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    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
    Cooking for one 13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    ****There is now a new thread "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" which can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5680849

    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?



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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 163
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 10:26 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Breakfast today meant digging into the freezer to remove the last 2 slices + 2 crusts of frozen bread. Used two crusts for toast and added half a tin of beans, the last egg scrambled and 7 cocktail sausages. Squirt of brown sauce
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I have a feeling some booze will feature on the menu again today.

    Nice sunny day here and I intend to have gone out - ie over to nearby town and buy some vegetable plug plants. What I am actually doing is "climbing the walls" waiting around for two workmen to come back and do minor bits on the kitchen (both of which are their fault - and should have been done already) and not even sure if one of them is actually turning up today.

    Better get back to whacking the weeds one (in lieu of whacking the workmen one). I've done quite a bit of weed removal so far today whilst angrily waiting for the workmen - but still "climbing the walls". Just after a Bank Holiday weekend in a small family-centred town with worse weather than I'm used to and poor public transport (meaning one can't get anywhere on Sunday and Bank Holidays except by taxi if a non car-owner)....

    I'll calm down in a minute - but am promising myself booze with dinner tonight at the moment.

    Now where's the Bach Rescue Remedy and my weed-whacking tools again?........
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • kittie
    • By kittie 18th Apr 17, 11:36 AM
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    kittie
    thats one frustrating day money, I can understand the anger and the underlying fear like `what if they don`t get it done`

    I don`t do facebook, unless I want a sneaky peek at something but what about looking for his facebook page and maybe saying something gentle and charming, so that it isn`t deleted. Money I have been eyeing up a present in the fridge all weekend, a ready made GnT. Its still there, I managed to avoid the temptation, don`t know how

    I just had a bowl of soup and didn`t enjoy it, just had it because I made it, its good for me and I hate waste. Fortunately the big container is tapered towards the bottom, so it will look a lot less after the next bowl, maybe later. I want rid of it

    Salad leaves are good for a couple of days, washed and spun and in fridge. Easy lunch but will be a bit later today. Nothing much to do today, except wait in for parcelforce
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 17, 1:56 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    One task down and one to go kittie.

    I know at what points my willpower fails me - booze in the fridge tends to be one of them or chocolate (which I cant even safely keep in the freezer).

    That drink would have gone by now if it were in my fridge (well - in theory - if not in practice - as gin and tonic isnt one of "my" drinks personally).

    Watching the news anxiously still - or trying not to think about it - depending on what mood I'm in. Thats causing me to want everything "done yesterday" too - ie at least dealing with the things that are under my control (or should be...).
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 2:09 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I popped out to pick up two specific items, within half a mile of my house, one from each of two shops. Neither had what I wanted..... but I "needed" to get one of the items, so plugged on .... and over the next 3 hours or so visited every shop that might sell the item .... until finally I ended up 8 miles from home where there was a large store of the type I'd started out in and they had "the last 2" in stock, so I bought them.

    I hate that - I only leave the house if I need something specific usually - and, having decided I need something and going to get it from a shop that sells that exact item, it's bl00dy annoying when they have 0 stock.

    En route I ended up in Asda.... my favourite supermarket... so I took a random walk around - but came out with nothing as I couldn't remember what I'd have bought from there if I'd planned a trip ... and I couldn't buy random things because I've got cupboards full of random things already! That was annoying too.

    Lunch was: last two slices of bread and the last of the pot of coronation chicken.

    Now out of eggs and bread and cheese... but I've spud overload.

    I suspect tea will be Rustic Hand Crushed King Edwards topped with Spicy Tuna Crunch. Aka: some of the cheap spuds I bought the other week, mashed roughly with a fork, topped with a mix of tuna/salad cream and chopped onions I might toss an egg into the tuna, because I've still got two of the eggs I boiled a few days ago that need to be used up ... cooked ready in anticipation of wanting sandwiches on what I thought was going to be a bit of a scorcher weekend.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 18th Apr 17, 2:16 PM
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    Farway
    Reading through yesterday's has given me another idea, sandwich filling pots, never tried them, I did look at something similar in Asda the other day, not the sort PN mentioned, but as a back of pack ingredient reader I spotted it contained chicken slurry mechanically recovered chicken, so that stayed on the shelf

    Yesterday's beef thingy from Morrison's was very tasty, and big chunks of beef in it, would buy it again at the right price

    Breakfast was toast & marmalde, as mentioned by others, sometimes a meal option gets done to death, but I've not yet reached peak marmalade toast

    Similar with lunch, cheese / tom & cuc sandwich again

    The CFO can get repetative, in my case an easy option is better than CBA

    Nothing on food bargain front during this morning's mooch, but did splash out on shoes from the Brabanto closing down sale, my current ones are a disgrace

    Dinner tonight is meal for one liver, bacon & mash, I will add steamed fresh veg and that should be the last of the leeks & broccolli, just parsnips & carrots to go now before I start buying all over again

    Shame I am not allowed booze any more, with election news now would be a good time to get a few bargain bottles of rum and not think about news until mid June
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Apr 17, 2:32 PM
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    caronc
    Afternoon everyone,
    Definitely a use it up day today, breakfast was the last slice of HM bread with a spoonful of beans LO from the fry up the boys made on Sunday. Lunch was LO brisket with LO rice salad (finished that ) and LO carrot salad. I've chicken thighs defrosting for tonight with I'll have with a baked spud, the last flat mushroom and some LO coleslaw and tzakziki. I've still cous cous left from the weekend which I'm going to freeze to have stuffed in peppers at a future point. I need to reduce down ham stock and get frozen too and chop up and freeze some lurking parsley and chives. I have quite a lot of cream left so might make butter later in the week to use that up.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 3:37 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I'm sitting here wishing I had some sweeties.... and crisps. I have neither and I doubt I'll be motivated enough to go and purchase them.... but if they appeared by magic I'd eat them.

    That's the other thing about "one" - no food appears by magic. You know when there are other people about there's a chance that occasionally they'll bring something in "This looked nice...." and it's all of a surprise. You don't get that with "one". You have to go out and spot/find it, no magically appearing great sounding food for you!

    EDIT: I am now making trifle..... of sorts. No cakey bits to put in it ... and no chocolate scrapes for the top, but I've peaches, jelly, custard and dream topping (if that uses water and not milk).
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-04-2017 at 3:51 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 18th Apr 17, 4:23 PM
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    Farway
    EDIT: I am now making trifle..... of sorts. No cakey bits to put in it ... and no chocolate scrapes for the top, but I've peaches, jelly, custard and dream topping (if that uses water and not milk).
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Funny, I have been thinking about trifle for a week or so, since the self inflicted banana glut, like you no cake bits, but could rustle up something trifle like, will see what tomorrow brings in cakey line
    • kittie
    • By kittie 18th Apr 17, 5:02 PM
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    kittie
    cheese on toast, now cooling next to me. Last of the cheese slices atop hm granary with hp on top and I am also feeling like a pudding, keep thinking about that piece of hm meringue, a big blob, sitting in an airtight box. Rhubarb out of freezer and I`m going to make a pud with those and creamy ice cream. Probably back to normal tomorrow but pee`d off, waited all day for parcelforce, which is not going to arrive now as I know he finishes before 5, to return to depot
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 5:07 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Trifle won't have a topping, just custard, as the topping needs milk. Not going to go out and buy a pint of milk randomly to make 4 spoons of topping.

    Made 3 individual trifles - ate 1/3rd of the tin of peaches - got 1/4 pint of jelly setting on its own.

    While those are setting I toasted the final crust that'd been in the freezer for a month until I took it out to defrost earlier today .... and 1/3rd of a tin of beans.

    I doubt that the potato/tuna thing will occur today .... but it'll probably make an appearance tomorrow. If I get a sudden urge to eat at 2am I might just grab the spuds and open that tuna can and go for it. Time means nothing .... if you're hungry and motivated.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 17, 6:30 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Still alternating to and fro a bit at the moment between "I SHOULD be able to eat fish - they shouldnt be chucking plastic into our oceans the blimmin' fish are probably ingesting" and "Better take account of what THEY are doing and boycott fish for however-long (probably rest of my life)"

    - and so dinner tonight is a fresh tuna steak/some spicy potatoes and a bit of sauted brussel sprout greens.

    Is probably gonna be the same again tomorrow - those singles blimmin' leftovers....
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 6:36 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Is probably gonna be the same again tomorrow - those singles blimmin' leftovers....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    Family weekly plan:
    Monday: Pie
    Tuesday: Casserole
    Wednesday: Quiche
    Thursday: Curry
    Friday: Fish
    Saturday: Takeaway blowout
    Sunday: Big roast.

    Single weekly plan:
    Monday: Pie
    Tuesday: Pie
    Wednesday: Pie again
    Thursday: Last of the pie
    Friday: Fish
    Saturday: Fish again
    Sunday: Better use up that fish.

    • kittie
    • By kittie 18th Apr 17, 7:04 PM
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    kittie

    Is probably gonna be the same again tomorrow - those singles blimmin' leftovers....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    You`re right. All the greens are in packages, even caulies are too big. One of the few things the right size is a tin of sardines

    I`m going to do one of those blimmin rice meals tomorrow, at least I only get to use one pan and anyway it tastes nice (enough). Think I`ll put a piece of fish in and the ginger will disguise the bland taste of white fish, rice and caulie. Does anyone ever bother doing a proper nice sauce for one? I don`t, everything I make for myself these days is called `plain cooking`.

    Its boring eating to live, I`m doing my best to eat well but it is BORING
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Apr 17, 7:10 PM
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    caronc
    Evening everyone,
    I'm not usually a snacker but today....... I think it's because the fridge is full of tempting "ends" that do need used up

    kittie - yes I do make "proper" sauce but make a batch and freeze in portions or the other thing I do is make a pan of plain white sauce and freeze it in portions so I can add bits to it depending on what I'm having. Life IMHO is too short to deprive myself of sauce just because I'm CFO
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 7:54 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Does anyone ever bother doing a proper nice sauce for one?
    I don`t, everything I make for myself these days is called `plain cooking`.

    Its boring eating to live, I`m doing my best to eat well but it is BORING
    Originally posted by kittie
    I'm not really a sauce-making person.... they're OK. I only really make cheese sauce for mac/cheese to be honest.

    Plain cooking is what I do - I haven't been exposed to new/unusual foods - and there's no way I'd be buying fancy new things just to try in case I put effort in and ended up with something nasty ...because then I'd be tired/hungry and have nothing to eat.

    You have to really keep it plain because you can't have vast amounts of an assortment of foods sitting around waiting until you need just 1/2 a teaspoon of them...

    For boring - that's why, in the main, I don't stick to "one brand". While I will eat, say, pies .... they're rarely the same sort of pie each time. I have a couple I like, but I do like to try new versions of things all the time.

    Stuff like naan bread, that I often use as pizza bases .... or just nuke them and eat them plain .... I'll buy whatever shops have got, without looking at the brand name. So it's "the same", but has the potential to be different.

    In the main though ... it's the same stuff, just a little bit different each time depending on what I've got/not. Things can't be "too different" because they mostly come from the same basic 20 items in the cupboards.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th Apr 17, 8:25 PM
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    PasturesNew
    B4lls..... I was just in the kitchen, waiting for my crumpets to toast so I could spread a cheese triangle on them - and I spotted the chocolate spread.... THAT is what I could've randomly picked up in A5da earlier today when I found myself in there! That was on my list of "get from there next time you're in"

    I do try to try the occasional new item - and this year it was chocolate spread. I'd never had it before, but bought one at L1dl and liked it ... so tried the A5da one and decided I'd buy more of that one.

    Also, the beefburgers I ate the other week (pack of 4)... liked them so much (not had burgers for YEARS) that I bought another box, but from a different shop. And fishcakes, not something I'd bought for years, but got them the other week, brilliant they are .... just the cheapo multipack bag from Iceland 12 for £1. Not posh ones

    Crumpets are practically a staple in my house ... but only the 25p/pack type ones. Easy, quick, in the toaster, spread something on them, job done. I spread on them: jam, lemon curd, golden syrup, chocolate spread, cheese triangles, regular cheddar ... if it looks like it'll go on the top I'll try it!

    I picked up a pack from A1di the other day, "ready for Easter" so to speak, so I knew I had SOMETHING to eat.... only I've not got round to them, and they're BB today, so I just toasted two and tossed the other four into the freezer.

    I can't eat "meals" as I find them overwhelming and I fall asleep after eating, so I do have to "graze". When you get older, too, your appetite wanes - and being small the quantities I need to make are often just not worth "making a meal" for. Ready meals hit the occasional spot to mix things up a bit, never costing more than £1 though. Just something that I buy, reheat, eat and it's done and I don't have leftovers to pop away and then get round to using up.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-04-2017 at 8:34 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th Apr 17, 8:44 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Appetite waning as one gets older.....

    Now there's a thought. Can't say it's happened to me yet as far as I can see.....

    I could do with it happening mind you...

    Still trying to be more "aware" when I eat and ask myself after every mouthful if I'm sure that I want another mouthful and hoping the answer will be "No I don't...".
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 18th Apr 17, 8:56 PM
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    greenbee
    Life IMHO is too short to deprive myself of sauce just because I'm CFO
    Originally posted by caronc
    Agreed. And that goes for other things.

    I do have a LOT of freezer space, but am currently using approx 1.5 drawers of my inside freezer. The rest are currently empty as I'm running down stocks prior to the kitchen being redone. However, that's enough space (if well organised) for me to have frozen peas, sweetcorn, edamame, avocado, smoothie fruit, a piece of steak, a piece of chicken, a pheasant, a couple of pieces of smoked haddock, some hm chick stock, half a can of coconut milk (the other half used for curry a couple of weeks ago), some bulk-cooked and frozen (in portions) chickpeas, rice, bulghar wheat, spelt and lentils, some hm lentil soup and a couple of UFO hm ready meals that appear to have black-eyed beans in.

    I either cook in single portions, or make 'family' recipes as batch cooking. I get a veg box (which sometimes includes eggs if I haven't been given any, milk if I need it, and yogurt if I've had to have a break from making it) on Thursdays. I also get a recipe box every couple of weeks with 3 x 2 portion meals. So this week's menu plan has been:

    Monday b'fast: porridge & fruit; lunch: cheese and salad sandwich (I was travelling); supper: couscous with stir-fried veg, salad (left over from weekend) and cold lamb
    Tuesday b'fast: rice crispies and milk; lunch: salad, chickpeas, couscous & lamb; supper: chicken noodle soup (defrosted chicken stock with some chopped cooked chicken leg, a finely chopped chilli, a nest of wholewheat noodles and half a spring cabbage shredded into it)
    Wednesday b'fast: porridge (rice milk, oatmeal, chopped figs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds); lunch: goats cheese salad with bulghar wheat, chickpeas, hm coleslaw, avocado; supper: salmon baked with harissa, rice, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots and courgette.
    Thursday b'fast: smoothie; lunch: courgette salad with parmesan and sunflower seeds; supper: chicken curry with rice (have a friend over - will make enough for 2 and that's it) and something interesting from the veg box.
    Friday b'fast: pain au raisin (from freezer); lunch: chicken with spelt, radishes, tomatoes, carrot & beetroot salad; supper: aubergine curry, rice, tzatziki, steamed green veg.
    Saturday b'fast: roast veg (broccoli, pepper, tomato, mushrooms, asparagus if there is some) with a poached egg & smoothie; lunch; tuna, olive and pasta salad; supper: moussaka
    Sunday b'fast: yogurt & granola; lunch: quinoa superfood salad; supper: pasta with bacon and tomato.

    Careful shopping and planning, and use of the freezer (and I'm working on limited freezer space at the moment, plus making myself use stuff up) means CFO doesn't have to be about boring meals. And bear in mind I don't live near shops and work full time from home so don't pass shops to get to and from work. I manage with a weekly veg delivery (which means I don't always know what I'm getting), a recipe box (not cheap, but helps with creativity and avoids waste - this is where most of my meat/fish is sourced) and the odd bulk delivery when I need more loo paper...

    I do keep stock of ingredients, particularly spice, pulses, grains and tins, but these are being run down, which will limit my options somewhat as stuff is used up. However, so far I seem to be doing OK
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th Apr 17, 9:28 PM
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    caronc
    Agreed. And that goes for other things.

    I do have a LOT of freezer space, but am currently using approx 1.5 drawers of my inside freezer. The rest are currently empty as I'm running down stocks prior to the kitchen being redone. However, that's enough space (if well organised) for me to have frozen peas, sweetcorn, edamame, avocado, smoothie fruit, a piece of steak, a piece of chicken, a pheasant, a couple of pieces of smoked haddock, some hm chick stock, half a can of coconut milk (the other half used for curry a couple of weeks ago), some bulk-cooked and frozen (in portions) chickpeas, rice, bulghar wheat, spelt and lentils, some hm lentil soup and a couple of UFO hm ready meals that appear to have black-eyed beans in.

    I either cook in single portions, or make 'family' recipes as batch cooking. I get a veg box (which sometimes includes eggs if I haven't been given any, milk if I need it, and yogurt if I've had to have a break from making it) on Thursdays. I also get a recipe box every couple of weeks with 3 x 2 portion meals. So this week's menu plan has been:

    Monday b'fast: porridge & fruit; lunch: cheese and salad sandwich (I was travelling); supper: couscous with stir-fried veg, salad (left over from weekend) and cold lamb
    Tuesday b'fast: rice crispies and milk; lunch: salad, chickpeas, couscous & lamb; supper: chicken noodle soup (defrosted chicken stock with some chopped cooked chicken leg, a finely chopped chilli, a nest of wholewheat noodles and half a spring cabbage shredded into it)
    Wednesday b'fast: porridge (rice milk, oatmeal, chopped figs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds); lunch: goats cheese salad with bulghar wheat, chickpeas, hm coleslaw, avocado; supper: salmon baked with harissa, rice, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots and courgette.
    Thursday b'fast: smoothie; lunch: courgette salad with parmesan and sunflower seeds; supper: chicken curry with rice (have a friend over - will make enough for 2 and that's it) and something interesting from the veg box.
    Friday b'fast: pain au raisin (from freezer); lunch: chicken with spelt, radishes, tomatoes, carrot & beetroot salad; supper: aubergine curry, rice, tzatziki, steamed green veg.
    Saturday b'fast: roast veg (broccoli, pepper, tomato, mushrooms, asparagus if there is some) with a poached egg & smoothie; lunch; tuna, olive and pasta salad; supper: moussaka
    Sunday b'fast: yogurt & granola; lunch: quinoa superfood salad; supper: pasta with bacon and tomato.

    Careful shopping and planning, and use of the freezer (and I'm working on limited freezer space at the moment, plus making myself use stuff up) means CFO doesn't have to be about boring meals. And bear in mind I don't live near shops and work full time from home so don't pass shops to get to and from work. I manage with a weekly veg delivery (which means I don't always know what I'm getting), a recipe box (not cheap, but helps with creativity and avoids waste - this is where most of my meat/fish is sourced) and the odd bulk delivery when I need more loo paper...

    I do keep stock of ingredients, particularly spice, pulses, grains and tins, but these are being run down, which will limit my options somewhat as stuff is used up. However, so far I seem to be doing OK
    Originally posted by greenbee
    You seem to have found a way that works for you and your budget , I love that folk have so many ways of addressing CFO all are valid and helping me to make the transition from family cooking
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
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