Favorite cook for one meals/food shopping tips?

CindyBelleZ6NJSeptember 24, 2003

Any favorite meals for one recipes? Also, I am trying to stick to a food budget of $30.00 per week, for 3 meals a day and a dessert or snack. I cannot eat onions or cheese. Any suggestions? I do shop the flyers, combine featured items and coupons, and buy just a few things at a warehouse store. Tips are needed, thanks.

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Wow CindyBelle, $30.00 a week doesn't seem like much these days, but with a little effort, I'll bet you can do it!! You shop the same way I do, combining sale items and coupons. I don't cook for one anymore, but when I did, I tried to fix larger quantities that could be divided into single servings, frozen and later popped in the microwave. Some of my favorites were spaghetti, chili, some soups or stews and chicken casseroles. Ham and turkey can be sliced up and frozen for use later in sandwiches or salads. For desserts, maybe bake a fruit pie or pound cake and wrap up individual servings. From the freezer might not be quite as good as "just made", but I'm sure you'll save money and time.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 2:01PM
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I agree that 30 per week makes it a tight budget, but it can be done...(been there after my divorce, years ago when the budget only called for 20 per week)...my survival technique was to buy the beef and ham roasts, loaf of bread, lunchmeat, a bag of potatos, cheese(I know, you said no cheese...just relating how I did it for the sandwiches), cheap butter and sour cream and etc....cook the roast and and have a feast of a meal once a week...the rest of the week, slice up the roast to make sandwiches and throw the last of it in the crockpot to make a stew..by buying a roast you are likely to have leftovers for the following week when you can buy a different variety for a change of pace...you'd still have potatoes and butter, so you substitute little items here and there...tuna is cheap, if you like it...a couple of pounds of hamburger, a box of hamburger helper....dang...getting hungry now....good luck CindyBelle...hopefully things turn around

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 8:01PM
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after my husband went to a care home i started eating lunch out about 5 days a week. i don't do desert when i eat out, it's to expensive, almost as costly as the meal. i started eating when "I" was hungry instead of by the clock and ate what "I" wanted. i lost weight and i am never going to cook again except breakfast 2 or 3 yimes a week. i only eat twice a day, the second meal is usually a bowl of cereal.

i cooked for so many years, i was sick of it.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 2:38PM
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I also cook meals that freeze well. I eat it at least once when it is first cooked, then freeze individual portions for later. Today it is black bean chili.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 3:01PM
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i have a friend who does this with not much effort, according to her. every saturday she makes casseroles that cook in the oven while she cleans her house. then she freezes them in individual portions. you could do this in a crock pot as well. my friend says that she always has a meal ready when she wants to invite someone for dinner. she just takes the number of portions she wants to serve out of the fridge.

you can use many recipes that call for onions and just leave them out.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:37PM
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I agree its not only hard cooking for one its hard to eat healthy and not waste money and food especially on fresh fruits and veggies. I think it takes some thought and (my pitfall) a lot of planning since often when you buy something its more than you can eat and doesn't always freeze well by itself. So if you buy a big stalk of broccoli, separate some for eating and make a casserole for freezing, or certainly try to figure which is cheaper, frozen or fresh?. A bag of applies for fresh fruit may be a better deal than single applies but can't eat the whole bag before mushy? Make pie for freezing. Eggs on sale? Again, eat some fresh then make something freezable (is quiche freezable?)
A couple of thoughts, Rachael Ray always mentions when using frozen spinach what a good deal it is since you get so much packed in the box for the price. Its good for you so you could google casseroles with spinach (I had a friend in college with no money, he ate one meal a day, spaghetti and spinach). Also lentils, and beans are high in protein and all sorts of good for you things. Back in the day people only ate meat a couple of times a week and ate things like lentils flavored with a chunk of salt pork or soup bone. Dr. Oz on Oprah was just talking about this very thing, cut back on meat and eat more lentils and beans (actually I think his wife is a vegetarian)
You can search these forums, I'd search the cooking forum and even ask this question there for favorite recipes (actually I think there was a recent thread on depression food). You can check your library for older cookbooks, the kind that don't use a bunch of expensive ingredients. I imagine there are books on eating on a budget too.
You might also keep your eyes out for someone in a similar situation - perhaps you can buy some things in bulk and split them.
Last, you might look at the rest of your budget, how much do you spend on cleaning supplies when baking soda and vinegar would work?
Do you have an Aldi's near you?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Good ideas Marys 1000. I'm not a leftover person since I actually enjoy cooking. But, your ideas to save in other ways, are helpful. I'm unemployed right now so my funds are SUPER tight. Your idea about "cleaning supplies", made me think of other ideas as well. THANKS!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 4:33PM
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also soap and water works, don't know how we got away from it. advertising i guess.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2008 at 9:01PM
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I get a lot of my staples from Asian food stores. Beans, chickpeas, lentils, huge bags of rice, pickled greens, big bottles of soy sauce (for the price of a small one in the supermarket) and spices. Most of it is in bigger bags, and still cheaper than a small bag in the supermarket... just with less fun packaging.
Trawl the internet for inspiration on Indian vegetarian recipes. A bit of spices to your veggies and lentils, can make that expensive meat redundant (and just ignore the chillies, if they are not your thing).

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:39PM
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i've been digging on a recipe i got from dr. oz
1 cup oats
1/2 peanut butter
1/3 dried fruit/choc. chips/ coconut--whatever u like
1 tbls. vanilla
3 tbls. honey
mix it up and flatten it down
refridg. 2 hrs.
cut into bars/ or me-- i spoon it up and eat it
leave out of fridge
good when u need something sweet

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:56AM
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In the winter I make a lot of soups. I make enough soup to last for 5 days to take to work for lunch. For the mornings, I cook steel cut oats enough for 5 days for work and take that for breakfast. Both are healthy, and soup I make is usually vegetarian - usually using beans instead of meat. And then for dinner I have something different every day for variety. I use meat as more of a side dish than the main course and eat mostly veggies. Brown rice is inexpensive as well and can make a side dish with veggies. I eat healthy but cheaply. I have been doing this a long time and its just the way I eat now.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 3:02PM
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Been there, done that too, many years ago. Here are my best suggestions:

1. Grow as big a garden as you have space for. Can and freeze.
2. Cook large quantities and freeze small portions (enough for one meal each) in Ziploc bags.
3. Don't always rely on coupons. Sometimes the store brands end up being less expensive. That's what I usually buy anyway these days. We pay a lot for packaging.
4. Eat less meat - it's bad for us and costs more than other nutritious foods.

(laughing, because Katrina's note above reminded me of this) One time after I was no longer on such a tight budget, there was something I wanted to buy, and didn't want to charge it (I've been debt free for 25 years). So I spent all my money except for a few dollars on that item. I ate oatmeal for dinner for an entire week. I made it taste different every night with canned fruit I already had in the pantry, and never regretted although I can no longer remember what it was that was so important as to require that "sacrifice."

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 10:05PM
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My Mom's doctor told her when she was my age, she could eat anything she wanted. He said she isn't building a strong body or bones anymore. Most people don't believe that because they have been brain washed with media/medical hype. She was in her 70s and lived to be 97 and in good physical health until a week before she died.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 11:52PM
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