Do you cook meals every day?

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

I do my fair share of cooking and love to cook. My hubby is an awesome cook. We take turns. We also succumb to the take-out ritual, or going out to eat, sometimes more than necesarry. Or, sometimes it's open a can of soup or tuna. Sometimes we are both getting home after 6 pm and neither of us have the energy to preapre a full meal. On the other hand, my sister is the type of person who absolutely does NOT cook! She will do microwaveable quick meals. But more often, A LOT of take-out for her & her boys. Because of her work & dialysis schedule, my parents will pick up the nephews from after school care and bring them back to their house for a home cooked meal a few times a week. I have tried and tried over the years to help my sister manage cooking easier, but to no avail. So, I am curious what are some of your meal routines? Cook daily? Go to the market daily? Menu planning? Eat out more than you should? Quickie meals if your family is on the go?

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[deleted account]

Oh! Wanted to throw in a comment to all of you that has personally helped me. Hubby is a letter carrier, so yeah, he reads a lot of magazines during his lunch break. He was reading an article about women's iron content and the relationsh to the monthly cycle. We don't eat a whole lot of red meat, lots of chicken, fish, seafood, or pork. But we also love hamburgers and tacos too! But red meat in terms of a roast or steak. So back to the article....an extra 2-3 servings of red meat the week vefore and during the cycle adds the extra dose of iron plus energy. For me, it works. I am so lethargic during my period, and I have noticed the extra roast or steak helps.

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Caitlin - posted on 03/22/2010

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I started with online recipie sites, mostly with vegan recipies, and adapted some others. I'm nowhere near creative enough to find varied meals though, which i'm afraid will lead to a picky eater later in life. Hopefully her allergies are outgrown though, i'd love to feed her pasta, I just haven't gotten around to making a batch from scratch!

Esther - posted on 03/22/2010

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Wow - that must have been tough to figure out Caitlin. I wouldn't know where to start cooking without any of those things!

Caitlin - posted on 03/22/2010

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I used to be guilty of eating out a lot and almost never cooking (sadly), but we had a wake up call when we found out our first daughter has a ton of allergies to foods, so now there are no safe places to eat out with her i've been forced to learn to adapt and cook meals from scratch. I can't use any dairy, eggs, peanuts, nuts, seafood or beef/veal in anything because she'd need an epi-pen. I'm almost thankful for the wake up call it gave us, the healthy eating is going to make the whole family a lot healthier! Though I must say, I do get sick of chicken and pork all the time!

Jessica - posted on 03/20/2010

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I try and cook daily but sometimes I don't have the energy! I do, however, have an AWESOME cookbook for students! I find that almost all student cookbooks tend to have relatively healthy, quick and easy to cook meals! Maybe that will help? Is your sister on a renal diet? I know that dialysis means that you don't have to sift your meals for salt but microwaveable meals tens to have an unusually high salt content.

Shelley - posted on 03/20/2010

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I cook almost every night as it is cheeper and usually better for us.
I buy meat in bulk (freeze it) and packaged goods monthly
I go to a farmers market each week to get fresh fruit and vegetables.
I feel that nutrition is important so i base our meals around 1-chicken 1-fish 1-mince and 2-red meat meals /week.
I have a monthly meal plan that has 5 meals 1 leftovers night and 1 take out night a week i try to cook extra so that if i don't feel like cooking we can have a freezer meal i've made ahead.
i really enjoy cooking for my family we always sit together at the table.

La - posted on 03/19/2010

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I only like to cook if I'm cooking for more than just myself. Everyone in my home is on different schedules so if I cook I usually end up packaging all of it, then no one eats it. And as this pregnancy progresses I am having more food aversions so I don't want to eat anything I cook anymore. Needless to say, we eat WAY more take out and prepared foods than we should.

Kylie - posted on 03/15/2010

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I like cooking most nights..my hubby cooks when i can't be bothered. We've been pretty bad/ unfocused lately and ordering out once a week and it's not helped the budget.
I have a pantry inventory and cross off what i use so I can re-order and we usually meal plan together for the week and then i write up a shopping list. I now also shop with my additives book and check everything that goes in the trolley. I used to be a big user of packet/jar meal bases..i loved the ease of having the recipe right there and only needing to add few extra ingredients but now i know a lot of them have nasty chemicals/preservatives in them so I've been doing more cooking from scratch...it does take more time but I've noticed a change in myself and the kids..I've lost 6 kilos since reading the book without exercise or cutting out food groups like carbs. Losing weight wasn't my goal but obviously my body doesn't react well to additives.
I love one pot cooking and slow cooking in the oven...it's so easy and then i can start dinner in the arvo when my daughter is still at school. Some Sundays we make up lasagna and mince pie or vege cannelloni and soup and put single serves in the freezer for lunches and dinners for the week. I need to get a chest freezer so i can do more of that kind of cooking and I love frozen veggies.. I just don't have enough space..hubby usually makes something easy when he does dinner stuff like toasted sangas, beans on toast or bacon and eggs..no one seems to mind as long as we get fed :)

Isobel - posted on 03/15/2010

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I'm with you Sharon...I love to cook (when I get the chance), but more often than I would like we order in (our favorites are pizza, chinese, and swiss chalet...that's roasted chicken for you Americans ;P)

I am a full-time student, and my kids are in 3 extra-curricular activities each...so we eat quick meals more often than I would like.

One thing I do though, is cook HUGE meals on weekends, so I can freeze a meal for the entire family for later (a quick meal that isn't crappy LOL)

Lea - posted on 03/15/2010

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I usually cook except for the three nights a week I work when my husband manages to pull something together. I think cooking = love. You are nourishing your child's body and soul with home cooked (healthy) family meals. I think that apathy towards caring for your kids causes most of the problems in this country and I don't agree with giving kids fast food / junk food but I'm not sure you can do anything about it other than inviting them to eat with you, and even then they might not have clue what real food is and might not eat it (this has happened to me) but on the other hand they might.

Erin - posted on 03/14/2010

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Cooking is not my thing at all. I don't enjoy it, and do nothing from scratch. Jars and packets are my best friend in the kitchen lol. I do always add fresh veggies to anything though, especially now that I'm cooking for my daughter. Luckily she is a HOOVER and is yet to reach the fussy stage that I keep hearing about.

I am much more organised with planning our meals right now (thanks to Weight Watchers... finally getting rid of this baby weight lol). We used to get take away once a week or so (usually Italian), but that's not happening anymore due to my weight loss mission.

Jess - posted on 03/14/2010

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We share the cooking duties, My partner is in charge of the BBQ and I cook the food that needs the stove top or oven.



I love sitting down to a home cooked meal. I like to plan our meals in advance, so I know what I need to buy at the shops, its saves so much money especially when your not throwing away food that has spoiled.



We have a good group of friends, but we are the only ones with a child.... our good friends are pregnant though YAY !!! So we all still go out together at least once a week to dinner. So thats our treat.

Dana - posted on 03/14/2010

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I cook dinner every night. I've been buying pizza on Thursdays for the last 3 wks because Ethan and I have his swim class and we're there late. I can't imagine not cooking our meals. Most of the food in restaurants isn't very healthy, in my opinion. We never eat fast food either. Every now and then if I'm out running around during lunch time I'll stop and get Ethan a grilled chicken breast from Mcdonalds. That's about it..



Oh, after reading Sharon Grey's post I should add, I buy rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, tear that up and add it to a lot of my meals. It keeps me from heating up the house during the summer and it's easy. lol Not to mention cheaper then buying chicken breasts and cooking them myself.

Sharon - posted on 03/14/2010

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Pretty much we cook daily.

I do not cook from scratch. I buy my pasta, dried or frozen. I do buy raw meats, fresh vegetables & fruits. I also buy frozen veggies.

To night we're having bratwurst, w/rosemary potatoes and asparagus or brussel sprouts.. not sure yet.

For your sister? I suggest you guys buying or making her meals for her to nuke and serve. My mom used to make a TON of pancakes and freeze them.. they weren't as good as fresh but they were handy on cold mornings and my mom was rushing off to her first job. Waffles topped with thawed frozen fruit are pretty awesome.

Microwavable meals aren't as bad as they used to be unless she's buying the cheapest stuff out there.

Take out can work out too..... rotisserie chicken is fantastic. A boxed or bagged side dish and a veggie - its 15 - 20 minutes of work and an instant meal.

damn I really want apricot glazed rotisserie chicken now... this sucks.

[deleted account]

Hubby & I do make a lot of food from scratch as well. Some night more so than other nights. In the beginning of the school year I really tried hard to meal plan for the week. DH & I planned out the nightly menu, keeping in mind what is on sale that week at a variety of grocery stores. That kept up for a good 2 months, then his overtime kicked in. So then he was getting home sometimes after 7pm and it was easier to just make myself a salad and a sandwich, and my son some spaghetti. I always have some frozen homemade sauce in the freezer! That's such a lifesaver! I really should use my crockpot more frequently, actually we have 2 of them! My 5 year old is still picky, but we're making good progress. Since I am off of work this week, I am going back to the meal planning menu. I'll make either chicken pot pie or chicken & dumplings tomorrow. Tuesday I'll make some kind of steak on the grill. Wednesday a grilled chicken caesar salad, and I always make a double batch for leftovers for Thursday night. Friday night out to IHOP or Red Robin for dinner because DH has to go out of town for the weekend, so we'll eat as a family, then drop him off at the airport.

Carolee - posted on 03/14/2010

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I cannot cook! Seriously, I've burned myself pretty badly TWICE while making spaghetti. I also have major issues with touching raw meat of any kind... I just can't do it. Microwave meals and frozen meals that you just put in the oven for a pre-determined length of time, I can do. I can also bake... odd that I can bake, but not cook at ALL.



My husband, on the other hand, is a fabulous cook and absolutely loves making meals for his family! He's also a butcher, so he takes care of every single aspect of meat. I usually microwave meals or make sandwiches during the day, and he does dinner after he gets home from work. I know most women would say that it's unfair to expect him to cook when he gets home, but it works for us. We also go out for relaxing family meals a couple of times a week, so that neither of us have to cook.

Sunny - posted on 03/14/2010

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I love to cook. I have a huge 7 litter crock pot that i use on the w/e to make 2 different stews, I then put it into containers and into the freezer i also do a huge pot of meat sauce and split it into 3, 2 lots in the freezer for spaghetti and 1 lot i make into lasagna. We have home made pizza once a week and once a week we get take away like Chinese or fish and chips. We cook almost every night because my partner thinks that the food at his work is expensive and unhealthy so he like to take left overs from tea.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/14/2010

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ROTFLMFAO cook? are you crazy?
yeah, I don't cook, I reheat and/or burn.
my hubby cooks tho, not every day, but a fair amount.

Tah - posted on 03/14/2010

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you know what kati..same here...i was just saying that food is overrated, i will tell you know, i only make certain things from scratch, i am just not that girl...so i need some fast new and fresh idea, keeping in mind we don't eat pork and i have given up meat, ut that's my problem..lol...i just need something new...

Rosie - posted on 03/14/2010

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as much as i love to cook, i havn't been doing alot of it lately-last 2 weeks or so. we've been eating out alot, and now i'm getting tired of that as well. i simply can't seem to find new things to make that are good. i'm very tired of the same old tacos, spaghetti, burgers etc. i need something different to get me back in the groove. got any good ideas ladies?

Krista - posted on 03/14/2010

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I really have to get my act together with meals. I often scramble at the last minute trying to figure out what to make, and I'm a SAHM right now! I'll be going back to work, and hope to get in the habit of making a couple of big meals on Sunday to carry us through to the later part of the week, and also relying on the slow cooker.

Mind you, my husband will be getting home an hour before my baby and I do, so maybe I'll just make the meals HIS problem. ;)

Charlie - posted on 03/14/2010

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Almost everyday , occasionally when i am tired my fiance cooks or once in a while we get take out .

I absolutely love cooking and seeing people really enjoy a good meal i have made , it makes me very happy !

Tah - posted on 03/14/2010

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i prob cook about 4-5 times a week, i may put a roast with potoates, onions, peppers etc, in the crock one day, baked chicken, pasta maybe,ground turkey and hand roll meatballs ...its funny because my family is picky, my husband won't eat baked chicken, if i do quesadillas, my oldest doesn't like the actually quesadilla part, my daughter only eats certain things, and i have stopped eating meat...so its usually the same meal done different ways....so crock pot or hubby does dinner when i have school/work the same day, i get a early start if it's just a school day for me at around 2-3 pm, because those are usually karate, boxing, girl scout days so i like dinner done before we leave and sometimes i just say order in or eat out....my husband cooks the best chili, but after that it gets a little dim..lol....and his ship schedule is crazy, so if we waited for him to cook after work, we would prob be looking really good to each other by time dinner was done...lol....when i have to work overnight, my husband will quickie a meal if i'm trying to sleep, or sometimes i'll wake up cook early then i'll sleep.i know seems confusing but it's old hat to me now...

Jenny - posted on 03/14/2010

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I cook most of my meals from scratch including soups. I don't do much meal planning though which I should really change. I kind of have a basic idea what I'll be cooking though. I do major shops twice a month and grab the odd thing in between. I buy all of my meat, bread and chips at Costco, all of my sundries at Superstore and all of my vegetables at Quality Greens. We also have a small family butcher/deli across the road for when you need to grab some potatoes or run out of milk which is nice. They also carry some awesome local made spices and sauces.

I do work PT and buy most of my lunches with a $6 budget. Usually sushi or a donair. It is the only meal I don't have to cook and it saves me alot of time in the morning. We get pizza once a month or every other month but usually only go out for birhtday meal and the occasional wekeend breakfast.

I have a freezer that has remained empty since we bought it. My partner has completed the hunting and firearms course but needs to get the paperwork processed. Then we will fill it up and save some grocery money.

[deleted account]

I meal plan. My weekly ritual is to go through the weekly grocery circulars and see what's on sale, go through my coupons and match my coupons to the sales. Then I make my menu based on the ingredients that are on sale/I have coupons for. I write what I will cook each day in my planner. Then I shop.

Each day, all I have to do is look at the menu, pull out the necessary items and cook. Doesn't take me long because I already know what I'm cooking. None of this, "What do you want for dinner?" "I don't know what do you want for dinner?" No last minute frenzied trips to the store to get a random ingredient. It's all planned out.

I have been making plans to do a "freezer cooking day." I'll get my husband to take my daughter out of the house and for several hours I'll prepare meals that can be frozen. Then all I have to do at dinner time is pull out the meal and heat it up.

We don't eat out often. My husband loves pizza so we'll do that once a week and random date nights about once a month. I actually enjoy cooking and it is healthier and less expensive than eating or ordering out.

I will say though, I am a stay at home mom. I'm sure if I had a full time job, cooking every night wouldn't be so enjoyable or easy. If you are a working mom and want to provide home cooked meals and save on eating out, you may want to look into doing a freezer cooking day. You can easily make 10 meals in 3-4 hours to store up for your family (if you have the space).

Johnny - posted on 03/14/2010

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I love to cook, and so does my hubby. Although nowadays, I am doing the majority of the cooking. He likes long involved recipes and I am better at keeping things quick and simple, which is important with kids, lol. We cook most things from scratch, we make our own tomato sauces ( 2 kinds) pizza dough, breads, muffins, etc. Sometimes we make our own pasta as well, but it needs to hang to dry, which is hard to manage with a toddler running around. That stuff is usually done on weekend evenings when there's nothing good on the tv anyway.

I work Monday to Wednesday, so to prepare for those days, I do a big shop on Sunday night after I've got my daughter to bed. I've come to love how Safeway is fully restocked and completely empty of other shoppers at 9 pm on a Sunday night. It makes life nice and easy. We focus on eating lots of fresh vegetables, so 3 nights ahead is really the farthest in advance that I can shop for most of our groceries. We do a big Superstore shop about once a month for the basics like flour, sugar, etc. On the days that I don't work, I usually walk up to the store everyday. It is partly my exercise and an excuse to socialize. Our local plaza has a butcher, a vegetable store, a great bakery, and a full service grocery store, and it is about a 40 minute walk from home. Very convenient.

For meals on Mon. to Wed. I often do either advance prep the night before or find something that I can get on the table in under 40 minutes. By the time I pick up my daughter after work and get home, it is about 6 pm, so I really don't like to throw in a trip to the grocery store on those days. I like to try to have dinner on the table for 7 pm, so I do lots of pastas, stirfries, and use my slow-cooker lots. The slow cooker is a real life saver.

As for eating out, we almost always do brunch one day on the weekends with the grandparents. And sometimes during the week if we go out to run an errand as a family in the evening, we stop off for dinner somewhere, but that would be around once a month. We do not do take out that often, but sometimes my hubby's niece and her boyfriend bring over sushi or greek food for us all to enjoy together, which is great because I can't cook either of those things. Although my hubby has taken 2 sushi making courses, he never actually made any, lol.

[deleted account]

To help reduce the amount of take out and money spent on food I started meal planning. I have a calendar on the fridge and will write down what we're having for dinner for 2 wks and I go grocery shopping for those meals, and of course misc lunch/breakfast items. I don't necessarily adhere to it; sometimes I switch up the days, but the key is I have all those meal items and if we don't eat spaghetti Mon like scheduled maybe we'll switch it out for stir fry on Wed. kinda thing...This mostly just helps with my grocery shopping and will slightly compel me to make food...it also occassionally gets my husband to cook, like on the weekend. I schedule eat out days and fend for yourself days as well, especially if I work that day! So I of course make my kids food for breakfast/lunch, but I only usually cook one full meal/day. On the weekends I cook breakfast once instead of dinner usually...

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