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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Two)
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    Cooking for one (Mark Two) 17th Jul 17 at 6:31 PM
    In view of the issue of longer threads being auto-deleted I thought wise to start a shiny new thread as we had got to over 5.5K posts.
    The original "Cooking for one" thread can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5585796

    13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    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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    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 5:04 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Duly stocked-up at the supermarket - loads of milk/loads of plant milk/half the shelves worth of vegetables (well - okay - I exaggerate - a lot anyways).

    Don't know about talking to myself personally - but I do often have the radio off these days whilst doing the washing-up for instance. I'm perfectly silent outwardly then - but "I can hear myself think" and I've definitely come to the conclusion that I don't know what I'm "tapping into" as ideas come up/different slants on things/etc rising up to the surface of my mind. Could be my own "higher self"/subconscious/guardian angel or a "guide"/etc. But I find it a handy mechanism for all those little thoughts I need to remember and those "different slants on things".

    Anyone watching me wouldnt hear a thing - but they'd often see me diving off into my study to make a note about something that had just come to the surface of my mind (whether it's of the "Must remember to add x to the shopping list" mundane variety or "Oh yes - I expect that's what's going on there/what they're thinking or doing or whatever" variety on the other hand). Whatever level it's at - it's a useful mechanism I think.

    On that note - must get myself some more spicy sweet potato wedges into the oven to go with the last of yesterday's stirfry.

    EDIT; Bought some of that Frank's Red Hot Original sauce someone on here recommended - and ...yep...I've still to be a bit "cautious" with it and use it as a dipping sauce (rather than scattering liberally over the top) but I think it's sorta working for me on that basis.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 06-01-2018 at 5:19 PM.
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    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 6th Jan 18, 5:59 PM
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    mcculloch29
    I don't get colds, but I do get flu, once every 10-15 years, and I'm overdue a dose. My worry is that I am far less physically fit now, and I may be affected as badly as I was when I was a child (aged 10 or so) when I was really ill.
    I am lucky for company, although I'm not very mobile, I speak to and see friends and family regularly, and have weekly and monthly nights out at live music clubs.
    I have really good next door neighbours, the staff at a residential home for people with learning disabilities keep an eye and ear open. I'm also able to help them a little, taking in parcels, etc.
    I am also lucky enough to have a job working from home, so my day still has structure.
    My job is almost completely flexible, so if I am below par, I can usually space the workload out to make it manageable. I work as an English instructor (I am a qualified adult education tutor, with maths and English specialisms).

    I also enjoy having the radio on for company. It's usually Radio 2 or 6Music, with the odd bit of Radio 4. I do like the company of Graham Norton on a Saturday morning, he always brings a smile.
    Last edited by mcculloch29; 06-01-2018 at 6:09 PM.
    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.
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 6:05 PM
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    Irenadler
    I've just spent the morning prepping mushrooms peppers and onions for the freezer. I mostly use them in most things I cook so if they're chopped and ready I'll be more likely to use them more often.
    I also cooked a big pan of potatoes, I've frozen them open and will transfer when they solid , I kept a few back for roasts tomorrow. I had a quick tidy of my inside freezer, and have a mushroom and chicken crispbread that's been in there for longer than I can remember, so I'll cook that with the tempura chicken gougons for tea today. I've also identified a small piece of cooked steak that I'll have this week.
    Originally posted by wort
    That's so useful Wort, one of those why didn't I think of that it seems so obvious now (facepalm) moments. Thanks!
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 6:09 PM
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    Irenadler
    Think of it positively - you're keeping company with Erin Brockovich in that (for those that dont know - everyone thought she was "just a Secretary" until she took on a big company polluting the environment and she won). This sort of thing is what she does for a career these days - not just a "dumb blonde with big boobs" then. I've got her book/seen the film.
    .
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I will.. . minus the blonde hair and big boobs. Have seen that film, just shows what one person can do with determination. I won't stop talking to myself or the dog, but, I will make in-roads on minimising the waist-line.
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 6:26 PM
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    Irenadler
    I think I will chuck in a couple of the beefburgers which have stuck forever in the freezer. I just want to get shot of them and if I don't eat them they will be binned. I need a dog, even if just to eat me should I keel over
    Originally posted by Farway
    Hey Farway, that made me chuckle. You could borrow mine, wait, you're too 'farway'

    Maybe we should all get ourselves a dog, for those who haven't got one. I think I read somewhere (I have eclectic tastes) that it was cats more likely to see you as a lunch option, especially if you own more than one....

    Perhaps best to stick to less carnivorous pets, a goldfish, a budgie (it can talk back), or a rabbit/guinea pig?

    Anyway, on the last meal/supper, couldn't face the fat globuled cold gravy and veg option, so toast and the last scrapings of pate instead.

    I know a certain canine whose eating habits are not too fussy.....
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 6:28 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I will.. . minus the blonde hair and big boobs. Have seen that film, just shows what one person can do with determination. I won't stop talking to myself or the dog, but, I will make in-roads on minimising the waist-line.
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    Talking to dogs - and cats - is obligatory isnt it if one has a companion animal (as they're called these days I gather) - even if just of the "Oh...puss.....6 o'clock in the morning is too early to be trying to get me out of bed to feed you breakfast. Go away...." variety....
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    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 6th Jan 18, 6:46 PM
    • 1,456 Posts
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    Hollyharvey

    Confession time. Yesterday's call of cheese topped crumpets overpowered me last night, and I scoffed the whole pack of 6 during the evening, in lieu of dinner
    Originally posted by Farway
    Now that is my kind of dinner, easy, simple and hardly any clearing up .

    It is just the sort of thing I would do, in fact I probably have in the past . I have been known to open a packet of biscuits and eat the whole packet, then not surprisingly didn't bother with any dinner . I haven't done that for a while though, but over New Year I did manage chocolate biscuits and cheesecake for breakfast one day .
    • Farway
    • By Farway 6th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    • 6,246 Posts
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    Farway
    Talking to dogs - and cats - is obligatory isnt it if one has a companion animal (as they're called these days I gather) - even if just of the "Oh...puss.....6 o'clock in the morning is too early to be trying to get me out of bed to feed you breakfast. Go away...." variety....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    That sounds like the very polite edited version:

    I did the roast veggies with the burgers. It was no good, even the smell of burgers cooking put me right off them, they are not cheapo 10 for 50p donkey burgers either Only two left and I will have to bin them.

    I know it's been mentioned how tastes / appetites change, over time, the burgers are typical. I used to like them, and even had them as one of my Pick your Own offers.

    I may have a couple of warmed mince pies with Greek yoghurt later, if only to get rid of the lingering burger taste.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 6th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
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    caronc
    I've just been very "brave" (and ruthless) and gutted my "tupperware" cupboard as it was an absolute mess. It was a jumble before the festivities but beyond manageable afterwards. For someone who seldom eats takeaways I'm unsure why there were so many of the plastic tubs...... I've also culled a load that were warped/ missing lids and a load of spare lids without corresponding bases. Now "rewarding" myself with a Saturday night glass of wine before I prep my dinner....
    I'm definitely a bit of a "hoarder" so next challenge over coming months will be my wardrobes, I have loads of "office" clothes so the older stuff can go, though I'll keep a couple of pairs of trousers and tops. I can probably cull suit jackets as well. I've also loads of skirts unworn for a couple of years. Due to needing to wear very sensible shoes these days I much prefer trousers and I think the last time I wore a skirt/dress was my son's Graduation in July 2016! It's going to be a big job....
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    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 6th Jan 18, 7:56 PM
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    MrAPJI
    Well Ladies, there is nothing worse (as I'm sure Farway will confirm) than 'Man Flu', which I'm sure I've had on more than one occasion . Seriously, I hope everyone who is poorly, feels better soon.

    The slow cooker meal was ok - not the disaster I thought it might be. There's probably enough for another 2 days - it will give me a rest from the toil of preparing more food

    The vicar arrived and we had a really good chat. I was sorry to hear that he was giving up his ministry for a more academic role, but he asked to stay in touch which was really nice . He actually lost his wife (in her 40's) a couple of years ago in a very traumatic way. She was lecturing in Australia and died suddenly from complications arising from cancer - she didn't even know she had it. He then had to fly over to bring her home. Sometimes life can be exceedingly cruel.

    I have found myself increasingly talking to the cat and he does seem to enjoy it . When my wife was here, he didn't give me the time of the day, but he's come to realise that he's just going to have to put up with me . Have to say they he's helped me through these past months in a way I wouldn't have understood before. Anyway, I had better sign off before I start to ramble lol
    • caronc
    • By caronc 6th Jan 18, 8:03 PM
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    caronc

    I have found myself increasingly talking to the cat and he does seem to enjoy it . When my wife was here, he didn't give me the time of the day, but he's come to realise that he's just going to have to put up with me . Have to say they he's helped me through these past months in a way I wouldn't have understood before. Anyway, I had better sign off before I start to ramble lol
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    My Mum had a cat that detested my Dad (for no known reason), when she died the cat spent a week or so pining and then one night crawled into bed with my Dad. After that they doted on each other, I think the puss did help him get through the grieving period. I get regular visits from my neighbour's cat so enjoy a bit of a cuddle and chat with him.
    Glad the SC meal worked ok
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    • Glad
    • By Glad 6th Jan 18, 8:12 PM
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    Glad
    I've just been very "brave" (and ruthless) and gutted my "tupperware" cupboard as it was an absolute mess. It was a jumble before the festivities but beyond manageable afterwards. For someone who seldom eats takeaways I'm unsure why there were so many of the plastic tubs...... I've also culled a load that were warped/ missing lids and a load of spare lids without corresponding bases. Now "rewarding" myself with a Saturday night glass of wine before I prep my dinner....
    I'm definitely a bit of a "hoarder" so next challenge over coming months will be my wardrobes, I have loads of "office" clothes so the older stuff can go, though I'll keep a couple of pairs of trousers and tops. I can probably cull suit jackets as well. I've also loads of skirts unworn for a couple of years. Due to needing to wear very sensible shoes these days I much prefer trousers and I think the last time I wore a skirt/dress was my son's Graduation in July 2016! It's going to be a big job....
    Originally posted by caronc
    I think plastic boxes and lids breed when they're shut in a cupboard
    and then the plastic fairies pop in at night and run off with the boxes but leave the lids
    I'm a Board Guide on the Money Savers Arms, Discussion Time, Wales, Competitions, Marriage Relationships & Families, Health and Pet Care boards. However, please do remember, board guides don't read every post. if you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with reportable posts). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 9:02 PM
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    PasturesNew
    With the takeaway boxes, I was keeping them all from takeaways and quickly realised that was useless as the lids were tricky to get a match.

    I then binned the lot and bought 8 identical ones in a pack. I stuck to that until I started buying the occasional takeaway again (about once a quarter) - and now I do keep those boxes, but I keep those ones in the cupboard with the lids fitted as they're a different size. I only have about 2-3 of this different size at the moment, from the same shop... if I get more then I might find a new system of nesting those together with the lids, separate from the other 8 that match.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jan 18, 6:33 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I've been up 1 hours, on my second coffee - after I'd lain awake and turning for 2 hours and then just gave up.

    Yesterday's meals ended up being:
    2 chocolate biscuits (Xmas biscuit box)
    2 sausage rolls
    2 sausage rolls
    2 chocolate biscuits (Xmas biscuit box)



    There's probably under 1000 calories in that lot though! So that's the chocolate and sausage roll diet for you in a nutshell!

    I think I'll have a big toasted bread roll for breakfast, topped with scrambled eggs and beans.

    I've still a freezer of food to eat my way through, to free up space. It's so easy to fill it; so hard to then address the issue of eating what's in there

    And I've still many Kg of spuds I bought in the run up to Xmas. Three 2.5Kg bags in total. Bought bag 1 as they were cheap (29p) in Tesc0.... then bought bag 2 because they were Maris pipers and cheap (29p) and it was Xmas .... and then bought bag 3 on the final day of 4ldi's special price of 29p "because it'd be daft not to".

    Maybe a jacket spud and cheese/beans could be cooked later.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Jan 18, 7:56 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Ditto here. I've been lying there awake for a couple of hours - and, for a quiet area, noticing the sound of a noticeable number of planes flying overhead nearby

    Have the feeling I shouldnt have tried watching the start of that new mini-series "Hard Sun" yesterday - think it was the scene of all those M*5 men "on the chase" after "normal people" (ie the two police) I found unsettling. Daft of me to watch it - after carefully avoiding watching the McM*fia mini-series...

    Time to head for breakfast myself in a minute. Last year's fruit harvest from the garden is still giving - I hauled some of the berries out of the freezer to top my porridge for the next few mornings.

    Grins a bit each time I chuck things like seeds and fruits on top of my morning porridge - as I know just what Pastures would be likely to say about doing things like that. 'Morning Pastures...
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Jan 18, 8:00 AM
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    PasturesNew

    Grins a bit each time I chuck things like seeds and fruits on top of my morning porridge - as I know just what Pastures would be likely to say about doing things like that. 'Morning Pastures...
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention


    It's very "Upstairs, downstairs" as I'd call it .... I see all these modern fripperies and ways very much the domain of "the wealthier than me" leading lifestyles I can't even imagine

    I had porridge once, nasty, nasty stuff - it was cheap oats. I was on a school geography trip and went down to breakfast and there was this "stuff lurking at the bottom of a dish of grey water" and I asked what it was and they said "porridge" and I'd never had it, so I asked for some. They stuck the spoon in, stirred the grey water into this white mass and glooped out a dollop. Then I took a spoon of it .... didn't have a 2nd!

    I've never been one for berries. An overpriced "frippery" in my little world; an overhead in logistics of using things up and making room for another item.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Jan 18, 8:29 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    You might decide to plant some berry bushes in your garden Pastures? If they can survive in my windy garden - then they should be okay in yours I would have thought.

    Anyways - on another topic and there's a map online of the spread of the Aussie Flu and it was just as I anticipated to date - going nuts in my home area and not a trace of it here (so far - fingers crossed).

    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5242051/H3N2-Aussie-flu-strain-hits-five-UK-towns-day.html

    Already realised not much point ringing my elderly mother and advising her not to go "out and about" in it (not that she can very often anyway - as my parents are both pretty housebound these days). I know her well enough to know she'd totally ignore me at best and deliberately try to mix with people at worst and she'd actively be hoping she did get it and that would be me ending this winter minus two parents (I also know my father rather well too). We all know just how vulnerable she is to respiratory problems - and so I'm keeping my mouth shut and not going to mention it - in order not to put any ideas into her head about deliberately going out.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 07-01-2018 at 8:45 AM.
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    • kittie
    • By kittie 7th Jan 18, 8:56 AM
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    kittie
    my mind is always thinking and I can talk to myself easily when I have a problem to discuss, I usually get to the solution though if I sleep on it, I often wake up with the answer.

    I am still in using up mode and had the last two tofu (tasteless) sausages with small tomatoes and an egg for breakfast. I have one nice ready meal to use and some berry compote, various veg and so on and maybe just a bit of cheese left to melt on hot sd toast for last meal. I finished my veg soup last night. As soon as I am down to a bare fridge and used up all the ready frozen stuff like cooked ham, then I will contemplate making a nice casserole in my pressure cooker. I think I will make a small loaf in my bm later, I feel like a ham and picallili sandwich, probably tomorrow
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Jan 18, 10:30 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    The "sleep on it" thing has virtues and sometimes works - and it's always worth trying to think how to deal with a problem/take a positive attitude it can be resolved at the outset.

    One of the downsides of getting older though imo is the realisation that there are problems that just can't be solved whatever one does. Not just the big things - you know world peace etc etc. But, at a personal level, the fact that sometimes it boils down to a "best case analysis" of what can be done to ameliorate a situation that can't be completely "binned/forgotten".

    Me - I tend to giving myself time to "hear myself think" in quiet (and notebook taken with me when going for a walk - as sometimes things surface then whilst the mind is otherwise not that preoccupied) and be prepared to fight harder than many expect a woman and/or someone who'd like to "fit in" if possible to do (but has higher priorities if fitting in translates into being walked over).

    I'm a great researcher of facts about issues of concern to me and find them out as best I can and then work out the odds of succeeding with whatever-it-is I've realised I've got a fight on my hands about.

    The virtues of "switching off" when one has done all the research/planning/etc one reasonably can about any issue aren't to be under-rated either. Current personal favourite - and yep...I know it's mindless - being watching detective tv programmes.
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    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Apji - you're probably right re the gym being a "hunting ground" for 20's/30's - though I've never been a gym-goer myself.

    Just seen one advantage to being a woman there - exercise classes tend to have women as the majority participants in them and we're definitely going for the exercise and a "bit of a laugh". There aren't many men at all going to any of them - but maybe you'll strike luckier at trying something like yoga classes (as people there tend to be really going for the exercise and they're more mixed-age normally and some men going - if still predominantly women).?

    What else? Tai Chi? Chi Gong? Pilates?

    EDIT; Walking groups - now that could be your best bet...
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 07-01-2018 at 10:39 AM.
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