Skip to main content

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.

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."

Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

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

For more great stories, check out