How Often Do You Cook?

We’re having a discussion at home.  We have a guest and she’s telling us that her mom never cooks.  Vince was questioning her . . what do you eat?  You have to eat something!  She said . . well, last night I had a bowl of cereal.  I told Vince he doesn’t realize how many people don’t cook at home but either eat pre-made food or go out.  Probably a larger percentage of my blog readers are homemakers than the average cross section of population so probably more of us cook every night but would you please take my survey . . just for fun!


  1. 1

    Anne says

    None of the alternatives.
    Cook at home 4-5 days a week.
    Never buys pre-made frozen food. Ugh, that stuff is nasty.
    However, we do eat out a couple of times a week. Sometimes just Subway or BBQ, sometimes seafood. Avoiding Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs at all cost. Worse restaurants in the country (health wise).

    • 1.1


      When I was working full time things were different. But now that I’m not we eat home cooked meals most every day.

      I know it’s hard for a lot of people who have work and kids to think about, and I really wish that more people were able to cook and eat as a family.

      One side effect from me now cooking and baking all our deserts from scratch is that I find I really don’t like pre-made store bought stuff. It was funny how when I ate it all the time it was perfectly fine, but now that I make my own, I only eat pre-made if I have no choice.

  2. 3

    Katherine says

    We go out to eat once or twice a month and then maybe 2-3 times a month we’ll have something like a rotisserie chicken or one of those 10 min pasta frozen meals or frozen pizza or similar. I don’t actually “cook” every night as I like to make enough the first time to have it again later in the week. We sometimes have a cooked breakfast for dinner, but I’ve never had cereal for dinner.

    • 4.1

      Pam says

      It didn’t let me finish. I was going to say that I need to enter a disclaimer. I cook lunch, not supper. Husband does the grilling or smiking so that is a time saver for me. We have our big meal during the day because we are retired and can. Supper is on your own and is usually a light something. Eating out is rare and it too occurs at lunch.

  3. 5


    I don’t think I fit into the survey categories! I hate cooking. More specifically, I hate meal planning. When I do it correctly, a week at at a time, prepare a grocery list and shop, everything is fine. But I’ve gotten out of the habit. With 2 kids in high school, we aren’t all home for dinner every night. Concerts, games, meetings. It gets complicated. I’m only cooking about twice a week lately. The other nights are a combination of eating out and fending for yourself. If 6:00 comes and I’m not in the kitchen, someone will ask, “are we fending?” Options might be leftovers, frozen dinners, cereal, soup, sandwiches. Oh, that is probably more than you really wanted to know!

  4. 6


    I need more options in the poll between eating at home almost every night and going out almost every night! We eat at home 4-5 days per week and mostly stuff that we cook ourselves (with the occasional rotisserie chicken or leftovers from going out the night before)

  5. 7

    Gwynette in NW Arkansas says

    I voted that I cook every night, but that needs clarification. I do cook for DH… it may be simple like a grilled chicken breast and wilted lettuce, but he’s happy. I totally love to eat a bowl of cereal while he eats what I fixed. I just feel better having a light meal in the evening.

    If I cook enough one night to have another, I count that as cooking, because I have to heat it and prepare a salad or another vegetable. If I’m in the kitchen putting a meal on the table, I call it COOKING!! (Cereal is NOT cooking.)

    Sometimes I DO eat what I cook, but more often –not. Interesting question and at this point in our life, I’d be happy if he would eat cereal, too……. LOL!!

  6. 8

    Pat in Washington says

    I’m an outlier that will goober up the results. I’m a widow and I mostly don’t cook. My son lives a couple houses down from me and cooks for me occasionally. Prepackaged dinners and microwave meals are out, because of all the additives, chemicals and salt in them. I will buy a roast chicken now and again and eat bits of that, plus some fresh salad and veggies. Mostly whole foods, just not a lot of “cooking” done by me!

  7. 9


    I cook every evening meal unless I’m sick. Hubbykins cooks breakfast every morning but Mon, Wed and Fri. He works those days. Lunch is whatever. I can’t say that I enjoy cooking but eating out has got so expensive and then you run the risk of the cook having a bad day. No thanks.

  8. 10


    I find it strange how many families no longer cook at home more than once or twice a week. How can people afford to eat out all the time – I guess it is fast food most of that time. We go out to eat about once a week, sometimes that is lunch and sometimes that is an evening meal. I do not think we eat out though more than 2 to 4 times a month. I like to keep more control over what I am ingesting I guess – the sodium on packaged meals and eating out is through the roof – I don’t want all that sodium and junk in my system.

  9. 11

    Claudia Wade says

    Judy – I was going to take your poll, but my reality is not one of the answers available. My husband and I are in our 60’s and are empty nesters. He is the one that cooks our dinners every night. I stopped cooking roughly on our 30th anniversary after cooking every night since we’d been married, and all while our 2 daughters were growing up. We thought that having a family dinner every night was important and we did it, but cooking was never something I enjoyed. So, after 30 years I said that I was done. I was fully prepared to exist on cereal for dinner or a sandwich, but he decided to start cooking and he has gotten quite good at it, and he enjoys it too. Right at this moment, our kitchen is being renovated, so basically nobody is cooking since our stove is not hooked up, but normally, hubby cooks.

  10. 12


    I don’t think a lot of the young people are taught how to cook these days. Ever since the microwave came on the scene, cooking has become convenience foods. I actually did cook more when my children were little. I just get tired of cooking sometimes. So there are times when my hubby will cook something on the grill. We NEVER eat frozen dinners or prepared dinners from the grocery store. I don’t like to eat out, but sometimes my hubby wants to go out to eat. I don’t cook a lot of beef, so I think he enjoys that when we eat out.

  11. 13


    I try to cook about 2-3 times a day. I usually cook enough to have leftovers, so the rest of the time it is fend for yourself, on those days the teenager will eat the leftovers if it is lasagna or pizza, otherwise he loves his hot dogs.

  12. 15

    barbara says

    interesting choices, but not enough. i cook only 2 – 3 times each week, but enough to cover 5 – 6 meals with different veggies or as sandwiches. especially if i freeze some from each week and mix up the weeks. also, we don’t bring in but we do eat out because we live in a town with a lot of affordable, real restaurants, with the cooking done on the premises.

  13. 16


    Interesting survey. I usually eat breakfast at a homestyle restaurant. This is so we only need to drive one vehicle into town which is 18 miles away. My husband is a morning person and I would rather sleep in until 8am or so. Since we go to town everyday to check on my parents in a nursing home I get up and am dressed ready to go by 7am. Most of the time DH just has coffee, but breakfast is my favorite meal, so I eat well.

    When just my Mom was in the nursing home I would take my Dad into town everyday and I would be in town during the lunch break. Depending on what we had for breakfast I would eat lunch. Believe it or not many of the same people we see now at breakfast were in the same restaurant at lunch. Then on occasion we would meet friends for dinner….and the same people were there again. I live in one of those areas Time Magazine decided was a top 10 town for seniors to live, so most of the people are seniors. Most know each other, most order the same thing every day with the large meal of the day being one of the specials. If I ate every meal out I would at least try other restaurants.

    Some of the men go to this same restaurant 5 and 6 times a day. I know some they are lonely because their wife is either working, taking care of parents or grandchildren or has passed away. The same is true for some of the women. In fact one of my friends has an oral perscription for her DR to go to the restaurant everyday. It is like a big family. Everyone gets to know everyone else. Some actually do work while at the restaurant including me. Phones ring all the time, meetings are set up, questions answered some even bring in computers to update sales, check inventory or like me write quilt patterns.

  14. 17

    June Piper-Brandon says

    I love to cook and often prepare food ahead and have it in the freezer for when I’m really busy. Like tonight I had a listing appointment at 5:30 so we had lasagne. I made three trays of lasagne about 2 months ago and this is the last one. I buy a lot of things in bulk and repackage it, I buy ground beef in 10 lb chubs and make burgers up with about half and make meatballs with the other half, precook the meatballs and freeze them for later. I prepackage chicken breasts already portioned and ready to cook and I’ll either marinade them or make chicken parmesan or sometimes I’ll make a stir fry. Friday night we order pizza from our local shop – they make the best mediterranean pizza with garlic and olive oil instead of tomato sauce and the other is chicken gorganzola also without tomato sauce (Liam doesn’t like tomato sauce that much unless it’s mine). On weekends we’ll eat lunch out but generally we eat at home at night and we sit at the table as a family and talk about our day. This wasn’t the case in my last marriage though – my ex wanted to eat out all the time and when we did eat at home it was always in front of the TV.

  15. 18


    I cook at least 3 times a week and more if all the children have no after school activities. Rest of the time we go out to eat or order in.

  16. 19


    Our budget has gotten tighter, and we found we can trim more in the meals department. So cooking from scratch has gotten moved higher on the list. I like to cook and so does my husband. With a nineteen year old boy in the house, leftovers are hard to come by. He eats whatever between work and hanging out with is friends, until he makes it home, and then if there is home cooked goodness in the fridge that is devoured too.
    I can’t wait for the garden to get growing so we can add that to our meal plans!

  17. 21


    I cook most nights b/c we live on one income, etc. However, I try to do some big meals so that every 3 or 4 nights we can have leftover supper.

  18. 22

    Nancy says

    None of the above. Hubby does all the cooking – about 6 days a week. Sweet.

  19. 23

    Kathleen says

    I want to fix healthy, earth friendly meals, but have no support. DH got on a kick a couple years ago against fat, sugar, etc. But he is an ‘all or nothing’ guy and basically avoids most everything. He has cereal most nights. It’s hard to fix meals for just me. (Kids are grown.) I’m VERY interested in ethical treatment of animals, getting food locally, preserving and environmental issues. I need a support group!!

  20. 24

    Helen says

    My husband cooks. We eat home 99.99% of the time. We go shopping together and I make requests. When my sons were about 8 and 10 I decided to surprise my husband by cooking. The boys asked me if I had permission to cook!

    From time to time I make a big pot of soup, I love to make soup.

  21. 25

    Mary Jo says

    I guess you could say I cook most nights …even tho’ cooking is just a salad and maybe a protein shake…or a grilled chicken breast. But at our house Friday night and Sunday after Church are the times my husband “cooks” or in other words, he picks the restaurant we go to! When I was still working Friday night was date night. He said that because I worked so hard all week I deserved a special night! He’s such a special man!

  22. 26

    Fitzy says

    None of those answers, lol!

    Mr. Fitzy does the cooking, and we probably eat out twice a week. His meals range mostly on the Asian side, and I’m NEVER disappointed!

  23. 27


    We also don’t fit the categories provided.
    My husband and I alternate nights of cooking dinner, three nights each, and we go out on the 7th night, which right now is Wednesday. Special events may come up and we are not home another night of the week, but stick to our regular schedule the next day.

    So we SHARE the cooking, and the non-cooking partner does the clean-up.

  24. 28

    Rose says

    I’ve always cooked (53 yrs) for our family as did my Mom when we were all still home. Planning meals is least favorite part these days especially since DH is now diabetic so have to cook different than we used to. I agree many families don’t bother cooking good meals for whatever reason. Our DD always has good meals prepared for her family and it’s paid off as our granddaughter now has decided to cook for her boyfriend as seems he is extra-special. DGD always said she wasn’t going to cook but surprisingly now she makes lots of good food every night. She also learned to appreciate cheesecake that her former roommate used to make. I bought her the Cheesecake Bible and a no-stick springform pan and gave her a mixer I wasn’t using. Since then she has made nearly a dozen cheesecakes. I lovingly call her “Betsy Homemaker”–we are all shocked she is actually enjoying cooking these days. Think fact DGD observed the meals her Mom (our daughter) prepared set the tone at their house. Kids never cease to amaze us.

  25. 29

    Debbie says

    I think I am the only one I know personally anymore that really cooks….. everyone goes out all the time… they talk about this or that restaurant and I have no idea what they are talking about.. last of a dying breed.

  26. 30


    We eat something home made by me almost every night. Sometimes we have leftovers, but they are always home made by me. I love to cook.

  27. 31


    My disclaimer is –Currently– I am cooking 4-5 nights a week. I started the No Flour, No Sugar eating plan several weeks ago so prepared meals are pretty much out of the question since most of them are pasta (I’ve lost 8 lbs already). DH cooks a couple meals a week. He loves his tri-tip or steak on Sunday nights but will do all the side dishes and set the table too. Most of the time it is just the two of us, but sometimes our adult son will eat with us if we are making food near the time of his hungry-every-three-hours schedule.

  28. 32


    I cook most of the meals, but DH has learned how to use the crock pot! He will put a meal in there at least once a week – most nights he cooks the meat on the grill while I do the sides. And then he plans his big “smoking weekend” – this coming weekend. I see there are ribs, and chops and a pork tenderloin waiting to be smoked — and the meat for jambalaya in the fridge tonight after his shopping excursion at the commissary. He’ll enjoy the fussing with the smoker and I’ll do something I want to do.

  29. 33

    Quiltinggranna says

    I voted for the closest description to our meal plans. Since my sons graduated from college, married and left home, and my husband retired, I cook less but I do cook majority of the time. We usually have leftovers for another meal or two and we also eat out 2-3 times a week, maybe lunch or maybe dinner. Sometimes I just can’t think of anything that sounds good and don’t want to have to come up with anything for the 2 of us. NEVER CEREAL–I have never done that in 40 years of marriage! Also, after so many years of cooking so much for the boys and husband, I feel like meals out are more time for sewing for me! Especially no cleaning up, tho my husband does that much of the time now since he retired. When the boys/families and grandchildren are here I cook a LOT and really enjoy that. And surprising, my sons will pitch in and help with the cleanup when they are here. I think they understand now that they have families of their own, what I did for them growing up!

  30. 34

    carol c says

    we eat out most every day, I cook maybe 2 times a week something simple, broiled and fast, yesterday we took advantage of DQ’s 99 cents tacos for lunch, rarely eat supper. If I do we are on our own. I might have a sandwich or microwave some fajita chicken and stick it into a flour tortilla. Thats it. Food is a necessity, cooking is overrated.
    I dont get any pleasure from cooking something, open a can broil the meat, no salt allowed, no tomatos sources allowed=diabetic and kidneys not working well. Wed. is 1.99 ckn fried steak day, Thursday is chinese food day, and Friday is fish day out. Sunday I try to make
    something, Monday is mexican food out, and then whatever. Its
    costly at times-but not throwing away food is cheaper than cooking!
    DH refuses to eat leftovers of any kind.

  31. 36

    Glen in louisiana says

    Well, I am like a lot of others, I cook sometime and we go out the rest of the nights, some weeks the weight is more in one direction then the other.

    Like this week on sat morning I roasted a turkey breast so I have had turkey lunch and dinner all week. Getting tired of of it so it will live in the freezer. Got several turkey breasts for like 25 cents a pound. I think they marked them wrong.


  32. 37

    Kathryn says

    My husband works a couple of night shifts each week so I usually plan leftovers for those nights. And we go out one or two nights a week now that the kids are gone. My reward for years of cooking every night & in between.

  33. 38


    Ok… none of that applies to me. I cook about 4 times a week. We go out 1-2 times, and at least once we have a “fend for yourself” type of night. This last week though, we have eaten fast food way too much… hubby is gone and I really didn’t feel like cooking.

  34. 39


    I also don’t fit your categories! We eat at home every night (for the most part) but we do 95% of the cooking on the weekends because hubby and I both work over 40 hours a week. Weekends we cook, and weeknights we warm up whatever we want to eat that night. Exceptions are pasta, steak, etc. – those get cooked the day we eat them.

  35. 40

    Tamara says

    I only have a kitchen as it came with my house. I agree with your guest as I often have a bowl of cereal for dinner. Cooking is overrated in my book.

  36. 41

    Bonnie says

    I don’t fit neatly into any of the categories either. Funny, I remember my farm grandma fixing 3 meals a day, every day, and always from scratch or her own canned/frozen foods. My ‘imaginary/dream’ me does that, but here in the real world, I probably cook only 3 or 4 dinner meals a week, with leftovers or ‘find your own grub’ 2 nights, and 2 nights are consistently take-out, which lately has included Carl’s Jr. salads – they really are quite good. I blame it on truly hating our 1-butt kitchen with only very little counter-space to work on, an oven with door held on by a bungee cord, and…well, I’ll stop there. I admire all that you do!

  37. 42


    None of these are us. I don’t like to cook because I’m just not good at it. I cook 2 or 3 days a week but always so it lasts at least 2 more meals (or more). We both think leftovers taste better. Since we retired, we often are spontaneous and go out or to the local events that happen at least 2 nights a week. Wednesdays is farmers’ market night, local musicians and 5 restaurants in our Central Park which can’t be beat!

  38. 43


    Rarely eat out, but cook simple meals at home. This week we have eaten out almost every day as my father in law has just sadly died and we are clearing out his flat. Never thought I’d say it, but cannot wait to get back to plain easy at home meals.

  39. 44

    Jane says

    When my daughter was at home I cooked dinner every night and we all sat down together to eat because we felt it was important. We all went out to dinner twice a month so she could try other kinds of food. When my husband is home I cook dinner four or five nights a week but usually make enough for two meals when I do. Right now he is working out of town so a sandwich or bowl of soup is fine for me.
    At any given time I can think of eight or ten things I’d like to be doing and cooking is NEVER one of those things.

  40. 46

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    I clicked ‘I’ cook most nights but my sweetheart does all the cooking, every night from scratch. Goooood cooker.

  41. 47


    I cook just about every night, even though I work full-time. My preferred career is homemaker, but right now I have to “supplement” with a full-time job. Cooking every night connects me to who I really want to be. My daughter tells me that 99 percent of her friends say their moms do not cook, that dinner is a sandwich, or cereal or fast food. She says she feels so sorry for them!

  42. 48

    pdudgeon says

    i’m with the majority here, the choices don’t fit our household.
    hubby has so much food that disagrees with him, that i’m restricted to just a few things that he can eat. so he mostly forages and i cook occasionally (and holidays) for both of us.

  43. 49

    Katie says

    I cook a roast or chicken in the crockpot with fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market on an average of twice a week. What is left over, I make pot pies and put in the freezer. Then I am also a big fan of Subway’s garden chicken salad sandwiches. Buy a foot long for $5 and eat half for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. I am retired and single so buying a lot of groceries is not just necessary. However, I am not a big cereal eater and opt for fresh fruits.

  44. 50


    We eat at home on average about 6 nights a week, and out one. I buy a hog and half a steer to stock our freezer, in addition to the venison my husband gets every fall. I am also a big canner, canning most of our fruits and veggies, along with spaghatti sauce, kraut, apple pie in a jar, etc.
    When I was in high school, oh about 18 years ago, my home ec teacher had us journal for 3 weeks what we had for supper. When I turned mine in, which consisted of home cooked meals, she told me mine was wrong and that family don’t eat at home like that. She even called my mom, and my mom confirmed that we ate like that. Needless to say I received an “A” on the assignment and an apology.

  45. 51


    I think there are some mothers who have failed at teaching their children to cook. Right now my daughter is looking to buy a home and one of the musts is a decent kitchen….both she and her roommate know how to cook……my motto when she was younger…..”eating out is an option not a neccissity”

  46. 52

    Cindy in NC says

    I don’t fit into any of these categories. I hate to cook, but did it every day for 30 years. About two years ago I struck a deal with my then 23-year-old daughter who likes to cook. She’d recently gotten a new job she that she loved, but it didn’t pay as well as her former position. I agreed to supply her with groceries in exchange for cooking. She spends a few hours every Sunday at my house cooking and goes home with groceries for the week. Even though I am not a good cook, I am a pretty decent baker. Yesterday I turned some apples that were going south into apple pie. I can also make a roux, though I think that must be in the DNA. If I lived alone and had no “cook” I’d be content with a plate of grits for supper.

  47. 53


    I’m surprised to see all the men that cook. My husband does 99% of the cooking. It is just the two of us at home now so I picked the everyone on their own. I also only have a kitchen because it came with the house. I could live on cereal and sandwiches. No need for a stove or a microwave.

  48. 54

    Cindy M says

    I am of the philosophy “cook once, eat at least twice” So I cook about 3 nights a week, we eat leftovers either again at night or take them to the office for lunch. I also bring home takeout about once a week, and we go out about once a week to dinner. These are different habits now that we are empty nesters. I used to cook more often and not rely on leftovers. But if I’m really busy, I may not cook at all during the week and each of us is on our own.

  49. 55

    Valarie says

    Read the labels on the pre-made store bought food like the Stoffers, Campbells, etc. If you cannot pronounce the ingredients or know how they make them, then you probably should not be eating this stuff (chemicals). Everything we eat is home cooked, we NEVER eat processed foods not even lunch meat. FDA puts warnings on tobacco products now, and someday they will probably put warnings on store-bought processed foods because they will discover that all this stuff causes cancer.

  50. 56


    When Dale is home I try to cook every night, and that’s how I voted. Right now though? Everyone tends to fend for themselves. I refuse to live on macaroni and cheese for the next 8 months.

  51. 57


    Right now, we tend to eat out most of the time. I rarely get home from work before 6, and we have evening commitments right after work 3 nights a week, so the easiest thing to do is eat out. I prefer to eat at home, though. I periodically go through spells where I get myself sufficiently organized to cook in the evenings. – the thing I dislike is cleaning up the kitchen, LOL. I keep wishing for a time when things slow down enough for me to get back to being domestic!

  52. 58

    Mary says

    We eat out as much as we eat in but don’t do prepackaged meals. I typically cook mostly from scratch and always plan to have leftovers for another night. When Keith travels, I tend to eat leftovers or breakfast for dinner. Last night I had eggs and a bagel.

  53. 59

    Mary Jo says

    I agree with Valarie about all of the chemicals in our food. A friends doctor told her that a huge number of little girls are maturing so much earlier that they used to (Now 8-9 years old) and it is because of all of the chemicals in our foods—even things you would think would be good for kids like milk and chicken. My friend now buys only organic food including lots of fruits and veggies and her kids are much smaller than most other kids their age—but healthy as horses, never sick!

  54. 60

    ruth anne shorter says

    I accidentally hit the 2nd one, but we are the first one listed. I try to cook double so the next night we can eat the same or use the meat in a different way. Sorry I messed up!

  55. 61


    I’m a senior citizen living alone but I often cook for myself. I like the taste of my food, especially soup, and I don’t mind eating it for a few days. I’ve been eating salmon patties lately. I fix whatever I get hungry for. I like seasonal food – eating aspargus and rhubarb sauce lately (the aspargus in not in the rhubarb sauce. LOL). Some days I’ll fix a cold plate with cheese (or cottage cheese), crackers and fruit. Nothing wrong with a nice bowl of cereal with fruit and walnuts for supper either.

  56. 62

    Bec says

    I’m basically in the we cook and eat at home most nights category. Sometimes-when the schedules get really crazy we’ll snag a fast meal out and we usually go out for a nice relaxing meal out a couple times a month. (Because sometimes it’s nice not to be the one to cook it!) I’m a pretty good cook and I usually try to keep stuff on hand to throw together a quick meal in case something comes up and disrupts the main dinner plans.

    And every now and then-yup-supper ends up being cereal-because it’s yummy and it’s fast and for some reason with my family breakfast for supper has great allure!

  57. 63


    Actually I lied on the survey, but not really on purpose. I am one of those lucky women whose husband LOVES to cook. He cooks probably 4 or 5 out of 7 days and I cook the other 2 or 3. We never eat out. You can count the number of times we have gone out to eat at a real restaurant on one hand probably. Did I mention that my husband is the best cook ever?! 🙂

    We have a freezer full of deer, ducks, geese, and turkey so generally have pretty healthy food. Hubby and our 14 year old actually made breakfast sausage from the thighs of the four turkeys they bagged this spring. Yummy!

  58. 64

    Lisa Marie says

    This reminds me of a funny conversation I had with a lady at church many years ago. She told me she didn’t cook. I asked if they ate out and she said no, not often. So I asked what did they eat? And she said “mostly leftovers”. I couldn’t resist the obvious question – where do you get them ?!? At first she just laughed at the ridiculousness of this and then she said “I guess mostly from my mom”! This lady had to be over 50 at that time and had raised 2 children. The conversation still amuses and befuddles me.

  59. 65

    Another Vickie says

    My husband loves to cook and does all the cooking at our house. We eat out about twice a month…so we don’t fit any of your categories, either.

  60. 66


    I cook five times a week, my husband cooks twice a week. We almost never eat out, I guess about three or four times a year and then we go to a good restaurant with proper food (and the children eat that too if they are with us, no childrens menu’s of fried stuff for them). I never buy frozen food, we all think it’s disgusting. I think that people in America eat more often in restaurants than people in the Netherlands (where I live).