10 Reasons Cooking at Home Tops Going Out

cooking at homeIt's practically written in stone that going out to eat = good, staying at home to cook = bad. Just watch a few TV commercials or read a few Facebook statuses. People whine about having to make dinner, but they can't wait to hop in the car to hit a restaurant.

Come on people! Don't you know that cooking at home is better? I'm not getting all up on my high horse here; I love a night out as much as the next married woman with a kid at home. But after a summer of being constantly on the run, I've made a vow to spend more time making our own meals ... and wouldn't you know? I'm finding there's a whole lot to love about cooking at home:


1. Satisfaction Guaranteed. You don't have to be picky to prefer food cooked in one certain way. Make it at home, and it WILL be. So no more trying to track down your waiter because she forgot to tell the cook "no red peppers" or rubbing your burger bun across the side of your plate to get rid of that mayo that you really didn't want.

2. It's More Fun. OK, so a restaurant may be more relaxing. but turn up the tunes, invite someone into the kitchen to share in the experience, and your "chore" becomes a party -- or at least some good old-fashioned family bonding. Bonus: Learn to delegate and it becomes MORE fun.

3. Portion Control. Ever leave a restaurant feeling like you're about to explode? Huge portions are a fact at many American restaurants, and when you were raised to clean your plate, you're in big trouble ... and so is your waist line. Plating your own food is almost guaranteed to help you control your weight.

4. Going Back for Seconds. Yes, I know I just said you should cut down on portions. But being able to plate your own food also means being able to get more when you're not quite full or it just tasted THAT good.

5. Leftovers. Have you ever had to get a kid off a bus, get homework done, run the family to soccer practice, run home, do dinner and a bath and bedtime -- all in a matter of three hours? Then you know the value of making a double batch of stew at home.

6. You Clean Up. Usually that means washing dishes, which few people like (if you do, please, come to my house ... any time). But here's a fast fact: the CDC estimates 80 percent of food-borne illness outbreaks are "bacterial with improper holding temperature and poor personal hygiene of food handlers causing the most problems." I'll take washing dishes at my house over getting sick from a dirty restaurant any day.

7. No Mystery Meat. Ever wonder where the restaurant is getting its supplies? How "top shelf" everything really is? At-home chefs never worry. We know if the chicken was free range or cooped up. We know that beef is really lean. And we know the gluten free pizza crust wasn't made on the same counter where someone just had a heaping helping of flour.

8. Money, Money, Money. Next time you sit down at a restaurant, take a look at everything on your plate and evaluate how much it would cost at the grocery store. You'll be cutting back on going out in no time.

9. It's All on Your Schedule. Who wants to wait an hour while the flighty waitress forgets to put in your order? Or stand in line for 45 minutes because the restaurant's busy? Your at-home stir-fry could be on the table in that time!

10. No Dressing Up. After a long day in your office wear, don't you ever just want to get into your PJs and get comfy? Now imagine doing that at your favorite eatery. Sorry folks, kitchen wins.

Do you like cooking at home?


Image via Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

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