We've already told you that eating out is getting more and more expensive compared to the cost of groceries.
And you probably know how much healthier it is to cook your own food, where you can use high quality, preservative-free ingredients and can control you portions and the amount of calorie-rich foods you use.
It can be a little tough to follow through on cooking in when you spend the whole day at work and come home exhausted, but it's totally worth it. Besides, we're here to help! Here's what you should do – first, make sure to plan out your meals in advance, so you can do your grocery shopping all at once. When you have a little extra time, prep for the week by chopping your vegetables and making any marinade or sauce you are planning to use – most of the time, the flavors shine after a day or two. You can even make whole dishes by either cooking double portions and refrigerating or freezing leftovers. After that, cooking in will be a breeze.
Still don't know where to start? Try these make-ahead marinades:
Just a few ingredients. The flavors will really get to know each other if you let them hang out in the fridge for a day or so. Use this one with chicken.
Of course, you can totally use the bottled stuff (we recommend dressing it up with a splash of orange or pineapple juice and fresh garlic if you have them), but this sauce is pretty easy to make ahead and tastes great.
Oops! Did you forget to make your marinade in advance? Here are some easy ones you can grab from your kitchen and throw together in a matter of seconds:
Seriously, grab a can of coke, dump some into your marinade dish along with equal portions of ketchup, add salt and pepper to taste and add a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. It's great with beef or chicken and takes about a minute to prepare. (Recipe here.)
If you have a bottle of Italian dressing, dump it over some chicken and let it marinate, and you're done. Seriously, this one might sound a little weird, but it's totally delicious. Feel free to doctor it up with any complementary flavors you have lying around, like fresh lemon, vinegar, herbs, or maybe even a dab of anchovy paste.