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Put Down the Food Delivery App and Pick Up The Spatula

We all know how easy it is to order takeout from one of the many food delivery services near campus. Technology has made it easier now than ever to get our favorites brought right to our door. Everyone deserves a treat yourself moment, but consider treating yourself to your own home-cooked meals this semester.

The University of Washington notes that cooking your own meals is much cheaper than eating out. We all have seen the additional fees for delivery or taxes that add up over-time. Save some money by cooking your own meals at home. Not only are home-cooked meals a lot healthier and cheaper in the long run, they provide you with a moment of time in your day to do something for yourself. Many of us lose track of time in the day and simply get the fastest food we can think of to curb our hunger. Use this time to be with your own thoughts and take a break from the computer screens. 

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The key to seeing this cooking goal through is to devote time to meal planning during the week. You do not need to prep everything in advance if you’re too busy, but instead plan out your meals. When you analyze your schedule for the week to plan out time for school, think about which meals would best fit into your day. Do you have a big exam that you’ll need a lot of time to study for? Plan a quick and easy meal like pasta or rice and vegetables. Do you have more time on Wednesdays after classes? Use that time to try something a little more involved! You will be less inclined to order out if you already have something planned and scheduled for your day according to the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard. The threat of vegetables expiring before using them is enough to get anyone motivated. 

Grocery store trips are a lot less intimidating if you head in with an idea of what you need! Make a list on your phone before heading into the store with all the ingredients you will need to fulfill your meal plan that you created earlier. This will keep you on track as you walk down the aisles and can steer you away from picking up random tomatoes without a reason to use them. Our busy schedules tend to be a common excuse to prevent us from getting groceries. With curbside pick-up becoming a more popular option, you can pick out your items ahead of time and skip losing time in the store. 

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You’re going to mess up and that’s okay. You won’t be able to perfectly time your pasta with your protein the first time you make it. That’s what microwaves are for! You can quickly zap your chicken or vegetables if they get cold while waiting for your pasta to be boiled to perfection. There will be moments where you add too much salt or not enough seasoning. Remember: you can always add more, but you can’t take away. 

Cooking is a way to take care of yourself. The Huffington Post states it can increase self-esteem and confidence. The more you get behind the stove, the better you will get at cooking. We all start from somewhere in our cooking journey. Get on Pinterest, get inspired, and get cooking this semester!

Aimee Padley

West Chester '21

Aimee Padley is a senior at West Chester University studying Media & Culture with minors in journalism and Spanish. When she's not writing, she can be found trying to cook or spending time with family. Lover of travel, reality TV shows, and her planner. Post-grad, she hopes to find a job in public relations or journalism.
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