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Two Ways People Are Eating Differently During the Recession

Severing ties with our old dining habits hasn't been easy, but Americans have changed the way they're eating during the recession. They've replaced meals out with meals made at home, though that doesn't imply they're actually homemade. According to ABC News, items like DiGiorno frozen pizza, Oscar Mayer meats, Oreo cookies, and Kraft macaroni and cheese have seen the most growth during the down economy.

Some people see frozen pizza as an affordable luxury because it's relatively cheap compared to a fresh pie from the local pizzeria, but not everyone has resorted to the freezer aisle for a filling dinner. Some Americans have organized cooking co-ops that involve nothing but home-cooked meals — and they're even delivered to your door. To find out more about cooking co-ops,


Cooking co-ops were created by and for people who have little time to cook dinner for their families each night. Bankrate talked to Ginny Bowie, a mother of three and vice president of a financial securities firm in Richmond, VA. She formed a cooking co-op with three other families to save money and time, and the idea has been paying off big time.

Ginny said her grocery bill is half of what it used to be and her family rarely eats out anymore. She explained how the co-op works: "Every Tuesday night, I cook dinner for three families besides my own, which is about 18 to 20 people, and deliver it to their door. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the three other families cook for me."

What do you think of the cooking co-op idea? Could it work on a smaller scale?


Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Couldn't do it.
jen1975 jen1975 8 years
Also, it would be weird to eat food someone else has prepared without knowing how long they leave stuff on the counter, whether they'd buy cheaper and fattier cuts of meat, etc. It would only work if you really trusted them.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Yeah, I'd never be able to do the co-op thing because my husband has very weird food tastes. Plus, it might end up actually costing me more than if I just make my own stuff. What I generally do is prepare meals that freeze well...I make a big batch and freeze it in individual containers to thaw out later. We barely eat out either...our grocery bill is usually pretty low.
Porkchopz Porkchopz 8 years
Um, I guess in theory it's a good idea. But really? My husband is so picky and if I had children I'm sure they'd have all sorts of food quirks. How would the co-op members know the minutiae of my family's eating preferences and adapt their meals to that? Not that they would want to, anyway.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
It doesn't seem so desirable to cook for 18-20 people and deliver it after working a full day. I think I would pass on a co-op.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
that picture is creepy.
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