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How to Motivate Yourself to Cook More at Home: 10 Strategies to Try Now

I think we’ve all had a time in our lives where things got busy and stressful and we got out of the habit of cooking.

It’s easy to grab a bite to eat on your lunch break and stop by a drive thru on the way home from work. 

And don’t get me started on how easy and convenient Door Dash is.

But all of those food delivery and fast food/take out orders add up. They can take a big toll on your budget and even prevent you from reaching your financial goals.

If you want to start getting back into cooking to save money but the motivation just isn’t there, let me tell you, I’ve BEEN THERE.

These 10 strategies helped me to start cooking again and build a repertoire of recipes I enjoy making.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Calculate exactly how much money you are spending on eating out a week

Do you have a budget for dining out? If you do, are you staying within budget?

If the answer is no to either of those questions, then this is the perfect time to calculate how much you’re spending a week on eating out.

Go ahead and take a few moments to check your budget, bank account, and/or credit card to calculate how much you’ve spent on dining out this past week.

Now, with that total number, think about all of the other things you could have used that money for instead.

Maybe you could have put it towards paying off your debt? Saved it for an emergency fund? Put it aside for a nice vacation with your family?

Every time you choose to cook at home instead of going out, you will be moving closer to your financial goals.

2. Delete Door Dash/Uber Eats and any other fast food apps from your phone.

In 2022, “The average American checked their phone 96 times per day, or once every ten to 12 minutes.”

That is 96 opportunities a day to see your food delivery apps and make a purchase.

My advice is cut the temptation at the source. Delete Door Dash, Uber Eats, and any other fast food/restaurant apps from your phone.

If you want to take it a step further, unsubscribe from their emails and social media pages, too.

3. Download the Supercook app

If you don’t know where to start with the foods and ingredients you have at home, Supercook will help!

The Supercook app is basically a search engine for recipes. You input all of the ingredients you have at home into the app and it finds recipes you can make with those ingredients.

I use this app a lot to find easy meatless meals (which save us a ton of money) and baked good recipes. 

4. Seek out quick and easy meals with few ingredients

This strategy is KEY. When you’re getting back into cooking or trying to cook more often, the easier the recipe, the better.

Try to find recipes with limited ingredients and are quick to put together. Some of my favorite types of recipes are:

  • Grab & go breakfasts
  • 10 minute meals
  • Crockpot dump & go recipes 
  • 3 ingredients dinners
There so many resources for finding recipes. I find most of my favorite recipes by watching YouTube videos, checking Pinterest, and going to the library for cookbooks.

5. Challenge yourself to cook 1 easy bulk meal a week

Cooking bulk meals is a great way to save money and is one of the most efficient ways to cook. We consider a bulk meal to have at least 5 servings or more.

Start by making a bulk meal, eating it for a few days, and then freezing the rest.

Once you’ve committed to doing this for a few weeks (and you’ve found some great recipes) you can start making 2 bulk meals a week.

Eventually, you will have plenty of leftover freezer meals and a repertoire that will (hopefully) motivate you more to cook at home.

6. Invest in cookware that will make cooking easier

Having adequate cooking tools and appliances can help a lot to motivate you to cook more often.

I’m not suggesting going on Amazon and spending hundreds of dollars on cookware. 

But if you don’t have a decent pot/pan, knife, or cutting board to cook with, it might be advantageous to get some reliable cooking tools.

Also, if you like cooking foods quickly and easily, I highly recommend investing in an air fryer. 

We use our air fryer at least a couple times a week to make healthy meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes. 

This is the air fryer I currently have if you’re interested. 

7. Start a weekly meal plan

Once you have some great recipes under your belt, you can start making a weekly meal plan.

Basically, it’s just planning what you’re going to have for 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners throughout the week.

I like to make a big pot of soup, a meat, and a salad/vegetable on Sunday to eat for lunch and dinner throughout the week. 

So if you think picking 1 day a week to meal prep will work you, try it!

Plan quick and easy dinners to fill in the gaps and to bring some variety to your meal plan.

We also recommend having some fruits, vegetables, and other snacks readily available.

8. Have themed dinner days of the week

This is a great way to bring some fun to your weekly meal plan.

For dinner each day of the week you can choose a food theme. For example:

  • Meatless Monday
  • Taco Tuesday
  • Waffle Wednesday
  • Throwback Thursday (food from your childhood)
  • Fondue Friday
  • Spaghetti Saturday
You can get as creative as you want with this!

9. Learn copycat recipes of your favorite restaurant foods

If you’re craving a meal from one of your favorite restaurants, did you know that there are copycat recipes for just about every meal online?

You can make these meals at home, save a TON, and know exactly what ingredients are going in your food.

I find most of my copycat recipes on Pinterest.

10. Find a cooking buddy

Do you have a friend or family member who wants to cook more at home too? Cook with them!

I realize that it’s not always easy to just have someone over to cook, and our loved ones don’t always live nearby. 

So if your friend/relative doesn’t live near you, here’s a clever idea: cook with your buddy over the phone! 

You both will pick a recipe, purchase the ingredients, and plan a time to cook it. Then, you try the recipe together over the phone! 

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