LEARN TO COOK AND BECOME THE CHEF IN YOUR HOME KITCHEN
Cooking classes have always been popular and will likely continue to be hot on the bucket list of many who want to learn how to cook starting from basic skills all the way to foreign cuisines.
One of the best culinary schools in the world is in your parents kitchen especially if your mom and dad love to cook. That’s how I learned to cook when I was young which opened my intrigue into the world of food prep and cultural meals.
From there I became a world traveller and tried to visit as many countries as I could before I moved to Canada where I continue to enjoy new cuisine. Through those experiences I learned just how wonderful food from around the world was but most importantly how they were prepared and cultural knowledge.
Eat at home
Even in the UK I hardly ever ate out because cooking at home was my pride and joy. Plus, it was far cheaper and rewarding for me. Learning to cook new foods means you’ll likely eat out less because your cooking at home which means you spend less money every month. Your budget will thank-you. Although you may have to pay for your cooking class the expenses will far outweigh the overall yearly savings you will benefit from.
Where to find a cooking class?
I did a bit of investigating online and found many cooking classes in our local area and most of them started at $10 a session all the way up to $65 a session. There are many ways to locate an area cooking class from Facebook, Kijiji or calling local businesses from the Yellow Pages.
If you have a Loblaws Superstore in your area they also offer cooking classes if the store has the in-house cooking facility typically found on the second level of the store. I’ve seen a cooking class or two while making my way to the bathroom with our son to change his diaper. I always thought it would be cool to join in with the wife and learn to cook new foods.
Not everyone loves to cook and even those people who are on the fence about cooking know that if they only knew how to cook different foods that they’d experiment more and eat out less. The problem with the world today is that convenience surrounds us and the mere thought of cooking a meal after a long day is horrifying for some people. It’s easier to call up the pizza shop or the local Chinese restaurant for take-away than it is to make homemade Chinese Food.
The concern with this approach is that we get lazy which mean there will always be an excuse about why eating out is the better option. More often than not it can become a habit although it’s nice once in a while to explore what local restaurants have to offer if you’re big into the local restaurant scene.
My foodie scene starts at home and ends at home although we may go out for dinner for a special occasion. The last dinner we ate out was Mandarin Buffet for our son’s baptism dinner. It was nice however the food was overwhelming and too much for me. I ate it but I prefer to have one nice dish of food and be done with it.
Couples cooking classes
A date night cooking class is a great way to enjoy romantic time with your partner while working together to create a lovely meal you can later enjoy. In Toronto there are many couples cooking classes that offer the right setting for a romantic yet educational evening.
Compare this with going out to eat and you’ve just saved yourself some money. Why? Because now you’ll not only have eaten a wonderful meal prepared by the both of you BUT you’re leaving with the recipe in your head and the steps involved to make it at home. This is money. Don’t go to learn how to cook something you both already know either. Find a cooking class that suits both your nutritional needs and go for it.
Buying a cooking class for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Birthday’s or any other occasion is a great way to say, I love you. You may also find a cooking class for youngsters in your area which would be great if you have a child who is passionate about being in the kitchen. Going on a first date? Break the ice with a fun cooking class together to see how well you can work as a team. Endless opportunities
Learn to cook
Lately I’ve thought about taking a Thai cooking class or even Sushi Cooking Class because I absolutely love both cuisines. A friend of ours who is Indian promised that one day she would guide us through Indian Cooking Class in her home kitchen.
We want to learn everything basic about Indian cooking so we can build on recipes that we find online. The more you learn about cooking the better you will feel about different ingredients, tastes and price points for new products you may not have bought before.
Cooking class for beginners
Whether you are new in the kitchen or just not comfortable cooking different meals outside of the same recipes you repeat week after week a cooking class is a great motivational boost.
Everyone likes someone who can cook so take some time to look out for you and sign-up for a cooking class that will teach you kitchen basics so you’re not fumbling around the next time you want to test out a new recipe.
You can’t just watch the TV program Chopped and declare yourself a Chopped Champion. You need to earn that right even if it is in your home kitchen. Your friends and family may be your best judges however you’re the ultimate judge of the food which comes from your kitchen.
There are online cooking classes available however being there is always going to help you more because of the hands on approach and personal feel of being with an instructor.
There are schools for the culinary arts all over Canada all of which may offer a cooking class to the general public for small amounts of money. Whether you are an adult or a child a cooking class is a great way to get your feet wet if a culinary career is something that interests you.
By participating in a cooking class or even finding a job in a kitchen this will let you know whether you want to pursue the culinary world or leave it behind. There is no sense signing up for cooking school wasting a pile of money if it’s something that sounds good but is not really for you.
This is the big one right here, the dollars you will save. It may seem a bit too much money to put out at first for a cooking class but it will come back to you in the form new recipes and home-cooked meals. No tips, No Travel time and No worries because you’ll be doing the cooking and not someone else.
On average for a couple to eat out at a family restaurant they can expect to spend roughly $40-$100 for a meal, drinks and dessert. Add in a tip and that can make for an expensive dinner.
Do you know how much food you can buy with $100 at the grocery store?
For many people that will feed them for a week or two. Eating at McDonald’s will cost two people over $20 and the place is packed all times of the day. Go to Subway and two foot-long subs will run you over $20. Pretty much every fast-food join will cost you minimum $10 to eat a full meal. I’d rather buy some beef and make homemade juicy burgers any day of the week.
I won’t even tell you how much we paid to eat out for my wife’s birthday a few years ago. In fact, I didn’t even show her the bill. We were both hungry when we left. She told me never again, we’re going to eat in and prepare a lovely meal together. I’m down with that. Now that we have our son I know she’d probably sing another tune but so far we’ve only had one dinner out since then.
I’m a foodie-geek which means I love learning about food any which way I can and so does my wife. It may be from reading cookbooks, online cooking class tutorials or friends but hands-on learning has always been the best education for me.
Taking part in a cooking class means you’re going to learn about ways to cook food as well educate you. How many times have you been down the produce aisle only to look at a product and say, “What is this?” I know I’ve done it a few times which means It would be nice to brush up on food knowledge by taking a food class in Italian cooking or any other culture that rings your bell.
You don’t have to be a red seal chef to be an awesome home cook. If you can follow directions and it tastes great you and do wonderful things in your kitchen. Knowledge is key and it’s more than just watching the Food Network or an online cooking class. You have to get right in there, use your hands, your imagination and get cooking.
Just have a look at the array of Food Trucks all over Canada being run by people who quit their day job to do what they love. Even for home cooks who do in-house demonstrations such as Ontario based Italian Pasta Hostess Linda Morrin who offers personalized service for your pasta needs. You can host the party at your house or visit her kitchen facility to learn the art of pasta that she learned from her Nonna and parents. This is a great way to bring a cooking class to your own kitchen.
A cooking class is a great way to learn about nutrition and possibly nutrition labels if that is part of the session. Once you find a cooking class that suits your culinary needs you can also touch base with the chef to see if they will be talking about nutrition.
Participating in a cooking class may include nutritional facts about the foods you will be using to create the meal in the cooking class. This is also a great opportunity to ask questions that you may have been stumped on before. Yes, you can search online for answers but having a nutritionist or chef at your disposal is priceless.
Overall, participating in a cooking class will enhance the feeling you get when you are gourmet cooking at home instead of spending big bucks eating out. Invest in yourself and you’ll see the financial savings year after year. Take those savings and bump up your retirement fund, emergency savings or even pay down your mortgage.
Life in the kitchen is about balance, compromise and passion. You need these three things to continue on a path of least resistance. Explore your options.
Have you ever participated in a cooking class?
June Grocery Game Challenge posts 2016
Join in the 2016 Grocery Game Challenge (GGC) fun and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post. Here are the rules to get you started and where you’ll also find a link for the updated 2016 GGC schedule. Please feel free to download, save and even print the schedule so it’s handy.
New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card for Canadian residents only BUT If you want to play from outside of Canada and have PayPal and you win I will pay you $10 Canadian. I use a random online generator to pick the winning ballot every month.
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week below for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month. Alternatively, just click on the “Grocery Game Challenge” tab on the blog side-bar to see past posts.
Congratulations to our May Grocery Game Challenge Winner- #11 DEE!!
June Grocery Game Posts
- How to Train Your Spouse to Be A Clever Clogs Food Shopper (Last shop for May)
Free Money Saving Tools 2016
I know I blast you every which way I can on this blog about my free money saving tools and that’s because I want you to take advantage of them being FREE. So many people pay for budgets and tools on the internet to help them save money and honestly you don’t need to. Even a paper and pen will do the trick.
Click, Save and Print. It’s that easy!
This is the budget that brought us to debt freedom back in 2013 and now I’m offering to all of you for FREE. We still use this budget every month as it helps us to see our overall financial picture.
You can download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can… It’s FREE! We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet. So many free resources at your fingertips.
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide 2016
The Ultimate Grocery Shopping guide is ongoing with new informative money-saving posts added every month.
Even if you don’t live in Canada there are some amazing budget saving tips that will help put you on the path to more savings at the supermarket.
Share this guide with your friends and tell them about Canadian Budget Binder especially if they are struggling with their grocery budget.
The time is NOW to get started saving money on groceries so please enjoy the many money-saving posts in the The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
2016 Grocery Shop Results
Yearly grocery budget for two + 1 Toddler 2016: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $300/year or $25/month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month:$235.00-$52.57=$182.43
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $182.43
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $50
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $0
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $0
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 206,000
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP)to date $0
- Shoppers Optimum: Over 700,000 points (I will update this twice a year)
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Zweet to cash out : $18.25
- Checkout51 to cash out : $17.00
Grocery Shop This Week
- 2lbs of bananas $1.67
- 2 x Large Eggs Sale $1.99 = $3.98
- Bucket of Mixed Greens $4.99-50%
- 1 x 2% Milk Neilson $4.27
- 2 x Organic Coconut Yogurt $4.20-50%= $2.10
- 4 x Dry Cured Salami whole $10.00-50% each $20
- 1lb Radish $1.99
- Watermelon $4.99
- Kraft Cheese Bars $3.88 x6= $23.28 stockpile
- 10lb Farmers Market Potatoes Sale $1.99
- Tasters Choice Instant Coffee Sale $3.99
- 3.5lbs Asparagus Sale $7.10 $1.99lb
Total Out-of-pocket $52.48
- Total to spend this month : $182.43
- Stockpile budget 2016 : $25.00
- Stockpile budget used this month: $23.28
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $15.36
- Total in-store discounts this week:$26.50
- Total in-store discounts to date: $310.73
- Total spent this week: $52.48
- Total spent so far this month: $52.48
- Total over/Under spend this shop: n/a
- Total over/Under spend for the month:- $ n/a
- Total left to spend for the month: $129.95
- Total Spent To Date 2016: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $252.95+ Feb $249.46+March $211.11+April $248.11+May $279.07+June $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
We didn’t plan to buy so many pink stickers but they just grabbed us by the neck and tortured us until we gave in. Lol. bad excuse I know. We’re working on that list trust me. We’ve come a long way since the beginning of our grocery shopping journey with and without coupons.
Just today while in our cold room I remembered the shelf of Italian pasta sauce we bought. It was on sale for $0.25 reg $6.99 and we jumped on it. It was certainly something we didn’t need to buy however that price tag and the high you get from cheap food gets you.
Did any of you notice the new 50% off stickers?
Coupons and Coupon Apps 2016
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons! These are your latest Checkout 51 offers which you can use to help save money. We’re finding less and less coupons in the stores these days. What are your thoughts? Are coupon apps taking over the paper coupons?
Sign up for the Nielsen Canada Home Scan Program and you can earn rewards points fast to redeem for awesome products or gift cards. I did this in the UK and loved it!!
Plus check out these other hidden areas online to get more coupons!!
- Healthy Essentials Printable Coupons (Johnson and Johnson)
- Clorox Coupons Sign up to print coupons in the Clorox family which include Greenworks, Glad etc.
- Kraft Canada Sign up and receive recipes and coupons by email
- MySavings.com Printable Smart Source Coupons
- Walmart Canada Printable Coupons
- Proctor and Gamble PandG Sign up for printable coupons
- Hidden Coupon Portals You Should know about – I found this over at Save a Loonie and you’ll want to sign up for notifications and check out the site so you get notified every time a hidden coupon is available from Save.ca, Brandsaver, Smart Source etc.
Grocery Game Challenge 2016 FAQ’s
- Grocery Game Challenge RULES: Read the rules first and if you have any questions email me or comment on this post with your question and someone will answer you as soon as possible. The rules have been updated for the 2016 challenge year.
- Do I have to be Canadian to post my Grocery Shop?: No, you don’t have to be Canadian to post your shops. We have fans who post their grocery shop who live all over the world.
- What is the monthly prize and who can claim it?- The monthly prize is a $10 PC Loblaws Gift Card and for our out of country friends it’s $10 CDN via Paypal if they win. As more people join I will add more money to the gift card or I will split it up and offer 2 prizes every month.
- When does the Grocery Game close each month?: The Grocery Game Challenge closes at midnight of the last Sunday of the last post for the month but you will still get a ballot when you post your shops even if they are late but I encourage you to stay on schedule. If you choose to post monthly or bi-weekly you will only get 1 ballot for that shop. It’s a proven fact the minute we stop doing something that is scheduled that we end up forgetting to do it altogether. Don’t let that be you! You can post your shops all month-long.
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?: No, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap etc. As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year in order to plan accordingly our budget.
- Do you stockpile food? We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food any longer as we found we weren’t eating it fast enough. Stockpiling is still great and just one way to help cut your budget to save money if you do find items that you can buy in bulk at a sale price.
- Canadian Coupons:Where can I find Canadian Coupons?: Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge. There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading with mobile coupon apps being the big rave these days. Just recently the popular coupon site Save.ca that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with the addition of a new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many other coupon apps available. If you find an app that I don’t talk about please let me know as they are always being added and I’d like to review them.
- What is the Best Flyer App- We use Flipp on our Iphone so if you wan to have all your flyers in one spot download Flipp from the Apple Store or get it on Google Play.
- What is an FPC?: An FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget like many people do. This is why the grocery game challenge was created back in 2012 and is one of the most popular hang out spots for people who want to save money on groceries in Canada.
If you’ve just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2016 get ready to look at your grocery budget by learning…
- Where you are spending money
- How much money you are spending
- How much money you are saving every month
If you want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide! It’s FREE!
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email. If I use your topic I will put your name in a draw for a prize at the end of the year.
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge 2016!
Please Note: Some of the links in the body of the blog post are affiliate links which means I may get paid if you buy something from Amazon. The items I’ve chosen are products we use at home or similar to.
Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?
- Follow Me on Social media by clicking any of the buttons below on the blog.
- Check out my new Free Recipe Index
- If you like FREE then click this link for my FREE Excel Budget Spreadsheet and all my Free Money Saving List
- Don’t forget to Subscribe to Canadian Budget Binder by Email to get my daily email. Once you subscribe you MUST VERIFY your email account so check your spam folder and inbox for that email! By Subscribing you get all the inside scoops first plus any new finance tools and tips!