Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 17, 7:32 PM
    • 2,078Posts
    • 14,089Thanks
    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?



    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 165
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Apr 17, 7:31 PM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I used 4 of the spuds I got on the cheap at Ald1 the other week ... and steamed them.

    I opened a can of tuna (one of a stack) I've had since probably 2015 ... and I added in almost all of the chopped onions I've got ... and a big squirt of my newly purchased bottle of salad cream and, just because I can, I tossed a liberal amount of cayenne on ... and mixed it all together.

    Spuds steamed, I dolloped the tuna mix on top .... and ate the lot with a big spoon on the sofa
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 19th Apr 17, 7:32 PM
    • 785 Posts
    • 6,335 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    Good evening everyone,
    Today has been a good and productive day. I managed to go up to town and collect a click and collect order from Robert Dyas and one from Marks and Spencer. I had been in to collect both of them last week but the queues were so long I didn't wait. Getting up there when they open at 8.30am is always a good move.


    I bought a couple of bits of food that I needed while I was there, and had a look at some YS bits and pieces in M&S but there was nothing there what I needed or wanted, and they didn't have the one thing I did want (a large loaf of medium sliced wholemeal bread). They didn't have any yesterday either. I like theirs as I find it less sweet than a lot of other brands.


    I then went home for breakfast, a poached egg on a muffin which I really enjoyed. I had got a few previously frozen portions of diced turkey breast out of the freezer last night to make goulash with, so I prepared that and put it in one slow cooker, and then prepared coq au vin with some some chicken breasts that I had also defrosted overnight. So I now have 4 portions of turkey goulash in the freezer and 4 portions of coq au vin in the freezer for days that I fancy something home cooked but don't have the energy to cook.


    While digging around in the freezer yesterday evening I found a couple of home made sausage rolls that were left over from Christmas so I had those with a bit of salad for lunch, and some turkey goulash with steamed veg has just been my dinner this evening.


    I need to go through the fridge this evening to see what veg and salad bits there are lurking that I need to use use up and then do a shopping list for anymore fresh bits that I need to get for the weekend.


    Have a good evening everyone.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 19th Apr 17, 9:13 PM
    • 2,078 Posts
    • 14,089 Thanks
    caronc
    I don't use Gousto, I get mine elsewhere and the pricing is lower, however I can justify that kind of money on that kind of food. And so, apparently can plenty of other people as there are a number of these services and they've all been in business for a while now.

    I'm not going to apologise for having a well-paid job. I worked hard for it. And I still work hard, hence not having time to think, plan or shop. It certainly beats a diet of toast or biscuits which is what can happen if I'm not careful when I'm busy. Between the travel and the long office hours when I am actually at home (I started at 6.30 this morning, had 15 minutes for lunch, have about 45 minutes now to cook and eat, and then have meetings and deadlines to deal with so expect to finish around 10 or 11 if I'm lucky), shopping, cooking and eating can end up being neglected.

    Perhaps you should be a little less judgmental and try to understand that everyone has different lifestyles. They're very clearly demonstrated by the many posters on this thread, all of whom have come to CFO from different perspectives and like different foods (did you see PN's review of my menu )
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Absolutely you need to do what works best for you
    I used 4 of the spuds I got on the cheap at Ald1 the other week ... and steamed them.

    I opened a can of tuna (one of a stack) I've had since probably 2015 ... and I added in almost all of the chopped onions I've got ... and a big squirt of my newly purchased bottle of salad cream and, just because I can, I tossed a liberal amount of cayenne on ... and mixed it all together.

    Spuds steamed, I dolloped the tuna mix on top .... and ate the lot with a big spoon on the sofa
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I know what you mean about a stack of tins of tuna - not my "go to" in the tinned fish dept but a hangover from children at home
    Good evening everyone,
    Today has been a good and productive day. I managed to go up to town and collect a click and collect order from Robert Dyas and one from Marks and Spencer. I had been in to collect both of them last week but the queues were so long I didn't wait. Getting up there when they open at 8.30am is always a good move.


    I bought a couple of bits of food that I needed while I was there, and had a look at some YS bits and pieces in M&S but there was nothing there what I needed or wanted, and they didn't have the one thing I did want (a large loaf of medium sliced wholemeal bread). They didn't have any yesterday either. I like theirs as I find it less sweet than a lot of other brands.


    I then went home for breakfast, a poached egg on a muffin which I really enjoyed. I had got a few previously frozen portions of diced turkey breast out of the freezer last night to make goulash with, so I prepared that and put it in one slow cooker, and then prepared coq au vin with some some chicken breasts that I had also defrosted overnight. So I now have 4 portions of turkey goulash in the freezer and 4 portions of coq au vin in the freezer for days that I fancy something home cooked but don't have the energy to cook.


    While digging around in the freezer yesterday evening I found a couple of home made sausage rolls that were left over from Christmas so I had those with a bit of salad for lunch, and some turkey goulash with steamed veg has just been my dinner this evening.


    I need to go through the fridge this evening to see what veg and salad bits there are lurking that I need to use use up and then do a shopping list for anymore fresh bits that I need to get for the weekend.


    Have a good evening everyone.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Sounds like a productive day on the food front

    Dinner plans changed a wee bit as a realised I had green beans (yum) to use up and I hit CBA mode re making onion gravy so granules it was was still blooming tasty
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 19th Apr 17, 9:42 PM
    • 12,019 Posts
    • 214,119 Thanks
    greenbee
    Absolutely you need to do what works best for you
    Originally posted by caronc
    I really, really want to go to bed... but did manage to have salmon with harissa, purple sprouting broccoli, rice and mashed BNS (the last two both from the freezer).

    I know what you mean about a stack of tins of tuna - not my "go to" in the tinned fish dept but a hangover from children at home
    Originally posted by caronc
    I'm down to one tin now. I like the fact that it can sit there forever, just waiting till you need it.

    Dinner plans changed a wee bit as a realised I had green beans (yum) to use up and I hit CBA mode re making onion gravy so granules it was was still blooming tasty
    Originally posted by caronc
    That's the important thing - being able to still eat reasonably well when you CBA and there is no one else to do it for you or for you to feel it worth making the effort for.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Apr 17, 10:17 PM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Earlier I knew I'd fancy something sweet a bit later ... so I dug out the final 2 crumpets from the freezer and sat them on the worktop alongside the chocolate spread, so I'd not forget

    Those crumpets have lived in the freezer for a shorter time than any previously frozen crumpets! Wolfed down they were....

    A bit later, I fancied that "something sweet", so went and toasted the crumpets and smeared a little chocolate spread on. Hit the spot! It's some supermarket's own brand, basics level, chocolate spread... not sure whose without looking ... but it's nice.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 19th Apr 17, 10:35 PM
    • 785 Posts
    • 6,335 Thanks
    Hollyharvey

    A bit later, I fancied that "something sweet", so went and toasted the crumpets and smeared a little chocolate spread on. Hit the spot! It's some supermarket's own brand, basics level, chocolate spread... not sure whose without looking ... but it's nice.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    I haven't had any chocolate spread for years, I think I will pick up a jar for a change. I tend to always have raspberry or strawberry jam or honey.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 19th Apr 17, 10:42 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 10,297 Thanks
    karcher
    I've never liked chocolate spread...tried it years and years ago and it was as yuk as cooking chocolate so never had it again.

    As for crumpet toppings..one is just drowned in butter whilst still warm, the other one, having cooled a little whilst waiting to be dressed, is covered in butter and thin cut orange marmalade.

    Then rinse and repeat because 2 crumpets are never enough!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th Apr 17, 10:44 PM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I've never liked chocolate spread...tried it years and years ago and it was as yuk as cooking chocolate so never had it again.
    Originally posted by karcher
    I can understand that - I'd seen it/heard of it, but assumed it'd be nasty. I ended up randomly buying a jar at L1dl... and quite liking it, although it was a bit "sludgy/thick" for me - and the next jar I got was a cheapo one and it's nicer/smoother. Maybe slide a 40p jar into your basket next time you're at a supermarket that flogs a cheap 40p one .... and give it a "newly curious now" run round the block for taste

    When my first jar ran out it still had bits stuck to the sides of the jar, so I weighed out a portion of hot chocolate, half filled the jar with boiling water and gave it all a shake around, then poured it into the mug, it gave my hot chocolate an extra chocolatey "kick" "for free" so to speak.


    Then rinse and repeat because 2 crumpets are never enough!
    Originally posted by karcher
    I can honestly say I've never had more than 2 at a sitting! I'll cook 1 or 2... 1 is a snack, 2 is a meal.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-04-2017 at 10:48 PM.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 19th Apr 17, 10:55 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 10,297 Thanks
    karcher

    I can honestly say I've never had more than 2 at a sitting! I'll cook 1 or 2... 1 is a snack, 2 is a meal.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    In my defence I may leave 30 minutes between courses


    I could easily polish off a whole pack of crumpets during the course of a day..I find them very morish
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 19th Apr 17, 11:23 PM
    • 785 Posts
    • 6,335 Thanks
    Hollyharvey

    I could easily polish off a whole pack of crumpets during the course of a day..I find them very morish
    Originally posted by karcher

    So could I, the same with a packet of English muffins. I really like crumpets and muffins with so much butter that it soaks through the bottom of them. One of my favourite treats.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 19th Apr 17, 11:48 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 10,297 Thanks
    karcher
    So could I, the same with a packet of English muffins. I really like crumpets and muffins with so much butter that it soaks through the bottom of them. One of my favourite treats.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Hmmm I'm getting hungry now! Not a huge fan of muffins but I wouldn't turn one down if it was soaked in butter
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 20th Apr 17, 8:39 AM
    • 13,181 Posts
    • 36,074 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    A hunk of nice and freshly-made bread here for me along those lines - I'm thinking something like sourdough and multi-grain.

    It's surprising just how difficult it is still to buy good bread - though I suppose difficult is one step up from the way it was a few years ago (ie utterly impossible).

    That reminds me - the Tassajara Bread Book (of which I have had a copy for many years). Must look it out - as the nicest bread I've ever had was a recipe I made myself from there. It did take 2 kneadings and quite some hours as I recall.....
    ploughing my own furrow...

    No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 20th Apr 17, 8:49 AM
    • 5,392 Posts
    • 6,258 Thanks
    Farway
    Dinner plans changed a wee bit as a realised I had green beans (yum) to use up and I hit CBA mode re making onion gravy so granules it was was still blooming tasty
    Originally posted by caronc
    Blimey, call me lazy but I have never made gravy from anything but granules, is it me?

    In my defence my mum jsut used 1 Oxo cube & hot water for gravy, so that was what I thought gravy was until I joind the Navy

    But granules work, as does instant custard
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 20th Apr 17, 10:22 AM
    • 4,558 Posts
    • 44,800 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    Blimey, call me lazy but I have never made gravy from anything but granules, is it me?

    In my defence my mum jsut used 1 Oxo cube & hot water for gravy, so that was what I thought gravy was until I joind the Navy

    But granules work, as does instant custard
    Originally posted by Farway
    Gosh, you were lucky, in some respects. My mum was Estonian and a whiz with her native recipes but gravy was one thing she didn't do well, along with most meat. Her gravy was basically white sauce made with water and coloured with gravy browning. She would cook meat to death in this. All meat had to be very well done. Chops and liver were always boiled in gravy.
    I had long left home before I realised how meat should taste and that it could taste good. For the last thirty-something years I have had my lamb very pink and my steaks blue, I love steak tartare and carpaccio of beef.

    Not wishing to follow my Mum's example, until gravy granules were invented, Oxo in hot water did for me as well, ironically. Now it's granules all the way. I don't bother with deglazing the roasting pan, etc - I know, but it suits me.

    I have never used instant custard though. I have used custard powder to make a sweet and sour sauce when I'd run out of cornflour, however. Worked a treat and nobody knew.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 20th Apr 17, 11:54 AM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I cooked up 6 more of the A1d1 spuds - just four left in the green bag now, but I didn't eat all six, so I've got a pot of cold potatoes in the fridge.

    Topped with a hot/crunchy tuna topping with a whole chilli I'd frozen and some of the red onions I'd sliced/frozen after Xmas and a bit shake of cayenne.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 20th Apr 17, 5:36 PM
    • 10,884 Posts
    • 58,906 Thanks
    kittie
    That's the important thing - being able to still eat reasonably well when you CBA and there is no one else to do it for you or for you to feel it worth making the effort for.
    Originally posted by greenbee
    thats summed it up for me. We all know about at least five a day, saturated fats etc etc but actually living along those lines isn`t easy. Today I used up 2 sausages one slice of black pudding one tomato and one egg, at lunchtime. Making freezer space

    Later I felt like a rabbit munching on greens. I had a good amount of salad leaves all ready but did not fancy them at all in a meal, so at 4 I ate every last one of them. They felt endless and I didn`t like the peppery one but at least I got them down. A few minutes ago I had a pud, meringue, frozen strawberries (defrosted) and a dollop of my ice cream. Two meringues left. I`ll probably have a piece of sd soon with peanut butter and that will be the end of eating today

    Tomorrow I`ll have a rice/tofu/veg meal set on a timer for evening as I`ll be out all day, then the next day will be the last of my hm ready meals, a nice mutton casserole. I don`t know what I would do without my freezer tbh or my rice cooker

    Its ended up a busy but satisfying day. I think I deserve a glass of wine in a mo, my 4 year old hm elderberry. I have given wine making up, its a shame but thats life, nevertheless I can buy good organic wine in the county, just bought a bottle of tayberry which I will leave for a while to mature
    Last edited by kittie; 20-04-2017 at 5:39 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 20th Apr 17, 6:07 PM
    • 2,078 Posts
    • 14,089 Thanks
    caronc
    Good evening everyone,

    I feel as though I've spent most of today trying (so far unsuccessfully) resolve a banking issue (the bank's error) for a voluntary group I support talk about still eventually they realised I was not going to be fobbed off and it's been escalated

    Crumpets, muffins, scones, bread love them all much prefer to sweet cakes

    Farway - I do mainly use gravy granules unless having a roast unless I'm making onion gravy where I prefer the real mccoy, that said if I've no frozen beef stock I'll happily use a cube for the stock element

    Foodwise I had toast and cottage cheese for breakfast, chicken, pickles, salad and crackers for lunch and I've just had a pear. Pasta I think tonight either with a portion of ragu from the freezer or a creamy mushroom and spinach I'll decide in a bit
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 20th Apr 17, 6:25 PM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I went out on an errand ....you know how this will end ....

    I'd paid £1 to park for 2 hours so I was DETERMINED to get my 2 hours' worth - and wandered aimlessly around town and I ventured into Waitrose - picked up a basket, but I wasn't buying ... I just wanted to see "how the other half live". It didn't look that different/exciting ... just the price tags were a lot bigger

    Left there with nothing.

    Then I popped into £land for something specific, that they were out of stock of - so I left with a bag of my favourite sweeties.

    Into A1d1 ... just to see if they had any bread rolls reduced - well, they didn't, but they did have some 30% off muffins and crumpets (both best by today), so I had those anyway, for the freezer. Looked in the ready meals section for reductions, nothing - but then spotted they have a "new" Chinese chicken curry/rice, so I thought I'd try it - you never know, it might be good .... and a pack of 3 chocolate trifles (unusual purchase for me, but I was in gung ho mode by then).

    Bought a loaf of bread and 10 eggs and a pint of milk - not sure why I bought the milk, now I'll have to get through it! But I did pick the longest-date one, some on the shelf said 23 April, but the one I picked was 29 April. I figured over 9 days I stand a chance of using it up.

    I didn't intend to have the chicken curry for tea - I'd already planned to use up more of the cocktail sausages in the fridge, the final 1/3rd of a can of beans and 3 spuds from this morning's 'cooking'. I put the ready meal in the fridge, shut the door, put the crumpets in the freezer, opened the fridge door, grabbed the curry, pierced it, chucked it into the microwave and got it going, walked away and thought DOH ... that was tomorrow's dinner, I was supposed to have the sausages/spuds/beans.

    Oh well .....

    If you see those curries .... don't bother. Rice bland/disappointing and small portion; curry sauce pleasant/passable; chicken was a bit 'nasty' - no gristle, but it had a strange texture that made you think you were about to discover gristle in the next mouthful. I won't bother again, I can make better/cheaper myself.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 20th Apr 17, 8:31 PM
    • 2,078 Posts
    • 14,089 Thanks
    caronc
    PN - sounds as though it was "reformed" chicken pieces which IMHO have a really odd texture

    I ended up with a "use it up" pasta concoction of some wrinkly mushrooms, chopped green beans, frozen spinach and garlic cooked in a knob of butter with a splash of cream, a ladle of the pasta water and lots of pepper served over spaghetti with some grated parmesan. It was lovely though one of these put togethers that you never quite manage to replicate
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 20th Apr 17, 9:47 PM
    • 59,645 Posts
    • 348,518 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    PN - sounds as though it was "reformed" chicken pieces which IMHO have a really odd texture
    Originally posted by caronc
    Yes, I think they're "too dense", so aren't a pleasant bite.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,275Posts Today

10,701Users online

Martin's Twitter