Are you unsure of what to cook for dinner? Tired of making the same meals week after week? Looking for the best cooking tips for students? We'll review a few simple, yet crucial, tips for cooking as a student.
Leaving the roost and learning to cook for yourself can be a challenge for pretty much anyone. After all, you've likely spent most of your life living at home. And if you were as lucky as I was, you had your awesome mother there to prepare your meals for you most of the time.
But now, you're in college, possibly living on your own, and it's time to learn how to cook for yourself. And yes, I know that learning how to cook can seem daunting.
But I assure you that once you've learned a few basic recipes and have taken the time to get a bit more comfortable in the kitchen, you'll quickly start to see how enjoyable (and tasty) home-cooked meals can truly be.
So with that said, in today's blog post, we're going to be taking a look at some of the most important tips for cooking as a student.
Stock Up On Basic Supplies
It's obvious to say, but when you're in a pinch and aren't quite sure what to cook, cooking can be a headache. But on the other hand, when you have a cupboard or pantry filled with basic cooking supplies, throwing together a quick meal becomes about as easy as can be.
That's why it's crucial to stock up on a range of basic cooking supplies. For this, think of shelf-stable foods like dried beans, lentils, rice, or quinoa. Basically, just try to stock up on anything that's going to last a long time and that can be used in a bunch of different ways.
However, going out and buying a whole bunch of cupboard supplies might cost you a bit more upfront. But the fact that you can easily buy these items in bulk, and they're not going to go bad means that you'll be saving money in the long run. Plus, you'll always have something on-hand to cook.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
It's truly amazing how only a few different herbs and spices can truly liven up your meals. And when it comes to spices, there's virtually no limit to how creative you can be.
That's why it's important to always have a good variety of spices on hand, not just salt and pepper. Some of my personal favorites are garlic powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and thyme.
But there are literally hundreds of herbs and spices to choose from. Which means that there are hundreds of thousands of spice combinations you can create by using them.
So don't be afraid to experiment. Try new and different spices. Taste different cultures. And you'll quickly see just how true it is that having a variety of spices on-hand can spice up your cooking life.
Bonus tip: many herbs and spices are super resilient and easy to grow at home. So you can even try growing them yourself!
Learn From Others
Some people are born with it, while others need to learn. But I assure you, there's no shame in needing to learn how to cook. And today, with the internet, blogs, and platforms like YouTube, it's easier than ever to learn how to make new meals and expand your culinary repertoire.
In fact, there are literally thousands of cooking blogs and YouTube channels available that you can learn from. Or, you can always visit your local library or find an online book store to look for a good cookbook. And even if you don't like following the recipes, having a cookbook on-hand can be a lifesaver when you're trying to decide what to cook yourself for dinner.
Lastly, you can always ask friends or family members to help teach you a recipe or two.
Regardless, the important thing is to learn new recipes and meal ideas. Then, once you've made them a few times and have them memorized, you'll start to see just how easy it can be to whip up a quick meal.
Prepare Your Meals In Advance
I'm sure you've heard this a million times before, but doing meal prep can be a lifesaver, both in terms of saving you money, as well as making it significantly easier to cook dinner on a whim.
There's pretty much no limits as to what you can prepare in advance, but a few of my favorites are homemade soups, chilis or pasta. These can all be made in larger quantities, then portioned out, and frozen for later use.
Then, when dinner time rolls around, all you'll need to do is thaw out your pre-portioned meal, heat it up, and enjoy the delicious bliss of your awesome home-cooked meal.
Saving Money And Eating Well
As a student, I'm sure you already know that it's all too easy to spend a fortune on fast-food and eating out. Not only is this a complete waste of money, but when you eat out, you're more likely to eat junky foods that simply aren't nutritious, like greasy french fries, burgers, etc.
But by following the tips we've discussed today, stocking up on cupboard supplies, learning new meal ideas, and doing meal prep, you'll easily be able to save yourself some money, and learn how to feed your mind, body, and soul in the best way possible.