Do you cook? How often?

neilarey

Administrator
DAREBEE Team
Shieldmaiden from Greece
Posts: 155
"Trust The Awesomeness"
So, I am the one cooking in my house 100% of the time. I don't do take outs and I don't eat out, at all. I used to, quite a bit actually, but a few years ago, ever since I went plant-based, I started focusing on nutrition a lot more and cooking became a much bigger part of my life.

I try to make as many things from scratch as possible but I also use cooking shortcuts like getting ingredients already cooked, when possible - canned beans and lentils, steamed beetroot and steamed pumpkin, cooked chestnuts, ready sauces etc. I buy ready tortillas for quick meals but I also make my own bread. I got into sourdough breadmaking before the pandemic and, although I no longer go through the whole 5 hour process of prepping, kneading, folding etc, I still have an active starter that is now 5 years old. It's name is Capricorn 2 I keep it in the fridge and use it when I make bread in a breadmaker. I also add it to pancakes, pizza dough and flatbreads.

great british baking show GIF by PBS


Most of my meals are modular which means that I follow the basic rules for a nourishing plate: add some protein, veggies, healthy fats, a feel-good filler, sauces and toppings and pretty-looking-garnish. I currently eat twice a day so I cook twice a day as well. It's a whole ritual for me.

And sometimes I make more involved dishes - stews, soups, casseroles etc. I love, LOVE food and I also love cooking. I restricted myself most of my life and I have a problematic relationship with food in general but it's something I am working on. Cooking, handling food, approaching it with love and putting effort into it is part of my therapy and recovery - but that's a whole other story.

Emma Stone Reaction GIF


I feel like making food for yourself and others is an important part of life. At least, it's an important part of my life these days! :gots:
 

Mianevem

Well-known member
Sorceress from Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 173
I agree with @neilarey on many points. I work from home, so luckily I don't need too much planning to avoid take-outs. And cooking is almost a ritual for me, too, sometimes I enjoy cooking food more than eating it (and I  love eating, too!). The only inconvenience is that I cook for my boyfriend as well, and our tastes differ a bit. I have a looong list of recipes marked "to try when I'm home alone". :LOL: Luckily he manages making his own breakfast and dinner, so I only have to make sure that lunch is something that we are both willing to eat. We both like variety, so I cook nearly every day.

Sometimes we do order pizza or something else, when I'm too stressed or have absolutely no time for even a quick pasta dish, but it's rare. And if we eat out, it's not for convenience but for pleasure and to spend quality time together, so that has its value too.

Unfortunately I also enjoy baking sweet treats, which is always dangerous if there are only two people for a whole tray of cookies. :LOL: But I'm trying hard to show restraint and I stop looking at cake recipes when I realise that we're having desserts too often.
 

Klara

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DAREBEE Team
Amazon from Austria
Posts: 16
Oh, gosh. I do most of the cooking for lunch/ dinner at our place. I say most, since my husband sometimes takes over (this is about 20% of the time).
I must be honest that when I cooked only for myself, I enjoyed it more. I like experimenting with different flavours, spices, but my other half is more simple with this one- only salt and pepper.
When I started cooking for 2, I started to battle with the size of a portion, since I doubled the amount I ate and guess what? I was never enough 🤣 then, I doubled that amount and then it was too much. I don't mind eating leftovers, but that amount was never enough for 2, so I ended up cooking again and then a nother pile of leftovers was in the fridge. I realized that we started throwing food away because it went bad in our fridge. I hate doing this and to be honest, I still struggle with cooking the right amount and reducing food waste.
The biggest change in my cooking came when I became pregnant. Some foods that I really liked before, had to go (like broccoli). I didn't have issues with the smell of the foods (except grilled chicken, that would make me barf), but the way it felt in my stomach. I still remember I couldn't stand up straight from the pain in my stomach after eating broccoli when 7 months pregnant. This type of change was huge.
Later, when the baby started eating solids, I concentrated more on what he eats. I really gave in all my heart, soul and knowledge into his pureés. Then we started eating more frozen food and pizzas, since I didn't find the time to cook for us adults. When the baby became a toddler (he'll be 2 next month already! 😮) and he started eating more with us and what we eat, I focused again on the quality of our meals. He surprises me often with his preferences- he'll eat veggies over meat every time. That being said, veggies dominate in most dishes. And lentils. We eat lentils in tons. I often make the lentil-mushroom-green beens stew and we all (even the lil' dude) love it! 😃
The one thing i don't make anymore, but I would love to have more time to do it are desserts. When we feel like eating sweets it's often store-bought and I hate this, since I know it would be way healthier and better if I made it.
I must add that occasionally, we do go to restaurants and we do order pizzas. We live 20 minutes by car from Italy, so we do visit Tarvisio as well for a good old genuine Italian pizza (and tiramisu). 😁
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 175
Everyone in my house cooks. While I am the primary "chef", my kids have massive appetites, and they make food around my cooking. Though, I am often surprised by a kid prepping meals for the entire family. I gave myself two major rules when I became a parent: By the time my child is 8, I expect him/her to know all of life's basics, from self-care, to matters of anatomy, to religious principles, to basic education. By the time my child is 16, I expect him/her to be able to survive AND thrive in adult society, and everything they learned in the first 8 years have been expounded upon. Naturally, this includes culinary skills. I make it a point to either prepare enough food or have enough ingredients available for the kids to prepare four meals and two snacks a day. We're talkin' about ravenous beasts that stand over six feet tall with US size 34 waist being on the fatter end (yes, they're beanpoles). I also set rules to cooking: Must have leafy greens with at least one meal and have it as a viable option for at least one snack every day. If someone's willing to make it, unless even the chef agrees that it was a mistake, you eat what's given or starve til your next meal (which isn't that far away anyway, so it's not like you're dying). The rule most followed: Cooking should be fun! The rule least followed: Clean as you go!

I admit that we do eat more ready-made foods than I'd like us to. And since we have a LOT of celebrations, especially in the fall and winter, we get pizza a lot around this time of year... Party foods are always bought.... Ah, our meals are also always had with water. Juices and sparkling beverages are for special occasions.

I follow a very different diet than my kids, and especially my husband, but because it's a LOT of effort cooking for them and myself, I usually just make their meals and throw them on a bed of greens. My diet follows two meals a day with two small snacks in between. I am not satisfied with my current diet.
 

Klara

DAREBEE Team
DAREBEE Team
Amazon from Austria
Posts: 16
Everyone in my house cooks. While I am the primary "chef", my kids have massive appetites, and they make food around my cooking. Though, I am often surprised by a kid prepping meals for the entire family. I gave myself two major rules when I became a parent: By the time my child is 8, I expect him/her to know all of life's basics, from self-care, to matters of anatomy, to religious principles, to basic education. By the time my child is 16, I expect him/her to be able to survive AND thrive in adult society, and everything they learned in the first 8 years have been expounded upon. Naturally, this includes culinary skills. I make it a point to either prepare enough food or have enough ingredients available for the kids to prepare four meals and two snacks a day. We're talkin' about ravenous beasts that stand over six feet tall with US size 34 waist being on the fatter end (yes, they're beanpoles). I also set rules to cooking: Must have leafy greens with at least one meal and have it as a viable option for at least one snack every day. If someone's willing to make it, unless even the chef agrees that it was a mistake, you eat what's given or starve til your next meal (which isn't that far away anyway, so it's not like you're dying). The rule most followed: Cooking should be fun! The rule least followed: Clean as you go!

I admit that we do eat more ready-made foods than I'd like us to. And since we have a LOT of celebrations, especially in the fall and winter, we get pizza a lot around this time of year... Party foods are always bought.... Ah, our meals are also always had with water. Juices and sparkling beverages are for special occasions.

I follow a very different diet than my kids, and especially my husband, but because it's a LOT of effort cooking for them and myself, I usually just make their meals and throw them on a bed of greens. My diet follows two meals a day with two small snacks in between. I am not satisfied with my current diet.
Tbh, I'm not satisfied with my diet as well, since there's always place for improvement, but the fact that we try, that counts. ☺️
 

Anek

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Sorceress from Bavaria, Germany
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 361
I used to cook a lot more before living with my husband, because I had more time and more interest in experimenting with new recipes. Now I do 99% of the cooking, but that's also just one-two times a week when we eat dinner together. Of course I cook for myself the rest of the time, but it's usually something simple like a bowl of peas and some chickpeas straight from the can. I could live on just peas, plain steamed :LOL:
Every now and then I get in the mood and cook large batches of stews or curries or chilies and then freeze them, so I don't have to cook again.
I try to grow most of my vegetables (that are not peas or spinach, because I'd need several fields worth of for the amounts I eat), and preserve them for winter. I mostly use canned beans unless it's a specific recipe, and for an Italian I eat very little pasta, maybe once a month. My mum thinks I'm weird :LOL:
As we live in a small village there's no take out option, and since the pandemic we've not gone out for dinner much. We used to go once a month or so before.
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Paladin Posts: 160
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
something simple like a bowl of peas

We buy canned peas often, I like a simple curry sauce with just peas and onion on Basmati rice.

Actually I'm making fries in the oven, just raw spuds a little turmeric and a little sesame oil mix with hands, I also added onion and green pepper, peas separate and a curry sauce made using Jamaican spice.
 
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Andi64

Active member
from Margareten
Posts: 42
I do the cooking in our 2 person household. I cook 3-4 times a week, the rest of the week we eat the leftovers. On the weekend we sometimes eat out. We are what nowadays are called flexitarians. We enjoy a good burger or steak once in a while, but I try to go easy on the meat-stuffs. If we use it, it's organic like the veggies I use.
I like to work from scratch, but like @neilarey I sometimes use canned veg like beans or chickpeas. I make my own stock (veg, chicken or veal) and use my own mayo for sauces.
I follow the recipe section of the Guardian, the writers there include Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi. Meera Sodha has an excellent vegan column, Rachel Roddy a very interesting one on Italian food.
Serious Eats is another a source of inspiration.
 

lofivelcro

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Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
I sometimes do the cooking in our household. I have a bit of a peculiar style of cooking that my partner can only stomach for so many days. If it's not fresh fish or game thrown directly onto the grill or over open fire, I tend to cook stews.
When I was living by myself, I often got cheap ingredients from small merchants. Innards, cheese rinds, old bread, etc. I used to toss all of this into a pot, boil and add butter/heavy cream. I ate that for days because I didn't care much for taste, but more that it was easy to cook, cheap, and filling.
I have a different view towards food nowadays, mostly because someone actually takes care that I eat "proper" food. I'd love to learn some dishes my father or my grandparents used to make, but most of these seem too daunting for me to prepare by myself. Sometimes, my partner and I try something out together. I can bake cakes, though, because you just have to follow the recipe.
Sometimes I get a bit obsessive with trying to perfect a dish. Roasted potatoes and jellies made with milk were my latest obsessions, before I got shut down :LOL:
But really, give me a tin of fish, a bottle of milk and maybe some eggs and I'm satisfied for the day.
 

JohnStrong

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Guardian from Vancouver, BC
Posts: 145
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
We primarily prepare our own food, with some exceptions (roasted chicken from supermarket). Mostly to be frugal and for greater control over the ingredients that go into our food. I cook bacon for the fam everyday and then BBQ an assortment of meats for lunch. Dinner is more of a free-for-all. I've been trying to get through a giant tin of tuna so dinner lately has just been a bowl of tuna meat with avacado mayo, pepper, and pickles :)
 

Kanary

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Amazon Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 183
"For the Light! For Victory! For Cake!"
I live alone, so if someone is going to cook, it has to be me. I cook the majority of my own meals, though I do sometimes order delivery and I certainly use a fair number of convenience "cheat" foods - curry sauces, frozen veggies, canned beans, that type of thing. I work from home, so it's usually easy to plan enough ahead to have materials for meals, though sometimes I get a bad case of the won't-wannas.
 

Lady Celerity

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from The Woods. NorCal
Posts: 63
I cook all of our meals. It's just me and the teen, so usually I bring leftovers to work for lunch. I cook nearly every night and all of our breakfasts and lunches are from home. I live in a remote community where food sources/dining out options are quite limited. Getting groceries takes some planning as major shops are about an hour's drive away. Sometimes I'll make "Second Chance Buffet" for dinner which is when I put out all the leftovers and we eat up. I have lived in countries where hunger is a huge reality and food waste is abhorrent to me. Any veggie/fruit scraps go to our local deer or in the compost pile.

Most of the time I enjoy cooking, especially if I have my 80's alternative music playing and a glass of wine. I find it very relaxing.
 

TakingBabyStepsBack

Well-known member
Posts: 74
Who cooks in your house? Do you cook? How often? Do you enjoy it?
I have to confess Neila...I live alone in a studio apartment, and on this front the air feels poisoned. My dumb-as-toast parents keep telling me that since I work in a supermarket I don't ever have to worry about specifically cooking anything in my life...so aside from making instant oatmeal and ramen it's almost squat for cooking for me.

For me this is bad because I know my nutrition has gone south in recent months, but feeling like I am in it alone on that front (I don't want to repeat the story but the basics are in my check-in thread) hasn't been helping, and I am feeling the effects. Stamina is not where it needs to be these days.
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 175
I have to confess Neila...I live alone in a studio apartment, and on this front the air feels poisoned. My dumb-as-toast parents keep telling me that since I work in a supermarket I don't ever have to worry about specifically cooking anything in my life...so aside from making instant oatmeal and ramen it's almost squat for cooking for me.

For me this is bad because I know my nutrition has gone south in recent months, but feeling like I am in it alone on that front (I don't want to repeat the story but the basics are in my check-in thread) hasn't been helping, and I am feeling the effects. Stamina is not where it needs to be these days.
Are you capable of getting yourself seeds to add to your oatmeal, and frozen/canned mixed veggies to add to your ramen? If so, I would greatly recommend it.
 

PetiteSheWolf

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Alchemist from France
Posts: 137
I really enjoy cooking - time is more the issue, and I have the luck to have a farmers market down my street three times a week. Love it! Since I am telecommuting (fully right now, probably still largely in the foreseeable future), I try to cook healthier at lunchtime. Issues are time, and also my diet restrictions - avoid gluten (I am not celiac, luckily, just intolerent, but it does make a real difference in my comfort since I found it out), and limit vitamin K sources (cruciferous veggies, offalls, green tea, and a few other things. Normally salad and tomatoes should be restricted too, but that... nope.) I am also trying to amp up my fatty fish intake (very heavy family story of age-related macular degenerecy), and fruits intake. Step by step closer to healthy eating and cooking!
 
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mavie

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from germany
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 161
I do cook, not every day but about 2-3 times a week and sometimes i spend whole days in the kitchen and do a lot at once. I love to cook and try new recipes. My kitchen is well filled with ingredients because i suck at planning ahead. Saturday morning i usually go to the big farmers market and always buy way too much fresh veggies and fruit. Then i struggle the whole week to get it all cooked and/or eaten. But i love to handle, prepare and eat food.

With my closest friends we have the tradition to cook together once a week. 4-7 people in the kitchen, a dog and kids in between, lots of fun and laughter and some serious talk sometimes. We do this for more than twenty years now, it's basically my family. Else i live alone and rarely have company for my meals.

Just now i cooked Tofu Kung Pao and there's another portion left for tomorrow and more rice for the freezer.

Tofu-Kung-Pao.jpg
 

Sif_Shepard

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Fighter from the Normandy SR-2
Pronouns: she/her
Posts: 395
"ad astra per aspera"
I've always done the majority of cooking in our house. I learned to cook watching cooking shows with my dad and him helping me in the kitchen when I was probably as young as 11. I've always loved to cook. Since going vegan in 2018 I cook even more, and I love to experiment with different recipes. Vegan food is like cooking magic lol it's crazy how you can cook plants to taste like completely different things to make any kind of dish you want. I don't try to eat healthy or avoid anything, I just eat whatever I want, and that happens to be vegan food (recovering former ED person here who loves animals and just doesn't want to eat animal products). We live in a small city though and our vegan options are very limited so we mostly eat at home. We get tofu burritos from chipotle a lot in the summer lol I don't like cooking when it's so hot.

I've gotten more heavily into international cooking over the last few years too, and I love looking for new recipes from regions I've never tried food from before. Korean food has become a favorite of mine as a lot of their dishes are very easy to veganize and the flavors are always so good. I've also got a pretty intense heat tolerance (we made a curry recently with a little bit of Trinidad scorpion pepper and I barely felt anything...lol we both even ate a little piece raw to make sure it wouldn't be unbearable in the curry, and it was fine) so I love spicy food, like a whole lot. Mexican or Mexican/American has been a long time favorite of ours as well.

I made up a holiday called Midwinter Feast that wife and I started celebrating in the middle of January for something to do in the middle of our cold, dark winters, and it's basically become an excuse for me to make the best lasagne I've ever eaten.

:LOL:
 

Lallafa

Well-known member
Berserker Posts: 48
I like to cook but usually only manage it once or twice a week. Three times if im very lucky. I do shift work without access to a fridge or microwave, and no meal breaks, so a lot of my meals at work are roller dogs and protein bars. Lots of trail mixes and energy drinks in my work bag. 😅

I've been using an app to do my grocery planning which has worked out great. When I do have time to make something I tend to make big batches that lasts for a few days. It tends to be stuff like chilis or soups which only improve after a few days in the fridge, and has the added advantage of being easy to reheat. For example: my meal plan for this week is a corn chowder with potato and bell pepper, and a bean & pasta fagioli soup. Definitely using canned and frozen ingredients for both.

My favorite recipes are veggie heavy. I'm not a vegetarian but definitely think that the effort involved in cooking meat is not worth the end product. Especially when you can substitue beans. Beans are great and so much easier. I am a lazy cook.
 

PETERMORRIS966

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Scout from Alberta Canada
Posts: 77
My wife & I both enjoy cooking, and often cook together. She makes our bread; whole wheat, whole grain & sour dough. We rarely eat out, just because of the cost & quite frankly we enjoy the flavours & textures of the meals we make. When we do eat out, we will usually order a salad & add protein to it.
 

SkorpionUK

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Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
I've been living on my own since 2015, so I cook and prep all meals. I've also had a succession of homes without good take-out options so that's something I don't have very much anymore - but the new place has a sushi restaurant next door, I am _afraid_ for my budget (it's really tasty as well!)

Weirdly, I suddenly went off meat and dairy a couple of years ago, literally overnight. They made me nauseous, which has calmed down quite a bit, so I have some meat / cheese on grocery day and plant-based the rest of the time. I'm not a great cook and can't invent / improvise to save my life: I'm lost without recipes, unless it is brutally simple assembly! This is a common thing in my family. On the flip side, I'm also content with fairly repetitive food choices, so long as there's plenty of it and it has some flavour... else I smother it in hot chili sauce 🤷‍♀️

And now I'm hungry, hehe.
 

Nevetharine

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Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 182
I cook five times a week because we can't afford to eat out. My husband cooks twice and always the same meal, eggs with pasta and sauce.

I may cook often, but I always feel like I'm not nearly eating enough vegetables and eating too much processed meat (because it's cheap). And in some dishes vegetables don't seem appropriate to add, at least not to my hubby - like tonight's dinner. Tonight we had homemade flat bread, and a sauteed mix of onions, corned beef, baked beans, and tomatoes.

I also have this thing where I consider some common vegetables "less worthy", like carrots, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and onions. My brain thinks they're not nutritious enough, and that I must be consuming all the expensive, fancy vegetables.

I love food, but anyone who's ever read my check-in threads will tell you I also have a massive problem with it! And no one around to offer useful therapy. Disordered eating isn't really a thing where I live... And the ones I live with don't care either, they're just as disordered without even knowing it.
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
Yeah, just add a side salad to everything, that's my motto! And not like, a soggy leaf and a slice of tomato, the way restaurants do side salads. Half a dinner plate or more pls.

@Nevetharine, have you seen the guide to veg protein here? That might give you some ideas, because yeah, lettuce =|= steak, in any way. Rice n beans, on the other hand, are a good and cheap staple almost everywhere.
 

lofivelcro

Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
I have a general question about "going out to eat" or "having takeout":
When I grew up, and in general in my life, going out to eat or having takeout always was something special, reserved for birthdays, vacations, or special occasions. Sometimes, though, I get the feeling it's more of an everyday thing for many people, maybe even an alternative to cooking at home, or maybe eating in a canteen at work. Do I understand something wrong or is it a language barrier? Going out to me means eating at a restaurant, having takeout means getting something from a restaurant to take home, or maybe ordering a pizza or such.
Do I misunderstand something here? I'm a bit confused, tbh.
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Paladin Posts: 160
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
Yeah, just add a side salad to everything, that's my motto! And not like, a soggy leaf and a slice of tomato

In the Summer working for a builder my lunch was a big salad, mixed leafy greens, cucumber, tomato, red pepper, sunflower seeds, walnuts and canned mixed beans, haha a workmate said that's a good idea and sez he was bringing a salad next day, it was just iceberg lettuce with black pepper.
 

Andi64

Active member
from Margareten
Posts: 42
@lofivelcro I think with the rise of delivery services like foodora or deliveroo more restaurants are considering catering to take out. In ye olden days typical take-out food was pizza or chinese and that you had to pick up yourself. Especially in/after the pandemic the number of take-out places in Vienna skyrocketed.
On the other hand, less people cook at home. They do not know how to or do not want to. The ever-growing convenience food area in your local supermarket is a good indicator for that.
 
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lofivelcro

Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
@Andi64 I'm just wondering, really wondering, because eating at a restaurant is expensive, at the very least triple the amount of what I would pay for ingredients to cook myself with. That's why I think maybe it's a language barrier.
About convenience food... do you mean canned and frozen food? Because that has been around for as long as I live, which is close to 40 years now, so not all that new. Or is it something different?
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
I have a general question about "going out to eat" or "having takeout":
I think you understand correctly. The main difference isn't just a change in lifestyle in modern times, but also between urban and rural living. In cities, for example, it can be normal to have almost every meal prepared by someone else - a restaurant or canteen, various delivery services (incl for senior citizens), and convenience and street food. This has been the case since at least ancient Rome, where houses often didn't even have kitchens, and is widespread practice in large cities around the world.

The self-sufficient style of cooking your own food is usually normal in more remote or rural areas, if not the only option, short of sharing meals with other households. Due to lower demand, among other things, restaurant prices tend to be higher there, too.

Re cost: in a restaurant, you aren't just paying for the cost of raw materials, but also for their rent, their staff (often highly skilled), the other supplies needed to run the restaurant, and so on. It's usually more efficient to cook for a large group, especially in terms of energy and the environmental impact, not to mention wholesale prices for food vs what you pay retail; but on the other hand, the extra you pay to even have a kitchen (mortgage / rent), its furniture, cooking and dining supplies, energy for cooling and heating, plus the food you buy or grow, have diffuse costs, many of which you don't think about when you total your weekly grocery bill.

So yes, "eating out" refers to eating at a restaurant, "takeout" is food prepared by a business (e.g. a restaurant or takeout service) for collection or delivery, and "convenience food" means all the processed food you can buy in shops, from breakfast cereal and biscuits to canned food and meal kits, but usually people mean complete meals, from sandwiches and soups to TV dinners.
 
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lofivelcro

Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
@SkorpionUK okay, another question then, because I have another problem of understanding, apologies: Basically, you tell me people in large cities don't have kitchens? I lived in two large cities myself for some time, but I and my contacts had kitchens and rarely ate out, because it was expensive. Cooking cheap stuff was the norm, but not eating out. I rarely even had enough contact with other people in the flathouses I lived in to share meals.
I'm even more confused now :oops:
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 175
I have a general question about "going out to eat" or "having takeout":
When I grew up, and in general in my life, going out to eat or having takeout always was something special, reserved for birthdays, vacations, or special occasions. Sometimes, though, I get the feeling it's more of an everyday thing for many people, maybe even an alternative to cooking at home, or maybe eating in a canteen at work. Do I understand something wrong or is it a language barrier? Going out to me means eating at a restaurant, having takeout means getting something from a restaurant to take home, or maybe ordering a pizza or such.
Do I misunderstand something here? I'm a bit confused, tbh.
To some, it is a special occasion. To others, it's an everyday thing. It really just depends on a person's lifestyle. For instance, people who work long hours are more prone to taking advantage of convenience foods. Some families just enjoy going out on Friday nights. People who work more strenuously, whether it's length of shift, type of shift, or the position itself, will likely pay Starbucks a visit at least once a day. And those sort of stressful working conditions also make it hard to want to prepare foods from home. Eating out is special, but in a growing world of "convenience" at the press of a button for just a little more gas and money, over time, eating in has become the novelty over eating out.
 

OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 175
@SkorpionUK okay, another question then, because I have another problem of understanding, apologies: Basically, you tell me people in large cities don't have kitchens? I lived in two large cities myself for some time, but I and my contacts had kitchens and rarely ate out, because it was expensive. Cooking cheap stuff was the norm, but not eating out. I rarely even had enough contact with other people in the flathouses I lived in to share meals.
I'm even more confused now :oops:
"This has been the case since at least ancient Rome, where houses often didn't even have kitchens..." <<< Speaking of ancient Rome, not modern times... She was using an example of how things were in ancient times. However it is true that in some areas of the world, there are buildings where kitchens or toilets are shared and people only rent out rooms.
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
@SkorpionUK okay, another question then, because I have another problem of understanding, apologies: Basically, you tell me people in large cities don't have kitchens? I lived in two large cities myself for some time, but I and my contacts had kitchens and rarely ate out, because it was expensive. Cooking cheap stuff was the norm, but not eating out. I rarely even had enough contact with other people in the flathouses I lived in to share meals.
I'm even more confused now :oops:
Good question! People in large cities do have kitchens - at least, in the ones I lived (London, Berlin) and others I know about. But they are expensive because real estate is expensive, and there are always homes that do not have kitchens at all, which is unthinkable in the countryside and even the suburbs. Or they have a microwave and a tiny fridge and a kettle, i.e. not really enough for cooking, only reheating.
What I was suggesting was that only in big cities is it even feasible to only / mostly buy food others have prepared. If you have paid for a kitchen, it's then usually cheaper to cook for yourself, yes, and if people still eat out, it's because their budget allows them to.

In a city like London, social life centres around food and drink, because for one, people live far apart, and two, their homes are too small to host, so the default is to meet somewhere central and pay for food/drink. Berlin has larger flats that used to be cheap, so there social life is centred on the neighbourhood and hosting. All the same, restaurant / takeout food was vastly cheaper there than London, but London people had that factored into their salaries and budgets (there is literally "London weighting", i.e. extra money, for otherwise equivalent government jobs).

As far as I can tell, the people most likely to eat out a lot either have a lot of disposable income (either high income or low expenses) and don't like to cook or don't have the facilities, or conversely they are very poor and therefore rely on convenience and takeout foods.

If you can afford a home with a kitchen, it's usually cheaper to cook for yourself (in part, because the invisible costs are already paid) and may be expensive to eat out. People's ability and willingness to cook factors into it as well, plus social life.
 

SkorpionUK

Well-known member
Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
However it is true that in some areas of the world, there are buildings where kitchens or toilets are shared and people only rent out rooms.

Yeah, exactly, a lot of very poor people in the world live like that.
Wherever you find "streetfood markets" with fantastically cheap food, you can expect there to be a large group of people who are too poor to have kitchens and/or have jobs and lifestyles that don't leave them enough time and energy to cook for themselves.
 

Mianevem

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Sorceress from Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 173
It's interesting to read this discussion, thank you for initiating it, @lofivelcro !

I see many of those lifestyle, cultural and income differences that were mentioned here if I compare my current situation to that in my childhood. I used to live in a suburban area, not a rural place, but just far enough from the city centre and all its services that eating out every day or ordering food just wasn't a convenience. That doesn't necessarily mean that we ate healthy, because we were living on a very tight budget, and my mom would just cook whatever would fill us up the cheapest (she was resourceful though! I should ask her for some of the recipes of her super cheap desserts...). Eating out then was a rare experience, reserved for very, VERY special occasions. Back then I could still speak German, and whenever we went to a language competition in elementary school, on the way back home our teacher would take us to a McDonalds, and all of us children were looking forward to it more than to our awards at the competition. :p My father lived in the city centre, and he took me to a McDonalds, too, once every month, when I visited him. What a joy it was! (And now I'd only ever eat their or a similar chain's food if starving was my only other option. :LOL: )

Then I went to university in a big city, and A) I had zero cooking skills and B) I didn't want to cook in the dirty dorm kitchen (at least in the beginning). But I lived and studied in the heart of the country's busiest city, and suddenly eating out wasn't special, and it was even affordable with all the student discounts and my lack of care for health.

Now I care, and cook for myself, and actually spend more money on food than during my uni years. But now I also have just enough of an income to do that. Sometimes (like once every three months or so?) we still eat out out or order of convenience. But if we go to a proper restaurant, it doesn't have to be a special occasion, we might just decide we want to have a date over nice food. (And to be fair, it's still rarely me who pays for those meals :eyes:).

So yeah, I think it's as simple as differences between a rural and an urban environment, low income and high encome (though in this case both could push you into both directions, depending on the other conditions, but that was also mentioned above) and a traditional and a modern mindset and lifestyle (my mother can now afford take-out too, but it still feels strange to her to do that).
 

SkorpionUK

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Sorceress from Germany
Posts: 127
"Building good habits"
@Mianevem seeing your response in combination with your location of Hungary brings to mind a school trip to Budapest in about 1989! Very exciting times, we admired the brand new, blue marble McD's but were also told almost no ordinary people could afford to eat there. Meanwhile, our Deutschmarks went very far, suddenly we could afford sit-down dinner in a restaurant from our pocket money! Maybe slightly more money than usual, since it was a trip, but still - pretty wonderful when you're 15!
 

Nevetharine

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Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 182
I actually think I'll try it your way @neilarey ... Having a brunch and a dinner. I do that mostly but my lunch is small. So maybe I need to bulk it up a bit with some veg. For the past couple of days I've been breaking my fast with hardboiled eggs. That's definitely helped my blood sugar levels. And no more sugar in the morning coffee. I was only having half a teaspoon with a cup but it's amazing what a difference it makes when I leave it out!

I try to eat breakfast sometimes but I just can't turn it into a habit.
 

Nevetharine

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Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 182
@Andi64 I'm just wondering, really wondering, because eating at a restaurant is expensive, at the very least triple the amount of what I would pay for ingredients to cook myself with.
I can literally buy half a week's groceries with the money I have to spend for a single takeout meal here. Especially if I buy plant-based protein sources too.

We have this really awesome veggie market in town, they don't have all the fancy stuff like radishes and kale (rich people's spinach), or herbs. But they have all the very usual fruits and veg at cheap prices. No fancy lettuces here...just iceberg for me thank you very much!

I can buy a 10kg (~20lb) bag of carrots there for ZAR20. That's the price of two loaves of bread.
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Paladin Posts: 160
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
Me wife's turn to cook, sweet potato fries in the oven, added chunky cut onion and green pepper, tomato in 1/2 and smoked Bratwurst sausages (not a regular part of our diet), Mary Ann has her special seasoning and a little olive oil, baked all together and Heinz baked beans on the side, great with sweet potato.
 
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lofivelcro

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Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
@Andi64 @SkorpionUK @OJJJEM @Mianevem and @Nevetharine thank you all for your responses, very interesting to read. I wondered if it's also a bit of a cultural thing, as much as sunday cake or sunday desserts. I guess there's much more to it, but for now, I think I found some answers.
More opinons and ideas welcome, if anyone else wants to share something :)
 

Heniek

Well-known member
Paladin Posts: 160
"A loving heart is the truest wisdom."
I tend to look after my own lunch, my wife Mary Ann is often out hiking with friends, today she'll be all day.

Quick lunch, put frozen Asian style mixed veg in water and bring to boil then add flat noodles. in a fry pan Gardein no meat Turky cutlets and fry, comes with gravy packet.
 
Rogue from Germany
Pronouns: they/them
Posts: 5
I'm a student so usually eat at the university's canteen during the week - no time or energy to cook and the food there is not the best in the world but solid. Plus they have a salad bar which I use a lot. I never make salads at home, since that requires having a lot of fresh produce, which you can often only buy in large quantities so if I bought all that it'd just go bad.

I do cook on the weekends (or more often during semester breaks), I'm not amazing at it and don't have the energy or attention span for complicated dishes with too many ingredients, but I do okay,, usually just throw some carb (usually potatoes, i love potatoes) + some protein + some veggies into a pan and season that well - gotten a lot better at seasoning things in the last year, by which i mean i discovered that grocery stores sell garlic powder.

I don't enjoy spending hours in the kitchen so I'm essentially all about hacks to make making food quicker and easier. I often hardboil a bunch of eggs to have a quick and easy protein for breakfast, drink smoothies (again with frozen fruits) with protein powder after workouts, buy high quality meat when it's on sale and then cut it into small pieces and freeze it so I can just throw it into a pan when I'm cooking without even needing to unfreeze it first. Essentially the small freezer compatement in my fridge is my best friend even though it being so small really frustrates me.

I also always make sure to have plenty of zero effort food stocked up for when I absolutely can't be bothered to even turn on a stove. Bread, cereal, those instant rice thingies you just have to put in the microwave, instant noodles that you just need to pour boiling water over and let sit for a couple minutes. Also did you know you can make potatoes in 3-5 minutes in the microwave? Just make sure to poke a bunch of holes in them with a fork first. And hardboiled eggs. Hardboiled eggs are the BEST

Basically, I have adhd and cooking is hard but I've gotten fairly good at working around that.

I must say I enjoy cooking more at my parent's place who have a bigger kitchen, bigger freezer more storage and also more people in the house so they can stock a lot more different foods - if I experiment it's usually when I'm visiting home. But then that's also when I'm on holiday so also got more time and energy to cook which plays into it too
 
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