Americans now eat over half of their meals alone. Part of the reason is perhaps that 27
percent of all households now consist of just one person –the highest level in U.S. history. Cooking for one can be challenging. Here are some tips for making meals for one:
- Beware of bulk. When grocery shopping, buying in bulk is often a better deal, but only if you eat everything before it spoils. Plan meals ahead of time and buy only what you need. If you do buy in bulk, buy items that can be more easily separated and stored or frozen. Foods such as dairy, meat, fruits and vegetables should be purchased in small amounts so that they don’t spoil.
- Stock up on staples. Stock your pantry with staples such as pasta, beans and rice. These items don’t go bad and can be used to cook multiple meals. Know what your personal portion size is and only cook that amount.
- Fill up your freezer. If you’ve been avoiding cooking a favorite recipe just because it makes six servings, go ahead and cook it just for you. Portion leftovers into containers, seal tightly, label with the date and freeze for up to two months.
- Love leftovers. With a little planning, you can make one recipe for dinner and have enough left over to make a totally different meal the next day. For instance, have baked chicken breast with vegetables for dinner and rice one night, and toss the leftover chicken into a salad the next night.
- Reduce recipes. Learn to cut recipes in half, or even into quarters if necessary. If the recipe calls for a large egg, try using a small egg or just the egg white to cut the recipe in half.
- Find a friend. Know anyone else who’s dining solo? Suggest that each of you finds a recipe that serves two and cook it. Keep one portion for yourself and swap the second portion so you’ll have each have two different single-serving meals.