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 18, 8:48 AM
    • 3,793Posts
    • 24,353Thanks
    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Three)
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    Cooking for one (Mark Three) 13th Jan 18 at 8:48 AM
    Welcome to Cooking one (Mark Three), time to get a shiny new thread up and running. The link to "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73708876&posted=1#post73708876

    Cooking For One
    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?
    Last edited by caronc; 13-01-2018 at 8:51 AM.
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
Page 83
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Mar 18, 8:57 AM
    • 62,492 Posts
    • 366,038 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    bag I got, I should really chop and freeze them.
    Originally posted by caronc
    There is an easier way ...
    Just scrape them clean with one of those kitchen scourers, snip off the two ends, toss into a takeaway box with " of water, pop the lid on with vent space and nuke for 3 minutes, turning them after each minute.... THEN chop them as they're soft.

    This is how I usually cook carrots.... I cut them into shape after they've cooked.

    I find cutting raw carrots a real bind ... but then I don't have any "proper knives" and do everything with a tiny old 65p paring knife.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Mar 18, 9:02 AM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,353 Thanks
    caronc
    There is an easier way ...
    Just scrape them clean with one of those kitchen scourers, snip off the two ends, toss into a takeaway box with " of water, pop the lid on with vent space and nuke for 3 minutes, turning them after each minute.... THEN chop them as they're soft.

    This is how I usually cook carrots.... I cut them into shape after they've cooked.

    I find cutting raw carrots a real bind ... but then I don't have any "proper knives" and do everything with a tiny old 65p paring knife.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Thanks PN, I think mine are beyond just scouring but I like the idea of par cooking them before freezing them. I don't mind chopping though as long as I can sit down to do it. That said I suspect they will lurk in the fridge for another few days before I do anything with them
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Mar 18, 9:19 AM
    • 15,623 Posts
    • 43,358 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Before I head off for my bus - just a quickie (not that sort of one Pasturesor Farway).

    Just had a 2nd phonecall through purporting to be from HMRC and telling me I'm under investigation for unpaid taxes.

    Don't know how widespread these calls are across the country?? I know there's quite a few of them being received round here. This may (or may not) be down to the number of unmarked vans driving round here - which could/possibly/conceivably sometimes be "doing a hobble" (to use the local phrase). Ahem.....

    I'm never quite sure if there is a "real person" hovering there in the background that can hear what one is saying back to the would-be thief? But, in case they can, at the thought of what their reaction would have been to what I was saying back
    Like Frankie said - I did it my way.
    It's MY life......
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 9:28 AM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    Yesterdays cinema trip was unusual for me. I can't recall what I saw last... I perhaps only go 2 or 3 times a year. I'm more likely to go and see those 'National Theatre Live' screenings of plays and musicals. They are a little more expensive, but more of an "event". And it sounds awful, but also a higher class of clientele. Generally less of the "popcorn crunching, fizz slurper, kick your chair" crowd. There are also very rarely any under 18s. Mostly I'm guessing because of the content, and they are usually school-nights, and don't even start until 7:30/8pm.
    Originally posted by flubberyzing
    I went to the theatre this year and noticed the audience were far more quiet and well behaved than at the cinema.

    My brother went with me and he said it was unusual for the men to be washing their hands in the bathroom as when he usually goes to the cinema and to gigs the men usually walk out without washing!

    Ewww! So gross.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 9:30 AM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    Speaking of loos, mine will only be fixed tomorrow!

    I'm glad that it is about to run out this month as we are obviously going to switch to another home insurance supplier after Morethan were so ******* useless.

    I read the best ones are Saga, John Lewis and Direct Line.

    I just had a gluten free pitta with vegan cheese and salad.

    I'm going to make Singapore noodles later as I had a craving.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Mar 18, 9:40 AM
    • 62,492 Posts
    • 366,038 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    One thing I find with CFO is that, unless you're DETERMINED to make a change, it's harder to get out of the rut of food because you've a wake of leftovers behind you that need using up.

    It's harder to justify buying in the ingredients for "something completely different" as that means ignoring what you've already got that needs using up ... and in buying the new ingredients you'll then be eating that for 3-4 days and end up with another bunch of leftovers that'll lurk (even if they are jars).

    So it's harder to switch between cuisines without filling the cupboard with more packet clutter. I've a bottle of soy sauce I've not opened since I last used it over a year ago ... but when do I fit that in with all the other stuff?

    It just becomes easier and less wasteful to "stick with what you usually get" as single people are rarely filling a basket with food that will all be consumed that day. Somebody cooking for 4-6 can have a meal in mind and go and get the ingredients in a basket, then cook 90% of that basket of food and eat the meal the same day. A single either has to commit to eating it every day for the next four days .... or pondering if/how it can be frozen .... or halving the recipe and eating it for two days but still having half a basket of food that "needs using up" but now without a recipe that's any different to the first one.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Mar 18, 10:03 AM
    • 3,621 Posts
    • 5,418 Thanks
    bouicca21
    I don't think I mind paying more for running the flat as a singleton, since I choose to have somewhere spacious rather than downsize to a one bed place. What really gets me is discounts for buying in bulk or spending more. It's those two4one and buy 3 for 10 offers and the coupon that regularly spills out of the till telling me I can save x on a spend of 50.

    And my related gripe about 3 for 10 is that that clearly means that individual items are really 3.33 rather than the price on the ticket. But when they go YS they calculate it on the price on the ticket and tell you it's being discounted at 3.90.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 10:31 AM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I've probably said that I'm not single but because I'm vegan and my husband isn't, I usually am cooking for one.

    The thing that bothers me is that a person living on their own gets the same size dustbin as households with more than one person. We have 3 cats so we use cat litter and our bin gets full up really quickly. I think if you are more than one person you should have a larger bin!

    I don't know what people with big familes do.

    It doesn't help that the bin service in my local area is appalling and the binmen often miss our street. I wrote a complaint about it and I got a reply yesterday saying the council will respond by the 23rd of March! Thanks so much

    and BREATHE...
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Mar 18, 10:43 AM
    • 62,492 Posts
    • 366,038 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .... a person living on their own gets the same size dustbin as households with more than one person. We have 3 cats so we use cat litter and our bin gets full up really quickly. I think if you are more than one person you should have a larger bin!

    I don't know what people with big familes do.
    ...
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    For me I wish it was smaller. I am having to lug out the whole bin containing about one carrier bag right at the bottom.... and if I discover one more item to go into it I can't reach it.

    The bin men also don't even drag the bin away most of the time, once they open the lid and see one binbag they remove it and walk away with just the bag. I usually put a small bag inside a full sized bin bag just in case I want to add one more item... and to make it easier for them to reach the bag rather than having to reach full depth for a tiny bag at the bottom... so that's a waste too.

    Here you can request a larger bin, rather than the standard one, which is 140 litres. I'd do OK with 35-50 litres.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 11:19 AM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I'm just eating some sweets and a satsuma. I blame whoever was talking about fruit pastilles on here the other day!



    Here you can request a larger bin, rather than the standard one, which is 140 litres. I'd do OK with 35-50 litres.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    They don't do that where I live.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Mar 18, 11:21 AM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,353 Thanks
    caronc
    I'd be quite happy with a smaller general waste bin & recycling but as a keen gardener I need a full size one for stuff I don't or can't compost.
    I think bouicca21 made a good point, most of us CFOers seem to live in "family-size" spaces so it's a "space" cost rather than a CFO cost, I suppose if I really wanted to reduce all my bills I could down-size
    I don't mind family packs of things if it something I use regularly as I'll either use it or split and freeze it but it can be a pain if that is the only option or if smaller amounts are much more expensive . I find as a CFO I need as much food storage space as I did before (though I could get away with a smaller fridge) so I can have the choice of food stuffs that I want to have but again I'm paying a premium for making that choice. One of my friends lives in a tiny flat, her choice she could afford something bigger, she loves it but it would drive me nuts. I like my space
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Mar 18, 12:12 PM
    • 11,985 Posts
    • 75,019 Thanks
    kittie
    I

    The thing that bothers me is that a person living on their own gets the same size dustbin as households with more than one person.
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    then the singles should pay a lot less in council tax. I pay 169 pm and a working family of 5 down the lane pay much less, they have a big nice old house and very large garden. I have one bin empty every 2 weeks for that, no lights nothing
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Mar 18, 12:22 PM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,353 Thanks
    caronc
    The stock I made from tandoori spiced chicken carcass is bloomin' lovely, it doesn't taste "curried" just lovely and warming with a hint of spices. I'll be making that again especially as I always feel making stock is getting "something for nothing" (though I know it's not!)
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 12:30 PM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    then the singles should pay a lot less in council tax. I pay 169 pm and a working family of 5 down the lane pay much less, they have a big nice old house and very large garden. I have one bin empty every 2 weeks for that, no lights nothing
    Originally posted by kittie
    Single people do get a discount on their council tax, don't they?

    Why does a family of 5 pay less than you? I don't understand.

    I don't care about paying more council tax than a single person does, I just think on a practical level that my household needs a bigger bin.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Mar 18, 12:39 PM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,353 Thanks
    caronc
    In our area if you are classed as a large household (6+ people) you can get an extra general waste bin provided. For recycling and garden waste anyone can buy for a small charge extra bins, there is no extra charge for the emptying of them. You can't pay for extra general waste bin though.
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 12:47 PM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    In our area if you are classed as a large household (6+ people) you can get an extra general waste bin provided. For recycling and garden waste anyone can buy for a small charge extra bins, there is no extra charge for the emptying of them. You can't pay for extra general waste bin though.
    Originally posted by caronc
    Maybe I should pretend to the council that my 5 cats and dogs are people.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • kittie
    • By kittie 13th Mar 18, 12:56 PM
    • 11,985 Posts
    • 75,019 Thanks
    kittie
    Why does a family of 5 pay less than you? I don't understand.
    .
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    properties were valued in 1991 and that is the value used for council tax today. Any new property council tax is based on current value. Always cheaper wrt council tax to have an older house. That house has since had a considerable extension and has a very large plot but is still valued at the old 1991 value, hence council tax can be so unfair
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 13th Mar 18, 1:00 PM
    • 62,492 Posts
    • 366,038 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    I've got as far as cutting/cooking the cabbage I wish I'd never bought....
    had thought I'd use a few bits to make a stupid "stuffed......" combining rice/mince and spices et al and shoving that into a leaf or two and steaming it. Then came to my senses and so am just cooking the darned cabbage to get it gone.

    Life is too short to start stuffing random things just because you can; might as well just make up any rice/mince stuff and leave it at that if I've a yearning for it... and serve it with chips

    In the main, "for one" ... stuffing anything is just a boring and pointless task that takes up extra time and faff ... for what? For no extra real benefit.

    A lot of food is presented to us "for presentation purposes" - but if nobody but you will ever see it you can cut the cooking time in half by not bothering. e.g. why have a cheese crusted shepherd's pie .... when in half the time you can have a pile of mince mix on the plate with a portion of cheese mash beside it
    You have to question whether the extra steps, extra time, often extra washing up is worth the difference in end results.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 13-03-2018 at 1:02 PM.
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 13th Mar 18, 1:02 PM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 12,539 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    properties were valued in 1991 and that is the value used for council tax today. Any new property council tax is based on current value. Always cheaper wrt council tax to have an older house. That house has since had a considerable extension and has a very large plot but is still valued at the old 1991 value, hence council tax can be so unfair
    Originally posted by kittie
    Oh, I see. I didn't know that.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 24/60
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Mar 18, 1:03 PM
    • 3,793 Posts
    • 24,353 Thanks
    caronc
    properties were valued in 1991 and that is the value used for council tax today. Any new property council tax is based on current value. Always cheaper wrt council tax to have an older house. That house has since had a considerable extension and has a very large plot but is still valued at the old 1991 value, hence council tax can be so unfair
    Originally posted by kittie
    Our council revalued all the properties a few years ago, mine stayed in the same band but it did iron out some anomalies between new or extended & old builds. I'm not sure what the alternative is to council tax, when I first got married it was the poll tax and it more than doubled what had been paid in rates for a small flat which felt horribly unfair at the time. I'm not sure there is a perfect solution someone always looses out when it comes to taxation
    GC - Feb18 68/120, Mar 104/150, Apr 164/200, May 96/120
    GC YTD 2018- 487/710
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

176Posts Today

1,850Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin