Homemade meals can take a lot of time and effort to prepare. After a long and stressful day, many of us dread the idea of preparing such a meal – and so we instead rely on frozen meals or takeout.
While homemade meals can be more laborious and time-consuming to prepare, they tend to be the healthiest option. You’ll also generally spend less money on homemade meals than you would relying on frozen meals and takeout. In other words, homemade meals are better for you in the long run.
But just how do you motivate yourself to cook these meals? Below are just a few tips that could motivate you to do more home-cooking.
Plan each meal ahead
You’re more likely to order a takeout meal if you haven’t got any plans as to what you’re going to eat. Instead of waiting until that evening to decide what you’re having to eat, try planning your meals in advance.
If possible, try to plan out the whole week and stock up on all the ingredients you need. Knowing that you have a meal itinerary will make you less likely to order takeout – especially if there’s a risk of ingredients expiring. There are food diary apps you can use on your phone for planning out your week.
Don’t wait until the evening to prepare meals
On top of planning meals in advance, consider preparing them in advance.
Meal prepping is one way to do this. This involves preparing multiple meals in advance and then refrigerating/freezing them to eat throughout the week. You could plan to do all your prep work on a Sunday including chopping vegetables and even cooking meat to be eaten throughout the week. Be wary that you may only be able to chill some cooked foods for a couple days before they go off.
Another option is to prepare meals earlier in the day when you may be more motivated. Slow-cooked meals such as this slow cooker chicken chili recipe available here are ideal for preparing in advance. If you haven’t already got a slow-cooker, consider investing in one.
Make chopping veggies easier with the right tools
Do you find chopping vegetables boring? Instead of just using a knife, why not speed up the process with a faster cutting tool?
You could dice up vegetables in a blender. Some blenders have options for finely cutting vegetables without completely liquidizing them. This could take out most of the hard work.
Push-down vegetable choppers could be another solution. These are tools with multiple blades underneath – you place it over the vegetable you want to cut, push it down with your hand and it cuts it into lots of small chunks. You can compare vegetable choppers at this site.
Mandoline slicers are another option. These help to slice vegetables a bit like a grater. Some of these tools may have different settings for different thicknesses of slices. They are popularly used in East Asian cooking.
Try cooking with other people
Choosing to cook with other people could make preparing home-made meals more fun and rewarding. It could make the cooking process faster and simpler as you can each take on different prep tasks. It could also be a chance to spend social time with family or friends while cooking.
Not everyone enjoys cooking with other people – if you’ve got a small kitchen, you may find that other people get in the way. However, it’s worth trying to see if it makes an impact.
Take time to perfect a few recipes
Some people are put off homemade meals because they don’t taste as good as frozen or takeout meals. It’s worth taking the time to learn and perfect a few recipes that you can rely on. This could help to make homemade meals more rewarding.
You could try looking up recipes online for inspiration. Alternatively, you could take the time to experiment in the kitchen and come up with your own perfect recipes that you can fall back on whenever you don’t fancy cooking anything new.
Watch TV/listen to music while cooking
Cooking doesn’t have to feel like housework – in fact, it can be a time for unwinding. You could consider putting a TV in your kitchen so that you can watch programs or movies while you cook. Alternatively, you could put a speaker in your kitchen and use it as an opportunity to listen to music. If you don’t like cooking itself, this could help you to enjoy spending time in the kitchen more by making it a space for leisure time.