Page 1 of 2Living alone is not without benefits—peace and quiet whenever you need it, undisturbed organization and order (or guilt-free sloppiness), and room to stretch out and relax. But some things are just more fun when you have someone to share them with. Cooking is one of those things.
Cooking for guests usually evokes a sense of pride and accomplishment. But when you are cooking for yourself, it can feel more like a chore. On top of that, a busy lifestyle that includes any combination of work, school, child care and exercise can make it difficult to plan and prepare healthy meals. The following hints will help you prepare tasty, nutritious meals for one or two while saving time and money, reducing waste, and keeping your healthy diet in check.
Use your freezer. Big batch cooking isn’t just for big families. If you’ve been avoiding cooking a favorite recipe just because it makes six servings, go ahead and cook it just for you. Portion the leftovers into containers, seal tightly, label with the date, and freeze for up to two months. Storing your food this way will help with portion control too—you can’t have an extra helping if it’s frozen solid!
Also take advantage of your freezer to reduce your produce waste. Bananas, strawberries, broccoli, and carrots can easily be frozen and used in things like smoothies and soups. Just wash, peel and chop if necessary, and store in an airtight bag in the freezer.
Invest in small appliances. Use some of that money you’ve saved by eating in and buy a few small appliances. A mini food-processor, blender and juicer will not only make cooking a breeze by shortening the preparation process, but might also expand your menu options to include items sure to liven up any menu—pureed soups, smoothies, fresh juices, dips and more. And don’t forget about a toaster oven, which preheats in a flash and can be used to cook personal pizzas, salmon, and other toasty treats.
Take advantage of bulk bins. As a single, you may skip your grocer's bulk bins altogether. But bulk bin sections are perfect for the single shopper. Offering shelf-stable foods like grains, cereal, flour, granola, dried fruits, nuts, soup mixes, dried beans and legumes, these self-serve stations are often cheaper than the packages you buy in the grocery store. Plus, you can fill your bag or container with the exact amount of food you need—avoiding waste and saving money.