East Texans learn how to save money, eat healthy by cooking at home

East Texans learn how to save money, eat healthy by cooking at home

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension office is teaching East Texans about the benefits of cooking at home through a series of cooking classes.

According to the AgriLIFE office, an average East Texan spends 28% of their pay check eating out and the majority of the food they are eating isn't even healthy for them.

AgriLIFE extension agent, Joel Redus said that is why they decided to host a “Dinner Tonight” cooking class.

"It's just a way to show folks healthy ways to prepare meals that are budget friendly," Redus said.

Stephen F. Austin professor and chef, Todd Barrios was one of the chefs at the class and said one of the main benefits to cooking at home is the amount of money you will save.

According to Barrios a restaurant will charge you anywhere from $30 to $40 for a meal that only cost them $10 to make.

This means, consumers are wasting about $20 on a meal that they could make in half the time for half the price.

Barrios said despite saving money, cooking meals at home is also a good way for you to control what you are eating.

"You can control the flavor profile, you can change things in and out of the recipe that you may or may not like. You are going to cook to what you like," Barrios said.

Barrios said you can also use this time as a teaching tool for your children.

"It's always important to get the kids in the kitchen to teach them where the food comes from and how to prepare it, so that way they can establish those habits at an early age," Barrios said.

While cooking your own meals and eating healthy may seem overwhelming and intimidating at times, Barrios suggest to not let that get in your way of trying new things.

"Don't be afraid to try new things, look up recipes, in my opinion recipes are a guide and you don't have to necessarily follow them. Be free to create and try new things and just kind of go off the road map a little bit,” Barrios said.

Studies show most people can save around $200 a month by eating at home.

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