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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 273
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Jul 17, 8:21 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I ended up having a crumpet/chocolate spread for lunch - and then cooked the pizza for tea and stared at it and thought "might as well eat it all".

    I don't usually eat a whole 10" pizza as they are really 2 portions..... but I did today
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 14th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • 557 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    I ended up having a crumpet/chocolate spread for lunch - and then cooked the pizza for tea and stared at it and thought "might as well eat it all".

    I don't usually eat a whole 10" pizza as they are really 2 portions..... but I did today
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I'm glad I'm not the only one doing this sort of thing today. I was going to eat one portion of meatballs and freeze one portion, then I thought "I don't know, that doesn't look like much, I may as well eat them all, it will save on freezer space" Well that's what I convinced myself.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Jul 17, 8:50 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Got up and out early - for the L1dl weekend offer - I was after cheese.
    Got there - a mass of oldies looking like they were ready for battle.

    I got in and headed for the cheese, plenty of it, so grabbed four packs, they are a lot smaller than I thought. I had been looking at the £/Kg though, so it's irrelevant how much the pack price is. I did then notice that "my usual cheap cheese" wasn't significantly different/Kg price and, on balance, I wasn't sure rushing to get some was a "win" really.

    Picked up more fizzy pop and a pack of Raspberry Jaffa Cakes - they're a nice little biscuit. 49p/pack, one pack's enough.

    Off to bread and crumpets ... and I couldn't decide what I wanted, saw some crumpets 30% off so grabbed those (only one pack) - but there was a huge trolley right in my way ... and I didn't check out the muffins or get bread. However, when I got to the till I thought he asked me for a lot of money, so I checked my receipt and realised I'd picked up pricey 89p crumpets AND they'd not knocked the 30% off either... so I spotted a "man who looked like a manager" and returned them and got my full money back.

    Then it was off to meats...and I thought "I've got those gifted cooking sauces to use up, so if I get chicken I can use one of those". Had to buy a big pack so there'd be enough meat/sauce - I had no idea at this point how much chicken any pouch/jar of sauce actually needed, so got the 410 gram pack of cubed chicken (£2.39).

    I came home and put the chicken in the slow cooker, then looked at what sauces I actually have, only to discover that there was a choice of two and one needed a tin of coconut milk too and I CBA .... so I stuck a butter chicken pouch in the slow cooker. Job done. That should make 3-4 portions easily enough. So it's chicken curry for tea today!

    Breakfast will therefore end up being a couple of slices of bread from the freezer, toasted - topped with whatever I've got/fancy when I get round to it. I've got eggs, beans, sausages, so plenty of choice.

    I've got my "10 year badge" today .... I'm not a badge fan to be honest, so couldn't care less.... I think they should've posted me a £10 note if they wanted to do something useful
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 15th Jul 17, 10:23 AM
    • 2,408 Posts
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    SunnyGirl

    ...and, on another topic, if that thriller book is that unputdownable - what's the title and author please?
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    It was Blood Sisters by Jane Corry. Bought in Tesco with another book on the 2 for £7 and yet much better than the one I was actually buying! I get what you're saying about reading though as when I'm at uni I struggle to read fiction books. My mind gets so full of the academic reading I have to do that it doesn't have room for anything else. Also after my husband died it took me about 6 months to be able to listen to music or read oddly enough.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 15th Jul 17, 11:08 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    I'd be lost without books, I've been a passionate reader since I first learned to read. Much prefer to read than watch TV.

    It's wet and miserable here so the chicken stock I made overnight in the SC has been popped in the pressure cooker with various veg, rice and brown lentils as it's right soup weather. Breakfast was toast & cheese spread and lunch some of the soup with a ham & chutney sandwich. Dinner tonight will I think be M&S southern fried chicken with corn on the cob and a baked spud or wedges.
    I need to do "something" with a mango, small melon and a pineapple.....
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 15th Jul 17, 11:41 AM
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    SunnyGirl
    How about brushing the fruit with honey and griddling them to serve as a hot fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream Caronc
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Jul 17, 11:54 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I need to do "something" with a mango, small melon and a pineapple.....
    Originally posted by caronc
    No idea.

    I've never had mango.
    I last had a small melon about 20 years ago when I realised it's way too big for one and stopped even looking at them.
    Never bought a pineapple; dad did once and peeling it lead to a frustrating time as mum and dad huddled round it in the kitchen with an assortment of knives.... and they never bothered again Too big for one it is.

    TBFO ... too big for one. Often thought as we shop and see nice looking food.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 15th Jul 17, 11:58 AM
    • 557 Posts
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    Hollyharvey
    I did want to go to Tesco first thing this morning before it got too busy, but when my alarm went off I switched if off and went back to sleep. By the time I got up I CBA to get a bus to Tesco so just went up the town for the things that couldn't wait until Tuesday when I will next be able to go food shopping.


    I just had some Greek yoghurt and a banana for breakfast, and I have had a crumpet this morning.


    Lunch is going to be an egg mayo and salad sandwich.


    Dinner will be toad in the hole with some veg and I'm going to make some roast potatoes. I need to have a rummage in the outside freezer shortly because according to my list of what is in it, there is some homemade stuffing, and that will go nicely. There is also some onion gravy in there as well that I want to go with this. I'm really looking forward to dinner this evening


    I intend to get some more of the Heck sausages while they are on offer in Waitrose. I noticed this morning that they are on offer in Sainsbobs as well, but are 50p a pack more.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 15th Jul 17, 12:04 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 12,314 Thanks
    caronc
    How about brushing the fruit with honey and griddling them to serve as a hot fruit salad with yoghurt or ice cream Caronc
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    Thanks that sounds yummy would be tasty served cold for breakfast too
    No idea.

    I've never had mango.
    I last had a small melon about 20 years ago when I realised it's way too big for one and stopped even looking at them.
    Never bought a pineapple; dad did once and peeling it lead to a frustrating time as mum and dad huddled round it in the kitchen with an assortment of knives.... and they never bothered again Too big for one it is.

    TBFO ... too big for one. Often thought as we shop and see nice looking food.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Neither the mango or melon are huge so not "TBFO" and were on SO so not dear, I'd of used them easily if I hadn't been given the fruit & veg box. The pineapple is a big one but I can slice and freeze that. (I like gammon steak baked with pineapple). I'm afraid if it something I enjoy I seldom worry if it is TBFO unless it is something really pricey.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 15th Jul 17, 12:31 PM
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    SunnyGirl
    I'm the same with sizes of foods not being TBFO unless it's a fortune and I know I definitely won't eat it. I have 2 melons sat in the fridge slowly coming to perfect ripeness at the moment. Only small Galia and Canteloupe but both will be eaten as a pudding or snack


    Lunch today is the remains of last night's tuna pasta bake followed by a yoghurt and an apple. Dinner this evening is a keema that I have defrosted with some garlic and coriander naan bread.


    The kitty is still quite poorly and had to have more treatment last night so my Mum has gone down today to be a vet nurse bless her!!
    Last edited by SunnyGirl; 15-07-2017 at 12:36 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Jul 17, 1:09 PM
    • 12,787 Posts
    • 35,140 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Aw - poor little kitty....

    Just had a vegan cake and feeling slightly about it. To use my phrase LL "I ate it anyway". Have come to conclusion that many vegan cakes are noticeably sweeter than conventional cakes - and, with that, too sweet for me personally (think it's probably the dates that feature a lot in them). You can't say I ain't tryin....

    CBA for lunch proper now - and think I'll probably just have a couple of slices of the ubiquitous singles toast. Must eat some fruit after it - as the garden is currently producing rhubarb, plums and berries - so quite a bit to eat up then.

    The birds saw off the last of my strawberries - but I've got loads in the freezer - so I let them. Think the birds all seem to feel very safe in my garden now - unless they're seagulls that is and I frequently see some out there now "making themselves at home". They'll be setting up little "tables and calling for the waitress to serve cups of coffee to them" at this rate they're marching around it so confidently

    Dinner tonight - a singles use-up again I guess - translated into a stirfry I think and some noodles.
    ploughing my own furrow...the rain begins with a single drop...

    #I'mWithNoel
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Jul 17, 1:37 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I decanted the curry into old marge tubs to cool and shoved them in the fridge. It made 3 fairly ungenerous portions, but probably the same as you'd get in a meal for one. It was 410 grams of chicken and one pouch of sauce; I spooned out the chunks and counted them and it's ended up as 8 chunks per portion... which is what I'd expect from a reasonable ready meal, which seem to typically have 7 pieces.

    Then I realised I had used the last of my basmati earlier in the week. I didn't think I'd want rice so soon again, so hadn't got it as a high priority to buy.

    I probably don't intend to freeze any of these 3 portions.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 15th Jul 17, 2:08 PM
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    SunnyGirl
    Just having a ruminate while it's quiet at work and wondering about singlies 'go to' food....


    PN seems to go to beans, potatoes and bread.


    I go to eggs usually and make omelettes, scrambled etc.


    We all go to crumpets and toast


    What is everyone's favourite 'go to' food when they CBA or are feeling a bit poorly etc? Thought it might give me some ideas instead of eggs. Or beans as they used to be the kids go to food so not something I eat loads of now
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 15th Jul 17, 2:53 PM
    • 9,696 Posts
    • 54,433 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Well I'm done for.......just top coated six dining chairs. THankfully I'm done.....

    I.still need to do the book case, tv unit and coffee table but they can wait. Think the dining chairs are likely to be the worst job, all those fiddly Turned legs and carved stretchers. The other pieces of furniture are plain and simple so should be much easier.

    I am absolutely "jiggered" as we say round here so tonight's dinner will have to be quick and easy. Oven fish and chips, bung in the oven, job done.

    But first a late lunch - cheese and ham omelette. Lots of protein.

    Go to snacks? .

    I can't do crumpets.........Unfortunately I have to avoid all grains so all breads, cakes, biscuits , crackers, pasta, rice etc for snacks or quick fixes are right out.

    My go to snacks are an omelette, nuts, seeds, fruit, dark chocolate. I shouldn't really eat anything from the nightshade family either but I find I can manage the occasional serving of potato so a few chips will be ok tonight.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 15-07-2017 at 3:01 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 15th Jul 17, 3:25 PM
    • 5,267 Posts
    • 5,692 Thanks
    Farway
    I intend to get some more of the Heck sausages while they are on offer in Waitrose. I noticed this morning that they are on offer in Sainsbobs as well, but are 50p a pack more.
    Originally posted by Hollyharvey
    I noticed same in Asda, £2.50. Which justifies my assertion that sometimes Waitrose is cheaper, but not often I admit

    Caronc, runner envy with knobs on , I have just finished making 6 jars of Runner bean chutney, nice and easy, from here
    Just need to wait a month or more to try it. But while oiking out the empty jars I found about 6 jars of 2013 vintage apple chutney. Looks like a HM chutney fest coming on

    I think I follow the not TBFO if reasonably priced, and I can & do eat a whole melon or pineapple over a few days. I bought a pineapple from Lidl a few years back, and it came with handy picture guide of how to cut it up.

    Seems the mistake we make is thinking it has to be in rings, like out of a tin. Top & tail it, then slice it vertically like an orange, lay a slice flat, trim edge off, and slice hard core off, either eat as a big slice or go posh and cut in chunks. Rest keeps fine in fridge, on a plate unless you fancy wiping juice from fridge interior

    No breakfast, then into town, just bread run really, but did buy a YS Aunt Bessies rice pud packet. Seems easy and I will never make one from scratch, easy as it is, because I do not have rice in and see no reason to buy a pack then only use a bit and have uncooked rice hanging around forever. Loose rice is TBFO for me

    Lunch continued the attack on chutney mountain, with cheese in a sarnie

    Dinner is uncertain. I did take some LO cooked chicken out of the freezer, but later bought a YS beef mince pie in Asda. So one of them will be part of my something with steamed pointy cabbage, home grown courgette, and runners, with granule gravy

    I may just get round to picking the blackberries & red currants for a pud at long last
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 15th Jul 17, 4:06 PM
    • 831 Posts
    • 7,601 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    Hi Folks, I'm CFO 90% of the time and hope you don't mind me dipping into your discussions.

    Caronc - I'm a bit like you, if its something I really like or enjoy and there is no tinned/frozen version that suits, TBFO doesn't apply. I try and get around it in as many different ways as possible. I know many people don't like to mix sweet and savoury but I love it and regularly use up peaches, pineapple, melon as part of my salad lunches, - I find they go particularly well with the smoked ham and spicy salami I buy from Lid!

    Sunnygirl - my favourite "go to" food has to be soup and I usually have some hm in the freezer but always have a tin of tomato in the cupboard - takes me back to my childhood when a bowl of that with a slice of doughy loaf made everything all better.

    I've been doing a bit of searching this afternoon because along with trying to keep costs down I am trying to change my menu planning a bit and incorporate more meat-free dishes into my plan.

    At the moment I probably have 1 fish/seafood dish, 1 veggie dish and 5 meat-based dishes per week and feel thats still a bit top heavy meat-wise so I'm looking for inspiration to redress the balance. I thought about eggs, but I often have them for breakfast or lunch so dont want to be eating them twice in a day.

    I bought some dried black beans and intend cooking and freezing them in batches to use in a variety of dishes, so that's a start to increasing my meat-free meals.

    So my question is how do you balance out the need to "use up" whats there and provide a reasonable variety in what you are eating.
    Last edited by Need2bthrifty; 15-07-2017 at 4:10 PM.
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 15th Jul 17, 4:45 PM
    • 557 Posts
    • 4,287 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    Hello welcome Need2bthrify


    SunnyGirl My favourite 'go to' food is also eggs or if I'm really feeling ill a tin of rice pudding (eaten with a tea spoon out of the tin cold), tin or custard, tin of baked beans and sausages or ravioli on toast. The tins are all kept in in case I am too ill to do anything else, they are not things that I would normally eat or fancy.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Jul 17, 4:46 PM
    • 59,135 Posts
    • 345,255 Thanks
    PasturesNew


    So my question is how do you balance out the need to "use up" whats there and provide a reasonable variety in what you are eating.
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    I think if anybody seriously wanted to do that they'd have to go super OCD over menu planning, probably working on tight "cycles" of the type of food to eat over 1-2 months, so what you've got can be mixed/matched.

    Either that or having 2-3 freezers and liking eating the same things.

    But then you lose the "what I fancy" excitement of it all

    There can be no one answer as everybody has different budgets, different likes/dislikes, different shops available to them and differing sized houses/freezers to store stuff. Then toss in whether somebody actually LIKES cooking at all and/or whether they "can't be bothered, 'just for me'". Then there are weirdos like me ... I can't actually use ovens/hobs as they scare me

    I work on the basis of: Keep it cheap/aim for under £1/day; keep it fast/simple; so long as you eat something it's a job done.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I popped out to 4ldi - intending to pick up a bag of basmati - but somehow my eye got caught by long grain rice and I thought "Haven't bought/eaten that for about 5 years" and thought I'd give it a whirl, see if it's as lack lustre as I remember

    I also picked up a bag of basmati, but then put it back as I don't really have the space for it and if I have it in the house and the other rice is minging I'll put off eating all that....

    For tea I'll make some long grain rice and serve that with one of the portions of chicken curry I slow cooked this morning.

    I also grabbed a 15p tin of spaghetti hoops - great on toast if you splash a bit of balsamic at it to stop it being so bland. With/without cheese depending on whether any's grated and/or if I CBA to grate more
    • caronc
    • By caronc 15th Jul 17, 5:32 PM
    • 1,817 Posts
    • 12,314 Thanks
    caronc
    Well I'm done for.......just top coated six dining chairs. THankfully I'm done.....

    I.still need to do the book case, tv unit and coffee table but they can wait. Think the dining chairs are likely to be the worst job, all those fiddly Turned legs and carved stretchers. The other pieces of furniture are plain and simple so should be much easier.

    .
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    I'm jiggered just thinking about doing all that - though satisying to get it done

    Caronc, runner envy with knobs on , I have just finished making 6 jars of Runner bean chutney, nice and easy, from here
    Just need to wait a month or more to try it. But while oiking out the empty jars I found about 6 jars of 2013 vintage apple chutney. Looks like a HM chutney fest coming on
    Originally posted by Farway
    You're showing off now . You can't beat vintage chutney, I'm working my way through a batch of 2014 apple, plum, onion and 5 spice it's lovely
    Hi Folks, I'm CFO 90% of the time and hope you don't mind me dipping into your discussions.

    Caronc - I'm a bit like you, if its something I really like or enjoy and there is no tinned/frozen version that suits, TBFO doesn't apply. I try and get around it in as many different ways as possible. I know many people don't like to mix sweet and savoury but I love it and regularly use up peaches, pineapple, melon as part of my salad lunches, - I find they go particularly well with the smoked ham and spicy salami I buy from Lid!

    Sunnygirl - my favourite "go to" food has to be soup and I usually have some hm in the freezer but always have a tin of tomato in the cupboard - takes me back to my childhood when a bowl of that with a slice of doughy loaf made everything all better.

    I've been doing a bit of searching this afternoon because along with trying to keep costs down I am trying to change my menu planning a bit and incorporate more meat-free dishes into my plan.

    At the moment I probably have 1 fish/seafood dish, 1 veggie dish and 5 meat-based dishes per week and feel thats still a bit top heavy meat-wise so I'm looking for inspiration to redress the balance. I thought about eggs, but I often have them for breakfast or lunch so dont want to be eating them twice in a day.

    I bought some dried black beans and intend cooking and freezing them in batches to use in a variety of dishes, so that's a start to increasing my meat-free meals.

    So my question is how do you balance out the need to "use up" whats there and provide a reasonable variety in what you are eating.
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    Welcome Need2bthrifty, I'm not sure I've quite got there balance wise re using up as it's a bit of a scramble at times to decide what to do with something that needs something done with it that day. I do hate repetitive eating though (the curse of CFOing) and consequently either eat things that are sort of stand alone or batch cook and freeze most.

    SunnyG - I hope !!!!!cat is on the mend now. Re the "go to foods", apart from the standard eggs, toast, crumpets my "go to" tends to be something I bung on a tray in the oven e.g. fish or chicken thighs + a baked spud or wedges + roasted or nuked veg. This works well for me when I have spells where standing is an issue and I can vary it enough combination wise not to get fed up with it.

    I checked the mango and it definitely needed using today as it was just on the verge of going over. So it's been blended with some greek yoghurt, lime juice and honey and popped in the freezer in small dishes for a quick treat as and when I fancy.
    Mar GC £131/£150, April GC £150/£160, May GC £150/£150, June GC £117/£120, July £161/£170
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