5 Steps to Cooking in College
Because when you have to learn how to cook for yourself, it's helpful to have some support in the process.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies I made yesterday!
Growing up, I was never that into cooking. It was fun to do with my family, especially around the holidays, but I didn't cook "for fun." Fast forward to college. Now that I'm off of my meal plan and living in an apartment, I have the freedom of eating whenever I want. But, that means I have to actually cook! Here's a few tips I've learned along the way.
1) Go to the Grocery Store--with a list
There are a variety of grocery stores in Evansville. Schnucks, Target, Walmart, Aldi, Ruler, and more are around UE. Make it fun, go with friends/roommates. And if you don't bring a list, you will end up buying way more thanyou need and forgetting important things (like orange juice!). You will learn which stores are cheaper and how to watch for sales.
2) Learn basic food (and fire) safety
Know where your fire extinguisher is, how to turn your oven & stove on/off, and when food needs to be thrown out. (if you are questioning it, throw it out). Luckily, I have had no near-fire experiences, but many of the apartments on campus do have gas stoves. Do NOT leave your gas stove unattended, especially with a towel next to it (advice from my friend who caught a towel on fire).
3) Start small
Cooking for one is hard because most things you make with give you way more food than you need. Start small so you don't have to eat leftovers of what you make for a week. For example, salads are relatively easy (lettuce, cheese, dressing, etc). as are sandwiches.
4) Be creative to use the food you have
Food that you keep in your fridge does go bad if you don't use it! So, it helps to be a little creative to use what you do have before it goes bad. For example, if I have mushrooms, marinara sauce, cheese, and bread, I can make a small pizza and put it in the oven (yum!). Or you could make "Rainbow Soup" (idea from my sister & her roommate) in which you put all your leftover fresh veggies. When in doubt, look on Pinterest.
5) Share your food
If you want to make something bigger (i.e. a large pizza or spaghetti), it helps to have someone to help you eat it! My roommates and I will cook together and each of us will contribute some of the ingredients (you bring the noodles, I get the sauce). It's also a fun way to eat together without having to pay to eat out.