Cooking at home or eating out? Which is cheaper? Yes please. Would love your opinion, but for the time being, if you are asking me, I must say that its quite a confusing matter as per say. Why? Because our opinion differs. Of course. To each our own. We decide what is best for us. Still, I can or I shouldn't discount that eating out may be cheaper for a single person. Provided you not a fussy eater and you are eating for the purpose of filling up your hunger. Basically, you won’t mind any kind of food from anywhere. A basic meal from coffee shops or road side stalls most probably? No harm done. I'm not saying anything more because we eat according to what we can afford instead of burning our money bridge. How about we now address the matter to eating out for a family of four? Mum, dad and two kids. Still cheap if we are talking about a basic meal again? Minimum, we paying most to most, we can cap the amount to within RM20.00 for each meal each time?
Having said that, can we like, give a thorough thought to home food? We should by far. In fact I insist because home food is definitely healthier. Yessss! Healthier because we cook in a cleaner environment and we care about the ingredients we use for our cooking. Furthermore, don't you think we can keep our cooking cost low if we shop for our local ingredients in our home born hypermarkets? Instead of being a hero and paying for imported ingredients at high end grocers? Sure. Whoever is saying no, I rest my case on you and these are, mind you, some of cooking pointers I actually share with my clients when I coach them on cooking. I should, because trust me, I personally know of people who blindly shop and then complain about high cost of cooking.
For me personally, except maybe every once a while or when the need is really warranted for, I, yes, I stick to our local ingredients. In other words, going local without compromising on home cooking. Also, just a suggestion anyway, not necessarily you must, you can actually, consider putting a tiny bit of effort in growing your local herbs like I do. Not really difficult honestly. Take it from me and if we are talking about in Malaysia and growing lemongrass, galangal, turmeric, basil leaves, curry leaves, kaffir lime leaves, so on and so forth? Effortlessly grown. In your tiny plot of land or pots, and you don't even need fertilizer. Of course, pruning and trimming must be part of gardening? Look, I am saying you will save millions of dollars by growing your own herbs (Nasi Kerabu & Nasi Ulam), yet, how satisfying and gardening by itself. I must say is therapeutic for relieving your small or big bundles of stress. Plus, for giving you a sense of achievement which may, I said may, I'm assuming by the way and I may be wrong too, be lacking in your other matters of life.
How about right now we use this Indonesian style (Sambal Goreng Udang Pete, Indonesian Grilled Fish & Sambal Goreng Teri), Ikan Cabe Ijo as an example? Not only as an example to growing our local herbs, but also keeping our cost low by option for our local catch. Fresh turmeric as they are which I think can be grown in other countries as well (Tempoyak Masak Lemak Sardine & Ikan Goreng Kunyit)? So easy actually in growing. Plunge store bought turmeric in soil and within time. It’s all yours. As and when needed for your cooking, and fresh, home grown organic turmeric and turmeric leaves. Their health benefits. Amazingly wow! I bet you will agree agree with me why we should, if we can, incorporate turmeric in our cooking.
5 green chillies
1 inch fresh turmeric
**Add some water and blend/pulse to a rough paste
4 sardine fish (clean)
**Mix with some turmeric powder and salt
Lime juice - per taste
Palm sugar/Gula Melaka - per taste
1 turmeric leaf - slice
Oil as needed
Salt - per taste
Fry fish on both sides.
Leave about 3 tbsp of oil in the same wok/pan.
Add chilli paste.
Fry and cook till aromatic and oil splits.
Add salt, lime juice and palm sugar.
Pour some water for gravy.
Switch off the heat and combine in the turmeric leaf.