I Suck at Cooking

what my cooking would probably look like if i actually did it


I’m not exactly what anyone would call a good cook. I mean, I can follow recipes, and I’ve never poisoned anyone (that I know of), but cooking just doesn’t come naturally. I have been involved in five small kitchen fires - three due to grease fires on a stovetop, and two instances of accidentally setting my own microwave on fire. I am incapable of cooking multiple food items so that they all get done around the same time. I cannot bake. I don’t own fancy kitchen appliances or even most of the basic ones. All this and it’s no wonder that most of the things I “cook” come from a box. Preferably one with all the ingredients included.

This lack of domestic skill has been on my mind lately because I would REALLY like to find a way to save money at the grocery store. I’d also like to eat healthier, since my doctor recently pointed out the 50 pounds I’ve gained since my son was born in 1998. (I cried.) While I know in my head that buying a lot of convenience foods is both fattening and expensive, I really don’t know how to begin when it comes to cooking real meals.

How I Talk Myself Out of Cooking

My son is autistic and extremely picky. Jayden eats about 14 things, and all but a few are total crap. This isn’t a matter of, “If he’s hungry enough, he’ll eat what you give him” - I have literally watched him throw up even when he wanted to try a certain food. His sensory issues result in a lot of problems with textures, flavors, food temperature, and even color. So I tell myself it’s pointless to cook a big meal if I’m the only one who will be eating it.

Ingredients for cooking from scratch cost too much. A few weeks ago, I found a recipe online that I wanted to try. When I started looking at the things I’d need, though, I was going to spend over $30 for a single meal! Okay, maybe 2 or 3 meals since I’d have leftovers. But still. When I think about buying enough ingredients to cook for a week, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of money I’d have to spend to do it.

Produce and meat don’t last long enough. I hate grocery shopping. If I had it my way, I’d go once a month at the most. But when you buy fruits, vegetables, and meat that don’t come in overprocessed forms, you usually only have a few days to use them. I hate freezing meat because (1) I hate the way it tastes once it thaws and (2) my decisions to cook usually come at the last minute. So I feel like my only choices are to go to the grocery store every few days or avoid using items with a short shelf life.

Cooking takes forever. Do people really make three meals a day from scratch? I promise, I’m not purposely being an asshole here. I just can’t fathom a world in which I stand at the stove multiple times each day. When it’s time for lunch, for example, I usually remember to eat at about 2 PM. I can either go get out a bunch of stuff, mess up pots and pans, and wait until 3 PM to eat (plus doing dishes), or I can pop a frozen dinner in the microwave and be finished by 2:30 or sooner, then just throw the container in the garbage.

The Dilemma

Despite the excuses I make to keep myself from cooking more, I know it can be done. I know there are ways to plan ahead and make healthier meals without spending a ton of money. I just don’t know how to get from knowing this to actually doing it.

With that in mind, I’m asking you guys for help. What is your system for buying food, cooking, and meal-planning? How do you decide what to make? What ways have you found to save money? How do you use fresh produce without making multiple trips to the grocery store each week? Please treat me like a toddler because that’s pretty much my skill level when it comes to this stuff. Help me learn to stop sucking at cooking!


I Suck at Cooking36 Comments

  1. I suck at meal planning. I can't do it to save my life (although I did it for one month, way back in January 2010) - there are just too many variables for me to do it (whose house we're staying at, what I feel like eating, etc). My best advice is to start slow, don't try to plan every meal for months right off the bat. Try making a few things that will keep in the freezer for easy preparation during the week (Blondeonabudget does almost all her weekly cooking on Sundays, for example). Budget bytes is a great resource for cheap meals, and her recipes are super yummy.

  2. Yay.. Andrea is posting again. :)

    And IMO, you should reconsider the frozen meat thing.. With proper spices and techniques, you can get a lot of tasty meals without having to worry about it going bad.


  3. i hate going to the grocery store too! i usually go twice a month, so that i can take advantage of fresh veggies and fruit, but it's not too often.

    my advice is to start with simple things, like spaghetti, chicken and rice with a veggie side, baked potatoes…things that will last for a while around the house, but it's a good place to start. the truth is you don't need a ton of spices and ingredients to make a good meal, just some staples (salt, pepper, garlic, basil, olive oil…those are the things i use the most!). then once you start getting into the routine, you can buy a few more spices here and there that won't break your budget, but will give you a little more variety. i typically stay away from meals that take a ton of time or ingredients, because like you said, i don't want to spend all day cooking! but, i do work full time and eat home cooked meals twice a day, so it is possible.

  4. I go to the store once a week mostly because I can’t plan any further out than that. I usually just cook for myself and eat a ton of leftovers. There are some things I think anyone who can make boxed meals can make, like chili. The key is to start out small with things you understand then build from there. Also I don’t know anyone who cooks lunch from scratch on a regular basis. Lunch is either leftovers or a sandwich. You can always make blt’s. I understand issues with texture. There are some foods I simply can’t eat regardless of taste. If you want some of my easy-mode recipes just let me know. I’m still no food genius, but I’m happy to share. Also get a george foreman. It makes life so much easier.

  5. Ok so you hate cooking - but your waistline and your wallet need to meet somewhere in the middle don't they. How do you feel about soups - try this http://mortgagefreeinthree.com/category/frugal-fo… a series of 30 soups made from frozen pre-organised bits and bobs.

    At least you will be fed well - and you need to take care of you - cos otherwise who will look after your boy?

    If you start with lunches you can always move onto dinners later.

    BTW - me and two boys eat for less that £20 per week - I think that's just over $30 or so.

  6. Slow cooker! There are a ton of recipes out there, many of which do NOT contain cream of mushroom soup.
    Breakfast for supper: scrambled-egg sandwiches, pancakes, French toast or even just oatmeal and fresh fruit.
    Cheese, crackers and fruit for lunch.
    Keep expectations low. If you were looking at $30 worth of ingredients, that's a bit high-end.
    A website called Cheap Healthy Good has great archives, and lots of recipes that are delicious and easy.
    Online searches for "easy recipes," "recipes with five ingredients," "recipes for people who can't cook," etc. Or do a search for recipes with the ingredients you have on hand, e.g., "recipes with peanut butter and ramen."

  7. My wife and I decide on the menu weekly. She may look in magazines (Weight Watchers and others) for ideas and recipes. My favorite meals may be something simple as pasta, anything on the grill with a salad or salad with chicken, shrimp etc in it. You can keep it simple but interesting. You do not have to be a gourmet to appreciate and enjoy food.

  8. When I moved out on my own, I did not know how to cook either. And I think that the first couple of recipes I tried were extremely pricey. It is like I was overcompensating for not cooking. But as time progressed, I learned various new things. Now you also have the added challenge of a child who will only eat certain things. I can certainly sympathise with this.

    So start small, make a list of what your son will eat, and start with that. Now add one thing for another meal, but make sure he has something he will eat as a side dish. Keep trying new simple things, until you can say "ok I got this" Then try something a little challenging. Now I will say that frying is not only unhealthy, but also not easy to accomplish.

  9. Here's a recipe to start with, it is super easy and fast. Also cheap.

    Packaged tortellini - one for you guys.
    cubed ham (like half a ham steak, serve the other half in a mondo sandwich, or as a side for breakfast)
    Frozen peas —not canned Frozen only.
    Olive oil
    Parmesan cheese

    OK cook the tortellini, package directions (11 min boiling water?)
    add the frozen peas the last minute of cooking.
    Drain and put back in pan - not over heat (mostly because I don't want to dirty another bowl and serve right out of pan.)
    Add cubed ham and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and some cheese (as much or as little as you want)
    Mix and eat- serve with salad and bread. Buy the bread you aren't there yet.

    Good luck!

    • I ate a LOT of this in college! (Haven't had it in a while, not sure why)

      We'd sometimes use chicken instead of ham, even though it doesn't taste quite as good, because we kept frozen chicken but not frozen ham around. And Ryan doesn't like peas, so I'd usually cook them separately and only add them to mine. He said the tortellini/meat/cheese alone was good, but I like the addition of peas.

  10. I eat leftovers for lunch, or else cheese, crackers, and veggies. For suppers, right now, I eat lots of salad with meat toppings - grilled or baked chicken, cold steak, pork chop, hamburger pattie in pieces. This lets me cook once or twice in a week and eat the whole rest of the week on left overs. I do eat differently in the summer than in the winter, because it's too hot to worry with it. In winter, I do spaghetti, chili, barley soup, stew - all in crockpot. I have four different weekly meal plans and rotate them. Don't have to reinvent the wheel, and I can add to or subtract from as I please.
    I can keep salad and veggies for about five days in the fridge. Apples and oranges keep in bowl for a week. Cut fruit will last 4 or 5 days, too, in fridge. You will have to shop more frequently, and add more prep time, but if it saves money, you can do it. You don't have to go to a super center - go to the little grocery around the corner. All you're buying is some produce. In and out, fast. I do all prep work when I get home, so that I can throw meal together in 20 minutes - cut up melon, cut up celery(pack in water); brown ground meat, bake chicken - all can be done when groceries come home. Then, I'm done for the week.
    Maybe you could try freezing cooked meat instead of raw meat and that would help the texture thing. I buy hamburger 5# and fry it up - then freeze in cup servings. I have never noticed a texture change in it. I put it in spaghetti or chill frozen solid - it doesn't take long to thaw. I make my own hamburger helper meals, too, starting with frozen precooked hamburger. You could chop cooked chicken and freeze; same with pork chops. I precook bacon for whole week, as I eat on slice of bacon and one egg for breakfast daily. You could do smoothies with egg protein powder and fresh fruit, too, as fast and easy.
    Clearly, you are very intelligent, but I think most of your kitchen woes are because you don't *want* to cook. I don't fault you for that - but your health has to come first. My great grandmother, who was a doctor, said your diet is the cheapest healthcare going. Cooking is like all housework; dull, boring, repetitive. But, you will lose weight and feel better if you eat better. It isn't hard, just time consuming and tedious - and it takes practice. Borrow a copy of Joy of Cooking or get someone to gift it to you. That has the most info for actually learning to cook and what to do with ingredients that I know of. Look online too not for foodies but for busy moms. Stock your pantry little by little with the basics and go for it.
    I can't offer suggestions about your child, but saying that it's too much trouble to cook for one sounds like a cop out. And, it might be the repetition of exposure to real food week after week for your son could help him overcome (some of) his texture issues - plus him seeing you eat it could help tell his brain, this is food even if it is different … just a thought that occurred to me.
    Good luck, and remember that practice will make perfect - so don't quit the first mistake you make!
    I do so enjoy your blog; you're so determined that it is inspiring.

  11. A lot of great responses here already. If a recipe costs $30 to make, your probably looking at the wrong recipes. My wife and I spend about $150 per month on food. One of the most budget friendly tips for cooking: make meat part of the entree instead of THE entree. It will also mask any after-taste of being frozen. Buy frozen vegetables. Steamed (which is super-easy), they taste just as if you had started fresh.

    If you email me, I will give you a free (ebook) copy of my cookbook, which has recipes that range from easy to moderate difficulty, and has a bunch of tips, food substitutions, and other tidbits to get you started.

  12. I don't exactly have a system. Something to keep in mind is that dealing with food - cooking it, shopping for it, eating up leftovers - isn't an exact science. Sometimes, stuff goes to waste or a recipe just doesn't work out quite right. You have to just persevere. I actually really like cooking and have TONS of easy recipes I could give you, but I agree with the commenter to said to start easy and small. Eventually, you'll get the hang of it.

    Do you want me to email you a few? Just let me know what you like (chicken, pasta, seafood, etc.) and I'll send them over!

  13. I'm a student, which means I have little time and little money. I eat a lot of pasta with ground beef and chopped veggies. It takes very little time, it's not a scary recipe with unusual and expensive ingredients, and I make a lot at a time and eat for days… I can also box up for tupperware lunches. Even if Jayden won't eat it, you can still eat it and save money/eat healthier… I

    1. fry chopped veggies in oil (1 onion, 1 green pepper, maybe 1 zuchini…)
    2. pour a can of pasta sauce
    3. pour a can of drained diced tomatoes (to add more veggies & bulk)
    4. add cooked ground beef
    5. add some ground pepper, whatever spices I feel like. Sometimes I add curry paste and make a pseudo-curry)
    6. cook pasta. extra points if it's wheat pasta, but I usually stick with regular rotini

    this makes a pretty big vat of pasta sauce that is chunky with lots of veggies and meat… all the ingredients cost about 5 bucks not counting the ground beef, and it feeds me for about 4 days when I supplement it with bread and fruits.

    P.S.I buy bulk ground beef and cook it immediately with garlic/sat/pepper and freeze it. I break off chunks to add to my pasta. This saves me time so I don't feel like cooking is daunting when I'm short on time.

  14. I shop weekly, because we eat a lot, and don't have all that much storage space. Buying the best quality produce you can helps with the life (from actual grocers, or markets - but I don't usually have much trouble with supermarket stuff either. The fruit bin in the fridge helps keep things crisp. And veggies like carrots and capsicum and cabbage keep well). I know some people like to precut their veggies and put them in airtight containers to make them last longer and save on time later.

    I can't really help on the meat front (we do the freeze thing) but what works for me A LOT is cooking most of my lunches at the start of the week - and perhaps a second in the middle of the week.

    I hate spending ages cooking too - I love Rachael Ray and the Stonesoup blog because they're quick, minimalistic recipes for the most part. I definitely do not cook three meals every day. Breakfast is toast or cereal. Lunch, as I mentioned, pre-cooked in a batch. Dinner is usually done from scratch everyday (some of my faves here: http://eemusings.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/go-to-d…

    Once you get a bit more confident in the kitchen, I bet you'll be able to work out basic formula for putting together meals - veggie + protein + starch + flavourings etc.

  15. Planning is a big part of it. Cooking at the last minute by the seat of your pants pretty much insures you're going to wind up eating out … or spend lots of money.

    Also I think if you're looking at recipes that are going to cost you $30 to make, it says to me that much of the cost of the recipe is going to be buying staples like basic spices, eggs, etc. Those are things that you're going to have to make an initial investment in anyway if you want to start cooking on a regular basis. Then those $30 recipes will likely cost you a lot less going forward, because you'll have those staple things that you don't use all of for a recipe.

    Finally, honestly, if you want it to work you're either going to have to learn to work with frozen foods (and they don't have to change texture or have weird textures if you cook them right) or you're going to have to accept going to the store 2x-3x a week. :) You can't just magic food out of thin air.

    I'd say pick up a basic cookbook .. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is a really good one. It's HUGE but has recipes for just about everything in the world including simple easy things like scrambled eggs and omelets or simply baking a chicken. Start simple and get more adventurous once you've mastered the easy things.

  16. Also as @EE said, most people don't cook 3 meals a day every day. For me, for example, breakfast is yogurt and fruit or a yogurt based smoothie whirled up in the blender - no cooking required. Lunches are usually salads with some kind of meat and cheese or leftovers (minimal prep, reheating, no real cooking). Dinner is the only meal that I actually spend time cooking and then it's either something quick and easy or if I take the time to make a big meal, it's something I know that I can use for leftovers for lunches or future dinners.

  17. Since you can use a microwave get a book from the library on Microwave cooking basics. Start with the side dishes like potatoes, vegetables, pastas, rice. Then go on to try to cook meat. There are precooked meats available in the freezer, refrigerator or deli sections of your grocery store. There are loads of online coupons to help you cut costs when trying these. Plain already cut and washed bags of frozen veggies cook up quickly in a microwave or boiled on the stove and are relatively inexpensive. When ready to cook meat boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts can be bought in larger freezer bags for savings, and cook up quickly with premixed store purchased marinades or simply sprinkle spice mixes on them and cook. There are loads of great saltless varieties in the grocers spice isle.

  18. A slow cooker is inexpensive and comes with instructions and recipe ideas. You simply put the meat and other items in, turn on and it can cook on low all day until you're home to eat in the evening. No burning anything!! These help make even cheap cuts of meat moist and tender. There are packages of great frozen berries, mangos etc that you can defrost in the fridge and add to plain yogurt with a little stevia liquid (natural sweetner found in a health food store) that makes a great breakfast or snack and is good for you.
    You strike me as someone who can accomplish anything she really puts her mind to. Look forward to updated posts on your achievements!!! There you have it the "toddler" version of meals made easy that anyone can do : ) Best of luck and success in this endeavor.

  19. I would suggest salads with your favorite veggies as it's easy to prepare. I like to bake salmon, spaghetti or fettucine, homemade pizza on french bread, chicken pitas, and tacos. Also fruit is easy to eat and prepare as a snack. I'm addicted to waffles, english muffins, and greek yogurt for breakfast.

  20. We go grocery shopping once every 2 weeks, and then once a week we just buy fruits, meat and bread. We don't ever make meals for breakfast or lunch just because of our opposite schedules, but we do make dinner every night. Produce should last at least a week, and meat taste just as good when thawed out! You just need the right marinade and seasoning.

  21. I love to cook but some times night comes around and it’s the last thing I feel like doing. My wife and I are really bad about menu planning. We usually decide the day of what we are going to have.

    My advise is to start simple and when you get comfortable try more complex recipes.

  22. I eat cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, and a sandwich or leftovers for lunch…and while we don't cook every night for dinner, we do cook sometimes.

    Ryan is REALLY pick about textures, taste, and temperature of his food too. We do a lot of really simple meals- grill some meat on the George Foreman grill, and serve with rice, potatoes (last a LONG time!), and usually veggies, or cook up some pasta and add some meat to some sauce…sometimes veggies too, but Ryan will really only eat tomatoes, onions, and maybe some small bell pepper pieces. On weekends when I'm being ambitious, we might have something like homemade chicken pot pie.

    I really like to do a quick stir fry with whatever veggies I have and leftover meat, but Ryan doesn't like many veggies…so that is usually reserved for when I'm eating alone. One of my other favorites for myself is rice, black beans, corn, salsa, and avocado….but Ryan doesn't like beans, corn, or avocado. I've been into trying quinoa recipes lately, but Ryan doesn't like the texture at all. (so what I'm saying is, I hear you on the picky eater thing. I don't know if Ryan is as picky as Jayden, but he's seriously picky)

    But honestly, I'm not one to judge, because we also eat a lot of dinners like tuna on crackers, or mac and cheese from a box, or pizza. I started making more of an effort after I gained a little weight during my qualifying exam, but we're still pretty lazy. I'm also trying to sneak in whole grain stuff instead of the more processed versions, but I'm not sure how much that actually improves things…

  23. Yes, cooking takes time. Yes, it also takes time and some money to stock up your home supplies to the point where you have the basics (like oil, flour, spices, rice, beans, sauce) on hand and only need to add fresh ingredients. But you can totally do it slowly over a period of time.

    Try this:
    Pick a couple of meals you like and Jayden will eat. One-dish meals like soup, pasta with sauce and veggies, chili, or casserole are easier than a main dish with two sides, but I understand not wanting to eat food all mixed together.
    Cook one, but make twice as much as you normally would (or 4 servings from the recipe). Do it on a weekend or when you have a little extra time (say 15 minutes) after your meal.
    Wash the dishes and pots that you're doing with while the meal is cooking.
    When you dish up (and you can do this at the stove to avoid washing extra serving dishes), put half the food into a freezer-safe container or two. It should go in the freezer before the meal.
    Then wash the rest of the pots and utensils, casserole dish, etc., and the plates, cups, and silverware you ate with. It shouldn't take very long.

    Do this maybe once a week to start; keep planning meals out. Think about similar dishes that use a main ingredient in common (like pasta and… stuff). Buy that main ingredient when it's on sale, because you know that you'll use it in one of 3 or 4 main dishes. If it's perishable, cook it or prep it before you freeze it. (If you don't like thawing frozen raw meat, cook it up first and freeze small portions of ground beef, stir-fry chicken chunks, whatever. Chop up fresh spinach or broccoli before freezing in Ziploc bags, or buy frozen instead of canned veggies if it's in the budget) If it's shelf-stable, make sure it's in an air-tight container and keep the extra for later meals. Put leftovers into the freezer every time you cook. Eventually you'll have a handful of different meals ready to go in your freezer — only these will be dinner-sized portions of food you made fresh, not that expensive pre-packaged stuff. (Yes, for the amount of food in them, freezer meals are expensive even on sale.) Rotate the meals you like — say you cook 3 times a week and eat leftovers another 3 days (either from that week's meals or from the freezer). That leaves you another day when you order pizza or someone invites you over, or whatever. Lunch can be that food, or individual containers of homemade soup, or sandwiches, or… basically, something easy that doesn't take lots of time when you're hungry!

    The "Cooking for People Who Don't" carnival may be useful: http://commodorified.dreamwidth.org/137087.html

  24. Try the book “Cooking for the Rushed” by Sandy Richards. The meal planning is done for you, and she provides a weekly shopping list with the quantities that you need for the planned recipes. The meals also buil on each other, for example, if you make spaghetti sauce one night, the left over sauce will become part of the chicken parmasean the next night! All recipes are categorized by the amount of prep time too so you know exactly how long it will take!

  25. I usually make breakfast daily - something that takes only a few minutes, like yogurt & 1/2 a bagel. On Sundays, I cook enough for Sunday dinner + lunches throughout the week. It doesn't bother me to eat the same thing for a week, and that way lunch just means taking a container out of the fridge or freezer.

    As others have said, slow cookers are awesome - they separate the cooking from the eating. I like allrecipes.com for recipe ideas.

    Depending on what you're thinking of making, cooking for yourself can be extremely inexpensive - although if you need to buy a lot of spices, there can be a big initial cost. Keep in mind that you don't have to follow recipes exactly, and if there's something you know you don't like, you can substitute something else.

  26. I cook dinner and eat leftovers for lunch. Most recipes online are crazy, 1/8 tsp of this 1/8 tsp of that. Give me a break. Like an 1/8 teaspoon of anything will make a huge difference. I cook maybe 4 times a week. The other days I eat leftovers or eat out. One trick I use is planning a couple of meals ahead. So I may buy 3 pounds of hamburg. I will make a pot of meatballs, make a meatloaf and make tacos all from that 3 pounds. That way, I don't have to cook every day.

  27. Second the recommendation on How to Cook Everything.

    Personally, I don't plan menus before going shopping. Dinner ingredients are the biggest part of the shopping list, and I'll generally buy whichever meats and produce look best and/or are on sale, get enough for 2 weeks and THEN decide what we'll be having for dinner based on what I was able to buy.

    You pretty much just have to buy for the way your family works. If your kid only eats a few things, look up different recipes that have those things and make yourself a little cookbook and shopping inventory so that you always keep your pantry and fridge stocked with the things you need to have on hand.

    I buy bags of flash-frozen chicken breasts - they thaw in less than 15 minutes if they're floating in a Ziplock bag in cold water and it's chicken so…I mean, it'll go fine with everything. And you can pull out just one if you're only cooking for yourself or cutting it up for a 1-2 person salad or soup.
    If you're down with potato flakes, you can get a box of that so you can make single-serving mashed potatoes, otherwise, just pull out a tiny bit of spaghetti noodles (you can boil your water while you're thawing your chicken, and then they can cook on their own while you're sauteing and seasoning).

  28. haha I was just writing a frugal cooking post… it's hard to get into the habit of cooking. And I find even though I like to cook and will do it more often than not, usually I still stick to my favourites and make the same recipes over and over =

  29. I LOVE cooking, so cooking at home has become one of my favorite things to do. I grocery shop once a week to mostly stock up on produce - like you said fresh produce doesn't last long. It was costly to pack my kitchen with essentials- spices, flour, oils, etc, but once I stocked my kitchen my grocery list is far shorter when I plan my meals . . . and that's another thing: I plan my meals a week in advance. I don't eat breakfast, my husband has cereal, lunch is sandwiches, salad or whatever can be thrown together and dinner is almost always homemade. We eat out maybe once or twice a month as a treat. I learned how to bake homemade pizza and it is SO MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE to make your own pizza than it is to buy it. I also started baking my own bread and now save a lot of cash that I would otherwise spend at the store. By cooking at home, I am able to spend under $75/week on groceries for my husband and I. Our most expensive food item - diet coke (we are total diet coke heads and spend more on diet coke than on any other item, oops).

    If you're just not into cooking, START! You are great with computers and web design, think about cooking as another way to create something beautiful and useful! I love slow cooking, and if I could I would slow cook everything - maybe start there. You can throw an entire meal - meat and veggies - into the slow cooker, press start, and walk away for hours and come back to a meal that is ready for you. I use the Wolfgang Puck Versa Cooker from HSN (it's a little more pricey than other crocks and slow cookers) but it has great functions on it so I can sear meat, make soups, and meals quicker and use only one pan instead of several.

    If you have trouble with menus there are many menu services out there, and allrecipes.com is a great place to get some ideas in fact I have an app on my Kindle Fire that helps me choose meals - there is probably and iPad app too. Good luck, I truly hope you are able to find the fun in cooking at home!

  30. I suck at cooking too. SMB doesn't even trust me being in the kitchen for more than 10 mins. I make tea every Monday morning and spill it everyday.

  31. I cook for myself, best thing I ever bought was a rice cooker that was also a steamer. I can cook rice on the bottom, and steam chicken with veggies ont the top at the same time. It's quick, and easy to portion out for one person, plus you just pretty much turn it on and walk away.

  32. Hubby and I made a list of several dishes that we both enjoy. We make a sort of menu for the week - not necessarily set in stone as to what to eat on what day. It's just a list of things that will go nicely together. We then make a grocery list based on those meals. We usually try to pick things that will do double duty and can be used for more than one meal. Buying hamburger (or ground turkey) in a bit larger package saves money, and we use that for spaghetti one night, a casserole the next night and as an additional pizza topping the next. I also bought fresh mushrooms and used them in the spaghetti and on the pizza.

  33. Some of the best advice I can provide is to always keep stocked up on staples, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, beans, and some sort of meat in the fridge. In a hurry, you can always walk away with some alfredo pasta, roasted potatoes and chicken, or stirfry rice with vegetables. Have a few get-away meals (which are fast to cook, easy to make and eat, and everyone likes). What I personally do is go grocery shopping once a week. I normally take about 15min on the weekend with the store circulars in hand (if I dont have them, you can get them from tbe website in most cases) and see what's on sale. Model your meals after that. So if chix breast is on sale, plan to make tacos, chicken parm, soups, and save some for fried rice. Just get creative with your flyer (and budget!) in hand. Worst comes to worst, have canned soup!

  34. I would start off slow very slow. Make a list of meal you already know how to prepare like example me spaghetti, chili, tacos, chicken, pork chops. Then every other day cook dinner, only one of those meals. For breakfast eat cereal, oatmeal, sausage (that can be microwaved) basically anything that doesn't need the stove or even boiled eggs maybe (but believe me i've burned a few before). Lunch go out to eat or eat a sandwich or canned soup. Then the next day go out to eat dinner. That is my suggestion.

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