Anyone can cook.
That includes you.
It seems intimidating at first. Believe me, I know--I did not spring fully formed as a gourmet chef from my mother's womb. In fact, in my early adulthood (read: college), I actively avoided cooking. Gradually I realized that I didn't like eating crap, that I wanted my food to taste good, that I could make something that tasted better than fast food.
Also, I was poor, and couldn't afford to eat out.
What cooking knowledge I have has been hard-won, built from years of forced frugality and experimentation. Yes, I too have purchased and eaten Hamburger Helper and Kraft Mac n' Cheese (though not for many years, thank God). I too have cooked with dull knives and tin pans. I too have mangled recipes, burnt dinner, been forced to eat my mistakes because I couldn't afford to throw it away.
Think of cooking like driving: you weren't born knowing how to drive, either. And when you first started, you weren't very good at it. But you kept at it, because you had to, and now you can merge gracefully at high speeds and parallel park with abandon. (I hope.)
Cooking is like that. If you can follow directions, you can cook. Start with a good, all-purpose cookbook. Once you have a few dishes under your belt, start experimenting. Adjust the spices, substitute shrimp for chicken, whatever.
Don't be afraid.
If you make a mistake, if something doesn't turn out right, make notes in the margin. Try again. It will take time and effort, at first. But once you get the hang of it, conjuring dinner from scratch will take no more time and effort than Kraft Mac n' Cheese does now. My best-loved cookbooks are falling apart, cracking away from the binding, pages littered with all manner of stains, some pages literally loved out of existence. They all have notes in the margin--"More garlic," "ground pork not ground beef," "25 minutes!!," "try cranberries instead?"
The cost of accumulating a real kitchen--cookbooks, good knives, exotic spices--is daunting. I know, I've been building mine for years. But once you start getting the good stuff, its cost amortizes. Think of how much money the average family spends on lunches at work, pizza, Lean Cuisine dinners, processed crap. Think how much you'll save when you stop buying all that stuff. Now you can put that money--slowly--toward building a pantry. Cost of knives and pans aside, I spend less than $200 a month feeding two people. I can spend that little because I spent so much over the years buying good kitchen stuff on sale, on eBay, on craigslist. And practicing, practicing, practicing.
This is my gospel: that anyone can cook. That everyone should cook. Even if you're poor. Even if you don't know the difference between sugar and flour. Even if you work three jobs and have twelve kids. Cooking from scratch tastes better. It's cheaper. It's better for you. Most importantly, it tastes better.
Now that I know what I'm doing, cooking is fun. It's relaxing. When you're cooking, you can only think about cooking. The rest of the world fades away. I can spend a couple of hours banging around in the kitchen, wielding my knives, singing along to good music, trying things out, and at the end, my brain has been cleared out. And I have this really great thing to eat. That's so awesome.