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  • FIRST POST
    • 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?



    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 166
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 20th Apr 17, 10:00 PM
    • 5,329 Posts
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    Tiddlywinks
    You lot.... I've had a craving for crumpets for days now from reading all your posts. Bought some today and they're all gone already.

    Brunch, lunch and then dinner... now I'll have to go out tomorrow to get some more for the weekend. The power of suggestion eh?

    CaronC - I am a queen of gadgets but I bought something really useful recently for prepping single portion pasta.

    I did used to use a microwave steamer to cook pasta but then a friend bought me a Joseph Joseph container after I burnt myself juggling the steamer.

    This is brilliant because you just tip it up and it drains and is much safer for me on the co-ordination front.

    Joseph Joseph Pasta
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 20th Apr 17, 10:18 PM
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    PasturesNew
    You lot.... I've had a craving for crumpets for days now from reading all your posts. Bought some today and they're all gone already.

    Brunch, lunch and then dinner... now I'll have to go out tomorrow to get some more for the weekend. The power of suggestion eh?
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    They are one of the awesome things about CFO ....crumpets - and you never buy them and find only an empty wrapper left in the bin by somebody who scoffed them before you

    They're the secret ingredient key to successful CFO and getting through the days with little awesome rounds of goodness.

    .... prepping single portion pasta.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    Er...it needs prepping? I just tip out, by eye, what I fancy ... what looks right.

    I did used to use a microwave steamer to cook pasta but then a friend bought me a Joseph Joseph container after I burnt myself juggling the steamer.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    You know those frozen meals, cheap in supermarkets in deep/long white plastic containers - usually rice/vegetable based ready meals .... I use one of those .... just cover the pasta with boiling water .... and keep checking every 2-3 minutes and topping up water a little at a time as required.

    It just needs high sides really, to prevent the bubbling goo spilling over.

    I keep a collection of microwave meal containers, so I've always got one "just the right size".

    Although, out of curiosity, I did buy something like your new gadget just the other week. Brand new/unused, in a car boot, for £1.
    This one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Pressure-Cookers/Fasta-Pasta-Microwave-Biphenol-Free-white/B008VDAQNY

    But it's too big for my nuker turntable by the tiniest amount... too big to turn round. So it's now relegated to my "box of stuff that might be useful at some point in the remaining 10-15 years of my life, so I'll hold onto it, but keep it in a box upstairs so it's not cluttering up the cupboards"

    I compared specs and yours/mine both say they're 30cm long.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 20-04-2017 at 10:20 PM.
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 20th Apr 17, 10:38 PM
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    Tiddlywinks
    For me it's not the cooking of the pasta but the draining that is dodgy sometimes if my hands are playing up. Hence the easy straining gadget.

    But it's too big for my nuker turntable by the tiniest amount... too big to turn round. So it's now relegated to my "box of stuff that might be useful at some point in the remaining 10-15 years of my life, so I'll hold onto it, but keep it in a box upstairs so it's not cluttering up the cupboards"
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Use it for making noodles or couscous - they don't need much 'cooking'.... just put them in, cover with boiling water and put the lid on to keep the steam in.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 12:46 AM
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    PasturesNew
    For me it's not the cooking of the pasta but the draining that is dodgy sometimes if my hands are playing up. Hence the easy straining gadget.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    Ah, that bit. I must say that in my "perfect kitchen" the microwave would sit in a corner as I do fumble getting things out so close to the edge of the worktop.... I'm always one dinner away from needing new slippers.

    Use it for making noodles or couscous - they don't need much 'cooking'.... just put them in, cover with boiling water and put the lid on to keep the steam in.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    I have a multitude of other containers I do those in. Lidded pots and open jugs aplenty - and I'd prefer to have the kitchen cupboard not bunged to the rafters than keep something hanging around "just in case I made XYZ".. I do dislike couscous.... so unsatisfying
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 5:30 PM
    • 2,591 Posts
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    caronc
    Evening everyone
    Goodness a wee quiet thread today!

    Tiddliewinks and PN thanks for the suggestions re pasta cooker/drainers. I've never cooked pasta in the microwwave though mine is quite wee so I'm not sure they would fit. My solution to pasta or veg draining to avoid losing my balance and scalding myself is to put a colander in a deep bowl then use a slotted spoon or tongs to lift the items from the pan to the colander. It works well for me

    I'm not CFO tonight as my son is back up the road. I'm making vension burgers (from a batch I made last year) with brioche buns and HM wedges so although for 2 it is a meal I make for myself. Lunch was a tasty egg, tomatato and salad cream in a chunk of baguette

    Tomorrow I'm hoping to be manhandled assisted to go to the new local food market. It started last month and seems to have a fab fish stall that I'm determined to visit if nothing else
    Last edited by caronc; 21-04-2017 at 5:55 PM.
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 21st Apr 17, 5:49 PM
    • 4,558 Posts
    • 44,891 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    Evening everyone
    Goodness a wee quite thread today!

    Tiddliewinks and PN thanks for the suggestions re pasta cooker/drainers. I've never cooked pasta in the microwwave though mine is quite wee so I'm not sure they would fit. My solution to pasta or veg draining to avoid losing my balance and scalding myself is to put a colander in a deep bowl then use a slotted spoon or tongs to lift the items from the pan to the colander. It works well for me
    Originally posted by caronc
    I have a Betterware microwave pressure cooker that fits in a 20 litre microwave - just!
    Slotted spoons are okay but they don't hold much.

    I really recommend this mesh ladle, the one I bought last year from Amazon isn't available now but this is identical and a similar low price.
    Mine took a little while to arrive from China but it was worth the wait. I used to have a far more expensive one from Lakeland that chipped, flaked and rusted...
    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.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 21st Apr 17, 5:57 PM
    • 4,947 Posts
    • 45,350 Thanks
    meg72
    Back home after a lovely week in Southport we went for various trips out including a day at Buttermere Lake. Absolutely gorgeous had no idea
    the North West had such beautiful scenery as not been that far up before.

    Downside is that I have brought so many left overs back I will be living on it for a week at least.
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 5:58 PM
    • 2,591 Posts
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    caronc
    I have a Betterware microwave pressure cooker that fits in a 20 litre microwave - just!
    Slotted spoons are okay but they don't hold much.

    I really recommend this mesh ladle, the one I bought last year from Amazon isn't available now but this is identical and a similar low price.
    Mine took a little while to arrive from China but it was worth the wait. I used to have a far more expensive one from Lakeland that chipped, flaked and rusted...
    Originally posted by mcculloch29
    Thanks for that I've a wee mesh ladle I got at a Chinese Supermarket just the trick for lifting eggs out of boiling water at that price I've nothing to lose by ordering one
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 6:03 PM
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    caronc
    Mesh ladle ordered

    Meg sounds like a lovely day out - hopefully you can freeze some of the leftovers so they don't become a chore to use up
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • karcher
    • By karcher 21st Apr 17, 6:30 PM
    • 1,373 Posts
    • 11,563 Thanks
    karcher
    In line with my day off, trying to relax, not worry and look after 'me' day (because no !!!!!! else will!), I am having a picky bits dinner with wine.

    I have crackers, blue cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, some sour cream and chive dip, peanuts and I know there is a pack of chorizo in the freezer which I may defrost to add to the mix.

    I have some strong cheddar in the freezer too which I would liberate if I had an Lime Pickle because one of my fave snacks is a cracker, slice of mature cheddar and a liberal blob of hot and spicy lime pickle.

    ETA: failing on the not worrying front and whilst a hug from a another would be nice, as a oneski, I've become conditioned to cope on my own and shy away from company, especially at times like this
    Last edited by karcher; 21-04-2017 at 7:07 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 6:41 PM
    • 2,591 Posts
    • 16,968 Thanks
    caronc
    In line with my day off, trying to relax, not worry and look after 'me' day (because no !!!!!! else will!), I am having a picky bits dinner with wine.

    I have crackers, blue cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, some sour onion and chive dip, peanuts and I know there is a pack of chorizo in the freezer which I may defrost to add to the mix.

    I have some strong cheddar in the freezer too which I would liberate if I had an Lime Pickle because one of my fave snacks is a cracker, slice of mature cheddar and a liberal blob of hot and spicy lime pickle.

    ETA: failing on the not worrying front and whilst a hug from a another would be nice, as a oneski, I've become conditioned to cope on my own and shy away from company, especially at times like this
    Originally posted by karcher
    Have a virtual hug

    I love "picky bits" meals - a little bit of lots of things you fancy can never be a bad thing
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • karcher
    • By karcher 21st Apr 17, 7:06 PM
    • 1,373 Posts
    • 11,563 Thanks
    karcher
    Have a virtual hug

    I love "picky bits" meals - a little bit of lots of things you fancy can never be a bad thing
    Originally posted by caronc
    Thanks caron
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 7:42 PM
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    PasturesNew
    On the subject of straining pasta, I have a simple plastic handheld strainer and would hold a dish in one hand and that in the other and tip it .... or I've got a bigger collander that stands on its own and I'd hold that over the sink and tip stuff into it.

    I did, the other week, purchase a collander that looks useful at £land - it's a collander that sits inside a bowl ... in effect giving a stand alone strainer that doesn't have to be held over the sink. It's two separate parts that dovetail together.

    It's not on their website - and it's not on Google images... but if you ignore the fact this one is a goose ... it's not dissimilar to this arrangement:
    https://s17.postimg.org/nwsobf6gf/Collander.jpg

    Although I bought it thinking "that'll be handy ... for something ... one day" - I am now actually using it for an entirely different job. When I wash out tins/trays for recycling I tend to leave them in the "half" part of the 1.5 sink - but it's hard for them to dry there, so then I prop them up - and you can end up with items for recycling that aren't quite dry yet lying around in 2-3 spots. Now I pop them into the strainer to drip dry and that can be kept anywhere.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 7:46 PM
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    caronc
    PN- that's simliar to the set up I use though mine is a separately bought colander and bowl!

    PS- Why do you dry your recycling I just wash/rinse out and pop in the recycling wheelie bin?
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 7:47 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Today I've had:

    Lunch: Sausages, potatoes, baked beans
    Random Scoff: Tomato sandwich (2 slices/1 tomato)
    Random Scoff: Tomato sandwich (2 slices/1 tomato)
    Random Scoff: 2 'weetabix', milk, sugar
    Random Scoff: Final 8 chocolates from the 250g bag I bought just yesterday!
    Random Scoff: Tomato sandwich (2 slices/1 tomato)

    Well - that's the end of the pack of 6 salad tomatoes I bought last week! Just the rest of the cherry tomatoes to go. They were 71p for 6, so 12p each. Each sandwich is a budget-busting 17p max. I like to make them and store them in a plastic box so they get soggy ... it's a childhood thing... best made and squeezed into a sandwich box, then carried around in your bag for 3-4 hours in the hot sun for max effect. Mum used to make them for when we went swimming as it was an outdoor pool with a grassy area to sit.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 21-04-2017 at 9:04 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 7:48 PM
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    PasturesNew

    PS- Why do you dry your recycling I just wash/rinse out and pop in the recycling wheelie bin?
    Originally posted by caronc
    Because I only put the recycling bin out about 2x a year - I could go a whole year before it filled up .... so I like things to go in there absolutely dry else it'd fester.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 21st Apr 17, 8:01 PM
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    caronc
    Because I only put the recycling bin out about 2x a year - I could go a whole year before it filled up .... so I like things to go in there absolutely dry else it'd fester.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I knew there would be a reason, mine goes out every fortnight even if just part full so I don't need to worry about pongs. In my area if you don't put your recycling out regularly you get stiff letters reminding you to do so and the importance of recycling .......
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 21st Apr 17, 8:06 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I knew there would be a reason, mine goes out every fortnight even if just part full so I don't need to worry about pongs. In my area if you don't put your recycling out regularly you get stiff letters reminding you to do so and the importance of recycling .......
    Originally posted by caronc
    It's my first ever recycling bin - and after I moved in it took me over a year before I started using it - the tip's just up the road, so I'd take stuff there myself and pop it into the individual containers.

    Then I decided to start using the bin ...

    I am a low consumer of items. I do all the recycling possible, but I simply do not consume enough goods to make it worthwhile dragging it up the garden and through the gate, and back, once a fortnight.

    Right now, 2 weeks after the last collection, it's probably got 6 pieces of junk mail and 2 empty envelopes; 12 crushed/empty fizzy pop cans; 6 crushed/empty bean tins; 2-3 ready meal black containers and a couple of other random small pieces. It'd all fit easily into a small plastic supermarket carrier bag.

    For cardboards, I start with one loo roll insert, then the next 4-5 are folded in half and slid inside the first one, once it's full/tight I chuck that into the bin, so that's about one "filled loo roll inserts" a fortnight. For food packaging, I keep a reasonable sized box from a ready meal and all subsequent boxes are taken apart and folded to fit within the first box, until it's tightly bunged, then the whole lot goes into the bin, so probably one tightly filled ready-meal box of cardboard every 3 weeks.

    Over the course of a year I can fill the whole thing up - but I tend to put it out about 2x a year as I get fed up with seeing it filling up so slowly.

    For glassware, I have only put the container out once, it's a rectangular bucket thing - in it there were about 15 empty coffee jars, 6 empty food jars and one empty schloer bottle from Xmas Day.

    The regular bin is smaller and I do tend to put it out every fortnight - it contains usually one small swing top bin of "general rubbish". If I only put it out when full it'd go out about 3-4x a year.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 21-04-2017 at 9:09 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 21st Apr 17, 8:06 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 9,108 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    I am having a picky bits dinner with wine.

    I have crackers, blue cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, some sour cream and chive dip, peanuts and I know there is a pack of chorizo in the freezer which I may defrost to add to the mix.

    I have some strong cheddar in the freezer too which I would liberate if I had an Lime Pickle because one of my fave snacks is a cracker, slice of mature cheddar and a liberal blob of hot and spicy lime pickle.
    Originally posted by karcher

    I like picky bits every now and again. It is something I enjoy, not just because it is easy when CFO but because I think it makes a nice meal, especially when washed down with wine.


    I wouldn't want the lime pickle though. Much as I like limes, I have never been too fond of lime pickle.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 21st Apr 17, 8:13 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 9,108 Thanks
    Hollyharvey

    ETA: failing on the not worrying front and whilst a hug from a another would be nice, as a oneski, I've become conditioned to cope on my own and shy away from company, especially at times like this
    Originally posted by karcher

    I'm sorry that you are worrying so much and having such a difficult time of it at the moment. I know what you mean about a hug from another, but like you I have become conditioned to coping on my own.


    I have been having a few problems recently and I phoned my brother to ask him to come and see me. He said that he was going away for Easter, but that he would come over this weekend. I sent him a text earlier to ask him which day he was coming, and he had forgotten and made plans for the weekend, so back to dealing with everything myself.


    I hope that things start to improve for you soon.
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