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Cooking for One

Last post Sun, Jan 30 2011 10:20 PM by Virginia Needlewoman. 11 replies.
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  • Wed, Jan 26 2011 3:56 PM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Cooking for One

    One of our readers is single and struggling to eat frugally. Can you help with ideas on frugal meals?

    I am an older male and because of constant price increases at grocery stores etc. have started to pay attention to coupons, sites like Group-On etc. The problem is that even if I buy something on sale often it may spoil before I can use it. Being a guy, will admit I often just want to go to the store and get what I need a be done with it.

    Often I have found that eating at Burger King can save me money when I can get a Dollar Double Cheeseburger and a senior Drink for 1.59. Add another dollar for a slice of their apple pie. I know it is not that healthy but try duplicating that at your local market.

    I am not into veggies or fish and for most of my life it has
    always been milk, bread, meat & potatoes with deserts. Am I doomed to a life of fast food?

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

  • Wed, Jan 26 2011 10:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

    It depends on what kinds of staples Richard has available in his pantry. Initially it might be more expensive to stock up on grocery store items, but it wouldn't be long until all he'd need to get are the perishibles. If he asked you this question, then he must have access to the internet where he will find unlimited ideas on cooking for one.

    If he is losing food through spoilage it would be better to purchase smaller amounts, wouldn't it?

    A pound of hamburger (let's say 80/20) is still around $3.50. A package of buns around $1.50. He could get four big hamburgers out of that at a cost of about $1.25 each. A 5-pound bag of potatoes is around $4.00, but has several dozen spuds in it. If he cooked a couple medium potatoes in the oven or microwave to go with his burger, he have a hearty side dish for around .50 cents.

    There are many, many ways to eat interesting meals at home much cheaper than eating out.


    Richard...spend some time reading the left-over threads here...you'll get dozens and dozens of ideas on stretching your budget while eating well. Smile




    "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Ps. 139:14
  • Wed, Jan 26 2011 10:04 PM In reply to

    • babs
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 2 2007
    • Vermont
    • Posts 10,988

    Re: Cooking for One

    One idea is to find out if there is a Senoir Center that serves meals. The prices are reasonable, usually under $5; here that includes drink and dessert. Also some good conversation and at times entertainment. It would be a much healthier meal than Burger kIng. They post weekly menus so you know what is being served on each day,

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Prayer Circle
  • Wed, Jan 26 2011 10:26 PM In reply to

    • kb999999
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 26 2008
    • Arizona
    • Posts 950

    Re: Cooking for One

     Hi ... while I do not have AF in my area, maybe he does? Would be good to check into the senior/prepacked meals - easy, make in the microwave and balanced foods ... just needs to add additional fruits/veggies/drink where needed. My mil is the same way... Buy a small crockpot, make meals and freeze portions for a later meal - Richard would need be plan meals, unlike the quick trip for fast food. What of the other two meals a day? Breakfast for dinner is great!  

  • Wed, Jan 26 2011 11:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

    At first when I was homeless I did not cook got food at a fast food place then when I got my fith wheel so I could cook and stay warm and have my dog with me I could cook my food and cooking for one is not easy get a catologe its like angel food I found out where I can order from a church cool and I can order from swans food frozen and as you age can't stick to potaoes then you are gonna look like a potatoe to much starch and salt with the meat go to free class at the super markets and get ideals from them and learn to cook for your self and quit being to be to picky there are some veggies out there I thought was gross actually are pretty good like brocli and some squash and pumkin those are pretty good when cooked right.

  • Thu, Jan 27 2011 2:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

    Learn to plan to use what you purchase. Also plan to freeze items for use within a couple of weeks. Try making chili and freezing most of it for later. Store the extra bread in the fridge or freezer.   AM

  • Thu, Jan 27 2011 8:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

     You can stretch that meat dollar by combing it with some pasta and sauce, maybe some onions.Make a big betch and freeze it. You can make ham and potatoes, beef hash. Try looking up some recipes that use only a few ingredients and recipes for casseroles. Chili is good, you can also make things like tuna-noodle casserole in about 20 minute. 

    Can you cook a chicken? It will make a lot of meals for you. It would make chicken sandwiches to replavce your burger.

    I also live alone and just don't cook except to steam vegetables in the microwave and make oatmeal.and whole-grain cereals and pasta.  Your meals are indeed inexpensive, but some variety and choice would be good. Maybe after you try making your own things you will come to enjoy it and enjoy the variety of food you can have very cheaply.

    Try starting out with one or two nights a week.

  • Fri, Jan 28 2011 1:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

    I also cook for one, but I like to cook and try new things.  Maybe one option would be for the poster to find a cooking class, either through the community center, or a store and learn some new things?   Maybe one of his friends would be willing to give him a lesson if he purchased the ingredients?

    I am trying to learn how to use my freezer more so I don't get in a rut with eating the same thing every day, and so I don't throw away food that has sat for a week.


  • Fri, Jan 28 2011 9:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

     The Extension Service and Adult Education sometimes offer basic cooking classes here. If the poster has a couple of friends who would enjoy a cooking party, that' s another way.

  • Sat, Jan 29 2011 12:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Cooking for One

    Senior Centers usually serve lunch for under $2.  You have to let them know by a certain time that you will be using their services.  Some will allow a volunteer to have a meal for free, or with a discount. 

    My single fridge always had frozen veggies, a lean roast cut into stir-fry meat and then repackaged, soy, rice wine, and a bag of rice.  Second: refried beans, which can be eaten with salsa, lime and cilantro, or cheese melted on top, or folded into a flour tortilla.  Third is to learn to build great sandwiches and great dinner salads. 

    Internet is full of cooking sites for singles.  Another thing I always loved to do is to team up with another person, each cook an entree, and then have dinner together.  Eases both physical and social hunger.

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