My Experience So Far When Cooking On My Own

A whole year of dining centers and their unlimited food options of Italian, American and Mexican food are long gone. Part of me misses the food waiting for me after class while the other half of me knew I had a fair share of the same, repetitive food options.

After 18 years of my mother and father cooking, I'm finally, for the first time in my life, learning how to cook on my own. The royal treatment has vanished and no longer will someone prep and prepare meals for me.

Cooking for myself on a college student budget is quite tricky. I'm learning a lot of new things along the way with food safety, expiration dates, how to cook and much more. These are the tips I'd give for someone who is in the same boat as I am.

Rotting

I knew food could rot but what I didn't know is food rots in a blink of an eye. Certain fruits and vegetables rot pretty quickly than others. For instance, I purchased a head of lettuce and after 3 days or so it turned brown and slimy. I had the exact experience with strawberries, I could never eat them fast enough before they expired. I haven't purchased milk yet but my roommates have and their half gallons go to waste especially when we only use the milk for our Kraft Mac and cheese. We learned its smarter to buy milk in either a quart or pint size to eliminate waste.

Planning

Because of the rotting situation with my food, I have learned to start planning out my week. I come up with some food ideas I could make before and after class without any stress. Planning will give you an idea of what you need and don't need before you head out to the grocery store. Whenever I plan out what I'm going to eat I get excited about what's ahead during the week. It gives me something to look forward to, especially when you plan a night with your roommates to make homemade pizzas. The difficult thing about planning is you never know what you might crave in the middle of the week and you don't know what you'll be hungry for days from now.

Craving

Since we're on the subject of craving lets just say craving something that is not in the cupboard is the worst feeling in the world. If you're like me and don't have a car to get you to the place that may have the thing that your craving is quite sad. But on the bright side, I have a full kitchen where I can cook whatever my heart desires. My freshman year I was limited to the food options and areas to cook things. Now I can adventure out with different foods and make obscure dessert recipes off of Pinterest. I've learned to always keep something chocolatey or sweet in my shelves, whether it is a tub of ice cream or fun-size candy bars.

Cooking

The cooking part of it all doesn't come easy to me. I thought the whole summer, my mother would teach me some easy dinners to make but we never got around to it. So, when it comes to cooking I play it by ear. I wish I was able to cook fancy, healthy dinners but for now, I'm satisfied making frozen pizzas and grilled cheeses. Maybe someday I'll achieve cooking a 5-course meal. Especially for me as a beginner, I've learned reading the directions is huge. If you follow the directions you'll most likely make a decent meal to fill up your tummy.

Budgeting

I've learned to eat what's left in the fridge and cupboard before heading back to the grocery store. I tell myself over and over I can't afford to spend money on extra things like junk food and to prioritize the essential food I need day to day. Sometimes I'd like some Jack's pizzas, tubs of ice cream or family sized bags of chips but I hold myself back until there's a good deal. There are days where I don't want to cook and would like to eat out but I remind myself it's pointless to buy a sub from Which Which when I have lunch meat back home.

Shopping

Whenever I step foot into Aldi's, Target or Hy-Vee I feel like I'm in adult mode. Almost like I'm making mature moves by getting my groceries in a cart without my mother's help. Once you do it, you will feel what I'm feeling. Cooking and grocery shopping is part of being independent and growing into an adult. Nowadays, grocery stores have plenty of options to choose from for dinners, which is exciting when you're new to the whole thing.

Hopefully, my experiences with cooking on my own for the first time will prevent you from making the same mistakes I have.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, you can do whatever you want with your free time. It's yours to spend and you have free range. However, I hope you recognize that there are a ton of proactive things you can do right now instead of stalking your man's ex – yes, I know you do it becuase we are all guilty of it.

Take this time to research your privilege. There are always new things to learn and ways to deepen your understanding of yourself, this world, and your surroundings. We live in a multi-dimensional, ever-changing society that needs your help and your time. By that, I mean there are so many layers to each and every one of us, and with our physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional selves, we can create real, positive change.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This Viral Miami University Instagram Page Features Stories Of The Victims Of Discrimination On Campus

There's a new wave of battles for change on Miami University's campus, and Dear Miami is at the root of the fuel to the fire.

There's a lot going on right now, and everything is extremely uncertain. Some of the largest and time-old issues we're facing heavily right now are the ones around human rights.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments