New & NowDinner

All the Thoughts When It's Time to Plan Dinner

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At 5:45 P.M., the thoughts start: a lengthy mental list of conditionals—often all at once, often in the span 30 seconds—to determine whether to eat leftovers, to ignore those leftovers and start something new, or to throw my hands in the air and buy a Shake Shack 'shroom burger.

My mental map is actualized below; I can add or subtract depending on the circumstances that apply. (I imagine yours might be similar, though probably is not on paper.)

A score that's between -26 and -6, I eat out (or eat leftovers).
If it's between -4 and 21, I cook something.
And if it's equal to -5, I start thinking of another way to sway my decision...

No, I don't actually use this chart to calculate whether or not (or what) to cook—but sometimes I think it would be easier that way. Maybe there's an app for that?

What questions go through your mind as your planning what to do for dinner? And how do you decide whether to cook or eat out?

Tags: Weeknight Cooking, Ephemera, Illustrations