Having grown up in a joint family, cooking was a skill I never managed to pick up. So, when I moved to Mumbai for a job, I was suddenly left to fend for myself. I had to figure how to feed myself three times a day, seven days a week. I wasn’t worried though, I was going to Mumbai after all – the hub of restaurants and social activity.
Once I got to Mumbai, however, I realised that I was spending Rs. 300-350 per meal on average. If you wish to eat healthy in this city, even a salad and a juice can end up costing a lot of money! That’s when I decided that I need to start cooking at home.
Here’s how I went about it.
- Creating a weekly meal plan: So it’s Monday? Well then: two boiled eggs, one apple, brown rice with lentils, and a hearty pumpkin soup.
- Ingredient planning and prep: The plan allows me to buy ingredients in bulk, cook on weekends, and eat the stuff over the week on different days. For instance, I cook a lot of brown rice and use it on Monday with lentils and then on Thursday make it Chinese style with vegetables.
- Setting a limit on eating out: I decided that I will eat a Rs. 300 meal no more than four times a month and a Rs. 500-1000 meal twice a month.
Once this became second nature, I had no hesitation experimenting with increasingly challenging recipes and new cooking styles. These days I hardly spend money ordering food even when I have friends over – I enjoy cooking for them!