This weekend I got together with some of my friends for a Christmas celebration. We sat down to a meal wonderfully prepared by Elicia. Someone made the comment that they couldn't remember the last time they cooked. As various other women chimed in I realized that women nowadays don't necessarily cook dinner every night. Most of my friends either work and don't have children or work with children.
I'm the only SAHM who doesn't work. I cook every night. Now, I'm not saying anything bad about my friends, every one does what's right for their family. I'm the only one with 4 kids. It costs us almost $20 for the 6 of us to eat even cheap fast food. ($20 could make me at least 3 meals with dessert at home). We don't eat out very often.
Actually, I cook breakfast 3x a week (eggs, toast and fruit, pancakes and fruit, oatmeal w/ peanutbutter and fruit), I cook a lunch at least 3 times a week (leftover magic( some very good soup made out of leftover chili and spaghetti today), homemade soups and mac-n-cheese, grilled cheeses..etc) and I cook dinner 7 nights a week. That's alot of cooking. Even if I'm getting together with friends or going out, I make dinner for the rest of the family. It's just what I do. I couldn't imagine feeding my family fast food or pizza everynight. The cost would be astronomical.
And you know? I ENJOY it. I LOVE cooking for my family. I love making an inventory of our pantry and then making our weekly menu plan.I get a thrill out of searching grocery ads and finding the best deals. I revel in finding clearance food that makes my budget stretch farther (recent 12pks of Gingerbread pop-tarts for 75cents a box comes to mind). I love bringing everything home and organizing it in my pantry. I love OAMC out of a great deal I get (40 pounds of ground beef bought at 69cents a pound and cooked up in one weekend into 2 dozen meals is a fond memory). I just love everything about it. Well, not everything.. I HATE washing dishes. One of these days I'll talk my husband into a dishwasher..maybe.
For us, having me cook at home is just a neccesity. It's cheaper and less stressful than going out. Wrangling 3 kids 3 and under in a restraunt is enough to make even the most patient person rip her hair out.