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"People don't know how to live this way anymore. Many of my young adult peers have no idea how to cook, what grocery stores are cheapest, how to find a produce co-op, how to make healthy meals on a budget, or what things are never worth it to buy new."

October 29, 2020

"People don't know how to live this way anymore. Many of my young adult peers have no idea how to cook, what grocery stores are cheapest, how to find a produce co-op, how to make healthy meals on a budget, or what things are never worth it to buy new. They aren't taught these things in the public school system, and which such a huge focus on academics, many of my peers lack basic life skills."

- a comment from u/Jubilee222 that rang too true for me (I appreciate the honesty and observation though! <3)

I am a very new cook with just a few months of experience because my mom never bothered to teach me these skills. Starting at 21 feels a bit embarrassing.

If you have any guides/resources/tips on navigating the above life skills, please share and impart your wisdom! Thank you!! <3

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Title "People don't know how to live this way anymore. Many of my young adult peers have no idea how to cook, what grocery stores are cheapest, how to find a produce co-op, how to make healthy meals on a budget, or what things are never worth it to buy new."
Author sabsz16
Upvotes 110
Comments 23
Date October 29, 2020 9:47 PM UTC (3 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
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Original Link

[–]Mewster18181 Star75 points76 points  (9 children) | Copy Link

My mom was such a horrendous cook that I took over all the cooking at age 12. Here's some basic advice:

  1. There is nothing wrong with making easy, simply recipes. I've been the primary cook in my house for 16 years now and I still rely on basic, easy classics. They take no brain power, they're popular for a reason(cuz they're delicious)... honestly you can't go wrong. Fancy recipes are fun to try out, and if you really end up liking cooking, but in my experience no man is ever gonna snub the easy classics either.
  2. When you are browsing recipes online try to stick to recipes that have a lot of good ratings, that way you know that they really work.
  3. If you can I strongly recommend to invest in a slow cooker(for just one or two people the little ones are perfectly sized). It will be a lifesaver on busy days, and there's nothing like spending 5 minutes just dumping everything in to come back to a delicious meal in the evening.
  4. Frozen vegetables are perfectly fine, and are often better quality than fresh vegetables. They're cheaper, you don't have to worry about making them right away, and they're easier to store imo. Don't get me wrong, fresh veg definitely has its place and there are some times that you will want it over frozen, but it's not always better than frozen veg.
  5. Canned and dried options are also extremely economical and just as good. While I generally don't get much canned veg, we use a lot of beans. I will get cans for the beans I don't use as much of, and dried for the ones that I use more commonly. Canned tomatoes are other way easier than fresh tomatoes as well.
  6. For budgeting I like to bulk buy my proteins when possible, then portion them out, and freeze them myself. I'll buy like 10lb of ground beef, weigh it out per pound, bag it up and freeze it for later. I'll also buy similar amounts of chicken breasts and do the same thing. Then I'll pick recipes that use ground beef or chicken that I want to make throughout the week, and just pick up the odds and ends I don't have. Bulk rice is also great for students, a 10lb bag of rice will work for SO MANY meals and will go a LONG way.
  7. Buy spices slowly. Don't feel like you need to buy a spice set and drop a lot of money up front, buy them as you need them and you'll end up with everything you could possibly need pretty quickly. There's also nothing wrong with buying seasoning packets, they're relatively cheap and they taste good.
  8. Don't worry if something doesn't come out right, or if you don't like a recipe. Cooking is a lot of trial and error sometimes, and something that might look great on paper and with gorgeous pictures might really not be that great in reality.

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

This!!! So much this. Bulk buying saves a lot of money, and keeping track of meat prices so that you know when it's a good deal. Sometimes seasoning packets go on a major discount and I'll clean house. Spices in the clearance aisle are also sometimes a good find!

I just wanted to add a little addition to #2: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS read the top 4-5 comments. Sometimes you'll find someone who says "I did this and it was too salty and I ended up adding some honey mustard and halving the salt and it was perfect!"

And then the next comments that follow go: "I followed commenter #1's advice and it was a slam dunk!!!!!"

[–]division_by_infinity10 points11 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

On 5: yes!! My Crock-Pot is the absolute best. I started using it to make bone broth... I'd roast a chicken then out the bones in the pot and stew. Then I realized I could use the Crock-Pot dish in the oven, and that was more efficient. Then I realized I could just put the chicken in the slow cooker and cook it entirely in there. It's the only way I'll do it now... Roasted chicken doesn't taste cooked long enough. We eat most of the meat, then I make soup with everything left. So simple and delicious.

On 7, the pandemic stuff kind of ruined it but buying spices in bulk is the best. You can just get enough of a spice for 2 months for .50c instead of a jar that lasts forever and gets old for $5.

[–]Mewster18181 Star6 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah I work from home and I still use my crockpot at least 2x a week.

I think a lot of women feel pressured to be like mini-Martha Stewarts, and while there's nothing wrong with that if it's something you enjoy, I've found that most men don't even notice or care that much. A home cooked meal, a clean home, and love from their wife is all they care about.

[–]sabsz163 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Oh wow! This is awesome! Thank you so much!

I’m sorry you grew up with that, but these tips you’ve learned along the way are golden! 💕

[–]Broad_Context_9311 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Great info! Just wondering, what kind of stuff do you consider the easy, simple recipes?

[–]Mewster18181 Star2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I think this is going to depend on the person, what your preferences are and what is important to you. For me personally I have a couple categories:

  1. The fewer ingredients needed for a good outcome the better. (Mississippi Pot Roast a good example of a family favorite and is 5 ingredients.)
  2. Recipes that require less prepwork are always preferable. (Mississippi Pot Roast only requires that you place everything in the slow cooker, and you're done, no muss and no fuss.)
  3. Recipes that can be made using just one pot. Dishes are part of cooking for me at least, so the fewer dishes I have to deal with the better.
  4. Ideally recipe should have less than 6 steps, the fewer steps it has to follow the easier it will be for anyone.
  5. No crazy ingredients. If something requires me to drive halfway across town to get one specialty ingredient, and then it's only going to use 1/4-1/2 of that ingredient then I might still make it because I like cooking, but chances are it's not going to be a regular recipe that I rely on.
  6. A recipe I can use as a staple part of our menu no matter how busy I am. (There's a big reason I put slow cookers on the initial list, cooking for me is determined by outcome not how much effort and time I put into it. If I can make something my husband loves and use 5 minutes of my day, versus something that takes an hour, then the first recipe is undoubtedly going to show up on the table more often.)

Now you may or may not agree with everything on this list, or there may be other things that you might add to your criteria for "easy, simple recipes". But for me, as much as I enjoy cooking, I simply don't have the time to devote to actively cooking all the time. Anything that has good results with minimal effort are 5-star recipes for me.

[–]gretawasright1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

What are you favorite basic, easy classics?

[–]Mewster18181 Star5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Pot Roast(slow cooker recipe), Baked Ziti(slow cooker recipe), Chili(slow cooker recipe), Beef Stew(slow cooker recipe), Broccoli Cheese Soup(slow cooker recipe), Smothered Pork Chops, Creamy Tuscan Chicken(slow cooker recipe), Meatloaf, a variety of casseroles, a variety of stir-fries...

I will make fancier, more difficult dishes on the weekends. But during the week I need easy dishes that don't make a lot of mess, and that don't require me to spend a lot of time on. A lot of the standard 1950s American home cooking recipes while not fancy, are delicious and easy. Not to mention my husband really doesn't notice any difference between recipes that I work harder on vs good ole classics, if it tastes good he's happy and that's pretty much it.

[–]Maaraam[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You just described my kitchen life 😊

[–][deleted] 16 points17 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

It's actually really staggering how rampant a lack of cooking skills is, so don't feel bad. I can't tell you how many people just seem shocked some of the simplest dishes. As a child, my mom would bring me in the kitchen with her and naturally I became curious and wanted to play with the carrots. Eventually I was prepping food for her!

I think that in the past 30-40 years there has been an overwhelming pattern of behavior where parents don't have kids in the kitchen with them, and I think that's how this starts. Maybe some moms can shed light on it because I'm not one myself and this is just anecdotal speculation.

One of the best things you can ever learn is how to make a healthy dinner quickly. As in fridge/freezer to table in under an hour. You could fill a Pinterest board with every glory meal in the book, but on a busy weeknight with kids, quick is going to be king.

"Dump meals," instantpot meals, one pan/skillet and sheet pan meals, as well as make ahead dishes that produce a ton of leftovers are a great place to start looking. Experiment with flavors and sauces and figure out what works for you.

Luckily the internet is crawling with lots of amazing recipes and food blogs. I've found gold mines everywhere from vegan cooks to youtube carnivores, to various food blogs, cookbooks, and editorial sites. I even have a couple users from food reddits who I stalk for their recipes! Explore. Have fun. Find your flavors. Food is therapeutic and artistic at the same time. Most of all, don't get too hard on yourself. It's just food. :)

[–]sabsz166 points7 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Yeah, my mom was a bit overprotective when it came to dangerous things like knives and matches, so maybe that played a factor? But my sister and I also weren’t raised doing any chores either (which has been terrible for me in the long run), so if she would have asked me to help her, it probably would have been met with a bit of resistance then. Thank you for all the advice and encouragement!! It is super helpful and I really appreciate it! :)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

As a child, my mom would bring me in the kitchen with her and naturally I became curious and wanted to play with the carrots. Eventually I was prepping food for her!

Wait, are you me?


Took me 4 tries to fry my first egg. Learning cooking while being 6 year old is hard.

[–][deleted]  (3 children) | Copy Link


[–]sabsz161 point2 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

No, you didn’t at all! I love what you said! I just wanted to point it out because it was a great observation! We all should help each other be more equipped to handle life! :)

Those are all great resources! How do you meal prep? I’ve tried it twice but cooking all those meals for one week is exhausting for a beginner. Or is it something you get used to?

[–][deleted]  (1 child) | Copy Link


[–]sabsz160 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Ah gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense! It is a lot of work! Haha

[–]ezer_kenegdo6 points7 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

I put the cooking channel on a lot for background noise and its amazing the tidbits you pickup from the shows and competitions. Plus all kinds of new ideas.

Bulk prepping is the easiest to start out with if you won't get bored of the same foodstuffs quick. But repurposing food is good too. Tomato soup, ground beef and rice can be Spanish rice, stuffed pepper filling or stuffed pepper soup.leftover meats can make a good stir fry, and you can change it up.just by using different vegetables

[–]sabsz161 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Huh, so kind of like learning a new language? I’ll have to try that!

And that’s very savvy! I’ll have to keep those in mind! Thank you so much :)

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

.leftover meats can make a good stir fry, and you can change it up.just by using different vegetables

One of my favourites for this is chick-pea and bell peppers.

[–]rft242 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

i’m 20 so a year younger than you, but i started cooking in my teens. watching my mom & aunts cook was a huge help, as well as watching youtube videos! i’m someone who needs to see how something is done before i do it myself, so the demonstrations helped a ton. it also helped me learn to cook foods that were new to me or that i’d never have learned to cook if it weren’t for my quirky interest in mukbangs 😅

i also love watching the women in my family cook because i learn all their recipes & ways (cultural & passed down through generations) of cooking. my mother never really taught me either, as she’s always worked a lot & rarely had time. she started involving me when she’d cook once i started expressing interest in learning.

i tend to decide what to cook based on what’s already in the house, so as to save money & make sure what we have isn’t wasted. if my family asks me to cook something & we don’t have some key ingredients for it, then i’ll go to the grocery store with a list (& make sure i stay away from the snack & bakery isle, if not i’ll just pick up a bunch of stuff i’m “in the mood” to eat but will never finish).

i also have learned to stop grocery shopping when i’m hungry, because then i buy more food than i need. it’s a great tip i learned from an older woman i greatly admire.

thrift shopping is also a great way to find decent quality secondhand designer items at affordable prices, if you’re into that sorta thing 😉

[–]nahasanahasa1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

A fact and convenience the previous generation did not have. Ready food availability and a buffet at that. Also their spending power is more than us. May be as they grow older, they'll realise they need to learn all this. It's a necessity not defined in their brains.

[–]cyntral1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The best thing I ever did was get a list of tried and true easy meals. If I have time to prep a lot of different ingredients, and enjoy cooking then that’s awesome! But on nights when the baby is cranky and I have a hungry man to feed.. my sheet pan meals save my life. I’d recommend finding some easy one pot/sheet pan meals that you can toss together, trying them out, and adding them to them to your rotation for when you’re in a pinch. No thought required and you know that you’ll have a delicious meal ready in a short time. I also buy meat in bulk, and separate it out to store in the freezer. Super easy to thaw out tomorrow’s meat at night so I have a game plan the next day. Also pay attention to what you use most and the basics of what most of your recipes call for. You’ll get into a groove and learn to have those on hand! If you have any older women in your life ask them what their favorite quick and easy meal is. Most of them will be happy to help you out with suggestions.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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