I Tried To Cook All My Meals At Home For A Week And Surprisingly Didn’t Fail Spectacularly
It occurred to me that I might be slightly addicted to Postmates one fateful day when I looked at my recent orders and saw that I’d placed one every day for the past week. Some days it was dinner for myself and my boyfriend when we were too lazy cook, others it was lunch to sadly eat at my desk. One day I even ordered bone broth—something that’s already expensive before you add in the delivery fee. The app just made it so convenient to order whatever I wanted, and since I was buying it for sustenance/to help me get through the workday, it was an expense I easily (though not accurately) justified. So I decided to cleanse my life of takeout and commit to cooking at home for an entire week. Things… didn’t exactly go as planned.
A Week Of Home Cooking
I should preface this by saying that I am the worst cook. Like, ruins-pre-mixed-brownies levels of bad. I think this may explain why I like to eat out; food tends to taste better when you have an idea of how to cook it.
I started my experiment on Sunday, and batch cooked because that's what all the healthy eating articles told me to do. It was boring, but at the end I had a multitude of veggies and protein to sustain me through the takeout-less week ahead.
My normal breakfast consists of a protein shake, eggs and sweet potato, and is the meal I eat out for the least often. So that was easy.
I set off to work with Mason jars of turkey breast and veggies, so full of hope for the week ahead.
Things were great until I realized I forgot snacks. By 4 pm I was starving, but I wasn't going to cave on the first day. So I soldiered through my growling stomach.
At home, I made the only dish I'm good at: pasta sauce and zoodles. I made extra sauce to last through the next couple of days.
Upon arriving at work I discovered that I had, once again, forgotten a snack because I am a scatterbrained human. I put off eating lunch as late as I could to try and trick my stomach.
I still got hungry, and vowed to not make the same mistake the next day.
Pasta sauce and zoodles were my companions again that night.
This was an exact repeat of day three, only I probably complained more about being hungry.
Also my boyfriend got home late that night and stopped to get Thai food—for one person. Rude. Though, to be fair, Thai food upsets my stomach and pad Thai isn't exactly a superfood. So it was probably for the best.
Thursday is when things all went to hell. I have a thing about leftovers, and couldn't stomach eating turkey breast and veggies that was over three days old. So, on Sunday I only made myself enough food to last me through Wednesday.
I knew I should have cooked again the night before, but The Handmaid's Tale was new and I just really didn't want to.
So I bought a salad from the restaurant down the street. What was I supposed to do, not eat? I figured since I walked to pick it up instead of having something delivered it was an okay compromise.
I normally work out in the mornings, except for Thursdays when I work out after work. By the time I was done it was nearly 8pm and had no more pasta sauce at home. Normally I would have picked something up on the way back, but for the integrity of this experiment/I was tired and didn't feel like interacting with people I resisted.
I got home and made the saddest dinner of baked turkey breast and microwaved (organic!) frozen peas. Yes, it was bland, but it also tasted like success.
On the lunch menu: success peas and turkey. I even remembered to bring a bag of carrots for a snack. #Winning.
Instead of going out to dinner, my boyfriend and I stayed in and cooked together. By that I mean he cooked and I tried to sous-chef but ended up both burning myself and cutting my finger so I was banished to the couch. But overall it was nice to just chill at home and spend time together—we've actually started cooking together more on the weekends as a result of this experiment.
By the last day I was dying to eat something not made by my own hand. But I was feeling really great; not only did I save a ton of money, I also felt less bloated.
I also learned that, sometimes, I am really lazy. (To be fair, cooking is also a lot of work.)
These days (she says like this experiment took place so long ago), I'm all about that moderation lifestyle. I've been making a big effort to cook at home more. It's healthier and so much cheaper. But if I do have to have the occasional salad delivered to my desk because I was too tired the night before to prep lunch, I'm not going to stress about it.