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How often do you have take out for supper?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Working mommas (and poppas)... how often do you have take out for supper because working all day doesn’t leave time to cook?


I was looking over our bank statements the past month or two and was shocked to see just how often we ordered take out. When I am home on Mat leave (2 out of the past 3.5 years) I loved to make home cooked meals. But DH works 11-12 hours a day, and now I work 8 hrs + a 2 hour commute, so we are away from home a good part of the day. We’ve been resorting to take out once or twice a week now for supper!!


Are we ‘normal’? Do other working families eat out as much?

post #2 of 21

We don't do takeout except for a special treat. Too expensive. DH and I both work full time: an eight-hour day with a significant commute, and I hear you about not having time/energy to cook! I try to cook a few times a week, and on other nights we eat packaged meals from brands we trust (not gross packaged food but stuff like boxed indian food with frozen naan bread and cous cous). I also have some really quick, go-to recipes that can be cooked in a half-hour or so with minimal effort. I have tried in the past to make meals on Sunday to freeze and bring out during the week, but I haven't been very successful. It's a good idea, though! I do try to have some homemade vegetarian meatballs in the freezer so I can whip up pasta if I need to and throw the veggieballs in for nutrition (they're made of nuts and veggies). 


If you guys can afford the take out, though, and you have healthy take out options, do what you have to do! It's so hard when both spouses work.

Edited by annaknitsspock - 9/7/12 at 9:49am
post #3 of 21

I work late 3 nights a week so dh is responsible for dinner those nights.  If there isn't something quick and easy for him to make (like pop it in the oven and be done), odds are he'll call for pizza.  We usually call for pizza about once a week.  I've made a big effort, when I go to the grocery store, to buy things that he can just stick in the oven from the freezer two nights a week.  So frozen pizzas or Stoffer's lasagna, something like that.  On the night I work until 8, I put something in the crockpot that doesn't need anything done to it but put on plates.  Pot roast, or I make this chicken and dressing thing, or maybe a soup.


I leave work by 3 on Thursdays, so I have plenty of time to prep and cook something good and I don't work Fri-Sun, so I cook big meals those nights as well.  Dh doesn't love leftovers but the kids don't mind them, so sometime he'll do that as well (but not as often as I'd like).

post #4 of 21
We eat out once a week in the Costco food court when we do our grocery shopping. It costs about $7. Not super healthy food, but we get a salad and both boys at least have a couple of bites of it.

We both work full time. We rely on leftovers, and meals that we pre freeze. Some of our dinners are mishmash servings of leftovers, and that's ok. It cuts down on food waste.

Dh also cooks breakfast for us every single morning while I'm making the bed and getting ready. I'm lucky.

Sme things are easy to make ahead and freeze: lasagna, casseroles, pizza, etc. Add a freh vegetable and you're good.
post #5 of 21

We have takeout or eat out about 2 or 3 nights a week.  I would love to be able to cook more, but there just isn't enough time.

post #6 of 21

We don't do much take out but my menu planning now has very simple meals on it, and we often don't eat until 7:30 or 8 p.m. guilty.gif

post #7 of 21
We resort to doing our own thing a few times a week which includes heating up leftovers, cooking something quick for the kids or getting pizza. On weekends we try for cooking a home cooked meal. I am finding it difficult to cook during the week because DD is very clingy when I get home and won't let me put her down. We do have to plan our menu better but between a picky husband and finicky son, it's really difficult to find things that satisfy everyone's palate.
post #8 of 21
We almost never do take out, mostly because there just isn't much in our area to choose from. It's either super gross fast food, or really pricey take out like outback (which ran nearly $100 the last time we did take out). So I try really hard to plan menus and cook with enough for leftovers on weekends. If there's a night without a meal planed I will scramble eggs or something...
post #9 of 21

We go out for breakfast almost every Saturday morning.  

DH and I go for lunch once a week.

We don't do take out for supper.  We get home by 6 every night.  DH cooks well I play with the kids.  We try to cook things that take longer on the weekend or if it is chilli (say) we might cook it the night before and reheat it the next day.  If we have a meeting or lessons at night we plan for a quicker meal or left overs.

post #10 of 21

We usually only resort to it when I'm too tired to cook due to a large project or staying up late to meet a deadline. We do go out to eat occasionally for recreation or while out running errands, though.


Last school year I menu-planned for the week & cooked nearly all of the dinners since I work from home, but over the summer DH and both kids were also cooking dinners. Once we get into the swing of the school schedule again, we plan to have the girls cook again. Mostly we all make things like pasta & sauce, rice-and-bean bowls, rice-and-tofu bowls, grilled chicken, tacos, salads, some curry dishes, etc. I would say I make nearly everything in 30 min. or so except stuff that goes in the crock pot (dried beans, etc.) We also have a rice cooker, which gets used probably 2-3 times per week.

post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by Skippy918 View Post

We do have to plan our menu better but between a picky husband and finicky son, it's really difficult to find things that satisfy everyone's palate.

Yes, I have this issue, too, with different dietary needs/choices. Lots of meals are things like plain rice + plain beans + choose-your-own toppings. We eat pasta + jar of sauce + simple salad once or twice a week - everyone likes it & it takes 15 min. to make.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the feedback! I did try to meal plan for the week, and pre-assembled some meals yesterday in preperation for the week, so hopefully we won't have to order out. Let's see how long we can go... :)

post #13 of 21

There was a good thread on chowhound.com that addressed this point: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/863756 Many,many good ideas.

post #14 of 21

Unless you really want to save that money, I'd suggest you are "normal" and can continue to order in. If you can order healthy-ish meals, or make your own dressing for salad etc. I don't see the harm at all. Why add more pressure to your day?

post #15 of 21
We go in cycles, some weeks/months we only get take-out sparingly. Others we get in for nearly every meal. Also, it is somewhat seasonal as in the winter the grill doesn't get much use, so that eliminates a lot of options. I think it is fine to get some take-out if you can afford it, the cycles when we are getting it for every meal I don't like that. DH does most of the cooking and he doesn't like to meal plan, so that is part of our sporadic issues. I don't mind cooking, but the stuff I am good at making DH doens't like or isn't in the mood for, so I cook maybe once a week now which is fine by me. I like cooking to be his responsibility, I have plenty to do, but I wish he would just take it over completely instead of nearly always wanting to involve me in the decisions.
post #16 of 21
I would at least 3 dinners a week. Plus weekends (which, I really don't have an excuse for since we both work M-F). DH and I also eat out for lunch every week day, and I buy coffee, etc., every morning. The kids all buy lunch at school. *sigh*. I only starting working full-time in May after staying at home for 10 years. I guess I'm not adjusting well with regards to cooking meals and preparing lunches since the change in life.

Part of the take-out/dinner out thing is the kids evening activities. For example, I left work yesterday at 4:30 to race to get DD to her volleyball game by 5:15. We didn't get home (all 6 of us; DH met us there) until 9:15 at night. This after her having practice both the night before and then the night after - tonight. My DS's basketball starts up again in October and another son wants to go back to Karate. Luckily the 5 yr old is content only going to school full-time. DD wonders why I keep balking at registering her for gymnastics. We'd be gone every night a week and booked for most of Saturdays if I agree to it. It's exhausting, and the last thing I want to do is grocery shop and cook from scratch late at night.
post #17 of 21

Another option that is a good money vs. time compromise is stuff like rotisserie chicken or ready soup/salad/garlic bread from the grocery store, prepared frozen meals and pizza, etc. I am still looking for options that suit everyone in our family, but do buy some frozen stuff like samosas and, gulp, chicken nuggets.

post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 

While we don't really need to save that money, it was just a big shock to see how much we were spending a month! I wasn't sure if this was average, or if we were known as "those people who are in here every single Friday!!" at the local pizza parlour :)


I admit, I also resort to rotisserie chicken from our neighbourhood supermarket, as well as chicken nuggets (one of the few things on my 3yr old's picky-eater-approved-list).

post #19 of 21

Pizza once a week, and frequently a weekend lunch or 2 out. DH cooks on the weekends. Plan 3 meals a week (M-W) Thursday is leftover night and Friday is often Pizza night. Honestly, I was never that into cooking so anything that gets 'er done is OK with me. If you really LIKED cooking, you  may need to adjust your style. Scrambled eggs is a fine dinner. There are some good QUICK ideas on the meal planning forum. Quesadilla's are another good one. And crockpot every week or every other week - all seasons. 

post #20 of 21

Maybe once per month.  Too expensive to do more. 

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