So my 2013 resolution was to eat what I cook - this means no more prepackaged food, no more shortcuts, no more takeout (unless I'm going out to lunch with friends, of course) and no more homemade dips/spreads etc.
What have I learned so far? This is a LOT cheaper than buying food - for example: I can get a dish of hummus for 1.99 - I can make hummus for .99 cents...saving me a dollar. I can make bread for a dollar a loaf (approximately) instead of it being on sale for 2.99. I can make a HUGE pot of soup for under $10 (and it lasts almost a week). I buy cooking oats instead of oatmeal, and am drinking a lot of water because I can't make diet pepsi :(.
Fact is, I've saved a LOT of money so far and I've also realized that I'm not using as much waste product. A package of cookies, a jar of this and that adds up over time - and I do feel strongly about reducing my carbon footprint.
Now, I'm starting to learn how to make foods that I like and eat in my diet often - yogurt, salsa and bread. I can make bread but it's a little difficult for me. So far, I've had a 60/40 turn out and I'm reading and re-reading directions. I can't wait until I can just whip the stuff up and throw it in!! I'm going to try making yogurt tonight because I miss it.
I've also discovered that eating more "basic" foods have allowed me to sleep better (I'm getting 8 hours a night!) and concentrate more. I'm less exhausted all the time and have lost about 3 pounds. That being said, I refuse to worry about weight loss and have found other things to focus on - I'm out running 5x/week (today being my day off). I have a TON of energy! I am becoming more positive as a person - especially with the volunteer work that I'm doing!
So I challenge everyone - Try cooking your own food for a day - no packaged stuff. Try it out and see what you think! Do it for 3 days - then try a week if you can! It's definitely worth it! :)