.

Woman Writing In a Book

Along with your book of recipes, it may be helpful for you as you start out to make a schedule mapping out your meals. Schedule out a week at a time and decide how many meals you are going to cook from home each day. Then, write down what you want to eat for each meal.

Once that is done, look through each meal and write down a list of ingredients you need to buy at the grocery store. Make a spot on the schedule each week to write your list of groceries. Now it’s time to go grocery shopping.

If you shop for 2+ weeks at a time, it will save you a lot of time and effort. But, when you’re starting out cooking at home, you may need to shop weekly. Once you get a feel for what you like to cook and how often you’re cooking from home, you can shop less frequently for more items.

Set aside time every day for cooking.

Woman Straining Spaghetti

Like everything else, cooking takes time. Start out small, maybe with just one meal a day. You can set aside about 30 minutes to an hour and see how it goes for the first few days. If that works well for you, you can set aside more time, and cook more meals.

It’s important to commit to at least some time every day for cooking. Otherwise, you’ll end up driving to a fast food place or restaurant again because you ran out of time in your day. Learning to cook at home will take time, but it only takes a few weeks to get into a nice routine.

Cook a lot of food; take advantage of leftovers!

Spaghetti

Especially when you’re starting out, cook a lot of food so you can enjoy leftovers. If time is the biggest obstacle for you to start cooking at home, this is one of the most important steps you can take. If you cook leftovers, that means you won’t have to cook every day. If some days are busy, no problem. You can still eat at home.

You might be wondering: what are some good options for food that I can make a lot of? Keep reading to find out.

Brainstorm some one-pot recipes to make cooking easier.

Woman Cooking Chili

Slow cookers, air fryers, and instant pots are great cooking appliances if you’re looking to make a lot of food quickly. Air fryers and instant pots are pretty limited by their size, but you can find large slow cookers to make enough for three or more meals. Here are some one-pot recipes ideas for you to try out:

  • Spaghetti
  • Slow-cooked pork
  • Soups
  • Beef Stew
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Alfredo
  • Chili

For some quick and easy instant pot recipes, check out this article.

Cook food that you love.

Mom and boy cooking together

This goes without saying, but cook some of your favorite foods! You may be dreading to start cooking from home. But what would make it even harder is if you cooked foods that you aren’t sure you’ll like. It’ll make your life easier to go with the “home run” foods that you know you’ll love – even if it doesn’t quite turn out as you’ve expected.

It’s also a great way to keep yourself motivated. If you’re excited about what you’re eating, you’d be surprised at how fast the time goes by. You’ll be done with your delicious meal in no time!

Have fun with it!

Girl and grandma making cookies

Yes, cooking can be daunting. But it’s most important that you are having fun, especially when you’re just getting started. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many recipes, appliances you’ve never used, or cooking techniques you haven’t tried.

Grab your kids or your partner and have them join in on the fun. Cooking doesn’t have to be a one-person job. Involving others is half the fun!

If you’re on your own, after a couple of weeks, branch out on the recipes. Try something new that you’ve never made before. Sure, it might not go well, but you could also discover something new that you will love!

Is cooking at home really healthier?

Studies have shown that cooking at home is much healthier than eating out. When you eat out, you don’t know exactly how much salt, sugar, fat, and oils are in the food. But, if you cook at home, you can have complete control over the ingredients inside your food. You can both manage what you put in your food and track your salt intake, sugar intake, fat intake, and much more.

How do I get motivated to cook at home?

Woman serving cookies at a table
  1. Start simple. Pick 3-4 simple recipes for the first week and just focus on making those. This will make your job easier and reduce your stress.
  2. Start slow. Cooking at home doesn’t mean you have to spend several hours a day in the kitchen. Start by allocating 30 mins to an hour a day to cook food.
  3. Cook food that you love. If you don’t have a lot of time, you want to make sure that you’ll enjoy what you cook. It makes the job easier.
  4. Get others involved. If you’re not home alone, grab your partner or the kids and get them involved with the cooking. This will help cut down on the time that it takes to make your food too!
  5. Give your recipes list some variety. It’s important to start simple but also keep some variety. Each week, try out something new. Consider recipes where you can change toppings, cheese, meat, sauces, and more.

Is cooking at home really cheaper?

Yes, cooking at home is significantly cheaper than eating out. A 2018 study from Wellio found that it is nearly five times more expensive to order out than cook at home. Meal prep companies are more affordable, but still about three times as expensive.

Cooking at Home Benefits

  • You know exactly what’s going in and out of your body.
  • You save a significant amount of money.
  • You consume fewer calories.
  • It’s a lot of fun – and you can involve others.
  • You’ll feel more energetic on a daily basis.

Hopefully you enjoyed our tips on how to start cooking at home. Don’t wait to get started. Anyone can grow to enjoy cooking at home with our eight simple tips.

Are you looking for more cooking tips or recipes? If so, check out the articles below.

Related Articles

How to Make Healthy Meals for My Family

20 Easy Instant Pot Recipes

How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

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