The following post is from Melissa Batai
When you’re single, you may just want to avoid cooking altogether, especially if you don’t like leftovers. However, there’s no need to eat cereal every night or go out to eat instead of cooking. As a single person, there are plenty of strategies you can use to make the perfect portion and not waste food or money in the process.
Use the Freezer
When cooking for one, the freezer is your friend!
Separate Bulk Items Into Single Servings
You likely can’t go to the meat section and find a serving for one. Instead, you’ll find a one to three pound of chicken, for example. Go ahead and buy that, but when you get home, separate it into one-chicken-breast packages. You may want to invest in a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer. Then your single serve meat packages will stay good for well over a year, saving you money in the long run.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of separating and repackaging meat, buy your meat at the butcher counter of your local grocery store. You’ll be able to buy protein in just the size you want.
Create Freeze Meals for Quick Use Later
Likewise, if you cook up a meal for four, you may be sick of the meal after eating it twice. After all, it takes a certain type of person to be satisfied eating the same meal every night for four nights. You don’t have to do that. Instead, freeze the last two portions, and on a busy night when you can’t or don’t want to cook, you have your own freezer meal waiting.
If you’re someone who dislikes leftovers, consider repurposing leftovers. For instance, cook up a pound of ground beef. One night, you could make a taco salad with beef and beans. Another night, you could make chili. Now, you’ve used beef and beans two nights in a row (using up the can of beans), but you’ve had a different meal each night. This can help alleviate boredom.
Split with a Friend
Or, if cooking a different meal each night is too much of a hassle, consider having a swap with another single friend. One night, you cook and bring your friend half of the dish. The next night, your friend brings you half the dish. By doing this, you get fresh meals with only half the cooking time. You also get to try new meals, giving you some variety.
Only Cook Two Portions
Keep in mind, even though a recipe is written for four, most of the time you can cut the recipe in half and make it only for two. Sometimes the trouble is that when you reduce the recipe that has, say, one egg, making an adjustment to half an egg is difficult. For that reason, many buy specific cookbooks like Cooking Solo, specifically designed for singles.
Get a Meal Kit
Many singles swear by ordering a meal kit like Hello Fresh each week. You’ll get new recipes, but also, all the ingredients are shipped to you in single portions, helping to prevent food waste. You’ll likely never cook the same meal twice.
If you’re single, you don’t need to rely on convenience food or restaurant pick up. There are plenty of ways to get a fresh meal on the table while having variety in your diet.
My Question for You
If you’re single, what strategies do you use to mitigate food waste, save money, and eat a variety of food?