Home made food – is it a tiresome chore?

The other day, I hung out with a friend of mine and mentioned that she hired a cook who cooks once every week. That has been a great relief for her and how she managed to stay out as she thinks that as chore that she does not enjoy. Since, I complained about how stressful cooking everyday has been and suggested that I hire the same person too.

It got me into thinking – is cooking really that stressful for me or am I bothered by something else?

  1. Grocery shopping – I do not have a car and walk 3 miles every single day to work. So, I just pick up few vegetables every single day through out the week. This has been bothering me, especially stopping by a grocery store every single evening, picking groceries, carrying them home, organizing them in the refrigerator is chore that I really burdensome.
  2. Then cooking 2 different dishes every single day – for simple reason, I love variety and always rack up my brain and browse various websites for recipes.
  3. The most difficult part – cleaning dishes – I create too many dishes to be cleaned, I cook, and on the side I clean, by the time I am done with preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes, three different) for two, It took away at-least 2 hours of my time leaving me beyond exhausted.

Then, why do I prefer home made cooking?

  1. I shop consciously, very rarely do I get processed canned food home for all the health benefits they speak about.
  2. I love to create out-of-my-comfort food dishes apart from my regular one’s. I also use less to no oil and try to not over cook veggies. I am vegetarian by choice and I try to cook with almost every veggie that I can lay my hands on. Sometimes good, at times bad, but overall they are mostly edible.
  3. I compost – have been composting so religiously, the results are yet to come.

How can I save myself from being exhausted?

  1. I recently switched to weekly for fresh-grocery shopping (includes fruits and veggies) and monthly for other required groceries, just like my parents who did on budget. There are always exception, when we have guests, or if I want to make something interesting in between or if we run out. I am still analyzing the needs. – I would save myself from adhoc shopping and strain to carry them home. I just feel relieved with this plan in place. Hopefully, it helps me to get-away-from-plastic bags pretty soon.
  2. Meal planner – I just downloaded a free meal planner where I would be making a list of what to cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week. It helps me with prep work too and hopefully saves time. I made it this week and I hope to improve my efficiency better.
  3. Washing dishes – there is no short cut yet, unfortunately, I do not have a dish washer and have to clean right then and there and some how need to learn to minimize the usage.

If nothing works, well, I plan to hire the cook on a need basis. It is always nice to treat myself by giving myself a nice break. I should at-least try once and see how it goes.

Overall, I do feel stressful at times and often wonder if I could make so much money where i could hire someone to come in and help me. But, at the same time, it also gives me satisfaction to some extent that I can indeed cook and feed myself. Eating out everyday is not my cup of tea even though I have done it for months in the past. I am slowly but steadily getting into the groove.

How about you folks? how do you do your meal planning? do you enjoy ? if yes – why and if not- why not? What is your ideal cooking/eating strategy?

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11 thoughts on “Home made food – is it a tiresome chore?

    • Oh wow, I wish I have part of excitement that you have for cooking. Sometimes, I feel passionate but that is a rare occasion. Do you have a website where you log your recipes? I tried to click on your name and it does not exist.

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  1. Well, I love home cooked food and used to cook twice a week and store it for three days. Now I found a nice lady who cooks and packs them as lunch boxes. So it is still home cooked meals but not done by me and this is giving me a lot of extra time in hand.

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    • That’s great Janani, you figured something out that gives you extra time. Lunch boxes are very tempting to opt for. I am trying to streamline the process and be minimal, efficient and not too dependent on others. That is why, cooking in the mornings and with in an hour from end to end is my target. On the whole, my goal is to spend 10 hours a week including grocery shopping. So far, it has been 15 hours, plus more if I have guests over.

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      • I used to try and do the same. Four dishes in an hour and have been lucky a few times. I would pick two things that don’t need prep (like gravy or beans) and two things that do (vegetables). I would start with the ones that don’t need prep and in the mean time start cutting vegetables etc. So by the time the first batch is done, I would be ready with the second. Another idea for grocery shopping is sites like door-to-door organics. They provide quality groceries from local farms and I have had a very good experience with them since even I didn’t drive. That would save a lot of time.

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        • Thank you Janani for sharing the website address. It seems promising and wonder if they have any veggies from local farm in the east coast though?. I was part of CSA farm share and used the opportunity to get local farm fresh veggies and as also took advantage of farmers markets.
          You could make 4 dishes in 1 hour? – that is next to impossible for me 🙂 :). May be I’ll pick the ability in the future. After all, practice makes perfect isn’t?

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  2. I have 2 teenage boys with good appetites and I like eating healthy meals so even though it’s lots of work, we’re stuck with home cooking. My husband and I share the work and it’s still a lot of work! I’ve tried hiring a cook but the few ones I tried ended up putting way too much oil or not knowing how to cook reasonably well (I’m talking simple meals). So here are some things we do to make it a little doable –
    – grubmarket.com (we order groceries online twice a week and they get delivered to our doorstep). No more time consuming visits to Whole Foods.
    – we stop by at our neighborhood Safeway for quick pick up items from their organic isle – they now have quite an organic/clean/additive free selection
    – I do have a monthly menu set in stone. There is enough variety packed in there. Meal planning/thinking/deciding – all those steps removed.
    – Cut a bunch of veggies on Sunday (enough for 2 to 3 days), then do the same on Wed night. Cutting veggies ahead of time cuts cooking time in half.
    – Dishes – no easy way out. I sing when I wash dishes 🙂 It’s my singing time. My kids usually leave the room 🙂
    Hope that helps 🙂

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    • Thank you Priya for your valuable suggestions. I took a quick glance at grubhub.com and I love the fact that all of the produce are organic :).
      Grubhub seems expensive for me right now, it is obvious that it is organic, ergo, pricey. But, definitely affordable than eating food outside 🙂 plus lots of time saved 🙂
      I love your ideas on monthly set menu, cutting veggies twice a week. – I will try it out next week.
      Dishes – I guess, no easy way out 😥

      Liked by 1 person

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