This article was written by Wes Zollicoffer, CWTP Participant – Cohort 5
Eating out is one of America’s favorite past times. A great steak, a good burger, or private personal chef at Taco Bell… who doesn’t want that? With all of those yummy reasons to take part in dining out, there are very compelling reasons why you should consider cooking at home more.
SAVE BIG MONEY
My wife sometimes says to me, “Do you know how much you spend eating out? Of course, you don’t.” She was right. I had no clue what I spent let alone what we spent as a family. When she shared the number, I almost passed out. Maybe you can relate? On average, Americans spend 46% of their annual income on eating out not including the gas it takes to get
there (2017, Business Insider). This data reflects my life more than I’d like to admit. With a growing family of five, busy schedules and just plain ol’ laziness, it’s easier to go to the drive thru than cooking a healthy, affordable meal at home.
CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT & IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Eating out is expensive. not just in dollars but in calories too. Although the fast food options are delicious, we have no idea what ingredients went into your favorite dish. Even with a meal that seems small, it can often be calorie dense, giving you more energy than your body can use. Have you ever noticed you are more stuffed when dining out than when cooking at home? I used to go to the buffet, preparing all day to demolish the food and it never failed that I was defeated by the first plate. Stuffing my face to the point that I am walking like, The Penguin from The Batman Returns: The Penguins Plan. Cooking at home is a different story. You don’t have to worry about turning into a penguin because you know the ingredients you put in your meals, giving you more control over your health and weight.
PRACTICE YOUR COOKING SKILLS
Home cooking, the lost art has come back in style to inspire some very talented home cooks. Do you find yourself saying, “What if I can’t cook?” Hope is not lost. There are many ways to grow your culinary techniques. Even here in Omaha, there are classes that will give you the skills to work confidently in the kitchen and it might even inspire you towards your own food dreams. At No More Empty Pots, I participate in the 15-week Culinary Workforce Training Program where I continue to fill my culinary toolbox, giving me skills to not only cook better at home but to also pursue a career with food. Outside of the program, they also offer cooking demonstrations and nutrition education programs in the community. You can learn more about No More Empty Pots HERE.