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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- I shop consciously, very rarely do I get processed canned food home for all the health benefits they speak about.
- 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.
- I compost – have been composting so religiously, the results are yet to come.
How can I save myself from being exhausted?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?