Most would agree that cooking is an essential life skill everyone should learn.

This is fantastic in theory, but not everyone can spend a lot of time in the kitchen or is comfortable enough to play with various ingredients and tools.

That’s exactly where I was a few years ago.

Due to my busy lifestyle and being consumed by work on the daily, I found it hard to find the time to step into the kitchen and learn the value of cooking. But a sudden health scare forced me to re-evaluate my life decisions and prioritize my health.

You remember how important your health is the moment it’s put at risk.

I decided to ditch the fast food and take-out and learned how to prepare my own food instead. It’s changed my life for the better in so many ways.

I also learned that cooking doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you’re open to it, cooking can be a source of joy, stress relief and a great way to express yourself.

And I promise, it’s not as hard as it looks, and it’s WELL worth the effort.

So if you think you’re one of those people who’s new to but OPEN to trying to understand the wonders of cooking, keep reading.

I hope my experience shines some light on what cooking can do for you too.

1. It saved me money.

woman standing in front of cooking range holding flower's leaves

Let’s be honest; a lot of resort to eating and ordering out, especially lately.

While this can be extremely convenient (especially for people like me who have busy lifestyles), it can also put a dent in your wallet. According to Money Under 30, the average restaurant meal costs $13, which then averages to about $3,000 every year spent on eating out, per household.

In contrast, the average meal prepared at home only costs around $4. How many times have you sat down at a restaurant and thought “I could have made this at home and for a cheaper price?”

Probably a lot, and you would be correct.

For me, making my own meals at home has allowed me to choose cost-effective ingredients and cut down on eating out. This has significantly added to my savings and allowed for more room in the budget for other important expenses.

2. I’m so much healthier.

green vegetable on brown wooden table

The problem with eating out is that you can’t always trust what you’re eating. Some restaurants tend to focus more on the flavor and may use various extenders and flavorings that might not be good for the body. You’re also not sure how fresh the food or ingredients are, especially with fast-food chains.

How long have the ingredients been in stock? Does the food feel like it’s just been reheated? By cooking your own meals, you are fully aware of what’s going into your body. Learning how to cook also allows you to try various diets and programs that have a plethora of health benefits. It encourages you to focus on what’s real and more importantly, really healthy.

3. It sharpened my multitasking skills.

man in white dress shirt sitting beside woman in orange long sleeve shirt eating

I actually wasn’t that great of a multitasker, but learning how to cook has taught me how to properly organize my thoughts and follow exact steps to make every meal.

What’s more, we have various tools now that can make it easier to multitask in the kitchen. I use a multi-functional rice cooker that not only give perfectly cooked rice every time but also doubles as a steamer and slow cooker. Powerful blenders can also make for refreshing smoothies and savory soups. And all of this can go down at the same time like a well-oiled machine.

So if you want to improve your multitasking skills, you can start by practicing inside the kitchen.

4. It helped to relieve daily stress.

person holding stainless steel round tray with food

Cooking can help relieve stress in a ton of different ways. For one, the smells and aroma produced by mixing different spices and ingredients can be a form of aromatherapy. In various studies, aromatherapy has been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol in your body, which is widely associated with stress.

Eating food in general also reduces stress hormones, while eating your comfort food boosts serotonin, which is a happy hormone. So eating food you made helps boost self-esteem because you were able to make something edible on your own.

More than just a practical task, cooking can be great for your mental health too.

5. It became an awesome creative outlet.

smiling man standing and mixing near woman in kitchen area of the house

Instead of looking at cooking as a chore, think of it as a hobby where you can experiment with the food you create. While you can definitely follow recipes, you have the choice to modify the recipes. How can you make the color, flavor, or texture better? You will also learn to substitute ingredients. Out of Allspice? Just mix 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves.

Then after you cook, you can still choose to plate your food and snap some photos of it. Personally, cooking has made an artist out of me. The mixing and matching of ingredients and techniques to find out what works best for certain dishes have been a great challenge.

6. It’s now a new skill, and that’s always something to celebrate.

There are many other people who can cook, yes. But you can add your own personality and twist to a dish that can’t be exactly replicated. Improve your newfound skill and serve your creations to your family and friends. After all, it can be rewarding to see other people enjoy what you made. I know sharing my hard work with my loved ones is priceless!

Check out more resources below for learning to cook, and I hope your journey is as fun and tasty as mine was.

-12 Cooking Basics Everyone Should Know

-The 7 Essentials of Becoming a Better Cook

-If You Literally Never Cook, Start Here

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