When you are living alone, cooking can sometimes be a great challenge. Often, with the many activities that fill our lives — from work to play — it is difficult to make time to create healthy, home-made meals. I grew up in a household with four children where my mom created feasts for dinner each night, so my cooking style is more conducive to making meals that could feed an army, rather than just myself. After living alone, I discovered that this led to a lot of waste as I was never able to eat all of the food I made each night and, looking for variety in my diet, discovered that left-overs never got eaten.
Once I had come to terms with my reality, I learned to organize my meals in a way that would allow for variety without waste. Here are some of the tips I discovered that may help you identify opportunities to spice up your single dining:
- Plan out your week
If you know that you are going to be tied up for the next two days with activities, don’t cook a big meal. Planning for your left-overs can mean the difference between eating or discarding a perfectly good meal.
- Use less spice
The less you prep your food before cooking it, the more versatile it can be in left-over preparation. Try cooking 3 chicken breasts with a simple salt and olive oil coating, rather than adding bar-b-que sauce, so you can eat one tonight, shred the 2nd for a chicken salad, and use the third in a chicken noodle soup.
- Grab veggies and fruit in limited quantities, but often
Especially if you live in an area with a walkable grocery or market, grabbing veggies and fruits on the way home from work means fresher produce that isn’t spending time waiting on your counter to be used.
- Purchase “family-size” of common meats and separate to freeze
This can save you a lot of money from month-to-month. Family packs are usually much cheaper and separating and freezing those packs into meal-sized portions means you can grab a batch to defrost and cook when needed, rather than purchasing several smaller packages.
For more tips on Nutrition when you’re single, check out this article on the MINES website.
The MINES Marketing Team