I subscribe to a NY Times e-mail newsletter called Five Weeknight Dishes, which sends – you guessed it – five weekly “fresh dinner ideas for busy people who want something great to eat”. However, one of the recent newsletters was titled How Often Should You Cook? and you might be surprised at the answer:

One question I’ve gotten a lot since I started writing this newsletter is how many nights I cook dinner during the workweek. The answer is not five.

I typically cook a meal from scratch on two weeknights, maybe three. You don’t need to do more than that! Pick at least one recipe that makes good leftovers, doubling or stretching them with eggs, vegetables, toast or grains if necessary. Or supplement with something else in the fridge or cabinet. Dinner can be a fun, crazy mishmash; photographers will not be showing up to document the meal.

As for the other nights: My partner cooks, or occasionally we order chicken parm or go out (luxuries of urban and suburban life), or eat our preferred brand of freezer pizza with a nice big salad.

There is no single “right” answer to this question, but I still found it reassuring. I used to try to cook close to 4-5 nights per week, but now it is also closer to 2-3 nights per week. Sometimes it feels good to eat something green (or otherwise colorful), fresh, and healthy. It always feels good to share a meal with family and friends. I get the same good, wholesome feeling when I eat something where I know exactly what went into my food. It feels like hitting the reset button, and I always find that it helps keep my weight down. Saving money is secondary, but still a welcome result.

Food delivery apps are making things so convenient now, but it’s usually not very good for my bank account nor my health.

“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone.”

How Often Should You Cook at Home on Weeknights? from My Money Blog.


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