It's that time of year when thousands of young people start living on their own for the first time. Save money and cook for yourself! You don't know how? Follow these tips and you'll be fine:

When cooking from scratch, mix your powder stuff together first. Then make sure to "cream" you butter and liquids. THEN add to powders. Follow the order.

Wash your hands frequently -- especially when cooking with raw meat.

Make sure your oven is pre-heated.

With messy stuff on a cookie sheet, a quick layer of tin foil will save you TONS of time doing dishes later.

If you're making pancakes and you don't have eggs, use a banana. It works awesome.

When making pasta, add a little oil to the water while cooking to prevent noodles from sticking. Also, sticky noodles may mean you're overcooking them.

Here are some more:

Restaurant food is always better because they use real butter -- a lot of it (and cream instead of milk).

When making "baked" potatoes, boil them before baking them.

Own a lot of fresh limes and lemons.

When baking, add vanilla and almond extracts.

Invest in a pressure cooker (but be sure to learn how to use it).