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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 197
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 18th May 17, 2:15 PM
    • 13,886 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    The pantry space is in addition to the 112 square feet of kitchen itself.
    #MeToo

    Why should our needs override the needs of all other living species? What makes us so special? (Brigit Strawbridge)
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 18th May 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1,451 Posts
    • 4,150 Thanks
    Izadora
    PN - Ikea (and probably other places) do a moveable kitchen island
    Originally posted by greenbee
    Argos have got quite a few and I like the fact that this one has cupboard doors as I worry that things will get grubby if they're left on an open shelf.

    The new "spare space that will include a washing machine/sink" will be about 10'x8' ... but I can't visualise, so in my mind's eye it's about 30'x20'
    So I'll have to go easy as there won't really be "that much" space to play with in the end.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I've never measured it but I wouldn't be surprised if that's the total size of our kitchen!! This is why I've been looking for easily-movable storage solutions...
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th May 17, 2:58 PM
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    PasturesNew
    For "trolleys to trip over" ...
    I'd prefer the Argos one to the Ikea one ... it's the doors. You need to be able to hide/disguise shyte

    Lunch in the end was "what've you got + what's easiest". Food doesn't have to be "a meal". I went for mixed veg, instant mash, stuffing and gravy.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 18th May 17, 3:23 PM
    • 5,649 Posts
    • 7,367 Thanks
    Farway
    My kitchen brings me joy

    We were very fortunate in that we had a new kitchen put in five years ago. My first ever kitchen designed by me, for me, and it works
    Originally posted by Livelongandprosper
    I designed my kitchen also, but had a builder in to do it, poor choice I made with him, took ages

    However the design was what I wanted, size is 11' x 8' and has non walk in pantry as part of the house, so tinned stuff, bleach, brooms and when a bag of spuds etc need home that goes in there as well

    Cupboards all round walls at eye level, long worktop, now part cluttered with mixer, coffe machine that gurgles and I never use, a juicer I never use [both of these are shoved into a dead corner]. But still enough space for toaster, Actifry & induction hob & nuker

    My only problem now, like some others. I am not as bendy as I was when I did the kitchen, so rear of some lower units are a bit of a black hole, but generally OK

    No rain today, but is forecast, did a mini spot of gardening planting up some pots with bedding and removing the fleece from my runners

    Managed a mooch in Asda, not much, came home with broccolli & YS parsnips, that's it, but now weather is dull the planned salad has moved sideways a day or so

    Lunch was another bacon / tom / lettuce sandwich. Only 2 rashers left now, tomorrow's lunch then a bacon free house for a bit I think

    The change of meal plan meant it was freezer dive time, found some 3 bird roast from New Year 2015, now defrosting

    Will have that with steamed fresh broccolli, parsnips, carrot, limp celery being perked up in water as I type, and some of the never ending small spuds that were on offer in Lidl yonks back. Chicken gravy granules will top it all off
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 18th May 17, 5:12 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    Afternoon everyone,


    Breakfast today was a greek yoghurt and some berries.
    Lunch was out.
    So all I shall want later is a snack of either crumpets like I had yesterday or some toast. I certainly won't want anything more than that.


    Back to normal cfo tomorrow for a few days.


    I have decided that tomorrow I will have chicken and salad for dinner. I have got organised and just got a chicken portion out of the freezer to defrost. Having eaten out for two days I want something light, and the forecast, although for rain and thunder storms is for a very hot and muggy day. I will have new potatoes with that, and if I end up feeling really cold and miserable because of the weather I can always change it to chicken with veg.
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 18th May 17, 5:20 PM
    • 5,329 Posts
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    Tiddlywinks
    Having lived in a few less than ideal places (army accommodation) in past years I've learnt to improvise with non-permanent solutions that I could take with me.

    In one kitchen I used an Ikea office cupboard for extra storage space and it actually looked pretty funky:

    Similar to this, but in white and floor to ceiling - it swallowed all my kitchen stuff with room to spare.

    Currently, I've got a kitchen trolley that I 'park' in front of the dishwasher and roll back when I need to fill or empty the washing up.... it has two drawers and I store my Lock and Locks, steamer plus onions and garlic in there.

    I've had a stainless steel cap made for the top and it is a great surface for rolling pastry and kneading bread.

    I use large plastic boxes as drawers in the cupboards below the worktops which makes it easier to pull things out and get right to the back of the space.

    Gadgets, like my beloved and cherished pie maker , hand blender, sandwich toaster etc are stored in Really Useful Boxes on top of my kitchen wall units.

    Basically, I have a long standing love affair with plastic storage boxes and use them for almost anything that doesn't move... Mr Tiddly has threatened to bury me in one when my time comes - not very eco-friendly though .
    Last edited by Tiddlywinks; 19-05-2017 at 3:57 PM.
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 18th May 17, 6:17 PM
    • 3,415 Posts
    • 10,486 Thanks
    Doom_and_Gloom
    B - coffee and fruit.
    L - vegetable stew from freezer.
    D - (will be) shepherdless pie from freezer.
    Snacks - crisp bread and cashew butter.
    Drinking loads of water, will have some tea later.

    Hrm the kitchen discussion is interesting. I'm not a fan of the dead space thing either. I've seen a small house that had a moveable unit and behind it the washing machine was in that space. The justification being that living in a minimalist lifestyle that you use the washer twice a week on average so wasn't needed to be available all the time. I really thought it was ingenious.
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 18th May 17, 6:36 PM
    • 5,329 Posts
    • 18,470 Thanks
    Tiddlywinks
    I used to have this Ikea trolley before I bought my current one... I gave it to a friend and she still has it and it's still going strong about 16 years later.

    I just treated it with clear varnish and used baskets on the shelves. It's really strong but easy to move around.

    My friend still uses the baskets but has made a gingham curtain for each side to cover the contents.

    I can really recommend this one as a budget stop gap solution for adding a work surface... even available for delivery so you don't have to face the Ikea marathon.

    Edited to add - I just remembered that I screwed a kitchen towel holder just under the top which saved space elsewhere too.
    Last edited by Tiddlywinks; 18-05-2017 at 6:40 PM.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 18th May 17, 6:37 PM
    • 11,284 Posts
    • 63,772 Thanks
    kittie
    The kitchen talk is very interesting especially as most on the thread are now geared to cooking for one. I used to have floor cupboards and could never get into the backs, always having to kneel on the floor. The only floor cupboards I have now are the two corner ones, each side of the sink unit but they have carrousels which can hold very heavy equipment, like my food processor and pressure cookers. The tall unit to the right of my dishwasher has three pull out drawers from worktop height down. All my daily dishes are on stands from lakeland, just above worktop height, easy to reach. I don`t have to move my feet when putting dishwasher stuff away

    I have a butchers block trolley on wheels, a solid top with a drawer and two shelves. I remember buying it while I was still working, must have been 18 years ago, was expensive but has been invaluable. Just now, it is parked behind the room divider sofa, its good for holding flowers and a fruit bowl on a daily basis and all sorts underneath, as well as `that` drawer for specs, matches, keys etc

    Food was good today ie healthy with enough happiness promoting things, like a currant bun as my `visitors` are not coming this weekend. Also did quite a bit of allotment work, loving the fresh air up there

    lol tiddleywinks, I made curtains for mine, used a stretch pole for the front and it has towel hanger rails on the sides
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th May 17, 6:42 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I dislike any wall mounted cupboards. Firstly I've seen those come away and crash ... and nearly come away ... so I dislike using them.

    Also, I can't actually reach more than the bottom shelf and the very front of the middle shelf.

    I can't see that I'll ever have a problem with lower cupboards/reaching as I'm 5'. I'm nearly ON the ground!

    I stepped into my downstairs loo earlier and spotted even more things not in my prior list that'd go into the new utility space... I've a mop/bucket and a little footstool ... and the washing basket (the sort you empty a machine with/not solid).... there's stuff lurking all over the place really.

    My kitchen only has two small drawers. One under the worktop on one side; one under the worktop on the other side. Cutlery-depth sized type.
    I keep cutlery etc in one - and sandwich/freezer bags, foil, tea towels in the other.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-05-2017 at 6:51 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 18th May 17, 6:55 PM
    • 2,584 Posts
    • 16,937 Thanks
    caronc
    Good evening everyone,

    My kitchen is "my space" and is pretty large around 15ft by 15ft, however it is a kitchen/conservatory so I've two glass walls which reduces options. It was originally a galley kitchen when I moved in of around 10ft by 6ft, outside was a coal house & boiler house (from back when folk had a copper boiler for laundry. These were brought inside adding anothe 5 ft length wise but it means the bottom end has a sloping roof with a velux window rather than a full size wall. The conservatory was then added to where the long outside wall was. This rather limits what I can do storage wise but working round I have 3 floor to 6ft 5 inch cupboards then the door to the dining room, then the fridge freezer, then a bit of work top (2ft ish) with an open hatch area (this was needed for light in the dining room) then the corner then more work top then the range style cooker, then a wee bit more more worktop the sink/drainer, more work top, another corner with a bit more worktop then the upright freezer. About 3 ft back from the work top I have a 6ft by 4ft island come breakfast bar. I only have one wall where I can put cupboards or shelves. To the left of the cooker I have a double cupboard and to the right 2 sets of 2 shelves with the boiler in between. In the consevatory area I have a small table & chairs and an armchair. All in all it is a decent sized space but is more cluttered than I'd like due having to keep more stuff to hand due to lack of bendiness.

    PN - my sister has a small kitchen and has one of the small Argos trolleys it holds a huge amount of stuff for it's size.

    The weather held so the weedkiller is down and some potting up done. Lunch was a quick sarnie to use up an open packet of cold meat with baby plum tomatoes and the end of the cucumber. Tonight I've a pork chop defrosted so I'll have that with LO sweet potato from Tuesday, the last flat mushroom and the remaining asparagus spears so a good use up day.
    July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £96/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th May 17, 6:55 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I think ... I'm lacking in self control.... I think in the next 10 minutes I will take a drive out to buy my favourite bag of chocolates

    I know I shouldn't, but I think I'm now past the stage of being able to say "No".



    EDIT: Mission accomplished... also popped into 4ldi. Bought muffins and crumpets. Left the bread as it'd just end up in the freezer. They were flogging off small bags of Jersey new spuds at 32p instead of the offer price of 65p so I got those (small bag so I know I'll get through them without a struggle).

    Also picked up some compost at £land ... and, of course, my favourite choccies... TWO bags (might as well, "I'm here now")

    Tea tonight was: one muffin, toasted, spread with margarine.... and a small pot of choccies.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 18-05-2017 at 7:59 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 18th May 17, 8:31 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 9,095 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    EDIT: Mission accomplished... also popped into 4ldi. Bought muffins and crumpets. Left the bread as it'd just end up in the freezer. They were flogging off small bags of Jersey new spuds at 32p instead of the offer price of 65p so I got those (small bag so I know I'll get through them without a struggle).
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    PN - I love hearing about your impromptu trips out to the shops they sound so much more interesting than mine I like the way that they usually end up with the purchase of your favourite choiccies


    All I shall be getting tomorrow is some salad and veg and maybe some milk, most certainly nothing that could possibly end up in the freezer!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 18th May 17, 8:34 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I think I've decided that all this "store cupboard food" is nonsense.... and I need to empty my cupboards almost entirely ... so I've got a couple of bits in, but mostly buy things in when I want/need them.... and keep stocks low.

    It's easy to go off stuff, or find a new addiction .... and then if you've got 1-2 spares in the cupboard they languish, unloved.

    So that's the plan this year, to actually reduce the nonsense
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 18th May 17, 8:36 PM
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    • 9,095 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    All this talk about kitchen sizes and designs has made me want to re-do mine. It is functional but was fitted before I moved here 11 years ago and is looking quite tired now, but at the moment I can't afford to have it replaced, there are other things that I need to save for first. Maybe in a couple of years I will be able to do it, but at least I have a kitchen
    • Tiddlywinks
    • By Tiddlywinks 18th May 17, 9:09 PM
    • 5,329 Posts
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    Tiddlywinks
    I think I've decided that all this "store cupboard food" is nonsense.... and I need to empty my cupboards almost entirely ... so I've got a couple of bits in, but mostly buy things in when I want/need them.... and keep stocks low.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Now you see.. I've decided on exactly the opposite.

    I've actually upped my store cupboard stocks so that I've always got the components of a wide variety of dishes. That way, I can make what I need and when I need it so there's less waste.

    Then, for instance, the flour then be turned into bread, cakes, crumble topping, dumplings, pastry etc.

    Canned pulses / beans can be used in stews, salads, dips, sauces.

    Canned toms can be turned into pasta sauce / chilli / soup / dips / breakfast.

    Nuts can be put into flapjacks, muesli, made into nut milk, creamed into butter.

    I still get ready made stuff too but my core meals are now from components rather than ready prepared.

    I'm actually quite enjoying the challenge.
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 18th May 17, 10:30 PM
    • 549 Posts
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    Livelongandprosper
    Now you see.. I've decided on exactly the opposite.

    I've actually upped my store cupboard stocks so that I've always got the components of a wide variety of dishes. That way, I can make what I need and when I need it so there's less waste.

    Then, for instance, the flour then be turned into bread, cakes, crumble topping, dumplings, pastry etc.

    Canned pulses / beans can be used in stews, salads, dips, sauces.

    Canned toms can be turned into pasta sauce / chilli / soup / dips / breakfast.

    Nuts can be put into flapjacks, muesli, made into nut milk, creamed into butter.

    I still get ready made stuff too but my core meals are now from components rather than ready prepared.

    I'm actually quite enjoying the challenge.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    Store cupboards are another thing that can cause controversy

    I cook for 3 adults regularly and for masses every now and then, so for me, I need a store cupboard. Then again I don't need a years supply of tinned tomatoes or loo rolls


    I have a larder. That has my opened packets. I have a whole drawer of spices and another drawer full of different flours,sugars etc. In the larder are my open jars like pickle, open packets like pasta, bread, biscuits etc

    My store is my spare. Where I keep my tins and unopened jars. Just a couple of each, bought when on special offer. Mum is a hoarder and I do have to watch what she's hoarding ( got to be at least 40 cans of soup, she's now hiding them in her wardrobe) There's no need for us to store any more. If by chance or when we become frail then we will revise it. Right now I prefer to only have in what will be used at least within the next 2 years

    I totally get that as a single, a store is just more food that "needs to be eaten before I add to it". I would cut mine to the wire( I'd keep my herbs and spices) if I was once again cooking for one
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 18th May 17, 10:42 PM
    • 4,558 Posts
    • 44,891 Thanks
    mcculloch29
    I'm of the 'useful stocks' school of thought. Honey is the latest thing I don't want to run out of. Especially after learning how to make luxury chocolates out of honey, coconut oil and cocoa.

    Cocoa is quite useful - sugar, powdered milk and a bit of coffee whitener ground up and you have instant chocolate, then there's chocolate custard which for some reason is so much nicer than yellow custard...

    Spaghetti savoury for my meal tonight - cooked spaghetti, mushrooms, bacon, tomato soup and cheese. Loads left and it used virtually nothing - half a dozen mushrooms, about 6 oz Heron bacon mis-shapes, a chunk of cheese and a can of condensed tomato soup with water in addition to the spaghetti. I'm quite happy to eat that for lunch.

    This was a variation on pasta bake from The Glasgow Cookery Book, my guess is it was developed sometime in the 1950s, when spaghetti and macaroni were the only pasta choices widely available.

    For the late Twenty Tens I would use mushroom soup next time, to make it a low fat version of spaghetti carbonara.

    I can remember buying spaghetti in very long packs wrapped in blue paper with Italian writing in the mid 70s , dried pasta other than macaroni and spaghetti was still something faintly exotic then.
    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 19th May 17, 5:29 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Now you see.. I've decided on exactly the opposite.

    I've actually upped my store cupboard stocks so that I've always got the components of a wide variety of dishes. That way, I can make what I need and when I need it so there's less waste.

    Then, for instance, the flour then be turned into bread, cakes, crumble topping, dumplings, pastry etc.

    Canned pulses / beans can be used in stews, salads, dips, sauces.

    Canned toms can be turned into pasta sauce / chilli / soup / dips / breakfast.

    Nuts can be put into flapjacks, muesli, made into nut milk, creamed into butter.

    I still get ready made stuff too but my core meals are now from components rather than ready prepared.

    I'm actually quite enjoying the challenge.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    That works to a point... but stuff grows by magic. Take pasta. I am not really a "fan" of pasta, I'm more a "potatoes" person. X/spuds/veg/gravy more than pasta/sauce.

    But I do like a bit of pasta 2-3x in the summer and mac cheese 3-4x a year. A small (500g) bag of pasta makes 6-10 meals. But I've got a 500g bag of macaroni + a 1Kg bag for when that runs out. And I bought mini shells for salads. Then I got a notion I should make a lasagne, so bought a box ... and another box. Then I thought spaghetti would be a good idea, so got a pack.
    That's all very well and not too bad... but then I was "gifted" two HUGE packs (1' high) of very large shells.

    So now I've got enough pasta for my needs for the next 3-4 years. That's too much.

    I like rice more than pasta, so will eat rice more often. But a 1Kg bag of rice is about 15 meals, so will typically last me nearly a year. But I don't want to run out, so I have a pack of rice I am getting through - and a 1Kg spare for when that runs out, which has already sat in the cupboard for 4 months and it'll be several more months before the last bag runs out.

    Then I have cous cous... no idea why, except it seemed a good idea to try it - but I don't really like it. I have a small bag of cous cous and 3 packs of "gifted" flavoured stuff. That's all taking a lot of time to get through and will probably still be cluttering the cupboard this time next year.

    Re flour, I have plain and SR. But I don't make cakes, or pastry. I just use flour for dumplings, so I really only need one 500g bag every two years.

    I think it's a combination of lack of cupboards and 2-3 years of food My food is contained in one wall cupboard and 1½ shelves in one base unit in the main.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-05-2017 at 5:32 AM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 5:44 AM
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    PasturesNew

    I use large plastic boxes as drawers in the cupboards below the worktops which makes it easier to pull things out and get right to the back of the space.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    I have two of these, specifically for:
    - plastic sandwich boxes/takeaway boxes. While they are kept neat it means I can paw through to grab the right one without the whole lot "falling over".
    - all my tins. I lay peas/carrots/similar on their sides on the right hand side; baked beans and tomatoes are upright at the back; all other tins are upright on the left hand side.

    Bizarrely, at the back of two of my base units I have:
    - a gas mains switch, to turn off gas to the hob
    - a couple of sockets that run the hood/oven or something.

    So I figured that I need to keep these cupboards accessible "in case of emergency", so don't actually like keeping anything in those cupboards to be honest.

    Gadgets, like my beloved and cherished pie maker , hand blender, sandwich toaster etc are stored .... on top of my kitchen wall units.
    Originally posted by Tiddlywinks
    The ladder perpetually in the kitchen would annoy me - and I'm not that steady on ladders really.

    Basically, I have a long standing love affair with plastic storage boxes and use them for almost anything that doesn't move
    Me too. Gathered over the years for a variety of reasons, my latest fad was the £1 7-litre ones at £land ... got 4 of those for under the sink/cleaning stuff. I originally bought just ONE for food, but it was too big to fit in the cupboard.... so had to re-purpose it and realised if I bought more I could organise under the sink with them

    Price can be an issue though; I do have to buy the cheapest ones that will do. I couldn't give a monkey's chuff for eco-friendly

    Last week I reorganised all my sheets/towels by buying more/new plastic boxes. £land were selling some at £2 but they were out of stock/sold out, so I ended up in 4sda paying £4 apiece which nearly put me off, but I bought them anyway.

    Next time I move I won't need to pack .... it's perpetually half done
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-05-2017 at 6:57 AM.
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