Some may wonder why I’ve been talking about food so much at You Have More Than You Think. Besides the fact that I like it – I mean really, really like it. Food is an area in my finances where I’ve always struggled.
When you yearn to savor the delicious flavors of all things edible, you’re probably prone to spending a great deal of money on food. But there are other things I want to do with my money. As a result, food is where I’m focusing on cutting back.
I’m sure my mother isn’t the only one who’s said, “If you really like to eat, learn how to cook.” Well, I do, and I’m learning.
This month, I spent about $320 on food and alcohol. These past few months, my food and alcohol budget was set for $350. This is the first month I’ve been successful in sticking with that plan.
For many people, $320 is still a lot of money to spend on food and alcohol for one person. Keep in mind I didn’t acknowledge I had a problem until my budget peaked at over $750 in October 2009.
I’ve been able to reduce my food and alcohol bill, primarily, for three reasons:
1) I drank less alcohol in bars and more at home,
2) I used coupons, and
3) I learned how to cook.
Not knowing how to cook is a strong deterrent to, you know, cooking. I discovered that a bad cook can ruin a good recipe. I’m still a work in progress, but I wanted to share with you some of the best web sites I’ve found for those who are just learning how to cook.
Kraft Foods Cooking School - The kitchen basics section is my favorite. Of course Kraft shamelessly pimps their products, but that’s to be expected. From how to carve a turkey to how to pack a kid’s lunch box, they really do an excellent job providing short, easy to follow videos.
(I really wanna try the layered salad. Perhaps I could put the dressing on the bottom with some mixed greens on top. Hmm.)
Howcast - Although Howcast has so many videos about goat knows what, their Food and Drink section is filled with high quality, how-to videos from up-and-coming film makers. I’ve taken a special liking to the How to Jazz Up Ramen Noodles and How to Make Ketchup videos.
Taste of Home - I thought garlic was the only flavoring for butter before watching the Flavored Butters Cooking Video. Now I’m even more excited about grabbing the marked down, about to go stale baked bread rolls at the supermarket.
Campbell’s Kitchen – Although I couldn’t find any video footage on this web site, there are a ton of helpful tips for the beginner cook. For instance, The Prepared Pantry is a must read for anyone who’s just getting started and who’s kitchen lacks the basic ingredients for dishes common in the United States.
Well, I hope that was useful for ya.
Here’s what I’m cooking this week.
Monday/Tuesday – Oven Crisp Chicken Wings and Broccoli
Wednesday/Thursday – Slow Cooker Lasagna
Friday/Saturday – T-Bone Steak with Mixed Vegetables
Sunday – Popeye’s spicy fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. Yes, I will be consuming more than one.
The Rookie Cook Tip – I have a new spin on the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” My modified version of the old adage is just as useful. “When you buy lemons for a recipe you never end up making, instead of letting them rot in your fridge, make lemonade – even if you have to prepare it by the glass.” I know it’s a little long, but I promise it’ll change your life.
I didn’t care to learn how to cook when I lived at home with my parents, so now I’m forced to teach myself with lessons learned from the interwebs. How’d you learn how to cook?