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
    • 2,226Posts
    • 15,020Thanks
    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 198
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 5:48 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    a greek yoghurt and some berries.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Not proper food.


    crumpets
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Proper food.



    .... if I end up feeling really cold and miserable because of the weather I can always change it to chicken with veg.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    What... run out of oven chips???
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 6:20 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .... 15ft by 15ft....
    Originally posted by caronc
    That's not a kitchen, it's a small country
    225 sq ft. Mine's 96; mine has big sq footage, but most is mid-room void... and one wall with a big window awaiting a table/chairs at some point (right size, shape, price).

    ... kitchen/conservatory .... two glass walls
    3 floor to 6ft 5 inch cupboards
    fridge freezer,
    bit of work top (2ft ish)
    more work top
    range style cooker,
    bit more more worktop
    sink/drainer,
    more work top,
    another corner with a bit more worktop
    upright freezer.

    6ft by 4ft island come breakfast bar.
    Originally posted by caronc
    So, only JUST room to toast a crumpet then
    • kittie
    • By kittie 19th May 17, 7:07 AM
    • 11,054 Posts
    • 61,032 Thanks
    kittie
    PN, I empathise about accumulating foodstuff, its a throwback to being children, when our parents saved averything, including string and wrapping paper, which was ironed to make it smooth. I remember the ration books, it is a comfort to have these dried foods in, not necessary but a comfort and I have much to much but am trying to run it down too

    Food today will be like yesterday, I enjoyed every meal and didn`t feel any need to pick. That was either because I am being busy outside or because I am reading a book by Deepak Chopra called `hungry for what` it makes me realise that I am not hungry when I pick, it is a psychological need
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 19th May 17, 7:19 AM
    • 13,434 Posts
    • 36,609 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    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
    Originally posted by Livelongandprosper
    It just struck me that maybe location to available money ratio comes into this.

    Thankfully - money pressures are starting to ease a bit at last - though not out of the woods yet (ie financially straight). So - if I were still living in my home city then I don't think I'd be so concerned about keeping that much food in. The reason being there is a large selection of places to eat out and that includes quite a few choices of having a main meal at lunchtime out for around £5 or so. I'm rather a foodie and I experiment a lot within my food parameters and places to eat there "come and go" like no-one's business.

    Living out in the sticks = it's a struggle to find somewhere I want to "eat out in" and places I would like come in dearer. I need to reckon on nearer to £10 than £5 to eat a "cheap lunch out" somewhere I'd like here - if I can find it...

    So - the combination of "eating out choices" being dearer/much fewer and the worse weather here (ie I think about what the weather is doing before I go out here - instead of just automatically heading outdoors pretty much whenever I think I will) means I need to keep a much wider range of food in here.

    So - in some parts of the country one does need to basically "have one's own restaurant" if at all foodie-minded. I'm having to learn to be a much better cook by necessity....
    If there's "4 tendencies" type of people (Gretchen Rubin) = yep....Questioner type here
    - Meets an expectation only if they believe it's justified and resists anything arbitrary or ineffective
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 7:28 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I don't eat out. Eating out for one's traumatic at best. I once spent an entire evening trying to find an indian restaurant that would let me in. "Table for one?" I asked, from about 7pm when they were entirely empty .... up until 11pm when I finally found one that said "Yes". Many restaurants don't want you there... and will say "No" to a request for a table for one, even if they are empty.

    And if you're there, what are you doing? Menu comes, you order, food comes, you eat, you leave. An overpriced 'experience'... just find a takeaway and shuffle off to your bedsit

    I also don't have the budget for it.

    I try to keep my daily food costs to £1, enabling me to "waste" money on my choccies and some fizzy pop.

    I've just added up the cost of yesterday's food/drinks and it looks like about 30-35p for food.... 25p for sweeties ... 25p for fizzy pop. So still under £1.
    Breakfast this morning cost me 35p, but I'm full, so it's like "a full meal".

    Across a whole year I probably spend a maximum of £20 on takeaways/hot food out.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 19-05-2017 at 7:41 AM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 19th May 17, 8:26 AM
    • 914 Posts
    • 7,364 Thanks
    Hollyharvey

    What... run out of oven chips???
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    No room in the freezers for any, so there is no point in buying them at the moment
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 8:30 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    No room in the freezers for any, so there is no point in buying them at the moment
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I always had a bag, plus a back up, but since I've been trying to empty the freezer, in order to defrost it, I've denied myself them.
    I've probably not had a bag in the house for 5-6 weeks now.
    They do make for a "quick and easy" meal.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 19th May 17, 9:14 AM
    • 13,434 Posts
    • 36,609 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I don't eat out. Eating out for one's traumatic at best. I once spent an entire evening trying to find an indian restaurant that would let me in. "Table for one?" I asked, from about 7pm when they were entirely empty .... up until 11pm when I finally found one that said "Yes". Many restaurants don't want you there... and will say "No" to a request for a table for one, even if they are empty.

    And if you're there, what are you doing? Menu comes, you order, food comes, you eat, you leave. An overpriced 'experience'... just find a takeaway and shuffle off to your bedsit

    .
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Now will be weighing up how often I've ever been turned away from a cafe or restaurant....

    Offhand - I can only think of one occasion ever. That was when a friend and I had found the sole reasonable eating place in a one-horse town place and decided to have dinner there. I think she asked for a table for us and we were refused - as told all tables reserved.

    Otherwise - whether on my own or with company I just look round at those tables that DON'T have reserved signs on them, decide which one I want and walk confidently over to it and "make myself at home". I've never had a problem yet on my own. Don't know whether it's down to having approached the table in a confident/I'm used to this sorta way and they realise there will be questions as to why it's "unavailable" if they tell me that it is (starting with asking why it's apparently busy when there is no "reserved" sign there on it) and an air of "I'll soon be telling other people about this...." (and I would....) on the one hand.

    Or, on the other hand, I've discovered the way to instantly have a smile appear on the face of nearest salesman when I walk into a kitchen/bathroom showroom is for them to spot my white hair (ie giver-away of agegroup) and then I turn round and they see I'm late middle-age (rather than elderly). At that point - you can see them mentally starting to count the cash and that helpful smile goes up on their face. My cynics take on that one being = mine is the agegroup that should be/often is financially straight and able to have what we want by now (they've got that one wrong with me then....but they're not to know that), followed by thinking "....and they're still young enough to figure it's worth buying things if they want them" (ie I doubt I'll be buying very much at all once I get to my 80's - as I'll probably be thinking "what's the point at my age?"

    So I'm guessing that may translate into "Late middle age person walks into restaurant/cafe = they'll probably buy exactly what they want at their age" and they start mentally counting the cash.???
    If there's "4 tendencies" type of people (Gretchen Rubin) = yep....Questioner type here
    - Meets an expectation only if they believe it's justified and resists anything arbitrary or ineffective
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 9:21 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    ...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    It's not just me, but it's rarely spoken of... there have been some recent articles by journalists struggling to get a table.

    Maybe they thought I was a hooker, single/female.
    Maybe culturally they didn't want women dining alone.

    You don't walk in and choose a table anywhere I go ... you step inside the door and wait until one comes trotting over to find out what you want.

    If you Google it quite a few articles and tripadvisor posts come up where people have been refused service.
    • kittie
    • By kittie 19th May 17, 10:22 AM
    • 11,054 Posts
    • 61,032 Thanks
    kittie
    I have only eaten out by myself twice in two years, I just haven`t got the bottle for a posher restaurant, its not like me being in a nice place not far away from here, I can get a roast dinner for a fiver and just sit and look around at all the other singles. I eat and go. The other was a NT property, that was fine. I think other people were thinking I was brave but I was looking at those coping with difficult husbands, possible dementia and thinking that they must be finding life very difficult

    I had to have toast and coffee just now, had been thinking of going out but traffic on a friday is no joke in a tourist area, so got cleaning because today I noticed things. I knew that would happen after giving my specs a darn good clean. Dusting skirtings, then noticed the stairs and the hand rail children evidence and grey grubbiness on the sides and at the top, I cannot believe I never noticed it before.

    Oh yes also noticed the gravy spots on my white painted wall over the upstands at the back of the kitchen surface, near the hob. Got the paint out after much shoving, unwrapped all the tape and plastic all around, couldn`t find a stick, so used a knife to stir. Washed knife and was glad it easily came off, so was the right water based paint, put it on the spots and it was the wrong flaming colour, light beige. Washed it off quickly thanking lucky stars it was water based. Got the correct paint out and the gravy spots are still showing through, its going to take several coats, luckily the paint absorbs and there is no demarkation line. I can no longer be bothered washing a foam brush so am using disposable cotton buds

    That is why I needed the coffee and toast, I cannot be doing with noticing stuff
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 10:28 AM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .....noticed the gravy spots on my white painted wall ..... wrong flaming colour, light beige. Washed it off quickly...
    Originally posted by kittie
    I'd have just dabbed at it with circular motions and the corner of a microfibre cloth and either plain water, or some anti-bac spray.

    Re colours: I've always been a believer in "white everywhere" because you can always buy it, it's cheap, you only have to have one tin kept, you never have to waste time choosing colours....

    Having said that, when I moved in here the previous owners had painted the hallway/stairs a bit of an indistinguishable light green and the gloss and front door a green .... that I think might be Farrow/Ball colours. And I kind of like them, so I am considering having the whole living room painted those two colours when I have the wall removed.... but everywhere else/everything else will be white.
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 19th May 17, 11:06 AM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,630 Thanks
    Livelongandprosper
    When DH worked away I dreaded the weekends until I found the bottle to walk into a resturaunt by myself and order lunch. Was always lunch, never evenings, much easier being a single during the day


    Also going Sunday lunchtime when everywhere was full of families usually meant I'd get a lovely window table for two

    It was finding the right place to go at first. A good diner near shops was a smart choice, I mean every lady shops . A hotel would also be a good choice as well, and family run and owned places. If the worse came to the worse I'd use weatherspoons - good roast, just the company might not been so good

    I've never been turned away

    I have a little guilty pleasure. There's a family run diner in town, you know the type, wipe clean plastic table cloths, ketchup on the tables, tea served in mugs. Fine dining it is not, but good food at good prices. I've stopped colouring my hair, it's grey as grey can be. One day I went in and ordered and the young lass (15 or 16) asked me if I wanted the pensioners portion At first I was mortified , but I asked what it was and was told just a smaller portion for half price plus free tea, I jumped at it. Came out stuffed to the gills and £3 better off . Whenever I go in there now I order from the pensioners menu, I'm just 53
    • kittie
    • By kittie 19th May 17, 11:48 AM
    • 11,054 Posts
    • 61,032 Thanks
    kittie
    I'd have just dabbed at it with circular motions and the corner of a microfibre cloth and either plain water, or some anti-bac spray.

    .
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I did but it must have been an un- new splattering, I never noticed until today

    My whole house is white auro paint number 321, it is a lovely soft white but I have one tiny room, snug, that matched that beige paint, the label had worn away. Next time it is painted, even that room will be white. I love the white tbh, it isn`t a sharp glaring white

    I am jiggered, just dusted and wiped paint in the en suite and noticed (again) that a shower door base roller has disintegrated. Blooming one thing after another, no doubt I could do it myself but plumber is coming on monday with a new toilet, I have already sent the roller e mail, even measured the roller. Noticed the roller and thought I had better steam clean the base of the shower doors and it isn`t a five minute job. I`ll put everything away after lunch, which is now salad and halloumi. I am going to walk around with my eyes shut for the rest of the day
    • kittie
    • By kittie 19th May 17, 11:49 AM
    • 11,054 Posts
    • 61,032 Thanks
    kittie
    [QUOTE=Livelongandprosper;72571864

    Also going Sunday lunchtime when everywhere was full of families usually meant I'd get a lovely window table for two
    [/QUOTE]

    good idea LLP. Good tips in your post
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 19th May 17, 12:13 PM
    • 13,434 Posts
    • 36,609 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    It's not just me, but it's rarely spoken of... there have been some recent articles by journalists struggling to get a table.

    Maybe they thought I was a hooker, single/female.
    Maybe culturally they didn't want women dining alone.

    You don't walk in and choose a table anywhere I go ... you step inside the door and wait until one comes trotting over to find out what you want.

    If you Google it quite a few articles and tripadvisor posts come up where people have been refused service.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I have certainly read of this and I recall comments on a recent thread about it.

    It's not a conscious policy decision on my part - but I think the difference is that I don't recall ever asking if there's a table available. I just walk over to the one I want - unless there is a reserved sign on it. Hence I'm thinking this may be the difference between being refused a table and not being refused a table??

    The only time I recall actually talking to an approaching waiter when I walk into a restaurant has been when I'm about to say "We've reserved a table for x number of people in the name of .....". Otherwise I just pick an obviously available table.

    I don't know what proportion ask "Is there a table available?" compared to seeing an empty one/with no sign and choosing it. Though it is true that solo meals out are more likely to be lunchtime than dinnertime.

    EDIT; Just noticed the bit about "pensioners portion". I've never seen that before - but I did ask the other day re a "childrens portion" for my elderly mother (as she eats so little). So that's another possibility for those with tiny appetites. Personal confession time being my last "dinner" meal out involved having all 3 courses....but very often these days I just want the main course only.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 19-05-2017 at 12:30 PM.
    If there's "4 tendencies" type of people (Gretchen Rubin) = yep....Questioner type here
    - Meets an expectation only if they believe it's justified and resists anything arbitrary or ineffective
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 12:19 PM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Just looking at recipes ... "3 tablespoons double cream". That's always offputting as I have never ever bought any cream ... I have also never/rarely bought anything I could substitute.

    You might say "buy a small pot and freeze the rest". Trouble with that is that a small pot (say 150ml) is 3 portions of 3TBSP.

    So, I start with a recipe that makes 6 portions, when really I just want one. And then I have to additionally cook that/similar 3 more times to use up the frozen cream I bought/froze just to be able to cook a simple recipe.

    So now instead of cooking/eating one meal ... and seeing if I like it - there's a major commitment to making 18 meals ....

    Or, I can pick up a cheap ready made meal

    Or just accept it won't be as creamy/thick ... and toss in some cornflour at the end instead.
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 19th May 17, 12:22 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,630 Thanks
    Livelongandprosper
    Just looking at recipes ... "3 tablespoons double cream". That's always offputting as I have never ever bought any cream ... I have also never/rarely bought anything I could substitute.

    You might say "buy a small pot and freeze the rest". Trouble with that is that a small pot (say 150ml) is 3 portions of 3TBSP.

    So, I start with a recipe that makes 6 portions, when really I just want one. And then I have to additionally cook that/similar 3 more times to use up the frozen cream I bought/froze just to be able to cook a simple recipe.

    So now instead of cooking/eating one meal ... and seeing if I like it - there's a major commitment to making 18 meals ....

    Or, I can pick up a cheap ready made meal

    Or just accept it won't be as creamy/thick ... and toss in some cornflour at the end instead.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Shall I tell you what I done when I cooked for one? It's a tad cheeky but hey ho, pinch a few single uht creams from cafes or McDonald's

    If your conscience won't allow that, B&M sell them sometimes
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 19th May 17, 12:58 PM
    • 59,947 Posts
    • 350,406 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Shall I tell you what I done when I cooked for one? It's a tad cheeky but hey ho, pinch a few single uht creams from cafes or McDonald's

    If your conscience won't allow that, B&M sell them sometimes
    Originally posted by Livelongandprosper
    LOL. I'd not dare do that - and I am never in cafes or McDonalds to nick them in the first place.

    There's no handy B&M where I live, although I am near to one 3x a year.... I'll see if I can remember to keep an eye out - but I fear the letters "UHT" having tasted some vile milk as a child. And how close is UHT cream to double cream?

    I think I'd rather take my chances with some evaporated milk maybe... they have small tins, but at least I could get round to using the leftovers if frozen ... or make a crustless quiche or shove it onto a tin of fruit.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 19th May 17, 1:36 PM
    • 2,226 Posts
    • 15,020 Thanks
    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,

    Being a bit of a "foodie" and also not being able to get to the shops means I rely on substantial stocks both in cupboards and freezers LOL though could get away with less.

    I used to have to away with work quite a bit so got used to solo dining though agree lunchtimes are easier when you are on your own

    I'm not CFO tonight as my son will arrive at some point so lasagne I think as I have both ragu & white sauce in the freezer and it's not really something I make for myself.

    Various seeds arrived this morning so I just need to get my act together and get some planted. I'm being really careful to succession so this year for salady bits so I don't hopefully end up with more than I can use with stuff that can't freeze.

    Ps - my kitchen is pale primrose yellow.....the paint was from Homebase kitchen & bathroom paint range and it has lasted really well and scrubs up nicely.
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £109/£120
    • Livelongandprosper
    • By Livelongandprosper 19th May 17, 1:40 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,630 Thanks
    Livelongandprosper
    LOL. I'd not dare do that - and I am never in cafes or McDonalds to nick them in the first place.

    There's no handy B&M where I live, although I am near to one 3x a year.... I'll see if I can remember to keep an eye out - but I fear the letters "UHT" having tasted some vile milk as a child. And how close is UHT cream to double cream?

    I think I'd rather take my chances with some evaporated milk maybe... they have small tins, but at least I could get round to using the leftovers if frozen ... or make a crustless quiche or shove it onto a tin of fruit.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew

    It's acceptable in coffee so I'd imagine it will be perfectly OK in say a curry

    Evaporated milk might be a bit sweet for a savoury dish. I used to love that as a child over tinned fruit. My old nan used to make coffee with camp coffee and evaporated milk, OMG we loved it . Guess that was a throw back from the war years and the rationing after. I keep getting tempted to buy a tin but I'm scared it won't taste as I remember and will kill lovely memories
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

780Posts Today

6,160Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @thismorning: 'Sometimes the best gift is releasing somebody else from the obligation of having to give to you' says @MartinSLewis. Do y?

  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Follow Martin