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8 Reasons to Cook at Home

This week is a busy one in our household.  We have several projects going, meetings with clients, and I’m taking a new class.  We also prioritize our workouts, so that’s always on the calendar.  It’s one of those weeks that would be easy to forget about mealtime until it’s here.  (Did you know that on any given day at 4 PM, 80% of American adults don’t know what they will be having for dinner?  Crazy, right?)  Last night, Matt and I made a different decision.  

Woman cookingFor years, Matt & I spent Sunday afternoon and evening batch cooking our meals for the week.  It was easy, because we cooked on the grill, outside, generally making chicken and vegetables.  But two years ago we moved into a high rise in downtown Houston that doesn’t have a place to grill.  Our weekly cooking sessions were abandoned, and we traded a home cooked lunch for the salad bar near the gym.

Don’t get me wrong.  I almost always cook at home in the evening.  But we changed from batch cooking to preparing one meal at a time.  I generally have a menu planned for the week, but it’s pretty easy to veer off schedule if the mood hits or I’m really tired.

Yesterday, in an attempt to really reign in our eating and save some money, we decided to re-implement batch cooking.  Below you will find a list of foods that we prepared and our costs. My waistline and pocket book are very happy!  These 18 meals amount to 3-4 days of food for us, in the perfect calorie ranges.  Throw in one cup of coffee (made at home) and a couple of snacks – yogurt, nuts, or a piece of fruit – and we’ve stayed on point and eaten for under $12 per person for the day.


  Number of Servings

  Calories per serving 

  Cost per Serving


  Seared Chicken

  Brown Rice










  Baked Pork Tenderloin with Tomatoes  

  Brown Rice

  Green Beans









  Scrambled Egg Whites

  Turkey Sausage









If you are truly interested in creating the healthiest life possible, cooking for yourself (and your family) is one of the best things you can do.  Here are my favorite arguments for home cooking.

1.  Control Ingredients  

If you want to eat organic, you can do that.  If you want grass feed, free range protein, you can make sure that happens.  If you don’t like onions, you can make the dish and leave them out.  You are completely in charge of what goes in your food.

2.  Control Portion Sizes  

In our supersized world, it’s easy to fall prey to the large portion sizes that are typical in restaurants.  When you are cooking yourself and packaging your meals for later, you can control the amounts you will be eating.

3.  Take Back Your Time

 If you learn to batch cook for the week, you will have healthy meals without needing to take time each day.  This time saver will give back as much as 2-4 hours in any given week.

4.  Control Your Weight

Cooking ahead makes it easy to stay on a meal plan.  You know how many calories and what macronutrients are in each dish.  If you need low carb, you can go with protein and extra veggies.  If you are simply trying to stay in a certain calorie range, you can do that too.

5.  Control Food Costs

According to the USDA, a family of four will spend $544 - $1235 on food each month.  (They break it into four categories:  thrifty, low-cost, moderate, and liberal).  Cooking and packaging food for us comes in at $360 per person a month, on the high end.  We are buying organic produce and free-range chicken and beef.  The meals cost even less when you shop based on what’s in season and on sale.  Stores like Costco, Aldi, and Sprouts provide great value on excellent products.

6.  Eliminate Waste  

Waste in our country is a big problem.  A typical family of four will waste up to 1,160 pounds of food each year by throwing it out, spilling, or letting it spoil before it can be used.  By planning your meals and packaging them you can really cut down on waste. (Check out Super Cook, a tool that can help you use the ingredients in your fridge and pantry to minimize waste.)

7.  Create Community

Cooking at home brings people together.  Cooking time provides the perfect opportunity to teach children about healthy eating.  Also, it’s just a great time for the adults in the household to talk to each other.  We love having friends over and cooking for them.  People always come together around food. 

8.  Be Creative

Cooking at home gives you the opportunity to create new combinations with very little risk.  Try an herb or spice you’ve never tasted before.  Or how about a new cooking technique or kitchen gadget?  Think out of the box, and soon you will happily look forward to your time in the kitchen.

Spend some time cooking and take back your time, money, and ultimately health.  And have some fun along the way. 

Here’s to some tasty eating!


Question:  What is your favorite recipe to “batch” cook?  How do you use it?

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