One thing I am really proud of during these last two long years is that I resisted the lure of home-delivery food. Other than an occasional pizza or takeaway noodles, mostly I am cooking at home and eating my own dinners. As a result, I’ve saved a bundle. Also, I am eating healthier . At home, I can control my intake of salt, sugar, fat and carbs, while adding more vegetables to the mix. The only sacrifice is the extra time it takes to do the cooking. Well, there’s also the cleaning up and washing of dishes, which admittedly is more annoying. Another motivation for spending more time in the kitchen is to avoid giving my money to the delivery services. I resent how they’ve put a stranglehold on so many desperate restaurants . Prevented from serving customers in their own locations, restaurateurs are forced to rely on these opportunistic delivery apps for survival. And they are milking it during the lockdown, charging extremely high premiums, often over 30 per cent on each transaction. That’s a big bite from the vendor and the customer. People often have irrational dislikes for disruptive innovators. Some folks hate Jeff Bezos and Amazon . Others refuse to join Facebook, Instagram and other social media. I even know fickle folks who won’t use Apple products just because they are so trendy and successful. This reflects my feeling about food delivery companies. Living in Hong Kong, everything is so convenient already. I can walk down from my flat and choose from probably a hundred different food outlets within two blocks. Why pay extra to wait for food at home when it’s faster to just go and get it myself? I also hate the idea of using unnecessary single-use boxes and packaging when I don’t have to. If I can’t eat in the Thai diner below me, I’ll bring my own containers for my order of grilled pork neck and basil beef rice. This happens less frequently now that I’m just as likely to grill a few pieces of pork marinated with fish sauce and soy sauce, and stir-fry some rice with basil and ground beef. Why I loathe list articles that tease readers with empty promises Objectively speaking, the chef downstairs makes much tastier food, but that’s not the point. Whipping up even the most basic of dishes just makes me feel more self-reliant. It’s like knowing how to change a flat tire, sew a button back on a shirt or assemble an Ikea cabinet. It’s not like I’m cooking a whole meal every day. I might buy some roast pork, but I’ll make the rice and blanch some bok choy to serve with it. And to me, using store-bought sauce from a jar is not cheating. Jamie Oliver , in his Quick & Easy Food television show, offers recipes using just a few ingredients, and often includes a supermarket condiment. Of course, I know purists who will make everything from scratch, including their own ketchup. That’s their prerogative but I’m more relaxed about such matters. Like many, my virgin cooking in college was spaghetti with Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, and grilled cheese sandwiches using Kraft slices. Rudimentary? Sure, but I was damn proud at the time. So, while we still can’t dine out, I am doing my best to eschew takeaway – or at least order directly from a restaurant and skip the delivery service. Better yet, just cook a little bit. Not every Covid-inspired kitchen hobby has to mean artisanal sourdough bread. If you’re a cooking novice, even pimping up your instant ramen with a couple of some fresh veggies and a luxurious piece of breaded chicken tender from the toaster oven is a grand achievement. Like what you read? Follow SCMP Lifestyle on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . You can also sign up for our eNewsletter here .