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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 270
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jul 17, 7:09 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    I've had the paella and I really enjoyed it . I would certainly buy that again in the future. Back to my 'normal' food tomorrow, whatever that may be.


    At least when you buy a ready meal there are no left overs to worry about how you are going to use up
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jul 17, 7:52 PM
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    PasturesNew


    At least when you buy a ready meal there are no left overs to worry about how you are going to use up
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    A limited number of the dishes can be useful too, to keep to use to nuke future meals. One I use regularly is a round dish, but I've only got one of those .... I'd imagine the paella came in a round dish.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jul 17, 7:59 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    One I use regularly is a round dish, but I've only got one of those .... I'd imagine the paella came in a round dish.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Yes it did, that's a good point <wanders off to get the dish out of the recycling>
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Jul 17, 9:09 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Yes it did, that's a good point <wanders off to get the dish out of the recycling>
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I probably use my round one more than most other shapes.

    I've kept 3 tiny pudding pots to mix up gravy and instant sauces in - I usually only make 1-2 teaspoons of granules with boiling water so they're perfect.

    I cook pasta in the deep/white/almost see through "steam meal" frozen dinner dishes, I've got two of those. Perfect size for up to 2 portions of any pasta.

    I use the small/flattish regular 'ready meals for one' containers to nuke flat items. If I can get it right I've been known to stack these in the nuker with a few things in them.

    I've only kept what I need - not an over-abundance of every size imaginable. I also only keep those that "stack" neatly in the cupboard - no point having 12 different shaped/sized ones that take up a whole cupboard.

    You can also use two of about the same size where one's being used as a "lid"

    Overall it's saved me having to actually find/buy "proper dishes", which might turn out to the wrong size/shape.

    I've just developed "my little ways" over a couple of decades of moving about a lot and not having much money and not wishing to buy "proper items" if I wasn't feeling settled anywhere. I always knew I could toss the lot in the bin and walk away and start again easily!

    Another thing I do is I have few plates. I bought a "set" of four plates and a matching large pasta bowl at an outlet about 10 years ago - they're quite large though and I very rarely use them now because at Xmas I bought a single plate for my Xmas dinner.

    I picked up two smaller pasta/breakfast bowls from the 99p shop and eat a lot of meals from those. I have two side plates I bought at an outlet shop 10 years ago and one "port meirion side plate" I spotted for 10p at a car boot 3 years ago.

    For most things though I use simple picnic side plates (4 for £1) or melamine side plates (50p for 3 in £land after Xmas). I use these for nibbles and "non dirty food". Non dirty food is anything that doesn't have sauce or gravy, so it'll be all toast, sandwiches, scones, biscuits, slice of quiche on its own... I find them easier to wash up and there's no danger of chipping them and they don't "clatter" as you're using them, washing them up, putting them away.

    Tonight I grabbed a small picnic plate for my toast/chocolate spread ... when I fancied a single scone with jam I brushed the crumbs off and reused it.... then I had 3 biscuits and reused it. None of that is "dirty food", so it's OK. It's just me. I'd NEVER brush the crumbs off a plate to give to somebody else! That's just for when I'm home alone.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-07-2017 at 9:36 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Jul 17, 11:13 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    ...
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I shall probably use this round one quite a lot it is a really useful size.


    Instead of the tiny pudding pots I have kept some of the individual Greek yoghurt pots for things like small amounts of gravy. They are a good strong plastic I buy the 500g ones usually because it is much cheaper and I keep a few of them because they also come with plastic lids so are really useful to store leftovers in the fridge, as well as use in the nuker.


    I have got a fair few dishes and plates that I have bought over the years and a friend gave me a nice plain white set of plates/bowls a few years back so I was lucky there.


    I know what you mean about using a plate again for 'non dirty food', I will admit to just dusting off the crumbs and re-using the plate.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Jul 17, 8:25 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I've kept nice glass or pottery dishes from the (very occasional) times I've bought an individual pudding or the like that was packaged up in one (rather than a throwaway plastic container).

    They come in handy for dips/a small portion of nuts or the like or even for holding small "cosmetic" type things.

    I also have kept small plastic rectangular take-away food containers I've acquired from a variety of sources. Not quite sure just how I've managed to acquire quite a few of them - as I very very rarely get takeaways. However, they come in handy for storing things in the freezer and are exactly the right size for two portions of "the main thing" for dinner or if I'm making my own bread spread (they contain about the same amount as a large container of shop-bought bread spread).
    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
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 11th Jul 17, 1:14 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    I had a change for breakfast and had baked beans on toast. I really enjoyed that. It is quite dull and overcast here at the moment and I fancied something a bit more substantial than usual, and there was half a tin of beans needing using up.


    Lunch has been a tuna and mayo sandwich because I've got an opened tin of tuna to use up.


    Dinner will be turkey goulash from my freezer stock of HM ready meals, with salad and new potatoes, because I've got some salad bits that need using up and I don't think they will be edible past today. As you can see there is a bit of pattern emerging here, the words "need using up" keep cropping up today.


    I thought I would go through the fridge and try to eat most of the odds and ends that are in there today.


    On a down side I seem to have run our of cake in the freezer I will have to make some more either tomorrow or Thursday. However, on the plus side there's scones and crumpets in the freezer so I'll be ok for treats
    • caronc
    • By caronc 11th Jul 17, 1:30 PM
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    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,

    I too keep random containers and find them so handy for lots of things. Last year Tesco had a SO on their Creme Brulee puddings that came in little glass pots so I now have 8 of these and they are fab.

    New meds are making me feel as though I'm walking through treacle which is interesting ...... but as the sun is shining I'm determined spaced out and wobbly or not I will get some gardening done.

    Breakfast was toast and banana with cherries and lunch will be a salad wrap with radish and peas from the garden. I've no idea about dinner yet but as I made far too much pasta last night (no idea what I was thinking) I might recycle that into something (or I might just recycle it into the food bin).
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 11th Jul 17, 5:58 PM
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    PasturesNew
    It's been raining most of today.

    Breakfast was: 2 scrambled eggs, 2 hash browns, baked beans, sausage.

    Lunch was: slice of cold quiche

    Snacks: 2 digestives

    I've a wobbly belly I noticed today.... oh well. Nobody will see it except me
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 11th Jul 17, 6:47 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I have one word to say to you on that front Pastures - ie choccies...ahem.....

    So lunch today was two slices of the ubiquitous toast - spread with yeast extract and some fruit/Oatly "cream"/chocolate chips afterwards. Whatever I could bolt down quick - as I'd messed up on my "social calendar" and had to go out.

    Snack - 2 slices of sprouted wheat bread.

    For dinner - I just tried out a recipe for a crepe made of chickpea flour (translation - made it myself by grinding dried chickpeas in my Vitamix) with spinach/water/garlic and had it with a filling of sauted mushrooms. Drizzled tahini dressing over the top and served with tomatoes. End verdict - well I ate it, but shan't be making it again. Followed by an apple and a glass of rice milk to fill the gaps in my stomach.
    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
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Jul 17, 7:09 PM
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    lessonlearned
    "Well I ate it"........

    Dinner tonight........courgetti bolgonese.

    Still eating Paleo, the weight gradually coming down. Tonight's treat .....a couple of squares of dark chocolate with my filter coffee. Then Some cherries to nibble later.

    Been chucking it down all day, got soaked twice.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 11th Jul 17, 8:32 PM
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    caronc
    A "bung it together" dinner here tonight. LO pasta from last night with peas & corn, crispy chicken burger thing and a splodge of sweet chilli sauce. Wasn't pretty to look at but tasted better than it looked , really CBA cooking tonight but wanted a hot meal that wasn't "something on toast"

    A very little planting done this afternoon but at least it was something
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 11th Jul 17, 8:45 PM
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    Doom_and_Gloom
    For dinner - I just tried out a recipe for a crepe made of chickpea flour (translation - made it myself by grinding dried chickpeas in my Vitamix) with spinach/water/garlic and had it with a filling of sauted mushrooms. Drizzled tahini dressing over the top and served with tomatoes. End verdict - well I ate it, but shan't be making it again.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    May not be your thing but that sounds lovely to me, with a side salad, portion of beans and vegan coleslaw, mm.

    Today's dinner is tofu vegetable fajitas. This will open a pack of wraps I have. Tomorrow will likely be chickpea 'tuna' wraps due to this.
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 11th Jul 17, 8:48 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    A "bung it together" dinner here tonight. LO pasta from last night with peas & corn, crispy chicken burger thing and a splodge of sweet chilli sauce. Wasn't pretty to look at but tasted better than it looked , really CBA cooking tonight but wanted a hot meal that wasn't "something on toast"
    Originally posted by caronc
    That actually sounds really nice to me. I love sweet chilli sauce.
    Last edited by Hollyharvey; 11-07-2017 at 8:51 PM. Reason: sorting out the quote
    • caronc
    • By caronc 11th Jul 17, 9:11 PM
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    caronc
    That actually sounds really nice to me. I love sweet chilli sauce.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    Yes it was tasty enough, a wannae-be chicken milanese with spaghetti which I like in Italian reataurants
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 11th Jul 17, 11:47 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've never seen pasta as something desirable. I like mac/cheese and don't mind spagbol, but I'd never choose to pay to eat pasta if I were eating out as I just see it as "a cheap plate filler" and nothing to get excited about.

    I usually just whip up enough for one; that's one good thing about it - keeps in the cupboard all year round and you can whip up a portion for one in under 5 minutes.

    On a menu, I'd feel "cheated" if I had to choose pasta I'd want "proper food".
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jul 17, 10:31 AM
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    caronc
    I've never seen pasta as something desirable. I like mac/cheese and don't mind spagbol, but I'd never choose to pay to eat pasta if I were eating out as I just see it as "a cheap plate filler" and nothing to get excited about.

    I usually just whip up enough for one; that's one good thing about it - keeps in the cupboard all year round and you can whip up a portion for one in under 5 minutes.

    On a menu, I'd feel "cheated" if I had to choose pasta I'd want "proper food".
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Tend to agree with you unless it is a set lunch menu which is what we tend to go for when I'll take chicken milanese if it is one of the options or I might have some kind of pasta with italian sausage in the starter size otherwise

    Lovely and sunny here and I'm not CFO for a couple of days as my younger son is coming up. No idea what the meal plans are possibly BBQ or fish"n"chips. Breakfast was toast & banana and a handful of strawberries.
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jul 17, 11:54 AM
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    Hollyharvey
    I've never seen pasta as something desirable. I like mac/cheese and don't mind spagbol, but I'd never choose to pay to eat pasta if I were eating out as I just see it as "a cheap plate filler" and nothing to get excited about.

    I usually just whip up enough for one; that's one good thing about it - keeps in the cupboard all year round and you can whip up a portion for one in under 5 minutes.

    On a menu, I'd feel "cheated" if I had to choose pasta I'd want "proper food".
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm having pasta today, but totally agree about ordering it in a restaurant, it's something I never do. I consider it a fairly cheap meal and when I look at past on a lot of menus and the price, I always think "that is a rip off". Take mac and cheese, at a local hotel where I sometimes have a bar meal, mac and cheese is £11.95 and supreme of chicken with a mushroom and tarragon sauce, new or roast baby potatoes, and a selection of seasonal veg is the same price. Needless to say, I always have the chicken
    • caronc
    • By caronc 12th Jul 17, 2:28 PM
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    caronc
    £11.95 for macaroni cheese , that's steep. It's £5.95 in our local italian and I think that's dear

    Lunch was a wodge of stottie cake stuffed with tomato and salad cream and some radishes from the garden.

    We are definitely bbqing tonight - it is so seldom that the combination of good weather and not CFO collide that it's a shame not too. My son has just headed to the trout fishery so hopefully some fresh fish on the menu and he'll nip to M&S foodhall on the way back for other bits.
    May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £63/£120
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 12th Jul 17, 3:32 PM
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    Hollyharvey
    Afternoon everyone,


    I had a Greek yoghurt and a banana for breakfast this morning. It had to be quick as I had a hospital appointment.


    Lunch was a BBQ chicken sandwich. I popped into M & S when I got off the bus on the way back home, and managed to get a packet of the ready cooked BBQ chicken y/s and thought that would make a nice change for lunch.


    Dinner is going to be spaghetti and meatballs. I have made up my favourite sauce for meatballs, which is a tomato based sauce with onions, garlic, chilli, basil and balsamic vinegar, I make it with quite a bit of chilli and the balsamic seems to add something to it. I have noticed it's not quite so nice if I forget to put the balsamic in. I'm looking forward to that when I'm hungry. It will make a nice change. There will be leftovers though, 2 portions I will either eat it again tomorrow and freeze 1 portion or freeze the 2 extra portions. I think I will freeze the sauce and meatballs separate though so that I can always make up a different sauce.


    I need to make some cakes tomorrow for pudding. Meanwhile I found the last remaining crumble in the freezer (unlabelled so it is either apple or apple/blackberry or rhubarb, it will be a nice surprise
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