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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?



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    Last edited by caronc; 17-07-2017 at 6:56 PM.
Page 195
    • Farway
    • By Farway 17th May 17, 3:31 PM
    • 5,371 Posts
    • 6,167 Thanks
    Farway
    Pouring with rain since around 10 this morning, so out went the gardening planned for this afternoon, but the garden did need the rain TBH so must not moan

    Nil breakfast, got up later than normal for no real reason except never woke up earlier, possibly due to dull and dank sky

    Pottered around Asda, slim YS pickings today, just punnet of strawberries, 45p, which I just know will be not as nice as they look & smell, but will go well with some honey drizzled on them, and could be the only fresh fruit / veg I will have today, so 1/10 there

    Lunch was going to be a healthy cheese & salad sarnie, but the wet weather just called out for a bacon & brown sauce buttie, so that is what it was. Now I have opened the bacon packet I now have 4 more rashers to use up, the curse of CFO. No prizes for guessing what the next two day's lunches will be

    Dinner will be a repeat of yesterday, cod fish cake, chips & beans. I added a splash of Lea & Perrin's in the beans, perked them up no end, one of the blessings about CFO, in space no one can hear you f@rt

    Not had baked beans for a while, really enjoyed them yesterday, perhaps next lot of stale crusts will be beans on toast time

    Actually the Lidl fish cakes are quite nice, I got them on offer at 90p but think even at normal price of over a quid they would be worthwhile, especially as oven cooked they can go on same tray as oven chips in same oven
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 17th May 17, 3:38 PM
    • 13,126 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Your comment had me thinking again Farway re the CFO and I'm sorta losing count of the number of couple/family type people who don't seem to get it as to just why I have such an enormous freezer.

    I've certainly had comments as to why on earth I could want such a big freezer "when there's only you" and you've encapsulated exactly why singles need a much bigger freezer than families if we can possibly find the room for it - as it does help a bit with the repetitive eating scenario we experience so much of.
    ploughing my own furrow...

    They have lessons in schools these days on resisting peer pressure
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 17th May 17, 3:46 PM
    • 12,009 Posts
    • 214,023 Thanks
    greenbee
    I made, cooked .... then ate that pud.

    So, instead of throwing out two black nar-ners.... I've eaten FOUR portions of pudding, containing 50-60 grams of sugar and 2-3 days of bread rations.

    It's not so smart is it..... the whole concept of "use it up" is flawed

    And I've still another 2 portions, uncooked, in the fridge
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    In future, why not peel the bananas and freeze them (whole or sliced, whichever is easier to squish into a corner of the freezer). That way, when you feel like icecream you can eat frozen banana
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 17th May 17, 5:30 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 6,134 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    Hello everyone,


    Breakfast this morning was some scrambled egg on toast, and then I had lunch out. It is really nice not to have to think about what I will have for dinner tonight .


    At the moment I don't feel at all hungry so I'm not sure whether or not I will want anything else to eat today. If I do I will probably just have a crumpet.


    Tomorrow I am being taken out for lunch again, so another day of good food, good company and getting to choose what I want without worrying out cooking it or leftovers


    I could get to like this
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 17th May 17, 5:47 PM
    • 3,357 Posts
    • 10,072 Thanks
    Doom_and_Gloom
    In future, why not peel the bananas and freeze them (whole or sliced, whichever is easier to squish into a corner of the freezer). That way, when you feel like icecream you can eat frozen banana
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Ah banana nice cream - blended while frizen. I have bananas bought reduced and shoved in the freezer just for that. You can add what you want to it; will try adding matcha to my next one as that is supposed to be good.

    Today

    B : nuti-brex with hazelnut milk.
    L : fruit and home made nakd bar.
    D : tofu vegetable curry with pasta.

    Have drunk coffee and water. Will likely have snacks. Not sure what they will be yet.

    Made two portions of pasta yesterday knowing I would have it with the curry. Not the usual thing to have with but works. Curry is from the freezer. Really working on trying to empty that draw of meals!
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 17th May 17, 6:24 PM
    • 25,522 Posts
    • 103,170 Thanks
    candygirl
    Left over pasta for tea tonight :-P
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th May 17, 6:39 PM
    • 10,856 Posts
    • 58,612 Thanks
    kittie
    yummy hm ratatouille with a few added cannelini beans and spelt pasta for tea. Was enjoyable, that stuff gets better after a day or so. Will have the same tomorrow and then portion and freeze the rest. Also a tub of rhubarb puree, frozen from the allotment with half a tub of brown cow yoghurt, very delicious

    The pork belly for lunch was from costco and was nicely flavoured but I baked rather than grilled to a crisp, hence there was plenty of fat on it, which I cut off. This only left a bit of meat, which was nice and moist but tbh it isn`t value for money. All in all I have enjoyed my food today.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th May 17, 6:39 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
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    caronc
    Good evening everyone,
    Well the promised rain never arrived though it's clouding over now so I probably could have got the weedkiller down.

    Lunch ended up being a quick sarnie as I ended up bushed from trying to sort out my raised staging to suit what I want to do. Should have listened to my body and stopped for a rest half way through......
    That means the LO sweet potato is still in the fridge if I don't want it tomorrow I'll freeze it.

    I know exactly what you mean about freezer space as a CFOer, I use as much space as I did when the boys were at home now I'm on my own. In part because I order meat 3-4 times a year but mainly because of the extra from CFO which before would have either all been eaten or there would be less to freeze. I used to wonder why my Dad went for a large freezer, smaller fridge combo and now I know. When my American style one dies (hopefully not for a while yet) I'll be doing the same as him. I would replace my large upright one like for like though
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • kittie
    • By kittie 17th May 17, 6:49 PM
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    • 58,612 Thanks
    kittie
    caronc I have had cabin fever all day, it has poured for 24 hours non-stop until an hour ago

    I have a tall fridge and a tall freezer side by side, with an overflow small chest freezer in the garage. This is empty until the allotment starts producing. My kitchen freezer is permanently full for all the reasons you say and also because of living miles from shops eg I have a whole drawer full of 500 ml containers of milk. I do put bread, scones and cakes in and they take another drawer. Meat and fish in another drawer, cooked food in a drawer and so on. I have labelled all the drawers and I am pretty good but sometimes things get stuffed anywhere there is a space. my neighbour cooks for two and she has only a small freezer but they take the car out almost every day
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 6:51 PM
    • 59,620 Posts
    • 348,223 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    In future, why not peel the bananas and freeze them (whole or sliced, whichever is easier to squish into a corner of the freezer). That way, when you feel like icecream you can eat frozen banana
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Because I did that 6 months ago ... and it's still in the freezer and I am simply revolted by it

    That one's quite black though. While they're not black I still believe I will eat them. I do try to only buy two at a time .... I should just buy one banana really.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 6:55 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Having scoffed that nar-ner pud ... I nodded off. I'd eaten too much and that happens.

    So, for tea, I was in the freezer.... and out came the bread rolls I froze last week, finished off one pack of fish fingers and opened the next (four fishy fingerz!!) ... and 50g of peas.

    I stared at that 1Kg bag of peas and realised I need to eat more peas as they need using up. I weighed out how many peas I was eating today and it was 50g. So a 1Kg bag of peas does for 20 meals that include peas.... that's months.

    Tea was: Fish fingers on a hand-crushed minty pea layer, topped with a squirt of ketchup and all inside a big bread roll.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 7:10 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I chose the wrong fridge/freezer really ... but next time I'll have more of a clue what I'll want. It was the first one I'd ever bought so didn't really know how I'd use one.

    My kitchen has limited cupboards too. I've four base unit cupboards (plates, bowls, silicone bakeware; dishes/loaf tins and lots of plastic takeaway boxes and some retained meal for one dishes that I use for a variety of uses; tins/jars/food; microwave dishes, collanders, slow cooker). I have two wall units: mugs and some sauces; all the dried goods/foods/pasta/custards etc).

    My fridge is too large and mostly unused, so I use the top shelf to store a big collection of lock-n-lock style boxes and empty margarine tubs (kept "in case") that I often use to shape portions of slow cooker food for the freezer.

    My 2nd shelf down I've set at just 2" high - that's a slot if I buy a pizza or a pie in the main and is mostly empty.

    Bottom shelf benefits from the shelf above being just 2" high and so is large enough to hold bottles of squash - I also keep sauce bottles there, margarine and "most food".

    The two salad drawers are usually just for storage of another couple of microwave cooking bowls and a stockpile (1-2 packs) of cheddar.

    So, mostly, my fridge only contains: a tub of margarine, a block of cheese, a bottle of squash drink, a bottle of ketchup.

    I could do with a smaller fridge, a larger freezer part .... and a decent double-width set of pan drawers for storing everything else.

    Narrow base units simply don't store things well, due to size constraints. Deep pan drawers are better... or one good old-fashioned pantry.

    My slow cooker takes up 1/8th of my kitchen storage space ... because having got a 3.5 litre slow cooker in there there's no room for anything else. That's just madness. Poor design.

    I'm building a little utility extension soon - and the washing machine's going out there and at that point I might have a jiggle with kitchen base units and swap some out for two deep pan drawers. I have a space for a dishwasher in the kitchen, I've no dishwasher, so that's wasted space. I'd go from two single base units to two double-width pan drawers.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 17-05-2017 at 7:12 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th May 17, 7:12 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 13,895 Thanks
    caronc
    caronc I have had cabin fever all day, it has poured for 24 hours non-stop until an hour ago

    I have a tall fridge and a tall freezer side by side, with an overflow small chest freezer in the garage. This is empty until the allotment starts producing. My kitchen freezer is permanently full for all the reasons you say and also because of living miles from shops eg I have a whole drawer full of 500 ml containers of milk. I do put bread, scones and cakes in and they take another drawer. Meat and fish in another drawer, cooked food in a drawer and so on. I have labelled all the drawers and I am pretty good but sometimes things get stuffed anywhere there is a space. my neighbour cooks for two and she has only a small freezer but they take the car out almost every day
    Originally posted by kittie
    I'm not miles from shops but frustratingly can't get to them nor manage inside them - so again another reason for large stocks. I have freezer inventories which I keep up to date though the same can't always be said for visiting offspring....

    Tea was: Fish fingers on a hand-crushed minty pea layer, topped with a squirt of ketchup and all inside a big bread roll.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Yum - though salad cream for me as I'm not keen on ketchup
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 7:15 PM
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    • 348,223 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    Yum - though salad cream for me as I'm not keen on ketchup
    Originally posted by caronc
    I often/usually have salad cream too, but because of the minty pea layer I thought ketchup was more in keeping.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th May 17, 7:17 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 13,895 Thanks
    caronc
    I chose the wrong fridge/freezer really ... but next time I'll have more of a clue what I'll want. It was the first one I'd ever bought so didn't really know how I'd use one.

    My kitchen has limited cupboards too. I've four base unit cupboards (plates, bowls, silicone bakeware; dishes/loaf tins and lots of plastic takeaway boxes and some retained meal for one dishes that I use for a variety of uses; tins/jars/food; microwave dishes, collanders, slow cooker). I have two wall units: mugs and some sauces; all the dried goods/foods/pasta/custards etc).

    My fridge is too large and mostly unused, so I use the top shelf to store a big collection of lock-n-lock style boxes and empty margarine tubs (kept "in case") that I often use to shape portions of slow cooker food for the freezer.

    My 2nd shelf down I've set at just 2" high - that's a slot if I buy a pizza or a pie in the main and is mostly empty.

    Bottom shelf benefits from the shelf above being just 2" high and so is large enough to hold bottles of squash - I also keep sauce bottles there, margarine and "most food".

    The two salad drawers are usually just for storage of another couple of microwave cooking bowls and a stockpile (1-2 packs) of cheddar.

    So, mostly, my fridge only contains: a tub of margarine, a block of cheese, a bottle of squash drink, a bottle of ketchup.

    I could do with a smaller fridge, a larger freezer part .... and a decent double-width set of pan drawers for storing everything else.

    Narrow base units simply don't store things well, due to size constraints. Deep pan drawers are better... or one good old-fashioned pantry.

    My slow cooker takes up 1/8th of my kitchen storage space ... because having got a 3.5 litre slow cooker in there there's no room for anything else. That's just madness. Poor design.

    I'm building a little utility extension soon - and the washing machine's going out there and at that point I might have a jiggle with kitchen base units and swap some out for two deep pan drawers. I have a space for a dishwasher in the kitchen, I've no dishwasher, so that's wasted space. I'd go from two single base units to two double-width pan drawers.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm fortunate in that when the ex and I split I had to replace the full kitchen (walls, floors, electrics and everthing) due to his botched DIY job. The "silver lining" was I could design my cupboards units round what I knew I needed. A few things don't work so well for me now I'm not so mobile/bendy but mainly it's grand. If/when I ever move I'd prefer to pay less for something that needs "doing" up despite the nightmare that is rather than try and work around someone's elses "ideal" kitchen...
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 7:23 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ....rather than try and work around someone's elses "ideal" kitchen...
    Originally posted by caronc
    Mine was a new build (not for me, I bought it 2nd hand) ... and they really just had a stock of kitchen units they shoved in I think. No "design" or thought, just "a bunch of kitchen units that fit the space".

    The sink has a double cupboard under it - the pipework under that, from 1½ bowls, washing machine feed (and possibly dishwasher feed) ... is HUGE ... meaning one half is almost unusable. The other half ... is inaccessible as it has no door and so anything you want to put into that Black Hole of Calcutta also has to be squidged past the enormous waste piping. It's bizarre and atrocious!

    I finally managed to at least get some things stored under the sink, so they were identifiable and retrievable, during a recent visit to poundland that had some plastic lidded containers that were a usable size. But that's it....

    I've always "been scared of" stuff under the sink in any case, so never comfortable using that space in any kitchen.... it's just nasty/creepy/scarey and I worry about accessibility if ever there's a sudden/unexpected problem to resolve.

    For worktops, there's a single piece in one corner - and a single piece in an opposite corner (kettle/toaster go there). Then there's a double piece where the nuker sits... and the mini oven sits beside that when I use it. There's another piece in corner 3 directly under the boiler (so unusable) and the final corner is beside the sink (so accumulates washing up waiting etc - and has no sockets anyway). So there's no real "working space" available.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 17-05-2017 at 7:28 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 17th May 17, 7:59 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 6,134 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    All this talk of fridges/freezers and kitchens combined with having just had to split a loaf of bread into individual slices to slot them into the available freezer space just had me outside in the outhouse measuring up to see if I could get a slim freezer in there. There is already a small chest freezer out there and I have a 50/50 fridge freezer in the kitchen.


    However, I can't even squeeze a 48cm one in. So that means that I am just going to have to stop buying anything at all never mind how good a price it is and stop batch cooking and making crumbles/cakes/muffins and only eat what I have in the freezers. To be fair, I'm hardly going to have a limited diet, there is plenty of choice.


    The only thing that will need to be replaced will be a loaf of bread because I never get through one before it goes stale but at the minute there is one and a half large loafs of wholemeal bread and two small sourdough ones and that isn't necessary.


    There is also a lot of berries and I added 3 large bags of rhubarb yesterday and three of blueberries last weekend. I do think I have got too much into the habit of walking up to the supermarkets to see what y/s stuff there is, and when I do an online shop I have stocked up quite a lot on offers if only to get to the minimum amount to checkout.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th May 17, 7:59 PM
    • 2,045 Posts
    • 13,895 Thanks
    caronc
    Mine was a new build (not for me, I bought it 2nd hand) ... and they really just had a stock of kitchen units they shoved in I think. No "design" or thought, just "a bunch of kitchen units that fit the space".

    The sink has a double cupboard under it - the pipework under that, from 1½ bowls, washing machine feed (and possibly dishwasher feed) ... is HUGE ... meaning one half is almost unusable. The other half ... is inaccessible as it has no door and so anything you want to put into that Black Hole of Calcutta also has to be squidged past the enormous waste piping. It's bizarre and atrocious!

    I finally managed to at least get some things stored under the sink, so they were identifiable and retrievable, during a recent visit to poundland that had some plastic lidded containers that were a usable size. But that's it....

    I've always "been scared of" stuff under the sink in any case, so never comfortable using that space in any kitchen.... it's just nasty/creepy/scarey and I worry about accessibility if ever there's a sudden/unexpected problem to resolve.

    For worktops, there's a single piece in one corner - and a single piece in an opposite corner (kettle/toaster go there). Then there's a double piece where the nuker sits... and the mini oven sits beside that when I use it. There's another piece in corner 3 directly under the boiler (so unusable) and the final corner is beside the sink (so accumulates washing up waiting etc - and has no sockets anyway). So there's no real "working space" available.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I think that's a common issue with new builds - they put in the minimum to make look okay for the least cost
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th May 17, 8:03 PM
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    • 13,895 Thanks
    caronc
    All this talk of fridges/freezers and kitchens combined with having just had to split a loaf of bread into individual slices to slot them into the available freezer space just had me outside in the outhouse measuring up to see if I could get a slim freezer in there. There is already a small chest freezer out there and I have a 50/50 fridge freezer in the kitchen.


    However, I can't even squeeze a 48cm one in. So that means that I am just going to have to stop buying anything at all never mind how good a price it is and stop batch cooking and making crumbles/cakes/muffins and only eat what I have in the freezers. To be fair, I'm hardly going to have a limited diet, there is plenty of choice.


    The only thing that will need to be replaced will be a loaf of bread because I never get through one before it goes stale but at the minute there is one and a half large loafs of wholemeal bread and two small sourdough ones and that isn't necessary.


    There is also a lot of berries and I added 3 large bags of rhubarb yesterday and three of blueberries last weekend. I do think I have got too much into the habit of walking up to the supermarkets to see what y/s stuff there is, and when I do an online shop I have stocked up quite a lot on offers if only to get to the minimum amount to checkout.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I know if I shopped frequently I'd need another freezer as I'd be unable to resist Y/S items.......
    That said berries and fruit generally can be expensive so worth having stocks if you eat a lot of them.
    April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £89/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th May 17, 8:05 PM
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    PasturesNew
    ... I am just going to have to stop buying anything at all never mind how good a price it is and stop batch cooking and making crumbles/cakes/muffins and only eat what I have in the freezers. To be fair, I'm hardly going to have a limited diet, there is plenty of choice.


    The only thing that will need to be replaced will be a loaf of bread because I never get through one before it goes stale but at the minute there is one and a half large loafs of wholemeal bread and two small sourdough ones and that isn't necessary.

    ...
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I try NOT to freeze anything in the main, I see it as a "last resort short term store of food" else you just run out of space and then want a 2nd freezer....

    It costs, I think, £30-40/year to run an appliance, so it would actually make sense for some things to simply be binned occasionally ... e.g. if you binned half a loaf twice a month ... on the basis it's cheaper to do that than to buy/run an additional freezer.

    It's a tricky balance between many aspects that families simply don't really have to think about.
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