What's the biggest pain in the butt when it comes to cooking at home?

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  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    My husband and I booth cook and love doing it. We don't consider it a chore. Cleaning up is the duty of the one not cooking If we cook together we clean together.
    The cook decides the meal and usually we plan for two days in a row.
    We have a recipe database and durign the week we have about 20 recipes that we use regularly Some are really quick some take a little bit more time but non over 35 minutes.
    At weekends we tend to go a little over the top with trying new recipes.
    Left over vegetables I tend to use in my next day take to work salads, so there is little waste.

    Biggest pain for us is thinking that we have an ingredient at home and then during cooking find that we actually don't have it (anymore)
  • beemerphile1
    beemerphile1 Posts: 1,710 Member
    If I didn't cook at home, where would I cook?
  • brendak76
    brendak76 Posts: 241 Member
    It's not the cooking that's the problem. It's the massive amount of food my teenage boys eat. I cook for 10 and my boys will just inhale every bite and still be hungry in an hour. I just cannot keep up. So much food. So many dishes. They do help clean up and will fend for themselves when I can't cook but it is challenging. Anyone who has raised boys will understand!! There's no way we could afford going out to meals with them. It's enough of a stretch just to keep them semi full with cheap home cooked meals.
  • lucys1225
    lucys1225 Posts: 597 Member
    JagZag wrote: »
    The biggest pain to me is deciding what to cook everyday. I have to start thinking about it the night before. Usually right after I've had dinner and I'm not at all hungry, so nothing sounds good to me. Trying to figure out what to cook that my husband likes and I can eat as well can be trying. Figuring out a variety of meals so that dinner isn't boring either.

    yeah, drainer . so to overcome this, i cook 4-5 dishes on sunday, portion them all out to 4-5 containers each, freeze, and then forget what i made . so everytime i take out a container, i never know what it'll be . and following sunday i'll do 4-5 further different recipes, so it's even more of a jumble . some sundays i'll just do 1-2 recipes since i'll have so many spares . but then i'm basically assured lunch and dinner at home are taken care of . breakfast is skipped, and snacks are throughout the day . lunch out is a sandwich .

    I batch cook and freeze single servings but I always put the recipe name, date, and calorie count on each container.

    My hands get cramped!

    For the past 8 years I keep saying I need a label maker. I may finally get one.

    I do the same except the calorie part, I don't count calories.
  • ejbronte
    ejbronte Posts: 867 Member
    For me, as a single person, cooking every meal tends to be a chore, although I do enjoy cooking. Yes, that is a contradiction but it's mostly because of the clean up that I don't like. This is why I spend my Sunday mornings food prepping for the entire week. This way my kitchen gets messed up once and then cleaned.

    My brother, who is a wonderful cook, and who taught me many things, included an important one when I first started cooking for my parents: Clean as you go. I practice this religiously and when I'm done, there's no mess to clean afterward.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member

    Oh that reminds me... THE DISHES. I AM SO SICK OF HAVING TO DO DISHES. Ok I guess it's part of the cleaning but gosh. Apparently nobody else in my house knows how to put dishes in the dishwasher either (even when it's wide open).


    Thanks everyone for the insightful answers! So I see that some of the unanimous pain points are:

    1) Lack of time
    2) Lack of energy
    3) Challenge deciding what to make daily
    4) People really hate cleaning!
    5) Family member may not like what you make

    It seems to boil down to lack of time and energy. It really appears to be the story of our lives when it comes to anything! For simplification purposes, let's just say cleaning is still part of the cooking process. After all, it does take time and energy. So what do you all think is the best way to make the best use of time and energy when it comes to meal planning, cooking, and cleaning? Should you:

    A) buy precut produce or just cut all your produce in the beginning of the week so the ingredients are "restaurant ready" and you can start cooking right away?
    B. learn more general recipe "templates" or "guidelines" so you can easily make substitutions ie: recipe calls for 1 cup green leafy veggie, 2 tablespoon fat, 1 cup starch, 4 oz protein?
    C) Organize and simplify your kitchen? Maybe you have too many pots, pans, plates that you don't use daily causing you to wash too many unnecessary items?

    Thanks again everyone for sharing! I would love to hear your thoughts!

    For your questions, well. I don't really meal plan because I don't know what I'm going to be in the mood for. Pre-cut veggies don't keep as long either and just don't taste as fresh to me so I don't like doing that (plus honestly, fresh veggies are just so expensive, we often just buy frozen).

    For B, it's not a problem for me, we always have a lot of ingredients on hand and I go shopping twice a week typically so I can always pick up whatever we're missing. But I like going to the store, so I don't mind if I need to make an extra trip.

    C - I don't wash what I don't use LOL.
  • CooCooPuff
    CooCooPuff Posts: 4,374 Member
    edited April 2016
    The dishes and mess

    The actual cooking and prepping feels productive. The clean up just feels like a chore.

    I'd hate cooking if I did it everyday.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,552 Member
    The dishes.

    And then the tupperwear. when I'm at work I have a giant stack of like 5-6 plastic wears I have. annoying as f**k.
  • kimdawnhayden
    kimdawnhayden Posts: 298 Member
    Just thinking of what to cook that everyone will like or eat. I'm trying to eat healthy and honestly I'll eat whatever is put in front of me. But hubby and kids are picky.
  • megzchica23
    megzchica23 Posts: 419 Member
    I cook most of our meals buuuut it is really hard because I have a full time job and some days I really just don't want to. Plus because of the grocery budget it is hard to buy as much foods as I would like. So usually we end up eating the same things over and over and I get tired of it. I really hate my cooking and some times I just miss eating food that tasted good. I want some steak or something better than just chicken, fish, veggies, spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, burritos, or sandwiches.
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    Just thinking of what to cook that everyone will like or eat. I'm trying to eat healthy and honestly I'll eat whatever is put in front of me. But hubby and kids are picky.

    You could try to ask them what they want :D
  • ReaderGirl3
    ReaderGirl3 Posts: 868 Member
    edited April 2016
    Clean up and grease everywhere.

    This. I hate kitchen cleanup! With a family of five there are days where I have to do two loads in the dishwasher plus a load in the sink blech!
  • smotheredincheese
    smotheredincheese Posts: 559 Member
    The cleaning up.
    I can cook dinner in half an hour, but spending another half hour washing dishes, wiping counters, clearing food splatters of the cooker etc is pretty tedious and takes up too much of my evening.
    So I usually batch cook things like vege-burgers, pasta sauces, pies and chillis and freeze them, so I've always got home cooked meals prepared and don't have to wash up more than my knife fork and plate.
  • jemhh
    jemhh Posts: 14,273 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    Oh that reminds me... THE DISHES. I AM SO SICK OF HAVING TO DO DISHES. Ok I guess it's part of the cleaning but gosh. Apparently nobody else in my house knows how to put dishes in the dishwasher either (even when it's wide open).

    Ha :) Like I said before, I end up doing dishes most days because my husband does the cooking during the week. But even on days when he does dishes I end up cleaning in the kitchen because wiping the stove, counter, and table and rinsing out the sink wouldn't get done otherwise. I consider that stuff part of doing the dishes but he doesn't.
  • CassidyScaglione
    CassidyScaglione Posts: 673 Member
    I cook at home all the time. No pain.

    Sometimes you don't have an ingredient you thought you did. Lol
  • rbfdac
    rbfdac Posts: 1,057 Member
    I think the "worst" part is just the time it takes. Get home at 5, then have to prepare ingredients, cook, etc. and dinner is not served until 5:40 or later. Other than that (which is no big deal to me), cooking at home is awesome. you can control everything- ingredients, calories, cleanliness, etc. PLUS, it's tons cheaper than eating out all the time. We only eat out at most once a week, usually on Saturday evenings for a little weekly treat.

    Oh, and the dishes! blah!
  • MonkeyMel21
    MonkeyMel21 Posts: 2,381 Member
    Dirty dishes. FFS. We don't clean pots and pans after cooking. I'm just too tired and by then it's almost time to put DS to bed then go to bed myself. So if they don't get done the next day during the day (it's hit or miss if hubs will clean them while I'm at work), then we've got to clean them all before starting dinner for that evening, or use the extra set of pots and pans which leaves double dish duty. It's a never ending cycle. That being said, we don't eat out often, but we also don't make big elaborate meals every day. We LOVE left overs.
  • MonkeyMel21
    MonkeyMel21 Posts: 2,381 Member
    Just thinking of what to cook that everyone will like or eat. I'm trying to eat healthy and honestly I'll eat whatever is put in front of me. But hubby and kids are picky.

    You could try to ask them what they want :D

    Haha, you must not have small children. If I asked my 6 year old every day what he wanted he would eat chicken nuggets and French fries 5 days a week and burritos and pork chops the other two days.

  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    Thanks everyone for the insightful answers! So I see that some of the unanimous pain points are:

    1) Lack of time
    2) Lack of energy
    3) Challenge deciding what to make daily
    4) People really hate cleaning!
    5) Family member may not like what you make

    It seems to boil down to lack of time and energy. It really appears to be the story of our lives when it comes to anything! For simplification purposes, let's just say cleaning is still part of the cooking process. After all, it does take time and energy. So what do you all think is the best way to make the best use of time and energy when it comes to meal planning, cooking, and cleaning? Should you:

    A) buy precut produce or just cut all your produce in the beginning of the week so the ingredients are "restaurant ready" and you can start cooking right away?
    B. learn more general recipe "templates" or "guidelines" so you can easily make substitutions ie: recipe calls for 1 cup green leafy veggie, 2 tablespoon fat, 1 cup starch, 4 oz protein?
    C) Organize and simplify your kitchen? Maybe you have too many pots, pans, plates that you don't use daily causing you to wash too many unnecessary items?

    Thanks again everyone for sharing! I would love to hear your thoughts!


    I plan 28 dinners at a time. I divide that into groups of 7 and post the list in my kitchen and cross things off as we have them.
    I have a chalkboard in my kitchen and write down stuff as we run out. By the weekend I add stuff for the next weeks meals. I save my grocery list on the computer because we get a lot of the same stuff every week. I alter it and print out a new list.
    I've found that I can roate the same list of 28 dinners for a couple of months and my family is perfectly fine with that. Try a limited rotataing menu. If you make a menu for a week or month save it and reuse it in future. You don't have to rack your brain every day deciding what to eat if you don't want to.
    I plan to use leftovers. Say I cook a bunch of chicken. I can use that in salad, sandwiches, tacos, pizza, fried rice, casseroles, pasta, soup, etc. There are a lot of ways to use pre-cooked chicken. I can divide it up and put it in the freezer and it is ready to use. Same thing with beans, ham, turkey.
    I have a slow cooker. Most slow cooker recipes do not take long to prepare for cooking. Set it up and let it do its thing all day.
    I usually make soup once a week. Soup reheats or freezes well usually.
    I do no cook or low prep breakfasts and lunches. Lunches are often dinner leftovers.
    If I didn't use a dish it is not dirty and does not need to be washed. You could make more grilled, slow cooker, one pot, or casserole type dishes.
    I use a food processor to quickly shred, slice or chop things.
  • kpeterson539
    kpeterson539 Posts: 220 Member
    JoRocka wrote: »
    The dishes.

    And then the tupperwear. when I'm at work I have a giant stack of like 5-6 plastic wears I have. annoying as f**k.

    ^^^So much this! My desk, by the end of the day, looks like a plastic wear grave-site. You know, where plastic containers go to die. Someone actually thought I was doing some sort of a food experiment.