Why Should I?
Yeah, I know. You’re in Mexico, the land of arguably the best food in the world. Why on Earth would you want to cook a meal when you have an endless menu of taco stands and enchilada dishes around every corner.
Despite this, there are several reasons you may want to stay in and cook yourself a couple meals. Mexico is less expensive than the United States and many other western countries, but that doesn’t mean its dirt cheap. Sure, tacos are 17 pesos each, but they add up when you’re trying to fill up. Four of them and a cerveza puts you just shy of 100 pesos. $5 USD is a cheap meal, but can we get it even lower which will let us extend our money further and stay in this beautiful country longer? Absolutely. I was able to throw together a chicken piccata dish that fed us for two days for about 50 pesos/serving.
There’s also the question of what you’re putting in your dishes. Mexican food is delicious, but I’d hesitate to say it’s the healthiest. There’s a lot of fat and a lot of sodium. When you’re here for an extended stay, it may be nice to change up what you’re putting in your body. This is especially important for someone like me who has to compete with diabetes and counting my carbs.
Cooking at an Airbnb can be a fun and convenient way to save money on meals while traveling. It can also be a great opportunity to try out local ingredients and experiment with new recipes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that cooking in someone else’s space comes with a few additional considerations. Here are some tips for making the most of your cooking experience at an Airbnb:
Step 1: Booking the right Airbnb
Before anything, you have to make sure you put yourself in a workable space. Pick your destination, put in some dates, and see the results drop in. Now, how do you pick the best one?
Tap the filter button in the top right and scroll down to “Kitchen” and check that box. There’s no sense in seeing options that are just a bed and closet, right? Now you can scroll through and pick out our accommodation knowing that there will be at least some sort of cooking space.
From here, swipe through pictures of the unit and look through the amenities under “What this place offers” to make sure it includes everything you might need during your stay. I also like to browse through the reviews and see what other people have to say about the space.
Step 2: Scoping out the kitchen setup
Familiarize yourself with the kitchen: When you first arrive at your Airbnb, take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and equipment in the kitchen. Look for basic cooking tools like pots, pans, and utensils, as well as any appliances that may be available for use, such as a microwave or coffee maker. It’s also a good idea to check for any kitchen rules or guidelines that may be posted by the host.
This is also the time to acknowledge if you’re sharing the space with other people; if so, be considerate of your neighbors and try to keep noise and mess to a minimum. Clean up after yourself as you go, and be sure to properly dispose of any food scraps or garbage.
Step 3: Effectively grocery shopping
You need ingredients to make a recipe, right? Use Google Maps and your local host to recommend stores. Pick up staples from a larger supermarket and stop by the countless tienditas to pick up produce as you need it. This will keep your ingredients fresher. Check out my full guide to grocery shopping in Mexico.
Step 4: Be flexible
You’re not always going to be able to find what you want or need. While you can find a lot of interchangeable brands compared to what you’re used to in the States, you’re also going to be out of luck finding certain ingredients. Even at a large, commercial hypermarket, if you find something that you’ll want to use a bunch of, grab it now; it might not be there the next time you shop. Use this as a chance to grow your culinary abilities and try new flavors.
Step 5: Bon Appétit
With a little bit of planning and some creativity, you can create delicious meals that will make your trip even more enjoyable. Cooking is fun, eating is even more so. Enjoy your meal – ¡Provecho!