I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discussed how to split grocery and cooking responsibilities as a couple with friends. It’s an ever-evolving discussion and it’s so interesting to learn how couples divvy up these responsibilities (it’s also crazy to me how many people see dishes as a super divisive chore — like, y’all, they need to get done and we’re all adults here, right?!).
It seems everyone does it just a bit differently and there are lots of people out there who are still trying to figure out the best rhythm. So, while I can’t promise a system that works for everyone, I can share what works or us. Let’s get into it.
How We Split Grocery and Cooking Responsibilities as a Couple
I Do the Grocery Shopping
I actually enjoy grocery shopping! I love going to Eastern Market for both the weekend and Tuesday farmers market, as well as going to the market itself. I like popping into Trader Joe’s to see what’s new or walking to one of the gourmet grocery stores in the neighborhood for the occasional treat. On the other hand, Adam hates all of it. He’s stressed the minute he walks in a grocery store — I was shocked when he called me the other day asking if we had flour and, when I told him we didn’t, he willingly went on his own to the grocery store on a weekend. But generally, it works out perfectly. I go to the grocery store happily and Adam stays as far away as possible.
I Usually Handle Meal Planning and Ideas
As a planner, I derive some satisfaction from planning out our meals for the week and optimizing the ingredients we buy. Anytime you give me an opportunity to make a list, I’m in. Plus, it’s another opportunity to stretch my creativity and I like the challenge of figuring out the right meal for a particular day and how to make the most of seasonal produce.
One thing I wish I had: a better system for remembering the recipes we’ve loved!
Adam Does the Cooking and Cleanup
Here’s my dirty secret: I don’t really enjoy cooking unless it’s an activity. Making homemade tortillas for taco night while drinking spicy margs? I’m in. Baking cinnamon rolls for a weekend brunch? Yes, I’m there.
But, for the average weeknight, I’d rather not. I’m not sure if Adam loves cooking dinner, but he doesn’t seem to mind it as long a he’s got a podcast on. When it comes to cleaning, he does it since I often have to jump into freelance work right after dinner, but I do typically unload the dishwasher in the morning.
This system has worked for us for the past four years that we’ve lived together. Will it always work for us? Who knows. There could be a season where I have more time to cook or I’m feeling particularly inspired by dicing onions. For now, however, this works, so we’re sticking with it. Now, let me hear it: What’s your system? I’d love to know!