Learning to cook and serve nutritious meals takes time, energy, and patience. Shopping for groceries is a job. Putting the food away whether freezing it or organizing the pantry is a job. Putting together a meal and serving it is a job. It all needs to be respected as such. The overall time we spend either making money to pay for fast food or shopping, cooking, and serving nutritious meals is a necessary part of the family home. We either work to pay for fast food or we work to spend less for real food. Choose which work you want. I truly believe that a nutritious, real-food meal that is served with love and kindness and shared at a table where people enjoy each other is a spiritual experience. It's good for the soul, it's good for the intellect, and it's good for the body. There is no replacing family time around the table. This is where we communicate! We get to know each other. Children learn to talk and to listen. They learn manners, social skills, patience, values and religion, vocabulary, and life lessons. Many teachable moments happen around the table. Because we eat every day, meals can become a frustrating part of the job of spending less. But food brings us together. It is the place of sustenance, the place to refresh our bodies and souls. It is important and worth the effort.