Cooking for One

Cooking for one can be a huge challenge. Most recipes produce a four-serving meal, and personally I get tired of eating leftovers Day 2.images

For a single gal like me, the freezer is my best friend. I live near Trader Joe’s and I love it. It has cheap, fresh, and flavorful prepared dishes, many which you can stock up in your freezer. I find myself spending about $30 a visit and it can last up to two weeks of grocery shopping. Not to mention the Two Buck Chuck. It may not be the finest wine, but mix a $2.99 pinot grigio with a raspberry lemonade spritzer… mmm! Perfect summer drink.

The only thing about TJ’s is it has turned me into a lazy cook. The last thing I cooked from scratch was about a month ago. In the winter I make a lot of homemade stews, soups and sauces to freeze for later, but I don’t exactly feel like a hot bowl of chili in the middle of an 85-degree evening. I’ve turned into a turn-on-oven-place-pre-seasoned-salmon-inside kind of girl!

So what about you? How do you meal-plan for one being both conscious of your wallet and of your waist? If you care about both price and quality, what are your go-to recipes?

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  • Mmmmm… I miss 2 Buck Chuck so much! I tried to have a case sent with me on the airplane from San Diego back here, but it didn’t work out. I ended up drinking most of in while I was in San Diego anyway, so it didn’t go to waste. But man do I miss Trader Joe’s most of all! (Okay, maybe not most, but definitely a lot)

    As for a meal for one: I just don’t cook for one. The only time I cook (i.e. do more than heat up a bowl of soup or can of chili on the stove) I cook for 3-4. Then I eat 1 serving and store the rest for lunches. It ends up costing me around $3/meal this way which is cheaper than eating out and I get to eat delicious foods. =)

    I would recommend buying two large salmon filets. Cooking them AND doing a side. That way you can cut the filets in half, get 4 meals and have the side to go with it to fill it out. I like doing cous-cous, which is tasty, healthy, inexpensive, takes about 3 minutes to cook and reheats fantastically. Or sautee some fresh summer veggies like zucchini, yellow squash, onions and orange bell peppers with garlic. SO DELICIOUS and so hard to make only enough for just one meal. You can also throw some pesto sauce and some grilled chicken on top of the veggies for a delicious summery salad once they’re cool.

    Mmmm can you tell I’m hungry? =)

  • I was talking about this with my mom the last time I was home, and I told her that I really don’t think I could live somewhere without TJ’s ever again (there’s no TJ’s in my home town). They just have such great, high quality products at amazing prices. But cooking for one is hard; usually it’s T and me and he eats a LOT so I don’t have to deal with tons of leftovers, but when I’m alone I usually don’t cook either :(

  • Great site! I cook for two and we also go to Trader Joes. We try to cook enough to provide lunch for work and dinner for 2 more nights. Gotta love the stuff available to you at TJ