Why Some People Aren’t Cooking and How They Can Fix It

Why Don’t Some People Cook?

There may be a variety of reasons why someone doesn’t cook. Some of the answers may surprise you! I will also include ways in which to fix these issues, and plenty of them include better time management.

1. Don’t Have Time

This is probably the sentence that I have heard the most, “I don’t have time. I am too busy to stop and cook for myself.” We live in a busy culture that has a hard time slowing down, and we overload our schedules with activities that end up to a burn out. I get it, a lot of people are super busy with work, school, practices for hobbies, that club you joined, taking the kids to school, or that commute to and from work. Not only is there not time to cook, but who is going to do the dishes? What about the time it takes to shop at the store? Planning meals for the week takes too much time!

2. Grabbing Fast Food is Cheaper Than Buying Groceries

Yes, I have heard this one many times. It surprises me that people think this, but I can see why. I mean, there are “value menus” at many fast food chains. You can usually fill your belly for anywhere from $2.00 – $5.00 plus tax.

3. It’s Easier To Grab Something On the Way

This follows along the, “I don’t have time,” reason. Sometimes it feels that way, and it’s understandable. You’re rushing out the door to go to work and it is easier to grab something on the way instead of cooking and be late. The convenience costs more, but it seems like the best option.

4. I Don’t Like Going Grocery Shopping

Oh, I see. So, you don’t like that other people need to use the store, too. You like to avoid those “mean people” who are obviously trying to “kill you” with their cart. You can’t stand the stress of finding a parking space. I can’t stand the long checkout lines! Grocery shopping is stressful and a waste of time!

5. It Isn’t Worth It To Cook Only For Myself

I understand that some people feel this way. There are times when I was at home by myself and needed to cook. Why bother to cook for myself? I won’t eat it all, and there is no one to eat it with. It is easier to eat a snack and wait until my husband gets home for dinner.

6. I Don’t Know How To Cook

This is the obvious answer. Maybe you never learned how, or you feel that you aren’t good at cooking. Either way, your kitchen turns into a catastrophe with any appliance on and the meals never come out edible. You may feel frustrated how to start or how to cut it.

7. I Hate To Cook

It takes time, hardly anything comes out right, dishes take forever. I don’t understand the fancy vocabulary and no one wants to eat what I make. I feel it is a waste of my life. Well, all righty then.

8. If I Cook At Home, I Will Know What’s In It

Seriously, this one is real. Some people do not want to know what is in their food. This may be because people feel obligated to go on a diet if they cook at home. They may not want to realize what eating out is doing to their bodies. Eating out tastes better so I don’t want to know what I’m eating because it’ll ruin it for me.

9. Eating Out Is More Fun

Maybe your small apartment or home isn’t quite entertainment friendly for guests so it is more fun to go out and meet up with friends. Perhaps it is more exciting to get dolled up and go out on the town with a nice dinner at a restaurant.

10. I Am Bad At Math

Fractions? Who invented these anyway? How am I supposed to remember what 1/2 + 2/3 equals?


How To Fix It

1. Set One Day of the Week To Make Meals

If you are busy throughout the week (most likely on your day off), set one day aside to make meals for the rest of the week. This will take about 2-4 hours of your time, but you will have healthy, ready-to-go meals. To make it quickest, buy enough containers to use. It may be more cost effective to choose plastic, but please make sure they are BPA free, freezer safe, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe if you use the microwave.I prefer these glass Pyrex containers (shop below). If you have a large family, buy large trays for freezer meals to pop in the oven at any time.

Buy a meat like chicken and a lot of veggies and make a bulk stir fry that can last many meals. Perhaps buy fish and make a bunch for meals as well. Cooking it all at one time may help save money on your electric bill and you won’t have to worry about cooking during the week when you are too tired or busy to cook. If you do not have a lot of time in one day like this, consider hiring a personal chef or pay a friend to make meals for your entire week. Otherwise, keep each meal you need to make quick and simple. Don’t get caught up in large ingredient lists and complicated instructions.

2. Grabbing Fast Food Is Not Cheaper

Let’s break down the math here. It may depend on the type of groceries you buy for one, but honestly it is cheaper to cook at home. If you buy one large pepperoni pizza for $10.00, that is $1.25 per slice. Let’s say you make your own pizza at home from scratch, white flour will cost roughly $1.00, sauce will cost you about $1.25, cheese will cost approximately $1.25, cooking oil will cost you about $1.00, extra seasonings about 10 cents, and pepperoni will cost about $3.00.We add that together to get $7.60 or 95 cents per slice . You may be thinking, “What if I get a $5.00 pizza?” It may seem like the better deal. The quantity of food you will get at home will be way more than a $5.00 pizza.

3. Resist the Urge To Grab Something Along the Way

Wake up earlier to make yourself breakfast if you need to, or make your meals a day or two ahead of time by following number 1. Use the money you would normally buy food with as emergency spending only. Use it only if you forget your lunch, a co-worker stole it, or it became completely inedible (forgot an ice pack, got left in a hot car, etc). Set $20 aside as an emergency lunch fund. You will be surprised how much money you save.

4. Choose Your Shopping Time Wisely

I have three words for you, “Get over it.” There will be people in the store and some may not be paying attention to where they were going. This does not mean that they were intentionally trying to kill you with their cart. Some people are in a hurry, and others are rude and don’t apologize. This shouldn’t stop you from going to the grocery store. If you want healthy meals, you will need to get used to going on a shopping trip. Limit your shopping trips to once or twice per month to make it easiest on you. Try to go to the store at a time where hardly anyone is there (if you go to a 24 hour grocery store then go in the middle of the night or before 6 a.m). This way you don’t need to worry about a crowded store, long lines, or finding a parking spot.

If you must go during an hour when the store is busy, choose your store wisely. Pick a store that has wide aisles, plenty of cashiers, and an easy layout to get around. Make your list and order everything on your list according to the layout of the store to create a fast shopping trip. If you need someone to watch your kids while you go to the grocery store then so be it. Don’t be afraid to ask a store associate for help if you can’t find anything. This is easier than wandering the store without a clue of where to look.

5. Make Something Simple and Healthy

Yes, it may feel like a waste of time to make food for yourself, but you need to eat healthy. Taking care of our bodies is important. While intermittent fasting more than likely isn’t going to kill you, make something simple. Not every recipe takes half an hour to make. Make yourself a something small and simple. Perhaps eat a bowl of yogurt with some berries on top. How easy is that?

6. Practice Makes a Better Chef

I understand, you’re not a culinary prodigy and that is okay. I’m not a culinary expert myself. I won’t lie, I am excellent at instant meals and that is what I made for many years. Making things from scratch I could do, but didn’t feel I was great at it. I tried new methods of cooking and found simple recipes with few ingredients that interested me. You will have failures, but you know what? That is how you learn! Shrug off the failures, try to find where you went wrong, and try again. You don’t need a culinary degree to cook a five star meal in your own kitchen. If you must, take a cooking class in your area, ask a friend who knows how to cook to teach you their favorite recipe, or look at books on how to cook.

7. Learn to Understand the Necessity of Knowing How to Cook

Not everyone likes cooking and that is okay. Find recipes that are simple and interest you. Don’t choose complicated recipes that frustrate you when you read the instructions. Cooking is an important part of being healthy and providing meals for a healthier family. It may seem like a chore, but everyone should learn how. Place yourself around others with a passion for cooking and find out why they like to cook. Maybe you will find a reason to love cooking, too.

8. You Need To Know What Is In Your Food

With all the crazy stuff out there about GMO’s, pesticides, growth hormones, and commercial treatment of produce and meat this is important. The best way to avoid these things is to cook at home. I encourage you to look at ingredients lists (if they are available) online of your favorite meal from a restaurant or fast food chain. There will more than likely be ingredients you can’t pronounce. If you don’t know what it is, then why are you eating it? Look up what the ingredient is, how it is made, where it comes from, and how it affects your body. If you have a food allergy or intolerance, you need to be reading labels of what is in your food. If you have a loved one with a food allergy or intolerance, you owe it to them to make safe food that they can eat.

9. Plan a Picnic or a Potluck

There are other ways to have fun going out to eat without eating at a restaurant or grabbing food from a chain. On a nice day, plan a picnic at the park or in your own backyard. If you live in an HOA or an apartment complex, look into renting an available clubhouse for a potluck with friends. Make a rule that each dish needs to be homemade and specify food allergies beforehand.

10. Math is a Minimal Issue

In cooking, math can be a minimal issue for home cooking. It is more of an issue if you are cooking in large quantities when you must double or quadruple a recipe. Math is a part of cooking, a lot of it is numbers. I wasn’t usually great with math, but I can cook. Most measuring cups will tell you common measurements for cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons. After a while, you may memorize what one cup of milk looks like and can estimate your measurements without the use of measuring cups or spoons. If you feel you must learn fractions, it is never too late to learn and practice.


Interested in starting your journey to cook at home? Try my 90 Day Cooking Challenge!


[Image Credit: NordWood Themes at unsplash.com]

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