How Cooking Made Me Healthier, Happier and Saved Me Major $$$

One of my New Year resolutions for 2018 was to cook more and eat out less. I usually don't even set New Years resolutions because I'm terrible at sticking to them. However, I'm really happy I set this goal because I've actually done a great job of sticking with it for the past year+! This resolution was conceived solely as a way to save money and eat healthier but it actually helps me in those areas plus so much more. These are all the benefits I have found in cooking. 

Saving money - I go to the grocery store maybe once a week and spend $50 each time. This holds me over enough so that I only eat out approximately 5 times per week (minus the occasional bagel or cheap snack). When I do eat out I'm A. doing it for social purposes B. Am too busy to cook C. have been too busy to grocery shop and have run out of food in my fridge. Even if each meal I ate out was $20, I'd still only be spending $250 per month on food TOTAL. I'd say that's pretty good! Side note: I ONLY shop at Trader Joe's in NYC as the products there are considerably cheaper than other NYC grocery stores! 

Control over what I put in my body - When I eat out, I am literally incapable of ordering something healthy. My mindset in these situations is "I'm paying good money for this so I REALLY want to enjoy it." I display excellent self-control when grocery shopping, though. If you have been to Trader Joe's in NYC, you know that it's so crazy crowded that there is no time to wander the aisles drooling over all the snacks and chocolate. You make a b-line for what you need then get out ASAP. For this reason, I only get the healthy stuff that I put on my shopping list and therefore, only have healthy things to cook at home, even if I'm craving something unhealthy. 

Sense of control in general - Cooking gives me a sense of control in my finances, my health and my body image. It's really easy to feel out of control of every aspect of your life during young adulthood and it's something I've struggled with a lot lately. During college, you're worried about money, your career, your friendships and relationships and everything just seems completely up in the air. It feels like your life is running you rather than you running your life. Having tighter control over things such as saving money on food and feeling confident about the way you look because you're eating healthier are small things, but really help you to feel like you have reign over some aspects of your life. 

30 minutes of peace - In the past, I've heard some adults say that cooking is enjoyable and a stress relieving activity. I now definitely understand and agree with this. I can't put it all into words, but there is something so soothing about it. One thing I know is great about the period of time when you're cooking is that you're away from your phone. As a millennial, I spend way too much time on my phone and definitely admit that I'm addicted to it. Even when I'm working at my internship or doing school work, my eyes are still fixated on a computer screen since everything is digital now. The 30-45 minutes where I'm cooking is a period of time when I can't pick up my phone because my hands are occupied. It's a great opportunity to just disconnect and listen to some music. 

As you can see, cooking in and eating out less has changed my life for the better in so many small ways! Let me know if you guys like this kind of post. Food is something I've been putting a lot of thought into lately so I'd be interested in writing more about it! What do you guys like about cooking? Do you cook in or eat out more? Let me know in the comments!