Make your wallet, stomach happy with home-cooked meals

By Alexandra Laurence | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

College students are super busy, and sometimes grabbing fast food for dinner may seem like the easiest option. Being too tired to cook is an easy trap for us to fall into and ends up draining our bank accounts.

We are overspending on fast food and can save so much money by eating at home. Whether you’re getting a chicken sandwich for $5.95 from Chick-fil-A or a chicken bowl for $9.10 from Chipotle, cooking at home is still the more affordable option.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, money spent on food increased 13.4% in 2021, and this rise was driven by “food away from home spending.”

The meals I prepare at home cost, on average, $4 for groceries. Another study done by Forbes showed that eating out was about five times more expensive than cooking at home.

Another benefit to cooking at home is you have greater control of the ingredients going into your food, which can result in healthier food. You can avoid the overly processed, frozen or even canned versions of meals and know that everything you are putting into your body is fresh and real ingredients. You are also able to control how much of one ingredient you want to put in or swap ingredients for something even tastier. You can cater your food to the way you like it.

Additionally, you can avoid food allergies much more easily. Whether you’re gluten-free or have a peanut allergy, when you make food at home, you know that you are not using or around any food you are allergic to.

The leftovers are another benefit to cooking at home. Chances are, you make more food than you can actually consume in one sitting. By saving the leftover food, you are saving even more money. In college, most students are cooking for themselves, and it is pretty hard to make just one portion for a meal. Save the leftover food and store it in the fridge; you could even meal prep for the week.

Some may argue they do not have time to grocery shop because their schedule is too busy. Well, you’re in luck, because grocery stores have personal shoppers, curbside deliveries and even house deliveries. All you have to do is cook the food.

By the time you get in your car, drive to a restaurant, order, wait for them to make your meal and drive home, you could have prepared food at home.

There are so many great benefits to eating at home. I don’t think it would be logical to eat out as much as Americans do.