As I started going through the thought process of what I would cook for our family's supper, I was thinking about some things that have been asked of me or said to me concerning cooking. I thought I would just share my thoughts here:
(1) I have lived both by a monthly/weekly menu and I have lived making the decision of what to cook on a daily basis. The truth, I enjoy the daily process better. I think this is easiest for me because I do not buy weekly or monthly groceries. I think the homemakers that do better with a menu plan are those that shop for groceries based on a menu plan. I do not. I shop sales, coupons, and deals. I have a small stockpile, a refrigerator of staples, and a couple of freezers full. I prefer figuring out what we will have for supper based on the weather, what I have on hand, and whatever we have a taste for at the time.
(2) I have had it said to me recently that it is MUCH cheaper for a family of 2-4 to eat out using dollar menus than it is to cook. I really get on a soapbox with this statement. Most of our family suppers cost less than $5 and that includes dessert with enough leftovers for 2-4 people later. If 4 people each get three things off the dollar menu that is $12, the cost of gas to get there, and no leftovers. How can that possibly be cheaper? Never mind it is less nutritious, less tasty, and boring. Here is what I am cooking tonight and the cost breakdown:
Sausage Lentil Soup with Fried Tortilla Strips and Sweet Potato Pie
Beef Broth -0-
Bag of Lentils $1
Pound of Sausage 69¢
Tortilla Strips: 25¢
Sweet Potato Pie: $1.50
(3) Along with that being said to me, it is often said that people can buy store brands cheaper than name brands with coupons. WRONG! This is another soapbox subject for me. Yes, there are things that never go on sale and that never have a coupon. These items are few and if I need them, I buy them at the cheapest place. There are times when I am making something and I need a particular item that is not on sale and I do not have a coupon. Again, I buy these at the cheapest place possible. The majority of the food and household items that I purchase for our family are name brands that are on sale and with a coupon. I pay PENNIES for these things and a lot of the time they are free.
(4) My sister and I have discussed the fact that we sometimes feel as though we are on the set of "Chopped" when we go to our pantries, refrigerators, and freezers. I love "creating" recipes based on what I have on hand. The soup we are having this evening is just that...a made up with what I have on hand. I am not a recipe oriented cook and love the challenge of making something that is my own idea. I am really not certain what people do that cannot cook. You have to know a few basic things and you build on that as time passes.
What about you? Do you enjoy cooking? Do you create your on ideas based on what you know or do you have to go by a recipe? Does your family eat out a lot? Let me know your thoughts.