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Coping Through Not Cooking

One of the difficult parts of homeschooling is not the schooling itself.  It's the "home" part.  The part where we cook, clean, maintain, organize, and sort our lives.  Balancing home and schooling is the hard part.  Relatively speaking, the school part isn't that tough!

(Not our dinner table)
feast

When I was homeschooling, one way that I coped was by cooking as little as possible.  Don't get me wrong, I like cooking, and my family has always loved the meals I provide.  We ate every meal together as a family, at the dining table every night.  Still, my goal was to cook as little as possible.



Freezer cooking, cooking in large quantities less frequently, became a standard.  Although I didn't cook as little as once a month, as many books suggest, I did do large-batch cooking every few weeks.  It really helped me feed my wonderful family while cooking less often.

If you are interested in freezer cooking, my favorite books are these:

There were simple and straight-forward, nothing fancy, and they provided great instruction on how to take my regular home-cooking and adapt it for freezer cooking.  If you get the books, you could almost plan your entire holiday meal ahead of time, and have a much more relaxed family celebration!

My other method for cooking less has become a standard household joke around here.  Costco.  I relied on Costco.  Costco lasagna, salad mixes...  See, I'm not too embarrassed to confess it!  I'm really being brutally honest here! My best meals have come from Costco!  Especially as the kids got older, and their activities took us away from home more often, I began to rely heavily on Costco meals.  Sadly, I can't do that as much anymore.  You're not going to believe this, but when you don't have children at home, it's possible for the Costco-sized chicken to get a freezer burn before you can use it up.  I'm not kidding.

My children are cooking for themselves in college now.  They regularly shop at Costco.  They put meals in the freezer at the beginning of the week.  They can cook for themselves AND make stellar grades, because they have learned to cook as little as possible too!

My apologies to all my friends who grind their own wheat and cook organic all the time.  I hope you'll still love me!

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Comments 9

Guest - Christine on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 12:24

I was so glad to read this! I think I like cooking, too, but I cannot remember! All I know is it is the last thing I want to do at 4 or 5pm! I am trying to use my crock pot more, in addition to freezer meals!

I was so glad to read this! I think I like cooking, too, but I cannot remember! All I know is it is the last thing I want to do at 4 or 5pm! I am trying to use my crock pot more, in addition to freezer meals!
Guest - Lin (website) on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 10:34

So I also can come out of the closet as a Costco and freezer meal cook. Here is another tip: Grocery Outlet stores,(scattered throughout OR,WA,CA and ID)save me a LOT of money with their freezer meals,snack foods and more. With 6 kids, that is a huge factor for us.

So I also can come out of the closet as a Costco and freezer meal cook. :) Here is another tip: Grocery Outlet stores,(scattered throughout OR,WA,CA and ID)save me a LOT of money with their freezer meals,snack foods and more. With 6 kids, that is a huge factor for us.
Guest - Mary Ann on Monday, 03 October 2011 17:40

I had to laugh when I read this. I DO grind my own wheat and try to cook very healthy meals. But I also rely on Costco and I find I am doing that more and more as my boys, a sophomore and a senior, seems to both have hollow legs and eat faster than I can cook!
Costco is great for healthy meals though. They have uncooked organic hamburger patties, frozen tilapia which takes about 10 min. to defrost and even less time to broil and lots of other easy to fix foods. I have really had to cut out a lot of my cooking lately and Costco has become my new best friend!

I had to laugh when I read this. I DO grind my own wheat and try to cook very healthy meals. But I also rely on Costco and I find I am doing that more and more as my boys, a sophomore and a senior, seems to both have hollow legs and eat faster than I can cook! Costco is great for healthy meals though. They have uncooked organic hamburger patties, frozen tilapia which takes about 10 min. to defrost and even less time to broil and lots of other easy to fix foods. I have really had to cut out a lot of my cooking lately and Costco has become my new best friend!
Guest - carol on Friday, 29 April 2011 15:50

ha ha This struck me as one of the funniest articles I have read by you. Absolutely great advice! "Color me happy when I am not in the kitchen"

ha ha This struck me as one of the funniest articles I have read by you. Absolutely great advice! "Color me happy when I am not in the kitchen"
Guest - A.R.M. on Friday, 22 April 2011 08:52

Lee:

This post was such a blessing. And it was the one I needed at the right time, even if it is almost 2 yrs old! As if oing from homeschooling 1, to 2 and now 3 school aged boys is not enough, God has decided to add some ministry responsibilities to my plate in the past year. I love doing it all, except cooking! Like you, I love to cook, we make dinner around the table a priority, but cooking everyday has become such a dread. Thanks for reminding me that there is a way to do it all - by doing a little more cooking on the weekends!

My oldest is 13 and finding your site has been the encouragement I need to not freak out about homeschooling high school. I'll be taking one of your e-courses this summer.

Thanks for all you do!

Lee: This post was such a blessing. And it was the one I needed at the right time, even if it is almost 2 yrs old! As if oing from homeschooling 1, to 2 and now 3 school aged boys is not enough, God has decided to add some ministry responsibilities to my plate in the past year. I love doing it all, except cooking! Like you, I love to cook, we make dinner around the table a priority, but cooking everyday has become such a dread. Thanks for reminding me that there is a way to do it all - by doing a little more cooking on the weekends! My oldest is 13 and finding your site has been the encouragement I need to not freak out about homeschooling high school. I'll be taking one of your e-courses this summer. Thanks for all you do!
Guest - J W on Thursday, 26 November 2009 22:46

Oh, and what about cleaning? I've learned that a little goes a long way, so I do as little as I can get away with :-) I tried FlyLady years ago, but I got sick with the flu the first week, and the cute little emails telling me what chores to tackle next were still pouring in. By the time I recovered, I was about five steps behind and my first steps had all been undone. I gave up.

Oh, and what about cleaning? I've learned that a little goes a long way, so I do as little as I can get away with :-) I tried FlyLady years ago, but I got sick with the flu the first week, and the cute little emails telling me what chores to tackle next were still pouring in. By the time I recovered, I was about five steps behind and my first steps had all been undone. I gave up.
Guest - J W on Thursday, 26 November 2009 22:42

In winter the crock pot is my best friend. In summer, it's sandwiches. I also have a few heat-and-eat meals in the freezer just in case.

In winter the crock pot is my best friend. In summer, it's sandwiches. I also have a few heat-and-eat meals in the freezer just in case.
Guest - Ann Dunagan (website) on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 14:15

Now, I love you even more!!!

Now, I love you even more!!!
Guest - JD Wetmore on Tuesday, 24 November 2009 10:46

Finally! I don't feel like such a failure! I've not even reached the part about freezer cooking, but I do rely heavily on leftovers. Even when we eat out, the portions are generally so big that we can eat off of them for another meal or two. Glad to hear someone else isn't grinding their own wheat!

Finally! I don't feel like such a failure! I've not even reached the part about freezer cooking, but I do rely heavily on leftovers. Even when we eat out, the portions are generally so big that we can eat off of them for another meal or two. Glad to hear someone else isn't grinding their own wheat!
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