Everyone should learn how to cook. I get that we have fast food and delivery services at our fingertips, but eating food is more important than we give it credit for. Too many times, I hear the popping of popcorn in the microwave, and the smell of butter fills my apartment as my roommate prepares his dinner accompanied by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one.   

BioMed Central found that although it’s on the rise, only 51.9% of men with a college education actively cooked their meals in 2016. Women with a college education are ahead at 64.7%, but there’s still a long way to go.   

I understand the allure of takeout. I enjoy cooking, but there are days when I wake up and the last thing I want to do is take a trip to the grocery store and pick out some food to cook. So, if people aren’t cooking, why should they?   

The first and most obvious answer is money. Getting your meals delivered to your house can make food almost five times as expensive as making it yourself. You don’t have to be an accountant to see the benefit of saving that much money on something you do every day of your life.  

I hear you reading this and judging me already. You want to eat good food, but you don’t know how to cook. You probably don’t want to take the time out of your day to do it either. Time is money after all, or at least that’s what they say. To you, I say: Yes, cooking your own meals will take out more time in your day than a few clicks on your smartphone and punching in a few numbers on your card. But there are options for you, too.   

Food delivery isn’t the only luxury technology has given us. There are myriad recipes out there that require 10 minutes of preparation and can make your dinners delicious for a week. May I introduce to you a slow cooker. It doesn’t get much easier than this.   

Whether you want to make a soup, taco filling or even ribs, a slow cooker is a really easy way to get your house smelling amazing (save money on candles), and keep your wallet and appetite singing your praises. With one of these, you can take a small amount of time slicing up some vegetables, or even throwing in some canned veggies if you’re crunched for time, along with your meat and anything else you want for dinner.   

Most slow cooked recipes are…well…slow. So, although you saved time on prep, you do have to wait a few hours for your food to be ready, so take a nap, run some errands and come back with an empty stomach to your hot-and-ready food that can last you four to eight meals, depending on the recipe. Here’s a little starter to make your mouth water.  

Time out of the way, there are obvious health benefits to cooking at home, as well. Studies show that regular home cookers consume fewer calories, fat and sugar than the average adult cooking at home only once a week.  

Now is the time to stop making excuses for yourself. Putting a minimal amount of effort into the food you eat every day of your life comes with too many benefits to pass up. Cut down on your expenses here, and you can start working on that Christmas wish list you’ve been adding to. So, get kickin’, and cook some chicken. I believe in you. 

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